Clones’ Teufel shuffle

The Brooklyn Papers / Greg Mango

Former Mets second baseman Tim Teufel is the new manager of the Brooklyn Cyclones, but unless fans are willing to sit in the bleachers, they’re going to have to cough up an extra buck to see him.

The Cyclones introduced Teufel, 44, who played for the Mets between 1986 and 1991, as their new skipper on Wednesday. He hit .254 with 86 homers and 379 RBIs during his 11-year major league career that also included stints with the Twins and Padres.

They also announced that ticket prices for all seats except the bleachers will be jacked up by a dollar apiece. Field box seats will now be $11, box seats will be $9, field reserved seats will be $8 and grandstand seats will be $7. Bleacher seats will remain at $5.

“It’s the first increase we’ve had, and it’s a fairly nominal increase,” said Cyclones senior vice president of business affairs R.C. Reuteman. “We think we’re giving the fans great value for their money.”

The hiring of Teufel to replace his ’86 World Champion teammate Howard Johnson (who will remain with the Mets organization) should come as no surprise to Cyclones watchers. The Brooklyn Papers reported last September that he would likely take over from HoJo as it always appeared Teufel, who worked as a roving infield instructor for the Mets the past two years, was being groomed for the job.

“I had asked Tim if he would be interested in managing two years back,” said Cyclones executive vice president Jeff Wilpon.

“I had given him some prodding, [Mets senior assistant general manager] Jim Duquette gave him some prodding. We said, ‘Maybe you’ll like it, maybe you won’t,’ but it will definitely be a great learning experience for him.”

“When I was roving, Jeff had told me that if I had the itch to manage, he’d have me up in Brooklyn,” Teufel said. “This year provided the perfect opportunity for both parties to have it happen.”

Teufel, who lives in Connecticut and plans on renting a home in the Brooklyn area, added that he was excited that his first experience managing in the minor leagues would take place in Brooklyn.

“It’s going to be a great place to come,” he said. “All the energy there, how the people support that town. The kids don’t know how good they’ve got it. It’s really a remarkable place.”

Teufel becomes the third manager in three seasons for the club, replacing Johnson (who led the team to a disappointing 38-38, fourth-place finish in 2002). In the Cyclones inaugural season, Edgar Alfonzo — the brother of Mets third baseman Edgardo Alfonzo — guided the team to a 52-24 record and a share of the New York-Penn League championship.

2003 schedule

The New York-Penn League’s 2003 schedule is set, with the Cyclones opening the season on June 17 with six road games, against Aberdeen, New Jersey and Staten Island, before their home opener on June 23 against the hated Yankees, who last season dethroned the Cyclones as New York-Penn champions.

See schedule.

December 9 , 2002 issue