On January 28 the Delmarva Shorebirds held their annual Hot Stove Banquet. WBOC Sports Director Matt Pencek had the opportunity to talk with manager Ryan Minor.
Pencek: You’re back with the Shorebirds for a sixth season. In terms of consistency and familiarity is that a positive?
Minor: It is, the fact that I live here full time during the off-season is a plus. Anytime you get to work in your hometown is a positive. I’m real lucky with the Orioles and the way they handle their player development staff to put people in the right situation and also what’s best for their families and that’s the way it’s been for a long time.
Pencek: Do you have any responsibilities during this team of the year prior to spring training?
Minor: A little bit. I call guys during the off-season. Every member of the staff is responsible for calling players during the off-season to make sure they are keeping up with their workout programs. It is a slower time of the year so the main thing is to keep up with the communication.
Pencek: Once you are in Florida for spring training what is role?
Minor: We are part of a group of the four full season clubs along with Frederick, Bowie and Norfolk that assist with the instruction of the players in the farm system. We are in charge of the workouts and training of those players. That includes batting practice, fielding practice and exhibition game managing. It’s a full day each day. Especially in minor league camp because there are so many more players than are in the big league camp. As a minor league staff we work together to make sure we are going in the direction that the Orioles want.
Pencek: When do you find out who you are bringing north with you to Delmarva for the start of the season?
Minor: There are already some projected rosters. Of course there could be movement, there could be trades that change that roster. Generally you are looking about a week or two prior to the end of spring training when the roster is mostly complete. Things can still happen before we head north with the team.
Pencek: You’ve been at nearly every level with this franchise. In your position as manager do you find players coming to you to ask you for advice and how are you with you giving out advice?
Minor: That’s a big part of the my job it’s part of my responsibility. You often have kids that are right out of high school and it’s their first time away from home. They have questions about all of this, being in pro ball. I am good with helping them because I was in there shoes once. When you manage a team you are dealing with different personalities. Part of the job is setting a good example, being there for them and steering them in the right direction.
Pencek: Either as a player or manager what is you favorite Shorebirds moment?
Minor: There are so many, I guess one that does stand out as a player is when we won the championship in 1997. It was my second year in the system with the Orioles. There were many good players I played with. That was a big highlight.