Young Cubs in Good Hands with Bailey

Buddy Bailey (STAFF PHOTO)

DAYTONA BEACH -- Veteran minor league skipper Buddy Bailey has returned to manage the Class-A Daytona Cubs for the first time since 2006, during which he took over as interim manager. A common word befalls Bailey, who begins his fourth year managing in the Cubs' farm system: meticulous.

"He is very, very intelligent, and very meticulous. He is very disciplined and has extensive attention to detail. He was very professional when he had to come in during the '06 season, and that's what he also is, very professional," said Daytona pitching coach Tom Pratt.

Bailey led Daytona to a 34-31 record in the second half of the ‘06 season. He took over as interim manager mid-season, replacing former big leaguer Don Buford.

"It was a situation I had been faced with when I worked for Atlanta and Russ Nixon was managing Double-A. He got moved up to the big leagues and they moved me up to Double-A. So luckily with the Cubs, that wasn't the first time I'd had to go in and be asked to manage a club," said Bailey.

Daytona had a banner year in 2008 under former Cubs manager Jody Davis, winning the Florida State League championship. Bailey contends that managers don't so much "make their mark," but do their best to put their team in a position to win.

"I don't think any manager tries to make a mark. I think every manager is here to do what you've got to do and hopefully you help the players get better so they can go up to the big leagues. I think a manager's real mark is getting a World Series ring," said Bailey.

Bailey has an impressive list of accomplishments, gaining over 1,300 victories in 20 seasons as a minor league manager.

"He manages the game really well, handles the pitching staff really well, and he sets guys up in roles where they are in a position to be successful. The lineup he makes is the one he puts out there to get the win every day," said Daytona catcher Mark Reed.

Bailey spent the 2008 season at Class AA Tennessee, where he guided the Smokies to a 62-77 record.

He has managed several clubs, including those in the Atlanta Braves' farm system early in his career from 1983 through 1990, winning the Southern League championship in 1988.

Following Atlanta, Bailey managed Class-A Lynchburg, the Boston Red Sox affiliate in the Carolina League, and then Class AAA Pawtucket starting in 1993, becoming the youngest manager in team history at the time.

In Pawtucket, he would win Manager of the Year twice in the International League.

Bailey also served as the Red Sox bench coach in 2000. The team finished 85-77, just missing a playoff bid.

On his time with the Red Sox, Bailey explains, "Baseball is baseball. It's the limelight in Boston and there are more cameras and reporters, but it's still the same game everywhere you go."

Bailey is joined this season by Pratt, who was also in Daytona in 2006, and veteran hitting coach Richie Zisk, who is in his 13th year with the Daytona Cubs.

"We have a great line of communication where he makes himself very in-tune with the pitching staff, their health, pitch counts, and so on," said Pratt, who spent last season as pitching coach at short-season Class Low A Boise.

Bailey is hoping to take advantage of all of his assistance on the coaching staff to make for another successful season in Daytona.

"We swung the bat really good in spring training, and a lot of the guys have had a lot of success hitting, so I think a lot of the things the organization and Richie has been preaching have shown a lot of success. Hopefully we can continue to do that here.

"We are a young team and I think we have the potential to be a bright spot in the organization."

AROUND THE MINORS …

IOWA 6, ROUND ROCK 2

At Round Rock, Texas, 1B Jake Fox hit a two-run homer and finished 2-for-3 with four RBIs to help lead Iowa (1-1) to their first victory. SS Andres Blanco, 3B Nate Spears and C Chris Robinson also added two hits. RHP Jose Ascanio started and tossed four shutout innings, allowing two hits. Iowa used four pitchers in the win with LHP J.R. Mathes (1-0) picking up the victory.

TENNESSEE 10, JACKSONVILLE 3

At Jacksonville, Fla., 2B Tony Thomas' four hits paced the Tennessee (1-1) offense. Thomas homered twice, recorded a double and drove in five runs atop the order. He also scored four runs. 3B Matt Camp, 1B Blake Lalli, and SS Darwin Barney each finished with two hits as Tennessee collected 15 hits total. RHP Hung-Wen Chen (1-0) picked up the win in his Double-A debut, allowing two runs and six hits in 5.1 innings. He struck out five batters and walked one.

DAYTONA 7, BREVARD COUNTY 6

At Daytona Beach, the Cubs (1-1) won their home opener. 1B Jovan Rosa (2-for-4) doubled twice and drove in two runs. SS Starlin Castro (2-for-3) recorded a hit in his first two at-bats to begin the season 5-for-5. Castro drove in two runs, as did 2B Nate Samson. DH Tyler Colvin was 1-for-4 with a double and two runs scored.

"It's nice to come back from our loss (Thursday) and find a way to win," Daytona manager Buddy Bailey said.

Daytona used five pitchers in the victory. RHP Marcos Mateo started and went two innings, yielding one hit. RHP David Cales (1-0) got the win in relief with 1 2/3 scoreless innings.

"Cales did a great job, so from now on, if he's available, we're going to go with him," said Bailey.

Daytona won despite being out-hit, 13-8.

KANE COUNTY 3, PEORIA 2

At Peoria, Josh Harrison tallied three hits, including a double, plus a stolen base in a losing effort. RHP Chris Carpenter started and received a no-decision, allowing two runs and five hits in five innings. Peoria (1-1) used four pitchers in the loss. RHP Chris Huseby (0-1) suffered the loss after allowing a run and two hits in one inning. The Chiefs' offense totaled eight hits. LF Kyler Burke and 3B Josh Vitters singled, and RF Nelson Perez and 2B Junior Lake both recorded a double.

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