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OldTimey

Tigers Fire Entire AA Staff

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Maybe it would be the chance GR needs to rectify building a baseball stadium downtown. I can tell ya a lot of the city leaders kicked themselves in the pants over that. I doubt that would happen though.

Also, would the Tigers possible look at affiliating with Midland if they chose GR?

Heh all I can say is it'd be nice to see Maybin twice (and maybe Walbeck too..)

I don't think anyof that would happen. It was sometime during the fall/winter that the Tigers renewed their contracts with all of their farm stadiums. I think it was the same year for all of them. I can't remember what year it went through, but we had a thread about it when it happened. the Whitecaps just put a lot of money into upgrading the present stadium. It is privately owned and run rather than owned and run by the city--I like that. I like the location of the present stadium--it is pretty easy to find for those traveling 96 and 131. I know some have indicated that there is no place to go to eat nearby. There is a McDonalds within walking distance if you are in decent shape and have your walking shoes (west River drive), and further down W. River drive is a Vitales Sports Bar. I am glad it is not downtown.

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And yet he was bypassed 2 years ago when Lakeland had an opening. I think he's done a good job, don't get me wrong. But I think it would be odd for them to not allow their managers and coaches follow a natural progression. It would be a bit of a slap in the face to Rojas if Matt trumped him.

It doesn't really matter one way or the other. I just hope Matt's threatening to leave doesn't influence their decision.

He wasn't ready for a promotion at that point. I don't think what you are calling a threat will influence the Tigers decisions. I think they will promote or hire according to talent and ability rather than according to what the coaches or fans think they should do. I am hoping to see Matt in AA. That is my opinion. You want to see Mike in AA. That is your opinion. I guess we will see what the Tigers organization's opinion is when they make a decision.

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I don't think anyof that would happen. It was sometime during the fall/winter that the Tigers renewed their contracts with all of their farm stadiums. I think it was the same year for all of them. I can't remember what year it went through, but we had a thread about it when it happened. the Whitecaps just put a lot of money into upgrading the present stadium. It is privately owned and run rather than owned and run by the city--I like that. I like the location of the present stadium--it is pretty easy to find for those traveling 96 and 131. I know some have indicated that there is no place to go to eat nearby. There is a McDonalds within walking distance if you are in decent shape and have your walking shoes (west River drive), and further down W. River drive is a Vitales Sports Bar. I am glad it is not downtown.

McDonalds isn't really what people have in mind when they talk about the need for commercial and residential lifeblood around the stadium.

Grand Rapids really screwed the pooch when it came to the stadium. Not only does the design make it a dreadfully unfair hitter's park, but it's location ensures that it will never have any local character to it. In Lansing you can see the dome of the Capitol building and the famous Lansing Light and Power building from your seat. And restaurants, bars, apartments, etc. are beggining to pop up around the stadium as part of an initiative to reinvigorate downtown and the stadium district. In Grand Rapids, you sit down and look around you and you could very well be anywhere. Any freeway exit in the Midwest.

When you go to a Whitecaps game, you essentially drive there and then drive home. There's no possibility of walk-up crowds (not that they need it...they do just fine in attendance), no pre-game or post-game activity options around the stadium, no commercial or residential vitality surrounding the park. It just sits there.

A downtown stadium would do worlds of good for Grand Rapids and the Whitecaps. So would a move to the Eastern League. Unfortunately I doubt either will happen anytime soon.

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This blurb is at end of Tibers rain delay story tonight....oooppps, it is under Guillens status....

Walbeck in line for promotion: Tigers player development director Glenn Ezell said that former Tigers catcher and Class A West Michigan manager Matt Walbeck will be a candidate for the same post at Double-A Erie, where the entire coaching staff was dismissed following Monday's series-ending loss.

"He's going to be considered," Ezell said. "Obviously, the success of the [West Michigan] club, that would create the candidacy."

Walbeck told the Grand Rapids Press earlier this summer that he would not return to West Michigan next year, hoping instead that he would find an opportunity further up the Minor League ladder. The Tigers have two solid managers at the Class A level with Walbeck and Lakeland manager Mike Rojas.

Ezell said that the Tigers would like to look within the farm system first for potential replacements before going outside the organization. He plans to meet with Minor League operations director Dan Lunetta on Wednesday and discuss the jobs situation throughout the system, but he said that there's no timetable for filling openings.

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I wouldn't mind seeing Walbeck moved to Erie and Rojas moved straight to Toledo. I've never been a Larry Parrish fan, although I know he's a favorite of the organization.

