Mientkiewicz returns as Miracle skipper
Fort Myers Miracle manager Doug Mientkiewicz will return to the dugout for the upcoming 2014 season, the parent club Minnesota Twins and Miracle reported last week.
Mientkiewicz, 39, enters his second season at the helm of the Miracle as the reigning Florida State League Manager of the Year. In 2013, Mientkiewicz led the Miracle to the best record in the Florida State League with a 79-56 mark and a FSL South Division first-half championship.
In the first half, the Miracle posted a 45-22 record. Their winning percentage of .672 was the best in team history and the 45 wins matches the most in any half season.
“I am really looking forward to coming back for another year in Fort Myers,” said Mientkiewicz. “Hopefully, we can build on what we did last year.”
In 2012, Mientkiewicz spent the year in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization as the hitting coach for the Ogden Raptors of the Pioneer League. Over a 12-year career at the Major League level, Mientkiewicz appeared in 1,087 games from 1998-2009. He suited up for the Minnesota Twins, Boston Red Sox, New York Mets, Kansas City Royals, New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates and the Dodgers.
“Last season, Doug and his coaching staff brought us first place professionalism and a lot to cheer about from the very first pitch,” said Miracle general manager Andrew Seymour. “We’re pleased to have Doug and his family back with us and we’re looking forward to our 2014 Miracle season”
Drafted by the Twins out of Florida State University in the fifth round in 1995, Mientkiewicz made his professional debut with the Miracle that same season. He played parts of two years in a Miracle uniform and appeared in 171 games in 1995 and 1996.
“The Twins have a lot of good, young talent coming through the system,” said Mientkiewicz. “I know, we as a staff, are looking forward to working with them.”
Jim Dwyer will return for his ninth season as hitting coach with the Miracle and 18th year in the Minnesota organization. Dwyer, 62, served as the Twins’ minor league roving hitting coordinator from 1997-2005 and is a resident of Cape Coral. Spending 18 years in the Major Leagues, Dwyer is 17th all-time in pinch hits with 103.
Gary Lucas joins the Miracle staff as the pitching coach. Lucas, 58, comes to Fort Myers after serving as the pitching coach for the Cedar Rapids Kernels in 2013. Lucas has been the Twins’ Single-A pitching coach for the last seven years in Cedar Rapids and with the Beloit Snappers. Lucas also served as a pitching coach in New Britain, Quad Cities, San Jose and Clinton. Lucas spent eight seasons in the Major Leagues and appeared in 409 games with the San Diego Padres, Montreal Expos and California Angels from 1980-87.
Alan Rail, 35, returns for his second season as the athletic trainer on the Miracle staff. Previously, Rail worked eight seasons with the Beloit Snappers and began his athletic training career in 2004 with Elizabethton.
Season tickets and mini plans for the 2014 season are currently available. To order, call (239) 768-4210, or visit www.miraclebaseball.com.