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2013 Affiliate Managing / Coaching Thread


Mass Haas

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Brewer Fanatic Staff

The Brewers Media Guide has some coaching updates from when the Brewers first released their master list earlier this winter.

 

The open Huntsville hitting coach position has been filled by Kenny Dominguez, who had been the hitting coach for the Maryvale Brewers for the past four seasons.

 

That leaves the Maryvale hitting coach job has currently to-be-determined.

 

The same holds true for the Helena hitting coach job (TBD) as Dwayne Hosey, listed for the Helena job in December, and who spent last year in Huntsville and the prior two at Brevard County in that role, is no longer listed. So apparently (not confirmed, but not in the guide) Hosey won't be in the organization in 2013.

 

If Hosey is no longer a Brewer,

.

 

Brevard County pitching coach, former six-year big leaguer Mark Dewey, shouldn't have any problems keeping an eye on multiple young ones -- he has plenty of practice.

 

From 2011, when he was honored by his high school alma mater:

 

Both are enjoying life after pro careers, too. Dewey is the pitching coach with the Washington Wild Things of the Frontier League, and Grasmanis is the vice president of sales of Ron Son Foods.

 

They also love to talk about their families, although Dewey has much more to discuss considering the size of his family. Grasmanis and his wife, Kerry, have a 4-year old daughter, Lani Grace. Dewey and his wife, Monique, have 12 children ranging in age from two months to 19 years old.

 

"Five years into our marriage, we discussed how the Bible says children are a blessing of the lord, and that we should be excited about every child He gives us," Dewey said. "So far, He has given us 12."

 

As per this years "guide", make that 13. Wow, God bless 'em. Nearing reality show territory.

 

Tidbit -- Dewey was the pitching coach for the two Williams' boys of the Brewers in 2011, independent league signees LHP Alan and RHP Mark, both of whom have had current success in the Brewers' system.

 

Runner up on the children scale -- Tony Diggs, now the Helena manager, and his seven, all with "A" names.

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Brewer Fanatic Staff
The Brewers Media Guide has some coaching updates from when the Brewers first released their master list earlier this winter.

 

The open Huntsville hitting coach position has been filled by Kenny Dominguez, who had been the hitting coach for the Maryvale Brewers for the past four seasons.

 

That leaves the Maryvale hitting coach job has currently to-be-determined.

 

The same holds true for the Helena hitting coach job (TBD) as Dwayne Hosey, listed for the Helena job in December, and who spent last year in Huntsville and the prior two at Brevard County in that role, is no longer listed. So apparently (not confirmed, but not in the guide) Hosey won't be in the organization in 2013.

 

Chuck Caufield in extended spring training now, in June he'll be either with Helena or Maryvale, with the other spot still yet to be announced.

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Brewer Fanatic Staff

Via Adam McCalvy:

 

The Brewers finalized some Minor League coaching staffs on Friday with a pair of former players. Chuckie Caufield, an outfielder in Milwaukee's system from 2006-11, was formally announced as a coach at rookie-level Helena. Also, former Cubs and Indians outfielder Jason Dubois was named a coach at rookie-level Arizona. He served the previous two seasons as a hitting coach with the Cubs' rookie Arizona League affiliate.

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Brewer Fanatic Staff

All about trust: Manatees pitching coach encourages players to have faith

John A. Torres, Florida Today

 

Mark Dewey admits having regrets when he stopped playing the game he loved a little prematurely, when he still had plenty still in the tank.

 

Maybe that’s what fuels the 48-year-old pitching coach now as he works to send his Brevard County Manatees pitchers up the chain toward their ultimate destination: Miller Park and the Milwaukee Brewers. It’s a job that affords him the opportunity to sit back sometimes and just smile. That is, of course, when he’s not questioning the home plate umpire’s strike zone.

 

“My job is to help them prepare and let them perform,” Dewey said before a recent game against Clearwater at Space Coast Stadium.

 

Dewey’s staff, led by starters Brooks Hall and David Goforth and reliever Tommy Toledo, is ranked in the top half of the Florida State League in just about all the major pitching categories. The young staff has a more-than-respectable 3.61 ERA and a WHIP of only 1.29.

 

“Fundamentally, I think it’s about getting them prepared and teaching them to prepare themselves when they go out there,” he said.

 

Dewey, in his second year as the Manatees’ pitching coach, has a quote hanging up on the bulletin board to help him and his pitchers understand and try to overcome the toughest obstacle to being a successful pitcher.