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hoping instead that he would find an opportunity further up the Minor League ladder.

I guess I don't get your point?

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I wouldn't mind seeing Walbeck moved to Erie and Rojas moved straight to Toledo. I've never been a Larry Parrish fan, although I know he's a favorite of the organization.

That would be fine as well.

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He didn't say he has to stay in the Tiger family, he thinks he is ready for a higher challenge, and would probably jump at the chance to coach closer to California...he has a nice record so it should land him some interviews...whoever lands him will be getting a good coach, he treats the game & players with respect....

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He didn't say he has to stay in the Tiger family, he thinks he is ready for a higher challenge, and would probably jump at the chance to coach closer to California...he has a nice record so it should land him some interviews...whoever lands him will be getting a good coach, he treats the game & players with respect....

Yeah, he made that clear back in the middle of the season. I don't blame him one bit either. It would be good for him. I just think its odd that he would go public and say "I'm leaving to another organization because I deserve to be promoted". I can't think of a single reason for him to make that public, other than to gain the support of his fans. It's something that should be discussed in house, IMO.

Anyhow, I hope he stays. I just don't want the organization to send a message that if you threaten to leave it'll get you a promotion. Making that comment public opens a can of worms, you know?

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Yeah, he made that clear back in the middle of the season. I don't blame him one bit either. It would be good for him. I just think its odd that he would go public and say "I'm leaving to another organization because I deserve to be promoted". I can't think of a single reason for him to make that public, other than to gain the support of his fans. It's something that should be discussed in house, IMO.

Anyhow, I hope he stays. I just don't want the organization to send a message that if you threaten to leave it'll get you a promotion. Making that comment public opens a can of worms, you know?

Guess you would understand if you knew the GR Pressw beat writer for the Whitecaps...his statement, wishing to advance, was taken out of context & published & Wally stated that fact on a TV interview...but having worked in HR for many years, we would always had employees come in stating that they thought they deserved as promotion/advance, and a lot of the times their records showed that they deserved it....Besides, Wally always had fan support, sorry you never got to know him, very consistent & good coach & one the guys respected...and respect. I hope he gets closer to him family! California is a bit of a "road trip"....

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Yeah, he made that clear back in the middle of the season. I don't blame him one bit either. It would be good for him. I just think its odd that he would go public and say "I'm leaving to another organization because I deserve to be promoted". I can't think of a single reason for him to make that public, other than to gain the support of his fans. It's something that should be discussed in house, IMO.

Anyhow, I hope he stays. I just don't want the organization to send a message that if you threaten to leave it'll get you a promotion. Making that comment public opens a can of worms, you know?

He did not say "I am leaving the Tigers organization." He said "I am not returning to West Michigan." In visiting with him a couple weeks later, he was concerned that it came across badly. I assured him that as far as I was concerned it didn't. I understood what he was saying. He was saying that he felt it was time to move up. Not demanding how far, but time to move up. He was not making demands, just giving notice his plan was to be managing above low A baseball. He was not demanding to be in AA, just making it clear that he did not plan to stay in Low A forever. (I think he actually used those words to some of us at one time or another--to prepare us fans who might be wanting to keep him in WM forever. :grin: No, trust me, I have gotten to know him well enough to know that he was in no way stomping his feet and demanding his way.

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Can anyone from WM ever do something wrong or say something wrong? What he said was a stupid thing to say in the press. No matter how you spin it.

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"I'm not returning to West Michigan" means "I'm leaving if you don't promote me". There really is no other way to define that. And the fact that you guys keep making it out to be ok that he went public with it is pretty odd.

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McDonalds isn't really what people have in mind when they talk about the need for commercial and residential lifeblood around the stadium.

Grand Rapids really screwed the pooch when it came to the stadium. Not only does the design make it a dreadfully unfair hitter's park, but it's location ensures that it will never have any local character to it. In Lansing you can see the dome of the Capitol building and the famous Lansing Light and Power building from your seat. And restaurants, bars, apartments, etc. are beggining to pop up around the stadium as part of an initiative to reinvigorate downtown and the stadium district. In Grand Rapids, you sit down and look around you and you could very well be anywhere. Any freeway exit in the Midwest.

When you go to a Whitecaps game, you essentially drive there and then drive home. There's no possibility of walk-up crowds (not that they need it...they do just fine in attendance), no pre-game or post-game activity options around the stadium, no commercial or residential vitality surrounding the park. It just sits there.

