Not much happening right now, but here is what I have collected over the past month or so....
The Rickwood Classic will be held on June 1st, obviously at Rickwood Field in Bham. It will feature Rollie Fingers as guest of honor. Chattanooga will be the opponent, though I would have been much happier to see the Biscuits take on the Barons in a rematch of the first ever game at the old ballpark.
|Some things never change, like the parking at Rickwood - Opening Day 1910|
NEW MAN IN B-HAM
The Barons announced their new manager would be Ryan Newman, a veteran minor league catcher turned manager Newman has skippered as high as triple-A.
Jamie Dismukes will be the Barons hitting coach and J.R.Perdue handles the pitching coach duty. Both Perdue and Dismukes are Southern league coaching veterans, getting another look courtesy of the White Sox.
The Biloxi Shuckers announced their coaches for the 2016 season, Mike Guerrero was named manager and his brother Sandy as hitting coach will make a family coaching tandem not seen in the Southern League - maybe ever!
Incoming skipper Mike Guerrero and outgoing manager Carlos Subero have traded roles for the Brewers, Subero will take over as the Milwaukee base coach for Mike G.
The pitching coach will be Chris Hook, a former SF Giant reliever Hook is familiar with the Southern league hotels from his time as pitching coach with Huntsville.
Dave Berg has been named as head of the Jacksonvile team - the former big leaguer with the Marlins and Blue Jays at second base, third base and shortstop returns to the dugout for the Suns.
Also returning are hitting coach Rich Arena, assistant coach John Pachot. The new guy is pitching coach Storm Davis. Davis won a world series ring with the Orioles in 1983, went 35w-14L in a two year stint 1988-89 and won over a hundred games in his major league career. The last time he saw the Southern League was 1981 when he pitched for Charlotte's O's.
DOTHAN SHUT OUT
The city of Dothan, satisfied with its recently completed feasibility survey, called on MiLB. City leaders were told flat out Dothan was not going to get a team anytime soon, be it Southern League or SALLY league.
League presidents of both circuits were asked directly by Dothan officials and were shut down completely. They were told the wiregrass area didnt offer enough people with finances to spend on baseball and lacked a corporate base to support the team.
The takeaway from this is multi-faceted. For starters, it means a city can no longer lure a team simply by offering a newly built ballpark. For a long time that was about the only requirement, but now there are higher expectations.
With places like Mobile and Jackson Tn scrambling to patch their parks to lure fans, there is a chance a team could be had, so secondly it sounds to me as though the Southern League has other ideas on potential host cities.
NEW NETTING IN DURHAM
The Durham Bulls will update their nets as per request of major league baseball. Now a net will cover seating behind both dugouts, instead of just the home plate area.
|DBAP netting design|
Could this be in store for the Riverwalk Stadium too? No announcement as such has been made, but with the current trend being to shield inattentive fans at the cost of those actually watching the game, it could only be a matter of time.