 

The quote is attributed to Tom Seaver. It says: “You gotta trust what you have.”

 

“That’s easy for a guy that had his stuff, but he wouldn’t be in the hall of fame if he didn’t trust his stuff,” said Dewey. “I just try to encourage them to trust what they have and attack it. That is the number one problem.”

 

Dewey trusted his own stuff enough to break into the big leagues in 1992 as a reliever with the San Francisco Giants. He also pitched for the New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates before returning to the Giants in 1995. One season later, Dewey enjoyed his best season, appearing in 78 games with six victories and a 4.21 ERA.

 

That’s when he walked away from the game, wanting to spend more time with his wife and children. Second thoughts lingered and Dewey went to spring training a year later with the Brewers, only to be cut on the last day of camp. A few years later, he flirted with another comeback with the Pirates but was derailed by a back injury.

 

“I made the decision with the right motives, but humanly speaking it was the wrong decision,” he said. “I was healthy, I was throwing the ball well and my career would have taken off from a financial standpoint.”

 

He coached with the Mets in 2000 and then found himself coaching in Australia, where his duties included a little more than counting pitches.

 

“I was a coach, chapel leader, did Bible studies and even pitched some,” he laughed.

 

Dewey credits his faith with his coaching success on the field.

 

“My faith is the very core of who I am,” he said. “Hopefully it comes out in how I try to treat all the guys with respect. I try to work as diligently with the guy who might be considered the lowest prospect on the rung as much as I do with the guy who’s the highest prospect.”

 

The players appreciate it. Toledo, who has five saves and a 2.25 ERA, played for the Manatees late last season and has known Dewey now for nearly a year. One of Dewey’s most effective coaching strategies comes several hours after each game, in the form of an email.

 

He sends pitchers a synopsis of their performance, statistics, pitch breakdowns and then a critique to help them improve.

 

“He’s a coach, so he’s going to tell you what you’re doing wrong. But at the same time, he’s not going to chew you out about it,” Toledo said.

 

Dewey’s faith might not allow him to chew out his own players, but conducting himself in a manner that demonstrates his beliefs is not always easy.

 

“I think I fail sometimes in my dealing with the umpires,” he smiled.

 

I think we all do. That’s why there must be a special place reserved in paradise for those men in blue.

 

http://cmsimg.floridatoday.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=A9&Date=20130530&Category=COLUMNISTS0317&ArtNo=305300025&Ref=AR&MaxW=600&Border=0

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Brewer Fanatic Staff

New Helena Brewers manager Tony Diggs back where it all began

By Amber Kuehn, Helena Independent Record

 

Helena is where it all began for Tony Diggs.

 

Now, the player-turned-manager’s career has come full circle as he returns to the Capital City as the 2013 manager for the Helena Brewers.

 

“It is pretty special,” the 46-year-old Diggs said last Friday from his new digs inside the Kindrick Legion Field clubhouse. “Not many guys get a chance to see both sides of the fence, so to speak, as a player and then later on as a coach or manager. And to be back in the place it all started for me as a player is special.”

 

A lot has changed since Diggs first came to Helena in 1989, after being drafted by Milwaukee in the sixth round of the amateur draft. The city has grown, the bleachers and locker rooms at Kindrick have been updated, and he said the playing surface in the ballpark is better than what he remembers. But 24 years later, one thing that hasn’t changed is Diggs’ appreciation for baseball. You can see it in the infectious smile he wears, the one that screams, “I love my job.”

 

“To be able to stay a part of this game as a coach or manager has been a great opportunity for me and my family,” he said. “We’ve seen a lot of different places because of it, but to be able to experience the love of your life as far as having it as your work, that’s pretty special in itself.”

 

Following stints as a hitting coach in the Cardinals’ and Brewers’ minor league systems, Diggs took his first manager job in 2008 when he was hired to lead the Arizona League Brewers. He was there for the last five seasons, winning the championship and Manager of the Year award in 2010. With a number of players on the 2013 Brewers roster coming up to Helena from the AZL, Diggs sees a tremendous advantage.

 

“They know me as a person, they know what my expectations are,” he said. “I’ve had an opportunity to see them, evaluate them and know what their strengths and weaknesses are.”

 

Diggs said that will allow him more time to familiarize himself with the new acquisitions. He remembers what it was like coming into that first year as a pro.

 

“Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, not knowing anything about the professional sport of baseball,” he said. “You’ve played baseball, but it’s a whole different atmosphere when you get to this level.”

 

Diggs never did crack the major leagues in his eight seasons as a player, though he reached Triple-A briefly in 1993, ’95 and ’96.

