Portland, Maine- The Eastern League of Professional Baseball has announced that Portland Sea Dogs manager Billy McMillon is the 2014 Eastern League Manager of the Year. The award is voted on by Eastern League managers and media members.
McMillon is the second manager in the Sea Dogs 21-year history to earn the honor joining Carlos Tosca who earned the distinction in 1996.
In his first season as the Sea Dogs manager, McMillon has led the Sea Dogs to their first playoff appearance since 2008 with the Eastern League's best record of 85-52 (.620). The Sea Dogs are currently in first place in the Eastern Division with a two game lead over the second place Binghamton Mets. If the Sea Dogs hold on to win the division it will be their first division title since 2005. The 85 wins by the Sea Dogs this season are one shy of the franchise record of 86 wins, which was established during the 1995 season; a team that McMillon played 141 games for as an outfielder.
McMillon has successfully managed a 2014 Sea Dogs team that has consisted of 49 different players. Ten players that started the season in Portland have been promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket including two players; Mookie Betts and Carlos Rivero who have reached the Major Leagues with the Red Sox. Among the players promoted from Portland were three of the Red Sox top ten prospects according to Baseball America; Henry Owens, Blake Swihart, and Betts. Other notable players promoted include Deven Marrero, Travis Shaw, and Derrik Gibson.
The 2014 season is McMillon's seventh season in the Red Sox organization and fifth as a minor league manager. Last season he managed the High-A Salem Red Sox to the 2013 Carolina League Championship. He has a career managerial record of 384-307 (.556).
McMillon spent parts of six seasons in the Major Leagues with the Florida Marlins (1996-1997), Philadelphia Phillies (1997), Detroit Tigers (2000-2001), and Oakland Athletics (2001-2004) where he hit a career .248 in 269 games.
The Florida Marlins drafted McMillon in the eighth round of the June 1993 draft. The outfielder spent the 1995 season with the Portland Sea Dogs where he appeared in 141 of the Sea Dogs 142 games that season. He hit .313 with 29 doubles, 14 home runs, 93 RBI, 15 stolen bases and walked a franchise record 96 times, earning a selection to the Eastern League Year-End All-Star squad.
McMillon earned a B.A. from Clemson University and a MBA from the University of Phoenix. He lives in Columbia, South Carolina with his wife and two children.
McMillon's coaching staff in Portland this season includes pitching coach Bob Kipper, hitting coach Rich Gedman, and athletic trainer Brandon Henry.
Binghamton manager Pedro Lopez finished second in the voting for the Manager of the Year Award and Akron's David Wallace finished in third place in the voting.
The Sea Dogs conclude the 2014 regular season with a four game series against the Harrisburg Senators at Hadlock Field. Eastern League playoffs kick-off on Wednesday, September 3rd. Tickets for all remaining regular season games and all playoff games are available. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Sea Dogs Ticket Office at 207-879-9500 or order online at www.seadogs.com.