Tuesday, December 05, 2006


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John Kennedy has 'relinquished' his role as manager of the North Shore Spirit and has been replaced by Vic Davilla.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

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.



wooden said...

As long Jeff Kunion remains, I have confidence that this is a good thing in the long run. Even though Vic brings to the table his years of experience playing indy ball, I believe very strongly that player procurement and player management are jobs that should remain separated. I've heard rumors that this was one of the reasons why Vic was so desired to be a part of the front office, but you can count the number of successful coach/GMs in pro sports on the hand of a bad metal-shop teacher.

That written, I'm also not going to bash on Kennedy as others might. The fact remains: His teams never finished lower than 2nd and were title contenders all four years.

My biggest concern with Vic is something that Joe alluded to in his remark regarding a hitting coach. One cannot help but notice that the best MLB managers are the ones who were NOT superstar players. Vic being busy is one theory, the other is that he wasn't a very good hitting coach. As much as I'd like him back again as a player, I'd be concerned with him as a player-manager; even more so, if he insists on being both the manager and the hitting coach.

Anonymous said...

The only bad thing about this is that with Vic as the manager now, it is even more unlikely that he will be a player again. And let's face it, Vic can still get it done and he would be the best bat in the Spirit lineup again.


A Spirit Fan

Anonymous said...

I must say that I'm a little shocked that Kennedy is gone and Vic is the replacment.

As said,Kennedy brought nothing but great success to this organization. The only thing he didn't bring home a championship. The only reason I see him leaving is his age,but ya never know.

With Vic as manager I think we'll see a lot of new things in-game....I just hope he does a better job managing than coaching-and I would think he might. However,with last year's 1 game retirement how long do ya think he can stay away from the game??

Also,thanks Coach Tgettis for all your work. You'll be missed. (Does this mean Carey at first now?)

PS: This is Dave,login didn't work for me :-(
PPS: Good job Joe,although I thought it'd be more humorous

wooden said...

According to the Item, Kennedy was fired -- and they're pointing to his reluctance to do PR. Tgettis and Carey are also pretty much out, reduced to honorary status as the occasional 1st base coach.

Anonymous said...

Do you have a link to the article in the Item?

A Spirit Fan