What do Independent Baseball managers do in the offseason?
This question has a great variety of answers, of course, but eight of them plus some coaches are already back in unform, working in the annual pay-to-play showcase known as the Arizona Winter League.
When the expanded league, operated out of Yuma, AZ by the Golden League, kicks off its 20-game schedule Friday six of the eight teams will be led by Independent skippers. Eddie Dennis is the field boss for Rio Grande Valley of the United League while Golden League managers handling teams are Garry Templeton of Chico, CA, Mike Marshall of Yuma, Brent Bowers of Edmonton, Paul Abbott of Orange County (Fullerton, CA) and Tim Johnson of Tucson.
Sioux City, IA (American Association) manager Les Lancaster is one of two roving pitching coordinators and Toby Rumfield of Florence, KY (Frontier League) is both a catching and hitting coordinator. Edmonton player-coach Darryl Brinkley also is a hitting instructor. The other AWL managers are coaches during the regular Independent season, with Boots Day the hitting coach for the Golden League's Calgary Vipers and Brooks Carey pitching coach for Normal, IL of the Frontier League.
15 HAVE NON-ROSTER JOBS
Our count of former Independent players who have been invited to major league spring training camps as non-roster invitees has grown to 15. That is far below the 33 of one year ago, but then a number of teams have not yet divulged all of their non-roster players. Middle infielders have been ignored so far, just as they were in 2009.
We will be keeping up with these developments here and in our subscriber-only Independent Baseball Insider column.