It's a new day for Spirit baseball!!
John Kennedy has 'relinquished' his role as manager of the North Shore Spirit and has been replaced by Vic Davilla. Details at Northshorespirit.com.
Also gone is woeful first base coach Jim Tgettis. I'll never forget when he sent DeVries to 2nd against Worcester when it was a normal base hit to right field.
We just need to replace bag o' doughnuts and we're all set.
First and foremost,
We have to thank John Kennedy and Jim Tgettis for their classy service to the North Shore Spirit organization. I have no qualms with either personally and they both had a part in making the Spirit one of the most successful organizations in independent baseball.
With that said...
This is, plain and simple, an exciting, energizing day for Spirit baseball. It became evident after our playoff collapse that this team, from a competitive standpoint, was stuck in a rut and wasn't going to break through to that next level of clutch success. And I am quite frankly convinced that John Kennedy's game day decisions cost the Spirit more games than it won them. He was a good player's manager but his time is past.
I have no idea how Vic Davilla will do as the manager. But I do know a few things:
1) He will have the respect of the players just as Kennedy did. Although he's a younger guy, his long experience at this level and his success give him instant cache in the locker room.
2) He will bring a fresh start at the top in terms of game day management which is much needed after the bitter pill that was the '06 playoffs
And, most importantly
3) This will force the Spirit to hire a legit hitting coach for '07, something they lacked in '06 as Vic was probably too busy with his playing duties to really make an impact as a coach.
Jeff Ware is a tremendous pitching coach. Hopefully the Spirit can get someone of similar calibre as their hitting coach.
I have my concerns about Vic as a manager overall but I think he'll definitely be respected and this is definitely a promising new day for the Spirit.
My question, though, is why did the Spirit make the change? Did they feel it was necessary to improve game day decision making, or did John Kennedy want out? Or was it somewhere in between? Any theories? Anyone in the know of some insider info?
This makes me even more pumped for '07.