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Parrish, rest of field staff to return for Hens

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Parrish, rest of field staff to return for Hens

By JOHN WAGNERBLADE SPORTS WRITER

The field staff for the Mud Hens - manager Larry Parrish, pitching coach A.J. Sager, hitting coach Leon "Bull" Durham and trainer Matt Rankin - will return intact in 2010.

And that's comforting to Glenn Ezell, Detroit's director of player development.

"I think our staff is absolutely solid," he said. "Their main goal and drive is to get players major-league ready."

"We are absolutely thrilled to have our coaching staff back," Mud Hens general manager Joe Napoli said. "Besides being excellent teachers, they are outstanding people. We couldn't ask for a stronger group of coaches to lead this team."

Parrish will serve his eighth season as Mud Hens manager, the second-longest tenure in franchise history. Parrish took over for Joe Sparks in May of 1994, then returned as manager in 2003 and has managed here every year since except in 2007, when he was sidelined for the year by ankle surgery.

Parrish has a 499-478 record

(.511 winning percentage) with the Mud Hens, the second-most wins in the Glass City's professional baseball history. He needs 42 wins to pass Cal Ermer for the top spot.

The 15-year major leaguer has led Toledo to a pair of Governors' Cup titles and three West Division crowns. Before his arrival in 2003, the Hens had only one Governors' Cup and two division titles since joining the International League in 1965.

Durham will return to Toledo for his 10th season. The Cincinnati native spent 10 years in the majors and was a coach in the Anaheim Angels organization before coming to the Hens in 2001.

Sager, a former baseball and football standout at the University of Toledo, will serve as pitching coach for the third consecutive year. Sager pitched for the Hens in both 1996 and '98 and spent five years in the majors.

Rankin will begin his 10th season with the Hens in 2010. The Marion, Ohio, native has been a trainer in the Tigers' organization for 15 years.

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