 

“You’re just below the big leagues and you’re actually in a position where you’re hoping and waiting for that call to be able to go there,” he said. “It didn’t really happen for me but, nonetheless, that didn’t take away from the experience I had as a player. Because I cherished every minute of it.

 

“Getting there is tough. I think a lot of players are going to find out that you can have natural ability, you can have all the tools, but you still have to learn how to use those and how to work. Everybody at this level is pretty even, so you have to learn how to outwork the next person, how to be more consistent, and hopefully all that work you do pays off.”

 

Diggs twice topped 30 steals in a season, including when he played in Helena, and he suited up at several positions in his career — playing everything except first base and pitcher, in fact.

 

“Ultimately, you’d like to be known as a one-position, everyday player,” he said. “You’re perfecting it, you’re in the lineup. But to be able to play multiple positions is a huge advantage, because you can still find your way into the lineup every day, and that’s where you want to be to hone your craft. I think (being a utility player) prolonged my career.”

 

While he has fond memories of a couple of championship teams he was a part of, winning isn’t everything to Diggs. He said he cherishes the relationships he’s made through baseball more than the hardware.

 

“There are still people I stay in communication with that I met here in Helena as players,” he said.

 

The sport has literally taken Diggs across the globe. He was the director of player development for the Intramural Baseball League of Australia in 2000 and 2001, and was a consultant for the Australian National Team at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. He and his wife, Tina, even relocated the family there during those years, and Diggs said two of his seven children were born in Australia.

 

“Baseball was probably about the fifth or sixth top sport in Australia,” he said. “It was great to be over there, in a beautiful country that was yearning to be able to learn this particular game.”

 

Diggs said David Nilsson, an Australian who played catcher for the Milwaukee Brewers from 1992-99, was the one who gave him the opportunity Down Under. Nilsson and Diggs were teammates in the minor leagues.

 

“It was a very good experience as far as being away from America, and it was good to be able to see through the eyes of another country and culture what their priorities were and what they considered their top sports,” he said.

 

For all that he has accomplished, Diggs remains humble. When asked about the 2010 season — which culminated in championship rings and his manager of the year honor — he refused to take any credit.

 

“We had a very fundamentally sound group of players that year; they played well from the beginning to the end,” he said. “They had a greater understanding of the game than most of the teams that came through there and were probably a little older than most of the players that come through Arizona. They were a great group of guys that played a team sport as a team. ... Basically all I did was make a lineup and send them out to play.”

 

Diggs has continued to follow those players and said many of them are currently in Double-A with a good opportunity to go further. Seeing that progression, he said, is more gratifying to him than accolades.

 

As for his coaching style, Diggs possesses a team-first mentality and operates with a laid-back approach.

 

“I try to be relaxed,” he said. “I think the more relaxed you are, it sets the tone for your team to be relaxed. At the same time, there is a work ethic I expect, and the players I have coached know that I expect 100 percent all the time when we are between the lines.

 

“... And as long as you understand the team comes first, you’re more valuable to our organization, in my opinion. I like to keep things loose, but at the same time I like to make sure guys understand how to play the game the right way.”

 

Diggs has a number of sports influences, from baseball players he watched growing up, like Pete Rose, to his mother, who got him involved in sports and other outdoor activities he continues today, such as hunting and fishing. He could go on and on about those who have had a direct impact on his baseball career, from college coach Dusty Rhodes at the University of North Florida to a long list of instructors in the Milwaukee organization.

 

(Rhodes is now the hitting coach of the Timber Rattlers -- MH)

 

He’s passed his passion for sports and nature on to his seven children as well, and is already looking forward to the Brewers’ road trip to Grand Junction, Colo., where his oldest son, A.J., is attending Colorado Mesa University on a football and baseball scholarship. That will be a family reunion of sorts, as his wife and children who are still in school will join him there. They are remaining back home in Arizona this summer — in large part due to the high school boys’ athletic obligations.

 

But Diggs has plenty here to keep him busy. In addition to his managerial duties, he remains the assistant director for the Milwaukee player development center, a position he’s held since 2006. The job entails mostly administrative work, he said.

 

“I pay attention to the different affiliates, strong attention to community service and stay on top of disciplinary issues that arise,” he said, adding that in the winter he assists with different offseason training programs.

 

When asked what advice he gives his players, Diggs paused to gather his thoughts and then delivered some tips that transcend the game of baseball and could easily apply to anyone in any profession.

