Duncan Suzuki

Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Manager knows game, area

PULASKI — Life in the lowest levels of the minor leagues can be difficult.
Players are often shipped between cities and towns that most people have never imagined; joining teammates on the field they met only a few hours before. Long bus rides, strange faces, new places and the always-looming prospect of a pink slip and a bus (or plane) ticket home is part of the everyday existence of a minor league baseball player.
Even more difficult, however, is the life of the minor league manager who is expected to keep the players focused on baseball despite the distractions and difficulties presented. The minor league manager must keep a constantly in-flux roster of 25-35 players focused on perfecting their craft – always keeping one eye on the practice field and one eye on the standings.
When the Seattle Mariners went looking for a manager for their first-year Appalachian League franchise in Pulaski, they knew that they needed someone who could teach the players about life on the field as well as life off of it.
Enter Pennsylvania native Rob Mummau.
A former middle infielder with James Madison University, Mummau is a rookie-manager in name alone. Drafted in the 29th Round (No. 826 overall) of the 1993 First-Year Player Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays, Mummau spent his next nine years in the Toronto organization, making stops at six different cities in his trek through the minor league system. Playing at every level except the Major Leagues, Mummau spent his final three years at Class AAA, playing for the Syracuse Sky Chiefs.
The only thing higher than Mummau’s number of stops in the system was the number of positions he played on the field. Originally drafted as a shortstop, Mummau made an appearance at every position on the diamond except for first base and pitcher.
After spending 2001 playing for the independent Nashua Pride of the Atlantic League, Mummau hung up his cleats. But that would not signal the end of his baseball career. His experience as a player lent well to an ability as a talent evaluator, and he joined the Seattle Mariners organization as a full-time scout for the Mid-Atlantic region in 2002. When Pulaski was named as the newest stop in the Mariners farm system, Seattle went looking for someone that knew the area and knew the game, and Mummau was asked to lead the Pulaski Mariners.
“Pulaski is wonderful and the people have been great,” said Mummau.
With players hailing from nine different countries, with localities as diverse as South Africa and the Netherlands, Mummau may have a tough task ahead of him getting all of the players on the same page.
“Luckily, every player speaks at least a little English or Spanish. And having two bilingual coaches on the staff will help with the communication,” Mummau explains.
While Seattle’s main goal is to develop as many players as possible for their Major League club, Mummau is not forgetting about the importance of an Appalachian League Championship.
“I want to make sure each player develops and that we win a championship,” he says with a smile. “I want every player to have fun and enjoy playing the game. The ultimate goal is to get these guys to the ‘bigs.’ But for the season, the goals are to win games and develop each of the players.”

Rob Mummau and the Pulaski Mariners make their home debut tonight versus the Elizabethton Twins, with game time set at 7 p.m.

Comments

comments

Manager knows game, area

PULASKI — Life in the lowest levels of the minor leagues can be difficult.
Players are often shipped between cities and towns that most people have never imagined; joining teammates on the field they met only a few hours before. Long bus rides, strange faces, new places and the always-looming prospect of a pink slip and a bus (or plane) ticket home is part of the everyday existence of a minor league baseball player.
Even more difficult, however, is the life of the minor league manager who is expected to keep the players focused on baseball despite the distractions and difficulties presented. The minor league manager must keep a constantly in-flux roster of 25-35 players focused on perfecting their craft – always keeping one eye on the practice field and one eye on the standings.
When the Seattle Mariners went looking for a manager for their first-year Appalachian League franchise in Pulaski, they knew that they needed someone who could teach the players about life on the field as well as life off of it.
Enter Pennsylvania native Rob Mummau.
A former middle infielder with James Madison University, Mummau is a rookie-manager in name alone. Drafted in the 29th Round (No. 826 overall) of the 1993 First-Year Player Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays, Mummau spent his next nine years in the Toronto organization, making stops at six different cities in his trek through the minor league system. Playing at every level except the Major Leagues, Mummau spent his final three years at Class AAA, playing for the Syracuse Sky Chiefs.
The only thing higher than Mummau’s number of stops in the system was the number of positions he played on the field. Originally drafted as a shortstop, Mummau made an appearance at every position on the diamond except for first base and pitcher.
After spending 2001 playing for the independent Nashua Pride of the Atlantic League, Mummau hung up his cleats. But that would not signal the end of his baseball career. His experience as a player lent well to an ability as a talent evaluator, and he joined the Seattle Mariners organization as a full-time scout for the Mid-Atlantic region in 2002. When Pulaski was named as the newest stop in the Mariners farm system, Seattle went looking for someone that knew the area and knew the game, and Mummau was asked to lead the Pulaski Mariners.
“Pulaski is wonderful and the people have been great,” said Mummau.
With players hailing from nine different countries, with localities as diverse as South Africa and the Netherlands, Mummau may have a tough task ahead of him getting all of the players on the same page.
“Luckily, every player speaks at least a little English or Spanish. And having two bilingual coaches on the staff will help with the communication,” Mummau explains.
While Seattle’s main goal is to develop as many players as possible for their Major League club, Mummau is not forgetting about the importance of an Appalachian League Championship.
“I want to make sure each player develops and that we win a championship,” he says with a smile. “I want every player to have fun and enjoy playing the game. The ultimate goal is to get these guys to the ‘bigs.’ But for the season, the goals are to win games and develop each of the players.”

Rob Mummau and the Pulaski Mariners make their home debut tonight versus the Elizabethton Twins, with game time set at 7 p.m.

Comments

comments

You must be logged in to post a comment Login