MIDLAND, MI - Razor Shines will return to the Great Lakes Loons in 2013, but in an expanded role. After working as hitting coach for the Loons last season, Shines will serve this coming season as the fourth manager in Loons history. Former big league reliever Bill Simas has been added as the team's pitching coach. Mike Eylward will serve as hitting coach. The announcement was made today by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"I'm very excited to be asked by the Dodgers to lead the Great Lakes Loons in 2013," Shines said. "When the Dodgers told me I'd be managing this season, I was hoping it would be with the Loons. After last year, I'm familiar with the layout and staff at Dow Diamond, and I'm familiar with some of the young players in the organization after managing in the instructional league this fall. I think we're going to have a young and talented, and I'm very excited."
Shines managed eight seasons in the Minor Leagues for the White Sox and Phillies, compiling a 572-546 record with stops at all four full-season levels. His teams had winning seasons in six of eight years and advanced to the playoffs four times. In 2003, he led the Winston-Salem Warthogs to a Carolina League Championship. Two years later, while piloting Birmingham, he earned Southern League Manager of the Year honors.
Shines spent three seasons as a Major League base coach, assisting Jerry Manuel as third base coach for the Chicago White Sox (2007) and with the New York Mets as third base (2009) and first base coach (2010). He managed Peoria to an Arizona Fall League championship in 2003 and was a member of the All-Star Futures Game (World Team) coaching staff from 2005-06.
Anthony Razor Shines began his coaching career in 1994 with the Reds' organization as the hitting coach for Triple-A Indianapolis, one year after retiring as a player. He played professionally for 16 seasons (1978-1993), playing primarily first base, third base and catcher. He spent parts of four seasons (1983-85, 87) in the Major Leagues with Montreal, batting .185 in 68 games. In his big league debut on September 9, 1983, he was announced as the pinch hitter for the pitcher, but was removed from the game after the Mets countered with left-hander Jesse Orosco. His first game action came September 12 at Wrigley Field. He played in 1,480 games over 16 Minor League seasons, amassing a .267 average with 139 homers and 739 RBIs.
Shines attended Lewisburg Junior College and St. Augustine College. A native of Durham, NC, he resides in Austin, TX with his wife LeAnne. He has two grown children, Antoinette and Devin. Devin is a Dodgers minor league outfielder.
Shines replaces John Shoemaker, who has been reassigned to serve as Camelback Ranch - Glendale Coordinator of Instruction in Glendale, Ariz.
Bill Simas, 41, begins his first season as the Loons pitching coach. He served in the same role last year with the Ogden Raptors, his first year as a coach. Simas spent six seasons in the Majors (1995-2000), all with the White Sox, compiling an 18-19 career record with a 3.83 ERA and 23 saves in 308 relief appearances. He notched a career-high 18 saves in 1998. He was drafted in the sixth round of the 1992 amateur draft out of Fresno (CA) City College. He pitched nine seasons in the Minor Leagues for the Angels, White Sox, Dodgers and Mariners organizations and three seasons for unaffiliated teams in Long Island (Atlantic League) and Monclova (Mexican League). With the Angels, he made a stop in the Midwest League in 1993 with Cedar Rapids.
Mike Eylward, 33, has spent the past four seasons as a hitting coach in the Angels' organization with Orem (2009-10) and Cedar Rapids (2011-12). He was drafted by the Anaheim Angels in the 44th round of the 2001 amateur draft out of the University of South Florida, and spent eight seasons in the Minor Leagues with the Angels and Phillies organizations, advancing as high as Triple-A. Primarily a first baseman, Eylward also saw time at third base and the outfield. He compiled a career .285 average with 75 home runs and 471 RBIs. He also played in the Midwest League for Cedar Rapids (2001-02).
The Great Lakes Loons begin their seventh season on April 4 at Dow Diamond against the Fort Wayne TinCaps. For more information about the Loons, visit Loons.com or call 989-837-BALL. The Loons are a seventh-year Single-A partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers and members of the Midwest League.