 

“If you don’t enjoy it, you’re not going to give it the effort you normally would,” he said. “... So enjoy what you’re doing, because it is a great opportunity.

 

“I guess the other would be a realization that you’re never going to be bigger than the game. ... This game is going to be here with or without you. Treat it with respect and learn to enjoy it even more. You never know how long you’re going to be in it — it could be nine seasons, like I had, it could be one season, it could be 15 years in the major leagues. Just enjoy it.”

 

Diggs definitely enjoys what he does. Helena pitching coach Elvin Nina, who has worked with Diggs in extended spring training for five seasons now, can attest to that.

 

“He loves to have fun, so I know we’re going to enjoy ourselves playing baseball every day,” Nina said. “This was a great staff that was put together — we all get along, we all joke around. I’m excited, because I know we’re gonna have a fun year.”

 

First-year Helena Brewers manager Tony Diggs is happy to be back in the town where he once played. Diggs was the Arizona League Brewers manager for the past five seasons, in addition to being the assistant director for the Milwaukee player development center, a position he’s held since 2006.

 

http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/helenair.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/3f/03f50398-d8a4-11e2-ab1e-0019bb2963f4/51c146d0c9f65.preview-620.jpg

 

***

 

As a reminder for you, here's a link to that 2010 Arizona Summer League championship Brewers roster and stats - eight of 22 position players still in the system, seven of 24 pitchers.

 

***

 

“It is pretty special,” the 46-year-old Diggs said last Friday from his new digs inside the Kindrick Legion Field clubhouse.

 

Pun intended, Amber? Great to see Ms. Kuehn back on the H-Crew beat, she does an excellent job.

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Brewer Fanatic Staff

Stars' manager Darnell Coles alongside Babe Ruth in history, now alongside others as bobblehead

By Mark McCarter, Huntsville Times

 

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- At his Florida home, Darnell Coles has a shelf full of bobblehead dolls, a collection that includes friends, former teammates or players he's managed and coached.

 

Joked Coles, "Every now and then I'll be in my room, watching TV and I'll have a conversation with the guys. Occasionally, if I need somebody to say yes to me, I'll just move it forward and it'll nod."

 

On Saturday night, the Huntsville Stars manager will be officially immortalized as a bobblehead. It's part of a promotion for the Stars game against Tennessee at 6:43 p.m.

 

It's also AUSA Military Appreciation Night and McDonalds Youth Night. AUSA has tickets at the One Stop Shop, Building 3443 on Redstone Arsenal for all Military ID and CAC Card Holders. Meanwhile, kids 12 and under wearing youth sports or scout uniforms are admitted free.

 

The Nashville Predators of the NHL, who are hosting a hockey clinic Saturday at the Iceplex, will have a pregame youth street hockey clinic. Fans wearing Predators caps or shirts will be admitted to the game for free.

 

Coles played in the majors for 14 seasons, primarily with Seattle and Detroit, and shares this bit of baseball history: Coles, Babe Ruth and Mark McGwire are three of only nine players to have hit three home runs in a single game in both the American and National Leagues.

 

"This (bobblehead) is a first for me," Coles said. "It's both fun and flattering. I've got those bobbleheads at home but never in a million years did I think I'd have one for myself."

 

The most fun aspect, he said, will be having the dolls for his grandkids. A doting grandfather of three, Coles could be seen often this summer escorting granddaughters Isabella and Victoria around the bases at Joe Davis Stadium following games.

 

"Just giving it to them (will be special)," he said, " 'Oh, there's Papa, with his head bouncing around.'"

 

Bobblehead of Stars manager Darnell Coles to be given away Saturday

 

http://imgick.al.com/home/bama-media/width620/img/sports_impact/photo/dc-bobbleheadjpg-a5fdf44c261de296.jpg

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Indomitable Huntsville GM Buck Rogers with some high praise and thanks --

 

***

 

Stars fans, of all the highlights, lowlights, and things in between of this season, there are many people that make this operation work. These people don’t get the respect or thanks they deserve and they give up their summers for the game of baseball. I know, it’s a choice, nobody’s forcing them to work in baseball, but it gets in your blood and it’s like a fast moving train…you just can’t jump off once you get started in it. It’s something special to be a part of this game even knowing that you’re not going to sit down and watch it.

 

But when all is said and done and I reflect on this season there is one individual who has gone above and beyond to make this game more rewarding than I could ever expect. He’s out there day-in, day-out, always with a smile and kind word of encouragement. On your worst day on earth he’s the guy you’d want by your side and that man is Stars Manager Darnell Coles.

