Fans will recognize some very familiar names as the International League and the Pacific Coast League announced their coaching staffs for the 2012 Triple-A All-Star Game, presented by the New Era Cap Company and The Buffalo News, Wednesday, July 11 at Coca-Cola Field.
MIKE SARBAUGH, manager of the two-time defending IL champion Columbus Clippers, and Baseball Hall of Famer RYNE SANDBERG from the Lehigh Valley IronPigs head up the International League staff. Pawtucket manager ARNIE BEYELER has also been named a coach with Bisons trainer JOE GOLIA rounding out the IL's staff.
The Pacific Coast League coaching staff is completely comprised of former Bisons as Las Vegas 51s and former Buffalo manager MARTY BROWN has been named to lead the PCL team. He will be joined by Fresno Grizzles hitting coach and former Bisons outfielder RUSS MORMAN and Memphis Redbirds pitching coach and former Bisons pitcher BLAISE IlSLEY. Heath Townsend from the Colorado Springs Sky Sox has been named the PCL All-Star trainer.
IL Coaching Staff Breakdown
Sarbaugh becomes the first-ever manager to serve in that role at consecutive Triple-A All-Star Games. Last season, on his way to International League Manager of the Year honors, Sarbaugh piloted the IL All-Stars to a 3-0 victory at the event. The win guaranteed "home" advantage for the International League champion at the 2011 Triple-A National Championship Game, which his Clippers ultimately won for the second straight season. Sarbaugh entered his third campaign in Columbus with a 167-121 record.
Sandberg is in his second year in the IL and gets an All-Star nod after he took his team to the Governors' Cup finals in 2011. The Baseball Hall of Famer gave Lehigh Valley its first ever winning season after coming over from Iowa of the Pacific Coast League, where he was the 2010 Manager of the Year. Beyeler is also in his second season in the IL. He guided the PawSox to a North Division title in 2011 and has his club in the top spot in the North again this season.
Golia is in his second season with the Bisons and his eighth in the New York Mets organization. He becomes the second Buffalo trainer to get an All-Star nod (Carlos Ledezma, 1988).
PCL Coaching Staff Breakdown
Brown will return to Coca-Cola Field, where from 2003 to 2005 he served as manager of the Bisons. He led the Herd to its most recent Governors' Cup title in 2004 and was honored as IL Manager of the Year that year. He managed the IL All-Stars in 2005, his last year at the Triple-A level prior to 2011. After five seasons managing in Japan, Brown returned to the U.S. last year and led the 51s to a 71-73 record last season.
Brown played in the first ever Triple-A All-Star Game in 1988 in Buffalo, NY. Brown was an infielder for the Nashville Sounds.
Morman is in his second season on the Grizzlies staff. He played 246 games for the Bisons from 1985-1986 and 1993 and hit .295 (247-838) with 54 doubles, 42 home runs and 148RBI. His .902 career OPS with the Bisons is the 4th highest in the modern era as he ranks in the team's Top 10 in home runs (T10th, 42), on-base percentage (T6th, .381) and slugging percentage (6th, .521). In his lone season at Coca-Cola Field (1993), Morman led the Bisons in average (.320), home runs (22) and RBI (77).
Ilsley pitched in one season for the Bisons, posting a 2.19ERA in nine relief appearances in 1997 (12.1IP, 12H, 7K). He was a part of the Herd's 1997 American Association Championship and earned the save in Buffalo's Game 1 victory over Iowa in the finals.
Townsend is in his seventh season with the Colorado Spring Sky Sox and 13th overall in the Rockies organization.