A few things are different for Corpus Christi's Keith Bodie in his second stint as a Texas League manager, but the job is the same.
Bodie, 56, is still trying to get players ready for the big time and win a few games in the process. In that regard, things are going well in his first year as Hooks manager.
Bodie reached 1,000 career victories back in May, has already sent several Houston Astros prospects to Triple-A and beyond and, entering Monday, had the Hooks five games ahead of second-place Frisco in the South Division race.
"They're starting from the ground up, and you have to have a strong Minor League system to sustain any kind of success at the Major League level," Bodie said of the parent Astros. "They basically have started tearing down and building up, and to be a part of that and be on the ground floor of it is exciting and challenging at the same time."
Bodie, in his first managerial stint since 2005, is back in the league where he once led Wichita to four straight playoff appearances. But it's not quite the same dusty bus league he remembers.
"The travel has changed, and some of the ballparks definitively have changed," said Bodie, who boasts a 377-301 Texas League record and is in the top 10 with a .556 winning percentage. "It's gotten a little bit better -- not the travel, but the ballparks are really nice. It's a good league. The schedule presents challenges when you're playing a couple teams fewer times than teams in your division."
When Bodie was with Wichita from 2000-03, the league was on the verge of a metamorphosis. The circuit was broken into West and East divisions, instead of today's North and South, and there were franchises in Shreveport, Round Rock and El Paso. Corpus Christi, Frisco, Northwest Arkansas and Springfield -- and their corresponding new ballparks -- were not yet realized, and the league had a reputation as a hitter's haven.
"I think it goes year to year," Bodie said. "It depends on the affiliations. The Giants used to be in this league a long time, and they typically had great pitching and played in a big ballpark in Shreveport. So you wouldn't correlate good hitting with that situation."
Bodie is in his fifth season with the Astros organization as either a manager or coach. The Astros' recent struggles at the big league level have placed even more emphasis on player development as the club looks for answers, which is fine with Bodie.
"I've been doing this for a long time," said Bodie, in his 15th managerial season. "I'd like to think I've got a pretty good feel for it -- how to teach the game and how to prepare them -- and they've responded. Most everybody here has improved."
As for 1,000 career wins, Bodie shrugged off the milestone.
"It's nice -- it just means I've been doing this a long time," said Bodie, who has a 1,057-979 managerial record. "I'm not trying to oversimplify it or downplay it or be humble. I've been doing it a long time. I think I'm closing in on 1,000 losses as well."
Taking pains: It was a rough home stand for the Arkansas Travelers, who lost catcher Alberto Rosario in a violent collision at home plate with Jake Goebbert during a loss to Corpus Christi on Thursday. The next day, second baseman Renny Osuna injured the index finger on his left hand diving for a ground ball during a rain-delayed victory over the Hooks. It is unclear when Rosario or Osuna will return.
Not forgotten: Mike Olt may be in the Majors now with the Texas Rangers, but the former Frisco RoughRider still leads the Texas League with 28 home runs and a .579 slugging percentage. Nathan Freiman, a current member of the San Antonio Missions, is second in the circuit with 23 homers.
New life: Eight of Tulsa's nine starters got a hit as the Drillers ended a five-game losing streak Sunday with an 8-2 victory over Midland. The Drillers were outscored, 24-9, during their five-game skid and had scored one run in each of their previous three contests.