Former Detroit Tiger Skeeter Barnes Named New Manager

March 2, 2006 - Midwest League (MWL) - Southwest Michigan Devil Rays News Release

The Southwest Michigan Devil Rays announce today William "Skeeter" Barnes as the club's new manager. This announcement follows the resignation of Dave Howard, who was named as Southwest Michigan's skipper last month. Barnes was slated to be back in Battle Creek as the Rays' hitting coach, after having served Southwest Michigan's in that role during the 2005 season.

Last year, Barnes led the Devil Rays to the 2nd-highest batting average (.271) in the Midwest League. Three of Barnes' position players were selected to the Midwest League All-Star Team.

This will be Barnes' fourth season as a coach in the Rays' organization. He coached the Orlando Rays (Double A-Southern League) in 2003 and the Montgomery Biscuits (Double A-Southern League) in 2004. Previously, Barnes worked in the Milwaukee Brewers' system, serving as the hitting coach for Indianapolis (Triple A-International League) In 2000, he managed the Lakeland Tigers (A-Advanced, Florida State League) to a 52-88 record. Barnes also coached in the Detroit Tigers' organization with West Michigan (A-Midwest League) in 1997-98 and Toledo (Triple A-International League) in 1995, 1996 and 1999.

Originally drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in 1978, Barnes played professionally for 17 years, including nine seasons in the major leagues. He started at all positions except pitcher and catcher in his 353-game career, owning a .253 batting average with four organizations: Cincinnati (1983-84, 1989), Montreal (1985), St. Louis (1987) and Detroit (1991-94). The 48-year-old Cincinnati native now resides in Indianapolis with his wife, Karen, and daughter, Chrissy.

The Devil Rays will name a new hitting coach sometime in the near future.

Opening Day is just 37 days away for the 2006 "Catch Some Rays" season at C.O. Brown Stadium. Season ticket, mini plan, and group packages are now on sale. Please call the office at (269) 660-2287 or visit southwestmichigandevilrays.com for details!

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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.

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