November 2011

Osprey coaching staff announced …

by Ben Catley

Well, my secret is now out in the open.

Yup, in case you missed it … the Missoula Osprey, in conjunction with the Arizona Diamondbacks, announced the 2012 Osprey Coaching Staff on Tuesday.

While the announcement came down on Tuesday, yours truly has had to sit on this. For a month.

It has been tough to keep quiet – I did tell someone in the front office last week that I knew, but other than that, I have bit my tongue. Ever since someone called to tell me what it was … I have been anxiously awaiting the announcement so that I can post about it.

While I am excited that Andy Green is taking over as manager, and really excited to have Gil Heredia back as pitching coach, as well as having Scott Barringer (Athletic Trainer) and Andrew Slorp (Strength & Conditioning) back in the fold, it’s a bummer to have Hector De La Cruz not coming back and heading somewhere else.

As I have mentioned on here before, I believe that Hector is the best pure coach I have ever been around. And it’s not just the way he can teach the game – which makes him a perfect fit for the Arizona Rookie League team, because those young men will learn so much from him. It’s the way he can figure out who can have their buttons pushed to bring out the best in them.

Heredia will be the most experienced of the coaching staff, not only from his coaching experience – entering his third full season – but from the aspect of his career as well. Heredia will have a manager in Green who is, well, still a little green, entering just his second season as a coach at any level, while hitting coach JR House will be entering his first season as a coach.

All that being said, there is an excitement level to see how this crew will mesh. One thing is for certain, they will be in shape and taken care of … Barringer is the reigning Pioneer League Athletic Trainer of the Year, while Slorp has a season in short-season now under his belt, and knows how to get the most out of his guys who are making the adjustment from the high school or college game to the world of professional baseball.

Next on the off-season calendar … the announcement of the 2012 schedule. That should be coming out soon. I know that the front office has been hard at work getting the best possible schedule for the upcoming season, and hopefully we will get to anounce it sooner rather than later.

Until then – enjoy the holiday shopping season. And get your Griz tickets and gear at the MSO Hub!!

Sad news …

Bob Forsch, who was the pitching coach for the Billings Mustangs for the past two seasons, died suddenly last night at his Florida home. He was 61. While he will be remembered as a starter with the St. Louis Cardinals and Houston Astros, he had spent the past few seasons in the Cincinnati Reds’ system as a pitching coach, including his time in Billings.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Forsch family.

News Flash – Parra Earns Gold Glove

Gerardo Parra, a 2006 member of the Missoula Osprey, has earned his first Rawlings Gold Glove award, announced earlier this evening. We will have more on this tomorrow.

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