There are just seventy-five days until Opening Night at Frawley Stadium in Wilmington. 75 days until Thursday, April 16th!
Let that sink in.
Earlier today, the Blue Rocks held a press conference to introduce their third manager in the last three seasons, Brian Buchanan. Buchanan had spent the last three seasons coaching the KC Royals Low-A affiliate (Kane County in 2012 and Lexington in both 2013 and 2014).
Buchanan played parts of five seasons in the big leagues after being drafted in the first round by the NY Yankees. He made his Major League debut on May 19, 2000 with Minnesota and was managed by Tom Kelly. He moved on to San Diego in 2002 and had the chance to play for the great Bruce Bochy, who has won three World Series titles in the last five seasons with San Francisco (2010, 2012, and 2014). Buchanan then had the chance to play for Art Howe in 2004 with the NY Mets (his final season in the big leagues).
What did he learn from those great managers?
You learn from those guys that you work the guys out, early work, and try to teach them how to play. But when the game starts, you have to let them play. Game experience, that’s where you’re going to learn how to play the game.
Buchanan played a season in Japan in 2007: “It was awesome. A real good experience. I had a chance to take my family over there. It’s a different kind of baseball, but it was a great experience. To learn the culture. Just to travel around Japan and play baseball.”
He then played with Triple-A Omaha in 2008 and 2009 before taking his first coaching job, as manager for Idaho Falls. He wasn’t sure if he was done playing after the 2009 season, but the Royals brought him to instructional league to sit in on meetings. “It was eight o’clock in the morning and the guys are out on the field doing agility drills and I was like I do NOT want to do that anymore. I’m done.”
Buchanan had the chance to experience the Royals World Series run, as he attended games against Baltimore with his wife and Games 6 and 7 with his ten year old son. What was it like seeing a guy like Terrance Gore, who he coached in 2013 with Lexington, playing in the World Series?
Anytime you see a kid that you’ve worked with get to the big leagues, even just get a cup of coffee, you feel (touches his heart)…I remember when Aaron Brooks got called up. He was one of the first players that I managed that got to the big leagues. You get that email that he’s been called up, you get chills. I’ve got chills right now just thinking about it. It’s fun to be a part of that. It’s a two-way street: we helped him, he helped himself. To see a young man like Terrance Gore go up there and steal bases. He’s by far the fastest guy I’ve ever seen in my life. He does some things on the field that will blow your mind. I texted him after the World Series was over and said ‘Was the World Series more fun than instructional league?’ He said ‘The World Series was better.’
You can watch the entire press conference below: