Giants manager and ex-MWLer Bochy to retire after ’19 season

San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy announced Monday he will retire after the 2019 season.

This will be his 13th season as manager of the Giants, whom he led to World Series titles in 2010, 2012 and 2014. He also spent 12 years as skipper of the San Diego Padres.

The former catcher played parts of nine seasons in the major leagues, for the Padres, the Houston Astros, and the New York Mets. He played 30 games in the Midwest League, batting .243 for the 1976 Dubuque Packers, who were an Astros affiliate.

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Howell returning to manage Burlington Bees

Banners representing the Bees and their MLB affiliate, the Angels, hang outside Burlington’s Community Field. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

Former Angels third baseman/outfielder Jack Howell will manage the Burlington Bees again this season.

Howell managed the Bees last year after serving as the Angels’ minor-league field coordinator in 2017. He also has been a coach and instructor in the Diamondbacks, Marlins and Mariners organizations. His playing career lasted 17 seasons, with major-league stints in 11 of them. The majority of his MLB games were played for the Angels, but he also suited up for the Astros and the Padres in the big leagues.

Jonathan Van Eaton also returns as Burlington’s pitching coach. The former minor-league hurler has coached in the Angels organization since 2015, a year after an elbow injury required Tommy John surgery and ultimately prompted him to retire as a player.

Will Bradley is the Bees’ new hitting coach. This is his first assignment in pro baseball after spending 12 seasons as a coach and recruiter for St. Louis University. He played collegiately at the University of Central Missouri.

Also joining the Bees staff is Trevor Nyp, who will be the team’s defensive coach. The Ontario, Canada, native established and owns Playball Academy Canada, and runs TN Defense, an infield coaching firm. He played college ball in Des Plaines, Ill., and Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

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Murray commits to football, making MWL future unlikely

Oklahoma two-sport star Kyler Murray fully committed to a future playing football instead of baseball Monday, posting this statement on Twitter:

Murray was selected ninth-overall by the Oakland Athletics in last June’s MLB draft, which put him in line to possibly play for the Beloit Snappers in the Midwest League if he decided to pursue baseball. He subsequently won the Heisman Trophy, putting him in a good position to be picked in the first round of the NFL draft — a high-pick position that became even more likely with his announced commitment to football.

Although it seems unlikely right now, Murray certainly could still end up playing baseball if he doesn’t pan out in the NFL or somehow the A’s lure him away from football — a scenario I’m filing under “So you’re saying there’s a chance…”

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‘Disabled list’ renamed ‘injured list’

Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball will now use the term “injured list” instead of “disabled list” so as not to imply people with disabilities cannot play sports. The change is being made at the suggestion of advocacy groups for the disabled.

ESPN first reported the change, and shared a memo that was written by Jeff Pfeifer, MLB’s senior director of league economics and operations, in December.

“In recent years, the commissioner has received several inquiries regarding the name of the ‘Disabled List,'” Pfeifer wrote. “The principal concern is that using the term ‘disabled’ for players who are injured supports the misconception that people with disabilities are injured and therefore are not able to participate or compete in sports. As a result, Major League Baseball has agreed to change the name ‘Disabled List’ to be the ‘Injured List’ at both the major and minor league levels. All standards and requirements for placement, reinstatement, etc., shall remain unchanged. This change, which is only a rebranding of the name itself, is effective immediately.”

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Marlins announce LumberKings coaching staff

The Miami Marlins announced the coaching staff for the Clinton LumberKings on Tuesday. (Photo graphic courtesy of the LumberKings)

After previously announcing that former major-league infielder Mike Jacobs will manage the LumberKings, the Miami Marlins revealed the rest of Clinton’s coaching staff on Tuesday.

Rounding out Jacobs’ coaching staff are former players Mark DiFelice (pitching) and Frank Moore (hitting).

DiFelice joins the LumberKings staff after serving as pitching coach for the Low-A Greensboro Grasshoppers last season. Before joining the Marlins, DiFelice spent three seasons as a pitching coach in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. His 14-year playing career included parts of three MLB seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Moore joins the LumberKings as he enters his 11th season as a coach in the Marlins organization, after previously serving as a hitting coach for three other Miami farm teams. The former infielder/outfielder played 11 seasons professionally, mostly for the Marlins and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, who drafted him in 1998. He reached Triple-A as a player.

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