Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Rays set fanfest plans

For those in the Tampa Bay area, the Rays will have their annual fanfest 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Eastern on Feb. 22 at Tropicana Field.

Autograph passes go on sale to the general public at at 4 p.m. Eastern on Friday.
Those passes include set times for specific players and must be bought in advance. (For example, you want, say, Evan Longoria's autograph. You click his name and you'll be given a specific time frame where you can get the signature.)

There's also an autograph table that will feature more than 25 former major leaguers throughout the day.

Tickets for manager Joe Maddon's "Thanksmas" event at fanfest will go on sale at 9 a.m. Eastern on Monday.

Admission to fanfest itself -- parking, too -- are free.

Need more information? (And you probably do.) Go to or call 888-FAN-RAYS.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Glaesmann: Williams "excellent hire for Montgomery"

New Biscuits manager Brady Williams says he's looking forward to a good season and is excited about the players who should be here.

“My team last year, all of them, were enjoyable to be around,” Williams said. “They are committed to baseball and their careers, and they're a fun group to be around. There are guys I had who were there last year, and hopefully more (this year).”

Former Biscuits outfielder Todd Glaesmann said Williams is “an excellent hire for Montgomery.” Glaesmann, traded to Arizona in December, played for Williams in 2011 and 2012.

Biscuits catcher Curt Casali started last season with Williams at high-Class A Charlotte and said he's “excited to play for Brady again. We had a good time last year together and I learned a lot from him.”

New Biscuits manager will "squeeze the very best out of you," players say

Rays' minor league staffs feature 2 new hires

The Rays' minor league staffs include two new hires.

Chad Mottola is the new roving minor league hitting instructor, replacing Matt Quatraro, who joined the Cleveland major league coaching staff. Mottola was Toronto's hitting coach last year and the Blue Jays' hitting coach at Triple-A Las Vegas the previous two seasons.

Tim Parenton will manage short-season Hudson Valley. He was most recently an assistant for four years at the University of North Florida, though he also has stops at Mississippi State (1996-97) and Samford (1998-2004).

Kyle Snyder, the pitching coach at high-Class A Charlotte last year, has been promoted to a roving pitching instructor.

Durham --
Charlie Montoyo, Dave Myers, Neil Allen
Montgomery -- Brady Williams, Ozzie Timmons, R.C. Lichtenstein
Charlotte -- Jared Sandberg, Joe Szekely, Steve Watson
Bowling Green -- Michael Johns, Dan DeMent, Bill Moloney
Hudson Valley -- Tim Parenton, Jorge Moncada, Manny Castillo
Princeton -- Danny Sheaffer, Jose Gonzalez, Reinaldo Ruiz
GCL -- Jim Morrison, Marty DeMerritt, Wuamner Rincones, Hector Torres

Field -- Jim Hoff, Bill Evers
Pitching -- Dick Bosman, Dewey Robinson, Kyle Snyder
Hitting -- Steve Livesey, Chad Mottola
Catching -- Paul Hoover
Outfield/baserunning -- Skeeter Barnes
Medical training -- Joe Benge
Rehabilitation -- Joel Smith
Latin American medical -- Chris Tomashoff
Latin America cultural liaison -- Jairo De La Rosa
Strength and conditioning -- Trung Cao
Assistant strength and conditioning -- Ryan Thomas
Equipment manager -- Tim McKechney
Assistant equipment manager -- Shane Rossetti

Durham -- Mike Sandoval
Montgomery -- Kris Russell
Charlotte -- Scott Thurston
Bowling Green -- Nick Flynn
Hudson Valley -- Brian Newman
Princeton -- James Ramsdell
GCL -- Jeremy Spencer
Durham strength and conditioning -- Bryan King (no other strength coaches named)

Former Biscuits player on Bowling Green coaching staff

Dan DeMent, an Original Biscuit in 2004, will make his debut as a full-season coach this season.

DeMent, after five years as a coach for short-season teams, will be the hitting coach at low-Class A Bowling Green. He was at short-season Hudson Valley the last two years, with the GCL Rays the previous two seasons and was a first-year coach in 2009 for Rookie-level Princeton.

Bill Moloney, Montgomery's pitching coach in 2010-11, is back in Bowling Green, where he was in 2012. Michael Johns, the manager at Hudson Valley last year, is Bowling Green's new manager.

Durham --
Charlie Montoyo, Dave Myers, Neil Allen
Montgomery -- Brady Williams, Ozzie Timmons, R.C. Lichtenstein
Charlotte -- Jared Sandberg, Joe Szekely, Steve Watson
Bowling Green -- Michael Johns, Dan DeMent, Bill Moloney

Brady Williams new Biscuits manager

Brady Williams, a manager for the last five years in the Tampa Bay system and the son of a former major league manager, is coming to Montgomery.

Williams, who will lead the Biscuits this season, has led three teams to the playoffs.

The 34-year-old was at high-Class A Charlotte last year. The Stone Crabs finished 67-65, reached the playoffs and were the Florida State League runners-up.

In his three years with low-Class A Bowling Green, the Hot Rods went to the playoffs twice.
Williams was a first-time manager in 2009 for short-season Hudson Valley.

Williams' playing career ended in 2005 and he was a minor league coach for the Rays from 2006-08.

He touched Double-A as a player in 2001 when he was 1-for-17 with New Britain in the Boston organization.

Williams' dad, Jimy, was a major league manager for Toronto (1986-89), Boston (1997-2001) and Houston (2002-04).

He replaces Billy Gardner, Montgomery's manager the last seven years. The Washington Nationals hired Gardner last month as their manager at Triple-A Syracuse.

Pitching coach R.C. Lichtenstein, hitting coach Ozzie Timmons and trainer Kris Russell return to the Biscuits. It's Timmons' sixth year in Montgomery and Lichtenstein and Russell's third.

Durham's coaching staff unchanged

Charlie Montoyo is headed back to Durham for his eighth season as the Bulls' manager.

He'll again be joined by pitching coach Neil Allen and hitting coach Dave Myers. It will be Allen's fourth year in Durham and Myers' sixth.

Mike Sandoval will be in his third year as the athletic trainer. Bryan King, the major league strength and conditioning coach for Toronto, joins Durham's staff.

Montoyo, Montgomery's manager from 2004-06, has six division titles and two league championships with Durham. Allen was with Montgomery from 2007-09.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Southern League announces Huntsville Stars' move to Biloxi

The Huntsville Stars are officially lame ducks.

The team is being sold and will move to Biloxi, Miss., for the 2015 season, the Southern League announced today.

The relocation has cleared all required approvals. The sale, OK'd by the Southern League, still needs the consent of both Minor League Baseball and Major League Baseball.