The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Sports

June 18, 2012

Kubiak returns as Scrappers' skipper; season starts tonight

---- — NILES — The Cleveland Indians’ organization knows a good man when it finds one; it’s equally saavy enough to know not to let him get away. That’s perhaps, in part, why Teddy Kubiak returns for his 4th stint as manager of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.

The Indians’ Class A New York-Penn League affiliate, Mahoning Valley, visits Jamestown (N.Y.) today and Tuesday, then welcomes the Jammers Wednesday and Thursday to commence the 2012 campaign.

Kubiak will skipper the Scrappers this season, his 19th as part of the Indians’ organization. During that time he has guided 7 minor league teams to postseason berths.

“ ... I’m looking for (the Scrappers) to have a fun year, teach ’em the right way, see if we can get ’em to win, and put another pennant up there on top,” said Kubiak, gesturing toward Eastwood Field’s pressbox.

“That’d be nice,” he added during the recent Media Day gathering.

Kubiak recalled, “We won the first two years when we opened here (1999, 2000, posting respective 43-33 and 48-28 records). ... Great crowds, people were great, and the stands were always filled (203,073 and 206,287 fans attended those 2 seasons), which was fun. We did win the (Pinckney-Stedler) division; we didn’t win everything, and I really didn’t think we had the best club to win everything in those years ...

“But I think the guys, at that time, gave me everything that they had, and we got more out of ’em than was expected at the time,” Kubiak continued. “And that’s all I can ask for. If I can look back at the end of the season in September and I see the guys have improved, that’s what we need.

“Where that winds up? We’ll just wait and see.”

Following his last stint with the Scrappers (’03), Kubiak spent ’04-08 serving as the Indians’ defensive coordinator, then managed the Arizona League Indians.

His attributes are myriad. But one could crystallize Kubiak’s credentials into two coveted commodities: He knows the game (4-plus decades in professional baseball), and knows how to win. He had a decade-long Major League Baseball career that included being a member of the Oakland A’s 3-peat World Series champions (1972-74).

“ ... I’ve gotta get back into the real ‘instructional’ mode, more at the basis of everything we do and everything that we teach,” he admitted. “We’ve got a lot of new guys ... and I want to emphasize things a little bit more to this group than I probably would, say, in Lake County.

“There’s a little bit more, I think, responsibility, with regard to teaching them how to play the game and doing things right.

“It’s fun,” Kubiak continued, admitting, “But you know these guys, they’ve changed so much. These kids are so different now; they don’t know the game the way we did years ago. You’ve gotta teach ’em the fundamentals: Where to throw the ball? Why do you do this at the plate? When do you steal? We talk about that every day, we have meetings and go over the game from the day before, and try to get ’em on the right path.”

Patience also is a Kubiak strongsuit, as it must be at the Short Season level.

“I don’t have a problem with (teaching fundamentals). ... I’ve been doing it a long time,” Kubiak confided. “Some of them get a little tough sometimes. But what I’m always trying to do is figure out, ‘How do I get through to this guy?’ He comes in one day doing this; so, okay, how do I get him to stop that? How do we get him on the right track?’ “I kind’ve look at it more that way, than, ‘He’s a pain.’

“He’s not a pain,” Kubiak emphasized. “He’s growing up, he’s maturing, so we’ve gotta get him out (of bad habits) and teach him what to do right.”

While his MLB playing resumé included 7 different organizations, Kubiak conceives Cleveland as “an exemple for other organizations, insofar as how they run things, how they set up things, the way they treat these guys — from nutrition, to the medical side, to the psychological side.

“Everything is done for these kids, and (the Indians’ organization) has been great in continuing to improve on what they’re working on, too,” he related. “We go to spring training every year, and there’s always something new, they’re always coming up with something. Now the mental side of the game has come into it a little bit ... moreso than in the past.

“And despite the fact there’s been some down years (for the parent club), nothing’s changed — they’ve run it the same year after year, and it’s been good,” Kubiak added.

