Welcome the New American Association Managers
American Association Daily provides insights, features, and recaps of the action from around the American Association of Professional Baseball League, as well as player and coaching profiles and transactions. In today’s edition, with just one week until the American Association season gets underway, Robert Pannier looks at the four new managers taking over teams this season.
A Changing of the Guard in the American Association
It is just one week until the American Association gets underway as the American Association returns as a 12-team league for 2021, with two new entries joining this season. Because of new additions and a big promotion, there will be four different managers taking the helm of teams in the league this season. Here is a look at each one of them.
David Peterson, Houston Apollos
The Houston Apollos join the American Association as a one and done team for this season. They will play all 100 games on the road, as they move up from the Pecos League to ensure that there are an even number of teams in the league.
David Peterson will lead the Apollos. David is not new to the American Association. In 2017, he took over the Salina Stockade in the year that the team had moved up to play in the American Association. He continued on as the Stockade’s manager for the following season when they joined the Can-Am League, and has served as a manager the last three years in the Pecos League.
Brett Jodie, Lincoln Saltdogs
Just a few short weeks before the American Association was set to begin spring training, Lincoln Saltdogs manager Jim Frisbee was hired by the Detroit Tigers to be one of their best coaches. With a huge hole to fill, the team reached out to Brett Jodie to lead the club for the 2021 season.
Jodie is a well-established veteran manager, who has had a great deal of success in the Atlantic League. The former Major Leaguer managed the Somerset Patriots from 2013 through 2019 and boasts an impressive 556-405 record in seven seasons. The Patriots made the playoffs six of the seven seasons with Jodie at the helm, winning the Atlantic League championship in 2015.
Brett is new to the American Association, but his time in the Atlantic League gives him a vast amount of experience in running an independent baseball team. His biggest challenge will be acclimating himself to his new team as most of the players signed by the Saltdogs were brought in by Frisbee.
Mike Jeffcoat, Cleburne Railroaders
Mike Jeffcoat will be taking over as the manager of the Cleburne Railroaders this season, but he is quite familiar with the team. Jeffcoat served as the pitching coach for the Railroaders in 2019, but now will lead the team on the field.
While this will be his first professional managerial job, Mike has lots of experience leading teams. From 2002 to 2018 he was the Head Coach at Texas Wesleyan University. He holds the all-time record for coaching victories at the school and has had 12 30-win seasons during his 16 year tenure. Michael left after the 2018 season.
George Tsamis, Kane County Cougars
George Tsamis is no stranger to American Association baseball, but with the St. Paul Saints becoming the AAA affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, that left Tsamis without a job. When it was announced that Kane County would be joining the league, one of the first calls the team made was to George, and he will lead the team in their inaugural season in the American Association.
George has a vast amount of experience in independent baseball, beginning with the Waterbury Spirits back in 1999. He would later lead the New Jersey Jackals to two championships in his two seasons with the club, before becoming the Saints manager in 2003. Since then, George has won two championships and has earned over a thousand managerial victories. St. Paul reached the playoffs in four of the last six seasons.
By Robert Pannier