January 24, 2013 - Southern League (SL) - Montgomery Biscuits
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The Montgomery Biscuits, along with the Tampa Bay Rays are excited to announce that Billy Gardner Jr. will be returning in 2013 as the club\'s manager for the seventh-consecutive season. Also returning and joining Gardner Jr. will be fifth-year hitting coach Ozzie Timmons, second-year pitching coach R.C. Lichtenstein, and second-year trainer Kris Russell.
As the longest tenured manager in the Southern League, 2013 will mark Gardner\'s 20th season in professional baseball, and seventeenth as a minor league coach. A Connecticut native, he has recorded more than 1,000 career wins and a Biscuits-record 426 victories. Gardner has managed 26 Biscuits who have made their way to the major leagues, including Matt Moore, David Price, Desmond Jennings, and Evan Longoria. In 2012, Gardner Jr. led the Biscuits to a second half Divisional Championship en route to becoming the first Biscuits skipper to win the Southern League Manager of the Year Award.
Gardner, 46, is the son of former major leaguer and World Series Champion Billy Gardner Sr., who also had stints as a manager for the Twins and the Royals.
Timmons, 42, a native of Tampa, FL and former Rays outfielder, returns for his fifth year to the Biscuits as hitting coach, and seventh overall within the Rays Organization. Timmons joined the Biscuits in 2009, after serving as hitting coach for the Hudson Valley Renegades (New York-Penn, 2007) and Columbus Catfish (Southern Atlantic League, 2006).
A 21-year veteran, Timmons was originally drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the fifth round of the 1991 June draft, and spent sixteen years as a player. He spent those sixteen seasons with the Cubs, Reds, Mariners, Rays, Braves, Diamondbacks, and Mets organizations. As a major league outfielder, Timmons posted a career .235 average with 20 doubles and 20 home runs in 186 games played.
Lichtenstein returns for his second season as the Biscuits pitching coach and his ninth within the Rays organization. The Chicago native joined the Rays system in 2005 and spent three seasons as pitching coach of the Rays\' low-A affiliate, the Bowling Green Hot Rods. After a short minor league pitching career, Lichtenstein began coaching in the independent leagues in 1995 before a five-year stint as coach in the Milwaukee Brewers organization.
Russell enters his second season as Biscuits trainer and seventh season within the Rays organization. The St. Petersburg, FL native spent three years with the Class-A Tampa Yankees of the Florida State League and made stops at Class-A Columbus, Class-A Southwest Michigan, and Rookie-level Princeton.
The Biscuits will celebrate their 10th year anniversary in 2013 and will open their season at Riverwalk Stadium on Thursday, April 4th against the Birmingham Barons.
The Biscuits\' 2013 Opening Day Roster will be announced in April.