And there’s no greater gratification, Kubiak confided, then calling one of his players into his office to tell him, “You’re going to Lake County, or you’re going to Carolina ...

“That’s nice to be able to do, and it’s really nice,” Kubiak confided, “to have guys in the big leagues who’ll call me back and say, ‘Hey, I appreciate what you did.’ ”

Kubiak cited a pair, including Kansas City’s Kevin Kouzmanoff and the Arizona Diamondbacks’ John McDonald.

“Johnny McDonald, last year, called me up in June and said, ‘I’ve gotta tell you something: I just got my tenth year in (MLB), and I remember when you told me in Watertown (N.Y.) all I needed to do was improve my (middle-infield) range and I would be in the big leagues for ten years.’ And he said, ‘I’m just calling to let you know.’ ”

“You know, what’s better than that?” a smiling Kubiak rhetorically asked. “That’s pretty nice!”

Text Only
Sports
  • Roundup: Trojans, Hounds win team titles at WM Invitational

    Wilmington High girls and Greenville boys dominated the annual Big Red Track & Field Invitational Thursday afternoon in West Middlesex.
    A half-dozen girls’ and 7 boys’ teams competed.
    Wilmington overwhelmed the female field, as the Lady Greyhounds garnered almost twice as many points as runner-up Lakeview (236-5 to 133.5).

    April 18, 2014

  • Aaron Webb Roundup: WM diamondmen edge Reynolds, 6-4

    ä West Middlesex 6, Reynolds 4 — At Transfer, the Big Reds snapped a 4-all tie by plating a run in the 4th inning and another in the 7th in a 2-run win over the Raiders.
    Mark Colella earned the mound win in a relief appearance for WM. No pitching stats were submitted.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Roundup: Hickory, Wilmington softball teams win

    Paced by Chelsea Marriott’s muscle, Hickory High hammered 4 home runs Saturday afternoon en route to a 19-1 rout of Sharon.
    At Wengler, Marriott mauled 2- and 3-run round-trippers to right-center and straightaway center field, respectively. Her Lady Hornets’ teammates Hannah Gallagher and Morgan McBride mustered 3-run bombs, also.

    April 13, 2014

  • Fired coach in Mankato unjustly accused of visiting porn sites

    Minnesota State University-Mankato officials wrongly accused former football coach Todd Hoffner of viewing pornography sites on his work  computer  before firing him last May, a state arbitrator has disclosed.

    April 11, 2014

  • Roundup: Hickory track coaches to step down following season

    Hickory High track & field co-head coaches Barb Dzuricsko and Mark Slezak announced they will step down at the season’s conclusion.
    Dzuricsko and Slezak, who led the Lady Hornets to the 2012 PIAA Class AA crown, jointly made the announcement via e-mail late Wednesday.

    April 11, 2014

  • Nikolo Lima Roundup: Devil diamondmen roll past Sharon

    An old-school baseball bromide states that, early in any season, pitching is always ahead of hitting. However Sharpsville shunned that axiom Wednesday afternoon.
    The Blue Devils banged 15 hits, and Sharpsville short-circuited Sharon, 16-4, in 5 innings.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Haley Boyd Roundup: Hounds, Hornets notch track sweeps

    ä Wilmington 116, Reynolds 44 — At New Wilmington, the host Lady Hounds were led by Rikki Brumbaugh (4x8, 4x4 relay legs, 400- and 800-meter runs); Hannah Drake (long, triple jumps, 4x4 relay); Allison Baldwin (4x8 and 4x4 relay legs); Lexi Brumbaugh (1600-, 3200-meter runs, distance-relay leg), and Tessa Sikora (high jump, 200-meter dash, sprint-relay anchor).

