December 2009

Happy Holidays from the LumberBlog

14358_604009149373_71200894_35602297_2048691_n.jpegOn behalf of Indianapolis Motorcycle Santa, myself and the rest of the LumberKings front office, have a happy holiday season.  I’m back home in Oak Creek, Wisconsin taking some time off.  I’ll be back with some new stuff soon.


LumberKings Announce 2010 Field Staff

Experience-laden staff includes Tamargo, Bernard, Pollreisz and Downie


2010 field staff.JPG

Clinton, IA – The Clinton LumberKings, in conjunction with the Seattle Mariners have announced the field staff for the 2010 season.  Manager John Tamargo, pitching coach Dwight Bernard, coach Terry Pollreisz and trainer B.J. Downie all join the LumberKings for the first time after different assignments in the Seattle system last year.


Tamargo brings 36 years of pro baseball experience to the LumberKings as the club’s new manager.  He joined the Mariners system last year, leading short-A Everett to a 39-37 record and a second-place finish in the Northwest League West Division.  Tamargo owns a career 1089-960 record over 18 seasons as a minor league manager with the New York Mets, Houston Astros and Milwaukee Brewers organizations.  His career coaching highlights include managing New Orleans to the Triple-A World Series in 1998 and serving as Astros’ Bench Coach under Jimy Williams for two seasons.  Originally drafted in the sixth round of the 1973 June Draft by St. Louis, Tamargo played in 135 Major League games for the Cardinals, San Francisco Giants and Montreal Expos.


Bernard joins Clinton as the pitching coach after holding the same title for triple-A Tacoma for four seasons.  Under his guidance, Rainiers’ pitchers finished 74-70 with a 4.82 ERA in 2009.  Bernard will begin his eighth season in the Seattle system, having also held the pitching coach post in high-A Inland Empire (2004) and double-A San Antonio (2005).  He has twice held the lofty position of Minor League Pitching Coordinator, including 2003 with the Milwaukee Brewers and 1990-1996 with the Minnesota Twins.  Originally drafted by the New York Mets in the second round of the 1974 draft, Bernard pitched in the Major Leagues with the Mets and Brewers and was a part of Milwaukee’s 1982 American League Championship team.


Pollreisz returns to the Midwest League after spending 2009 as the hitting coach for double-A West Tennessee.  His Diamond Jaxx club finished with a .242 team average and featured the Southern League’s top hitter for average (Ezequiel Carrera, .337) and top home run hitter (Greg Halman, tied with 25).  Pollreisz has spent 11 seasons in the Mariners system, managing the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in 2008 after coaching stints with Tacoma (2004-2007), San Antonio (2002-2003) and Everett (manager from 1998-2001).  The Whitefish, MT native also spent 10 seasons as the head coach at the University of Portland.


Downie assumes the role of LumberKings’ Trainer after spending 2009 as an assistant to triple-A Tacoma trainer Tom Newberg.  Clinton’s Strength & Conditioning Coordinator position has yet to be announced.


The 2010 season begins on Thursday, April 8 as the LumberKings host the Peoria Chiefs at Alliant Energy Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 PM.  For 2010 season tickets, group outings, merchandise and more, call the LumberKings at (563) 242-0727 or visit


On another note, all of last year’s staff has been reassigned within the Mariners’ organization.  Manager Scott Steinmann is taking over short-A Everett, pitching coach Lance Painter is now in that position with double-A West Tennessee, coach Jesus Azuaje assumes the role of Peoria manager and trainer Eddie Tamez is back up with high-A High Desert.  Former Clinton manager Andy Fox (’06) has been hired by Seattle and is the hitting coach with West Tenn.  There’s no word yet on where S&C coach Keith Swift is heading.



Greetings from the Winter Meetings

The 2009 Baseball Winter Meetings are in full swing here in Indianapolis.  Today is day two of

d8db3ccbf13c.jpgthe meetings, luncheons, trade shows, gatherings and other functions.  I’ve found a break in my busy schedule, and an internet access point that doesn’t cost $12.95 per day to update you on what’s gone on so far.

Sunday was the travel day for our staff, including LumberKings’ Team President Paul Schnack, General Manager Ted Tornow, Assistant GM Nate Kreinbrink and myself.  After settling in Sunday night, we spent most of Monday at the Bob Freitas Seminar.  The Freitas is where we pick up ideas from respected professionals in the industry on how to do our jobs better and make the ballpark an even more exciting place for the fans.

Monday night was capped off by the Opening Night of the Trade Show.  Hundreds of vendors, selling everything from souvenir caps to fried food come to show off their products for the upcoming season.  So far, I’ve only made my way to this Cyber Lounge, but there’s plenty more I have left to check out.

I spent this morning attending the MLBAM (Major League Baseball Advanced Media) seminar, learning of the updates and changes coming soon to  That’s right, expect to see a new-look website in the near future.  Hopefully this blog will have some more integration into the new site.

Tonight, we meet with our colleagues in the Seattle Mariners system, as well as Mariners’ GM Jack Zduriencik, farm director Pedro Grifol and their staff at our annual affiliate party.  For me, this party always feels like the official kick off to the next season.  There’s word that we might even learn of our field staff for next season very soon. 

I’ll have plenty more pictures and descriptions from the Winter Meetings when we return home on Friday.  Until then, enjoy your week.  Baseball is getting closer.


Construction Update (12/1)

It’s a balmy 56 degrees and sunny in Clinton today, the nicest December 1st weather quite possibly in the history of the Midwest.  I took this picture of the field today, it almost looks like spring out there.


Construction on the new Coors Light Picnic Pavilion concession stand is moving right along thanks to all the great weather.  The roof is on, the drywall is being installed and the main structure is nearing completion.  New pictures are below: