IL managers ready for action

flaaz.JPGHalf of the International League’s fourteen teams will be piloted by a new manager this season, marking the highest turnover since 2007 when eight clubs were led by new skippers.

While Bisons manager Tim Teufel is one of seven new managers making their International League debut, the league returns two of the five winningest active skippers in Minor League Baseball. Combined, Dave Miley (SWB) and Rick Sweet (LOU) have won over 9,000 minor league games as well as five Governors’ Cup championships.

All four managers from last year’s playoff run return for another shot to become the 79th manager to have his name etched on the IL’s postseason trophy. That includes the 2010 Triple-A Baseball National Champions, Mike Sarbaugh of Columbus, fresh off of his recognition by Baseball America as the Minor League Manager of the Year in his first season directing Cleveland’s affiliate. The 2010 International League Manager of the Year, Durham’s Charlie Montoyo, looks to lead the Bulls to a fifth straight division title in as many years at the helm. Louisville’s all-time winningest skipper, Rick Sweet, returns as his Bats seek to win the IL West for a fourth straight season. Also, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s Dave Miley, owner of more victories than any other International League manager since taking over the reins of the SWB Yankees in 2007.

The returning playoff managers won’t be the only familiar faces in International League dugouts this season. Gary Allenson will once again navigate the Norfolk Tides, as he has done in each of the club’s first four years affiliated with Baltimore. Dave Brundage, won the 2007 Governors’ Cup with Atlanta’s affiliate in Richmond, is back for the third straight season of baseball in Gwinnett County. In Rochester, the Red Wings are bringing back their 2010 skipper, as Tom Nieto prepares for another run in the leagues northern division.

Just two of the league’s new managers have previous Triple-A experience. Last year’s Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year, Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg, takes over in Lehigh Valley where he will work for the organization that originally drafted him over three decades ago. Dean Treanor, takes over in Indianapolis after serving as the club’s pitching coach last year, managed six seasons in the Pacific Coast League in Calgary and Albuquerque.

The other five managers will be making their debut at the Triple-A classification. Buffalo’s Tim Teufel has put in seven seasons managing at the lower levels of the Mets organization before getting his chance to guide the Mets’ top affiliate this year. Similarly, Arnie Beyeler gets his chance to lead Pawtucket after having managed Boston’s Double-A Portland club for the past four seasons. Former Chiefs catcher Randy Knorr will be returning to Syracuse as the team’s manager in 2011. In Toledo, Phil Nevin has been named skipper of the Mud Hens after just one season of managerial experience in the affiliated minors. The youngest International League manager this season will be Charlotte’s Joe McEwing, who at 38 years old is less than four years removed from his last game as a player.

BTeufelBisonsBackground.JPGMEET THE MANAGERS:
Buffalo – Tim Teufel
Charlotte – Joe McEwing
Columbus – Mike Sarbaugh
Durham – Charlie Montoyo
Gwinnett – Dave Brundage
Indianapolis – Dean Treanor
Lehigh Valley – Ryne Sandberg
Louisville – Rick Sweet
Norfolk – Gary Allenson
Pawtucket – Arnie Beyeler
Rochester – Tom Nieto
Scranton/WB – Dave Miley
Syracuse – Randy Norr
Toledo – Phil Nevin

MORE: Additional information on the Pacific Coast League

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