NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Nashville Sounds have announced that Rick Sweet will serve as the team's field manager for the 2014 season.
The 61-year-old Sweet becomes the 25th manager in the Sounds' 37-year franchise history and will be joined by a returning coaching staff. Coach Bob Skube, pitching coach Fred Dabney, trainer Aaron Hoback, and strength & conditioning specialist Andrew Emmick all were previously announced as returning for another season in Music City in 2014.
The 2014 campaign will mark Sweet's 24th season as a minor league skipper, a managerial career that extends back to 1987 and includes stops with seven previous organizations. He carries a 1,588-1,520 career record (.511 winning percentage).
He was Baseball America's Class AAA Manager of the Year in 2010 and International League Manager of the Year in 2008 and 2009, all while leading Louisville, as well as Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year in 1994 while at Tucson.
Prior to joining the Sounds' staff for 2014, Sweet spent the previous nine seasons in the Cincinnati Reds organization, including the most recent two campaigns as the club's roving catching instructor.
Before that assignment, Sweet was manager of Triple-A Louisville in the International League for six straight years from 2005-11, becoming the Bats' all-time winningest manager (539-465). From 2008-10, his Bats won three straight International League West Division championships, their first titles since 2003.
He previously managed in the Seattle (1987-88), Houston (1989-95), New York Mets (1997), Montreal (1998, 2000), San Diego (2001-03), and Detroit (2004) minor league systems. He served with the Astros as first base coach in 1996 and with the Expos as field coordinator from 1999-2000.
Sweet is a three-time Triple-A All-Star Game manager, having received the honor twice in the PCL, with Tucson (1993) and Portland (2003), as well as with Louisville in the International League in 2009.
The former catcher had a nine-year playing career (1975-83), including three seasons in the majors with San Diego (1978), the New York Mets (1982), and Seattle (1982-83). Following his playing days, Sweet became bullpen catcher for the Mariners in 1984 then spent the next two years as the M's advance scout (1985-86) before gaining his first managerial post at short-season Bellingham in 1987.
In 2011, Sweet was hired as manager of Leones del Caracas, one of the most popular winter ball teams in Venezuela, and is currently serving as that team's manager for the third straight off-season in the Venezuelan Winter League. He previously managed another of Venezuela's top baseball teams, Navegantes del Magallanes, for the 1991-92 and '92-93 campaigns.
He resides in Buckeye, Arizona with his wife, Kimberly, and son, Seth.
Season tickets to see Rick Sweet manage the 2014 Nashville Sounds are currently on sale. Call (615) 690-HITS or visit www.nashvillesounds.com to order or for more information. The 2014 home season begins on Friday, April 11th at Greer Stadium.