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: Pirates, Indians fans looking for big things this year

    LIFE IS GOOD if you are a fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates or Cleveland Indians. At least for now!
    Heading into Saturday, both teams were 3-1 and looking pretty sharp. Since both made the playoffs last year, there are high expectations for both clubs. But in baseball, every year is a new season and there are no guarantees.
    Still, it’s always nice when your favorite teams get off to a good start. In too many seasons, Pittsburgh and Cleveland fans were only talking about the NFL draft because hopes were bleak for their baseball teams.

    April 6, 2014

  • Nikki Arbanas Hickory's Arbanas 1st team All-State; KC's Hood 3rd team

    ALTOONA, Pa. (AP) — Teams from the WPIAL won three of the four PIAA girls basketball championships this year, and southwestern Pennsylvania is turning out to be just as dominant when it comes to postseason honors.
    Pittsburgh-area programs produced seven of the eight major award winners on this season’s Sports Writers Pennsylvania High School Girls Basketball All-State Team, including all four players of the year.

    April 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • Trey Staunch WM's Staunch named 2nd team All-State

    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Finishing on the winning side in a championship game — or coming mighty, mighty close — scored plenty of points with the panel that selected Pennsylvania’s all-state boys’ basketball team.
    Especially when it came time to choose those — whether players or coaches — who claimed the top individual awards.

    April 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brady Leunis Roundup: Hickory, Mercer, Reynolds, WM baseball teams earn wins

    ä Hickory 12, Sharpsville 10 — At the McCullough Run Complex in South Pymatuning Twp., the visiting Hornets improved to 4-0 with the win.
    Brady Leunis went 2-for-3 for Hickory with a double and 3 RBI, Tommy Cannon belted a 2-run homer, Noah Orndorff was 2-for-4, Nate Mastrian ripped an RBI-double, Ethan Davis was 2-for-4 with a double and a run driven in and Jake Andrzjewski doubled.

    April 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jordyn Allen Roundup: WM, Wilmington, Mercer softball teams win

    ä West Middlesex 11, Grove City 1 (5 inn.) — At the Richard J. Kritz Softball Complex in West Middlesex, Jordyn Allen fired a complete-game 2-hitter with 8 strikeouts and no walks as the Ms. Reds (1-1) rebounded from a tough loss to Lakeview on Monday.
    Offensively, Allen doubled and ripped 2 singles for WM, Abby McAdams and Aly Andrusky doubled and singled, Macy Siefert collected 4 singles and Hannah Havens, Megan Hazlett and Oivia Slater added 2 singles each.

    April 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • In control Hickory girls, Farrell boys win Guerino titles

    The Hickory girls and Farrell boys captured championships on Saturday night at the 17th annual Buddy Guerino Underclassmen Basketball Tournament at Sharpsville High School.
    The Hickory girls beat Kennedy Catholic, 41-29, for the crown while the Farrell boys topped Mercer, 76-35, for the title.
    In the consolation games, Sharpsville defeated Sharon, 35-15, in girls hoops while the Sharon boys beat Hickory, 57-33.

    March 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: Eagles' release of Jackson was a strange move

    ONE OF THE strangest NFL moves I’ve seen in a long time involved the Philadelphia Eagles releasing DeSean Jackson.
    Jackson is one of the top wide receivers in the league and a danger to score every time he touches the ball, including punt returns. But the big question is: Why was he just released? Couldn’t they find a trade at least to get some value back?

    March 30, 2014

  • Tanner Powell WM track teams go 6-1 at Big Red Duals

    The West Middlesex girls and track teams both went 6-1 on Friday at the annual Big Red Relays. Both teams lost to Mohawk.
    The WM boys beat A.C. Valley (129-17), Commodore Perry (120-26), Kennedy Catholic (128-18), Laurel (89-61), Sharon (108-38), Union (127-19) and lost to Mohawk (96-53).
    The Ms. Reds topped A.C. Valley (128-18), Commodore Perry (120-22), Kennedy Catholic (123-14), Laurel (123-14), Laurel (89-56), Sharon 114-26, Union (107-33) and lost to Mohawk (96 1/2-48 1/2).

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

Top 25 (AP Poll)
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Facebook