Dragons Return Entire Field Staff for 2008
Dayton, OH - After a three year absence, Donnie Scott's return to the Dayton Dragons dugout in 2007, as manager was a successful one as he led the Dragons to a 78-62 overall record. Under Scott, the Dragons won the first half Midwest League Eastern Division title and earned a birth in the MWL Playoffs for the first time since 2002. The Cincinnati Reds have announced that Scott will return to lead the charges as Dragons Manager in 2008 and for the first time in team history all three field staff positions remain in tact with the return of Pitching Coach Doug Bair, Hitting Coach Darren Bragg and Athletic Trainer Jimmy Mattocks.
Under Scott, the Dragons posted a 44-26 first half record to win the Eastern Division, setting a franchise record for most wins in a half of baseball. Scott managed the Eastern Division in the MWL All-Star game and had plenty of company, as he was joined by Bair, Bragg and eight Dragons who were voted to the game. Juan Francisco, Justin Turner, Chris Valaika comprised three-fourths of the starting infield and pitcher Sean Watson became the first Dayton pitcher to get the starting nod in an All-Star Game. The Dragons 78 wins overall were an 18 game improvement from 2006 and was the second most in team history behind the 82 win season by the 2001 team.
The 2008 season will be the former Major League catcher's 19th season with the Cincinnati Reds as a player, manager or coach. He is the winningest manager in Dragons franchise history with a 294-264 regular season record. In four seasons as Dragons manager, Scott has led Dayton to the post season on three different occasions (2001, 2002 and 2007) and has an overall managerial record with the Reds in 10 minor league seasons of 600-430. Scott spent five seasons with the Billings Mustangs, winning Pioneer League Championships in 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1997. Before returning to the Dragons in 2007, Donnie managed the Sarasota Reds of the Florida State League in 2006.
A former second round draft choice of the Texas Rangers (1979), Scott played parts of four different seasons in the Major Leagues. The former catcher played in the "Bigs" in 1983 and 1984 with the Rangers, 1985 with Seattle and 1990 with Cincinnati, appearing in 173 major league games during his career.
The 2008 campaign will mark the third season as a Reds pitching coach for Bair, his second with the Dragons. The Dragons team ERA of 3.41 in 2007 was the lowest in franchise history and was good for fifth best in the 14-team MWL. Originally from Defiance, Ohio, Bair pitched collegiately at Bowling Green State University and was a second round draft choice of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1971. He made his Major League debut with the Pirates in 1976 and would pitch in the big leagues for 15 seasons, including three full seasons and parts of a fourth with the Cincinnati Reds (1978-1981). Bair has two World Series Rings from his playing days: one each with the St. Louis Cardinals (1982) and the Detroit Tigers (1984). The well traveled right hander appeared in 584 Major League games (579 in relief) with seven different major league clubs (Pittsburgh, Oakland, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Detroit, Philadelphia and Toronto) and compiled a 55-43 record with a 3.63 ERA. He saved 81 games, including a career high 28 with the '78 Reds.
Bragg is back for his second season as the Dragons Hitting Coach in 2008 and his second as a Reds Minor League Hitting instructor. Under Bragg's tutelage, the Dragons hit .263 as a team in 2007, good for third best in the MWL and the club's 106 homers ranked second. A 22nd round selection of the Seattle Mariners in the 1991 Free Agent Draft, he made his Major League debut in 1994 with the Mariners. Bragg appeared in the post season on three occasions, with the Red Sox in 1998 and the Atlanta Braves in 2002 and 2003. In 916 games spanning 11 Major League seasons with 10 different teams (Seattle, Boston, St. Louis, Colorado, NY Yankees, NY Mets, Atlanta, Cincinnati and San Diego); Bragg hit .255 with 46 home runs and 269 runs batted in.
The Dragons will open up the 2008 Midwest League season at Great Lakes on Tuesday, April 3rd. The home opener for the Dragons at Fifth Third Field will be Monday, April 7th versus the Fort Wayne Wizards, affiliate of the San Diego Padres. The first pitch on opening night is scheduled for 7:05 PM; with the game being broadcasted live on WING AM 1410 ESPN Radio, also via the Dragons web site at www.daytondragons.com, as well as a live television broadcast.
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