A downtown stadium would do worlds of good for Grand Rapids and the Whitecaps. So would a move to the Eastern League. Unfortunately I doubt either will happen anytime soon.

Quite true. I think 5/3 is a great place to watch a game, especially with the money they put into it last winter... but I've always felt like it sort of lacked a feel that makes it unique to Grand Rapids and the Whitecaps.

Sadly, because of the money that was just put into the park, the chance of a downtown park is years away.

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GoEnglish_com_BeatADeadHorse.gif

Enough already!!

He goes where he goes.

It really doesn't matter what he said or what he meant. I think the powers to be know Walbeck well enough already to understand his skills, his personality, and his aspirations - regardless of the remark. (He ain't no T.O.!)

Walbeck is a candidate for Erie. Whether he ends up there or not is still be seen.

Rojas is no doubt a candidate for the position as well (and if he gets it, Walbeck, obviously becomes the leading candidate for Lakeland).

Either way, this is probably good news for Tommy Brookens as well. He has shown himself fairly well in his first 2 seasons for Oneonta. If they go internal with a candidate for WM (assuming Walbeck goes somewhere), I would pick him over Kevin Bradshaw.

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There is NO PARKING in downtown GR now..and if you can find parking it is about $10.00.....nothing wrong with the field where it is now, except it is privately funded. Go to the Lugnut stadium & see how public funded ballparks run & look,..then compare to our 5/3.....

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If they do move, the will have to break there contract with Erie which I believe was extended before the season started this, but I may be wrong.

According to BA - the affiliation with Erie is currently through 2008.

West Michigan's is through 2010.

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Personally, I'll be at least mildly disappointed if Walbeck is the manager in Erie next season. His rah-rah, go get 'em style works really well for the lower levels, but personally, I want someone capable of making minor tweaks to an advanced players game...tweaks that can help that player improve his play enough to contribute in some fashion at the next level. I haven't seen Walbeck demonstrate the aptitude for such tweaks and changes. He's great with confidence and some of the broader scoped teachings...but not with the details that would be requisite of an advanced level minor league manager.

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So many of these parks have quirks and charms of their own. The difference I would have made to our 5/3 was rotate it, so the outfield backed up to the river for ambiance.

It will be interesting to see who earns the coaching promotion to Erie.

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no commercial or residential vitality surrounding the park.

Are you saying my house which is within walking distance to the park has no residential vitality? Tell my tax man and my appraiser.

Look to the future in this area. Comstock Park is a growing community. New schools, new road projects, new subdivisions, new tax growth, new life. Has CP been know in the past as a blue collar industrial area, sure. With the increasing "urban" sprawl, CP is actually turning some heads on people who don't wish to drive the 15 miles plus to get to Rockford, Cedar Springs, Caledonia, Middleville, Ada, Lowell, Coopersville, etc. CP got missed in the first sprawl and now it's catching up.

We have a new hotel this year across the street from the park. New strip mall just east with a Chinese place. Mill Creek tavern is a fun yuppie hangout which is next to Vitali's. You have the White Pine Trail for biking or walking. There is more growth than you would think along the West River Drive area. Is it downtown, nope, but that's just fine with me.

I also like Olds park in Lansing. The city does a good job with that place. Parking in GR is not bad at all. Many lots, and not all of them are $10. Downtown GR will never get the stadium. It's too good where it is!

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Personally, I'll be at least mildly disappointed if Walbeck is the manager in Erie next season. His rah-rah, go get 'em style works really well for the lower levels, but personally, I want someone capable of making minor tweaks to an advanced players game...tweaks that can help that player improve his play enough to contribute in some fashion at the next level. I haven't seen Walbeck demonstrate the aptitude for such tweaks and changes. He's great with confidence and some of the broader scoped teachings...but not with the details that would be requisite of an advanced level minor league manager.

But, of course, he may be tailoring his "game" to the requirements of the level he is managing.

As with a successful minor league player, you need to challenge them to see if they have those other capabilities. Does he have the make-up to convey those other skills and surround himself with coaches who he can guide his (and the organization's) ideals? That is to be seen, but he deserves the challenge, whether at High A or AA.

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And in my experience, as well as what I've been told by others (including other Midwest League managers), I don't see him as having the ability to make that requisite switch to the necessities of coaching at the upper minor leagues.

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Fair enough. Thanks for the insight.

What as to Rojas? Does he, in your opinion, have the "necessities" for AA?

And could Walbeck have the stuff, again IYHO, to succeed in High A?

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