Are You Ready? Huckaby Introduced as New Bisons Skipper
In his first appearance in a Bisons uniform, new Herd manager Ken Huckaby ended the opening remarks of his introductory press conference with a single question... "are you ready?"
"Are you ready to win the Governors' Cup?"
The 21st manager in the Bisons modern era was in Buffalo Friday afternoon as the Herd's new skipper formally took over for now Philadelphia Phillies coaching assistant, Bobby Meacham. The 48-year old former backstop made it clear that in 2020 there will be different goals for before and during each game at Sahlen Field this season.
"We are developing extremely talented baseball players that are getting to the big leagues, but now we are going to start implementing the compete to win process. We will pay extraordinary attention to each player's individual plan to make them the best they can be, and as soon as that is over with our BP and practice, that plan goes out the window and our job is to go out and win," said Huckaby.
Huckaby has a winning background as a skipper. He led the Single-A Lansing Lugnuts to the playoffs in 2015 and then repeated the feat a season later with the Single-A Dunedin Blue Jays. Overall, 'Huck' has 149-125 record on the bench, good for a .544 winning pct.
"In addition to being a great developmental guy, Huck is a winner," said Charlie Wilson, Blue Jays Director of Minor League Operations. "We are really excited to get started next month in Spring Training."
"We win by leading by example. We win by making our players better. We win by making the clubhouse culture something that the players can drive on a daily basis. Our main job is to facilitate that culture and drive it in the right direction, but let the players have the lead," said Huckaby.
Video: Ken Huckaby Introduced As Next Bisons Manager
Huckaby is no stranger to the Bisons' clubhouse. As the Blue Jays minor league catching coordinator the last three seasons, he would often visit the team to work with Buffalo's backstops.
"He's had a great impact on many players on our current roster, most notably (former Bisons) Reese McGuire and Danny Jansen, " said Wilson.
But something was lacking for Huckaby as he enters his eighth season as a coach in the Blue Jays system.
"I missed the field. I missed the individual relationships with the players. I'm fortunate that because I got to rove that I know a lot of the guys that could potentially be in Buffalo this year, but I don't KNOW them. That will be the challenge for me," said Huckaby.
The key to developing that relationship is how managers and players can help each other succeed. While players want to make that final step to get to the big leagues, Huckaby wants to put wins in the win column. As he sees it, there's no reason why those goals can't work in harmony.
"The best managers I've played for wanted to know how they could help me get back to the Major Leagues and stay. I want to provide the kind of environment of 'hey, this is what we are going to do for you to get you back to the Majors where you belong, but in the meantime, while you are here doing this work, do me the favor and let's win some games," said Huckaby.
The Bisons first chance to do so is an Opening Night fridaynightbash!, Friday, April 17 as the Bisons host the Rochester Red Wings. The countdown is on!
Are you ready?
• Discuss this story on the International League message board...
International League Stories from January 17, 2020
- Are You Ready? Huckaby Introduced as New Bisons Skipper - Buffalo Bisons
- PawSox Set 2020 Schedule, Promotional Events, and Ticket Info - Pawtucket Red Sox
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.
Other Recent Buffalo Bisons Stories
- Save the Date: Bisons Family Day Open House Set for Saturday, March 21
- Blue Jays Add Veteran Petricka with Minor League Deal
- Pearson, Snead, Tice Among Seven 2019 Bisons Invited to Blue Jays Camp.
- 'Season Starter' Pack Includes Opening Day, 75% in Savings
- White, Hart Return as Blue Jays Announce Herd Coaching Staff