The new manager of the Brooklyn Cyclones spent his entire playing career in the minor leagues.
The team’s new batting coach was a career .235 hitter in his seven years as a bench-warmer in the bigs.
And the new pitching coach never played pro ball at all.
So say hello, sports fans, to the coaching staff for the 2009 Brooklyn Cyclones: manager Pedro Lopez, hitting coach Jack Voigt and pitching coach Rick Tomlin.
Lopez, 40, will be the team’s seventh manager, succeeding the legendary skipper Edgar Alfonzo, who piloted the team to its only championship in 2001, and then returned for a second tenure in 2007 and 2008 that was, um, less successful. Fonzie, who always said he’d rather coach in Brooklyn than anywhere else (including in Queens!), will head to the Mets’ Class A affiliate in Savannah, where he’ll pilot the pesky Sand Gnats.
It will be Lopez’s second season with the Mets organization. Last year, he was a coach at Savannah, a team that lost 14 of its last 16 games. Before that, he was in the Texas Rangers’ farm system.
In his playing days, Lopez was the 21st-round pick of the San Diego Padres in 1988, but never advanced higher than Class AAA before retiring from the diamond in 2000.
Voight is in his fourth season with the Mets organization, and Tomlin is a rookie with the Amazin’s. He did have various roles in the Yankees’ minor-league system from 1996-2004.
The lack of a Met pedigree is a change for the Cyclones, who have often been managed by former Mets, including Tim Teufel, Howard Johnson and Mookie Wilson. Nonetheless, Cyclones’ General Manager Steve Cohen said he was “excited” by the new staff.
“Each year, we have been fortunate to have coaches who work tirelessly, both on the field and in the community, and we look forward to continuing that tradition,” he said.
Cyclones season ticket and game package plans for the 2009 season are available now at www.brooklyncyclones.com or by calling (718) 372-5596.