Walbeck fired as Rome manager

Albert promoted from Braves' Gulf Coast League club

Matt Walbeck is a two-time Eastern League Manager of the Year. (Will Bentzel/MiLB.com)

By MiLB.com Staff | July 7, 2011 1:31 PM

ROME, Ga. -- The Rome Braves announced Thursday that Matt Walbeck has been relieved of his managerial duties and Rick Albert has been named the new manager.

Albert has been a staple in the Braves' organization as a player, coach and manager since 1972 and comes to Rome from the organization's Gulf Coast League team, which was 7-9 through Thursday.

He has managed or coached at every level and in 2000 was honored as the organization's Minor League Manager of the Year.

For Walbeck, it's the second time the 41-year-old been fired in less than a year. The former Major League catcher has put together an extremely successful Minor League coaching career despite bouncing around in recent seasons. He led West Michigan to Midwest League championships in 2004 and 2006 and was the 2006 Midwest League Manager of the Year.

Baseball America named Walbeck the 2007 Minor League Manager of the Year, the same year he was named Eastern League Manager of the Year with Double-A Erie.

Walbeck coached third base in the Majors with Texas in 2008 before returning to the Minors, where he won the Eastern League championship with Double-A Altoona last year and was again named EL Manager of the Year. The Pirates, however, fired him after the playoffs.

This season, Walbeck's Braves are 28-56 and in last place in the Class A South Atlantic League's Southern Division.

Walbeck, a 1987 eight-round pick, played for the Cubs, Twins, Tigers, Angels and Philles in the Majors from 1993-2003.

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

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