 

I’ve been blessed to have some really great managers on the teams that I’ve worked for, even some slightly crazy ones that are really driven and one that was the most fined manager in league history, but there is nobody in the game of baseball that is the whole package like DC.

 

Forget the World Series ring.

 

Forget the 13-year MLB playing career.

 

Forget all that because DC doesn’t wear his past and accomplishments on his ring finger. He lives in the here and now and makes sure that everybody around him excels and improves to the best of their ability.

 

Every day DC’s first stop at the ballpark is to our offices to say hi to the staff and ask if there is anything he can do to help. It’s not a front, it’s entirely genuine and once you meet him you’ll understand that that is the way he’s programmed. I think one of our interns (Amanda Stinson) summed it up best: The "good" in him practically radiates when he walks into a room, and you can tell he is sincere. He truly is one in a million!

 

He understands completely about human nature, the life behind the scenes at a stadium and not just the baseball players’ side of it. He is in touch with what’s going on around him and has the compassion, the empathy, and he provides the encouragement to get the most out of the people around him.

 

Many of the things DC has done for this community will never be public knowledge. Heck, I find out things after the fact and only because somebody comes into the stadium and relays a story about something DC did in the community. Like donating a pair of season tickets to a school for encouraging kids to learn. An old friend of DC’s came to town and bought a pair of season tickets as a thank you for something DC did many years ago. He gave them to DC and asked him to pay it forward. DC and his wife, Sheri, found a school and walked in to meet the principal and explain how the tickets came about.

 

He instilled the community involvement into the players and set the example by going on many trips himself, not pushing it off onto the players. He spoke to Kiwanis breakfasts and ate breakfast with the Huntsville Little Leaguers. He sacrificed sleep on off days to improve the relationship between the team and the community. He made sure he thanked national anthem singers. Gave many of them a team autographed baseball. Ensured the security and concession folks got souvenirs at season’s end. He ran the bases with kids after games and he caught first pitches before games because it was important and he wanted his players to understand that. He’s stopped by the office daily for a few words of support and a cold soda. He gets it…he understands the entire operation.

 

One day we were pulling tarp for the umpteenth time; the staff totally smoked and ready to throw in the jock. DC came out and grabbed a handle and pulled it with us. He knew we were toast and that one extra person on that tarp would make all the difference in the world. He just nodded in an understanding way and went back to the clubhouse afterwards.

 

In 17 years I’ve never had a manger pull tarp…a couple players once or twice, but never the manager.

 

None of this normal for a baseball team’s manager at any level. It’s unheard of!

 

He knows fans on a first name basis. Took the team bowling when asked by the fan club. Talked to sponsors and thanked them for their support to this team.

 

I asked each person on our staff to write down one thing about DC that will stand out. Just about every note referred to the respect they had for him because of his commitment, compassion, caring, and approach to life. Not just the game of baseball, but towards life.

 

Fans in Milwaukee…Hey! Wake up. Are you paying attention here?

 

This guy and his childhood sweetheart wife are diamonds on - and off - the diamond and they’re just a short hop, skip, and jump from Miller Park. When DC deservedly gets his big league opportunity in the near future Milwaukee will have to hold on for what’s coming because he will raise the bar to new heights. He’ll take the baseball experience to the next level. This is the guy you want in the foxhole with you when you’re knee deep in grenade pins because he doesn’t know the word quit.

 

You’re going to have to trust me on this one.

 

For those that have come on out and weathered the storms with us this season, we thank you for sticking by us in this 29th season of Huntsville Stars baseball. The ballpark isn’t state-of-the-art and we lack a lot of the amenities, but we do the best that we can with the hand we’re dealt and we thank you for hanging in there with us.

 

If you haven’t been to a game this season, you have one last shot tomorrow at 1:03 pm. I’m sure Mother Nature will throw one last change-up at us, but at this point, well, we’re going to do whatever it takes to make sure she doesn’t get the win.

 

If you’ve been to game but haven’t had the chance to meet DC, stop down in the stands by the dugout before the game because you won’t meet anybody like him again in the baseball world and that is as good as it gets for a season finale when your heart breaks as another season comes to an end!

 

Here’s to all the people that made this a very rewarding season: fans, corporate partners, staff, booster club, fan club, players and coaches, and our ownership group. I’ll never be able to thank all of you, but know that I will never forget the efforts and sacrifices you make every night.

 

Let’s wrap up this season tomorrow with a win and cherish the memories.

 

Rock On!

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