The Mini Mets and Baby Bombers rely heavily on their coaches to show them the ropes of professional ball.
For the fourteenth consecutive year, WFUV talks to the members of the Brooklyn Cyclones and the Staten Island Yankees in the New York Single-A Penn League about the trials and tribulations of being minor league ballplayers. The long bus rides, the low pay, 76 games in 80 days. This is a look into Life in the Minors: How the Other Half Lives.
This week, Drew Casey and Brendan Bowers discuss coaching in the minors.
The Brooklyn Cyclones with Drew Casey:
The Staten Island Yankees with Brendan Bowers:
Being a manager in the minor leagues, especially at the short season single A can be tricky. The goal of any manager is always to win today, but in the New York Penn league there are several different things the manager has to worry about. Unlike the Majors where you have the same 8 starts almost every game; mangers in this league have to make sure everyone on the team gets a chance to show the team and organization what they can do. While managers always what to win games, the development of these young ballplayers comes first in this league.
Austin Aune, the second round pick by the Yankees in 2012, thinks that there is not much difference between coaching in high school and the minor leagues. He says that coaching staffs at both levels have the same goal; to get the player to the next stage. In high school their goal was to get the player to play college ball, or drafted, and in the minor leagues, their goal is to get the player to the next level. Austin Aune has been struggling this season, hitting .223 with three HR’s and 16 RBI’s.
Coming out of Washington State in this past draft, outfielder Collin Slaybaugh says the coaching staff in Staten Island has been helping him a lot. He says that each coach approaches coaching with a different philosophy, and that they have all helped his game in one aspect or another. Slaybaugh has seen action in 22 games so far this season, batting .234 with five doubles and eight RBI’s.
Manager for the Staten Island Yankees, Mario Garza, says that the main difference between amateur baseball and the minor leagues is development. Whereas in armature baseball the goal is to win now, Garza says that he and the rest of the coaching staff have to put development of the players ahead of winning, because the goal of minor league baseball is to create big leaguers. Garza goes on to say that there are two steps to molding armature baseball players in professional baseball players in Staten Island. The two steps are, teaching the players how to handle the daily grind of playing baseball every day, and teaching them to be Yankees because there are higher expectations and tradition that go along with being a professional baseball player.
The Staten Island Yankees are 30-29 right now and are 1.5 games behind the wild card leading Brooklyn Cyclones. While the coaches have to keep development in mind, there is no denying the fact that they are trying to drive this team into the playoffs. With the allstar game three days away, the Yankees are heading into their last two weeks of the season and have seven games left against Brooklyn. These seven games against Brooklyn could very well decide which team makes the playoffs. Let the rivalry begin.