November 3, 2006 - Midwest League (MWL) - Dayton Dragons
Dayton, OH - The Dayton Dragons will have a completely new field staff for the 2007 season, the franchises eighth since starting play in 2000. While the Cincinnati Reds have not named a manager for the 2007 Dragons, the parent club has placed a combined 26 seasons of major league experience in the Dragons dugout for the upcoming season with the appointment of Doug Bair as pitching coach and Darren Bragg as hitting coach.
Bair served as the pitching coach for the Billings Mustangs, the Reds Pioneer League affiliate, in 2006, his first season with the Reds organization in a coaching capacity. During the 2006 season, Bair filled in for former Dragons Pitching Coach Larry Pierson while the Dragons pitching coach was on temporary leave from the team.
Originally from Defiance, Ohio, Bair pitched collegiately at Bowling Green 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 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 takes over for Alonzo Powell, who left the Reds organization to become the Minor League Hitting Coordinator for the Seattle Mariners. 2007 will be Bragg\'s first with the Reds in a coaching capacity, after he finished his playing career in 2006. Like Bair, Bragg brings an impressive playing resume to his new position with the Dragons. A third team All-American in his final year at Georgia Tech, Bragg was 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 and in 1995 was traded to the Boston Red Sox for LHP Jamie Moyer. His best season statistically in the majors came in 1998 with the Red Sox as he hit .279 with eight homers and 57 runs batted in.
Bragg appeared in the post season on three occasions, with the Red Sox in 1998 and the Atlanta Braves in 2002 and 2003. He also has ties to the Reds as a player, appearing in 38 games in the outfield in Cincinnati in 2004. 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. After spending 2005 in the independent Atlantic League with the Nashua Pride, he retired from professional baseball. In 2006, Bragg got back to his "baseball roots" playing close to his home town in the Connecticut Tri-State League as a pitcher; the first time in his playing career he took the mound.
The Reds will name a field manager for the 2007 Dayton Dragons at a later date.
The Dragons will open up the 2007 Midwest League season at Fifth Third Field on Thursday, April 5th versus the West Michigan Whitecaps, the defending MWL champions and affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. The first pitch on opening night is scheduled for 7:05 PM, with the game being broadcasted live on WING AM 1410 ESPN Radio and at www.daytondragons.com and televised in the Miami Valley on "Dragons TV" Time Warner Television Cable Channel 25.