New Faces In IronBirds Nest For 2012 Opener
The Aberdeen IronBirds open the 2012 season on June 18. The home opener is June 20 at Ripken Stadium.
There are some new additions to the Aberdeen IronBirds as they enter the 2012 season.
The IronBirds open Monday, playing two games on the road, before the Wednesday night home opener against the Hudson Valley Renegades at Ripken Stadium.
Gary Allenson is the IronBirds new manager, with Alan Mills as the pitching coach and Brad Komminsk as the field coach.
Allenson, who led the Oneonta Yankees to the New York-Penn League championship in 1987, returns to the short-season Class A level after stints at virtually every level of coaching. He has been a coach with the Red Sox and Brewers, as well as the interim third base coach with the Orioles in 2010.
Most recently, he was managing the Orioles Class AAA affiliate, the Norfolk Tides in 2011.
"At this point I know what I have but I do not know what the other teams have and all I can tell you is, we will play hard. When I played, I went hard, there was no jogging things out and that is what you're going to see with these guys.," Allenson explained.
Allenson was able to see 11 of his position players from extended spring training and he knows they still have things to work on.
"We are not going to be locked in on throwing strikes every time or swinging and missing pitches we can't hit, but hopefully we will get better with that," said Allenson.
One of Aberdeen's new players this season is former University of Maryland right-handed pitcher Sander Beck, who signed as a free agent following his senior season, after being selected in the 33rd round last year. Beck was not sure how this season was going to play out, but was thrilled with the opportunity to be apart of the organization.
"I'm not really sure if I'm going to be a starter or a reliever yet—that's sort of, I guess, to be seen as we go along with this week," Beck said Tuesday.
While he awaits his role, Beck is adapting to minor league life and preparing for the game night atmopshere at Ripken Stadium.
"At Maryland it is more of a smaller atmosphere and playing in front of 6,000 fans every night will be a little bit different. I'm used to playing in front of a lot of fans, but coming from a smaller environment in Maryland just to be able to play in a bigger atmosphere will be really nice," said Beck. "There is a very professional attitude going around the clubhouse which is very nice to see and I'm just excited to move along with the professional aspect of baseball."
In addition to a new manager and coach staff, the team also has a new announcer, Tim Murray, who is no stranger to baseball. Murray was the broadcast and media relations assistant for the Frederick Keys, a Class A advanced affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles.
The IronBirds home opener is scheduled for 7:35 p.m. on June 20 at Ripken Stadium.