Masse to return to Trenton in 2006

Led Thunder last year to first playoff berth in five seasons

By Trenton Thunder | January 26, 2006 6:22 AM

TRENTON, NJ -- The Trenton Thunder, the Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, have announced that Bill Masse will return as manager for the 2006 season. Dave Eiland will return as pitching coach, Zac Womack will return as trainer and Ralph Dickenson will join Trenton as the new hitting coach.

Bill Masse's Managerial Record

Year Club- League Finish Record

1999 Expos- GCL (R) 2nd 29-31

2000 Cape Fear- SAL (A) 6th 64-74

2002 Greensboro- SAL (A) 4th 76-65

2003 Tampa- FSL (A) 5th 68-64

2004 Tampa- FSL (A) 1st 75-58

2005 Trenton- Eastern (AA) 2nd 74-68

CAREER Six Years 387-358 *

* Includes 2004 & 2005 Post-seasons

"It is exciting to be returning to Trenton for the 2006 season," said Masse from his new home in Connecticut. "We had a lot of fun in making the playoffs last year, and look forward to making another run at the EL Championship this season." The Thunder lost in five games to the Portland Sea Dogs in the Northern Division Championship Series.

Masse is entering his seventh season as a minor league manager and his sixth season working for the Yankees organization. He led the Thunder to a 74-68 regular season record and a playoff berth. It was the first playoff berth for the Thunder in five seasons and their first as a New York Yankees affiliate.

Masse spent the 2003 and 2004 as the manager of the Tampa Yankees (Class A). In 2004, the Tampa Yankees were the co-champions of the Florida State League, sharing the title with the Daytona Cubs due to Hurricane Ivan. Tampa posted a 75-58 record for Masse, who missed eight games due to a hip injury (Tampa was 3-5 in those games). His other experience in the Yankee system was as manager of Greensboro (Class A) in 2002 and as the hitting coach for Tampa in 2001.

Thunder General Manager Brad Taylor added, "We are pleased to welcome Bill back for another season. His motivation and leadership brought exciting baseball back to Waterfront Park. It should be a great season with Bill back as manager."

Masse joined the Yankees after spending four years in the Montreal Expos organization. He managed Cape Fear (Class A) in 2000 and the Gulf Coast Expos (Rookie) in 1999. He also served as hitting coach for Ottawa (Class AAA) in 1998 and for Vermont (Class A) in 1997.

Masse's playing days were spent in the New York Yankee organization between 1989-1995. The outfielder spent the last four years of his career at Columbus (Class AAA) and was named 1993 Minor League Player-of-the-Year. After his release in 1995 he worked as an assistant coach at Wake Forest University until 1997.

Dave Eiland is entering his fourth season in the Yankee organization after spending last year the Thunder. Last season with the Thunder, he guided the pitching staff to a 3.86 ERA and a 74-68 record. Prior to joining the Thunder he led the staff at Staten Island (A) to a combined ERA of 3.75 and a record of 28-44. His first coaching job came with the Gulf Coast Yankees in 2003. He was a originally drafted by the Yankees in the seventh round of the 1987 draft and spent 10 seasons pitching at the Major League level (Yankees 1988-1991, 1995; San Diego 1992- 1993, Tampa Bay 1998-2000). Two Tommy John surgeries on his right elbow forced his retirement in 2002. His career Major League record was 12-27 with a 5.74 ERA, while his minor league pitching record was 106-57.

57-year-old Ralph Dickenson joined the Yankees organization in late June last season to be the Hitting Coach of the Tampa Yankees. He took over when Billy Doran left for a Major League position. Dickenson, a Phoenix, AZ native, brings over 30 years of coaching experience to this year's staff. He has spent time in the minors, primarily as a Hitting Coordinator, with the Seattle Mariners, Milwaukee Brewers, L.A. Dodgers, Montreal Expos and Texas Rangers organizations. Dickenson was the manager for San Bernandino (Class A) of the California League in 1988 and 1989.

He played college baseball at Arizona State and was a part of their 1969 NCAA championship team. Dickenson was then drafted in the 1st round of the secondary phase of the 1969 draft by the Minnesota Twins. He played six years of minor league baseball before moving into coaching. He has a combined 13 years of college coaching experience with the University of New Mexico, Washington State and Western Washington University.

Zac Womack returns for his sixth season as a trainer in the Yankee organization and second with the Thunder. He graduated from East Carolina University and began his career in the organization with the 2001 Gulf Coast Champion Yankees.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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