Thunder Announce 2008 Coaching Staff

December 19, 2007 - Eastern League (EL1) - Trenton Thunder News Release

(Trenton, NJ) - The Trenton Thunder, the Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, have announced their coaching staff for the 2008 season. Tony Franklin (Manager) returns to guide the defending Eastern League Champions. Former Major Leaguers Scott Aldred (Pitching Coach) and Tom Wilson (Hitting Coach) once again will be back in Trenton, along with first-year Thunder trainer Tim Lentych and fellow staff additions Coach Julius Matos and Strength & Conditioning Coach Lee Tressel.

"It is only fitting that Tony, Scott and Tom are back in Thunder uniforms to defend our title in 2008," Thunder General Manager Brad Taylor said. "We couldn't be happier!"

"Thank goodness," Franklin said about his return to Trenton, from his home in Los Angeles, CA. "I'm thrilled to be back."

Franklin led the Thunder to its first Eastern League Championship in 2007. The Thunder finished the regular season with the best record in the Eastern League (83-59). Trenton defeated the Portland Sea Dogs (Double-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox) in the Northern Division Championship Series (3-1), and the Akron Aeros (Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians) in the Eastern League Championship Series (3-1). After the season, Franklin managed the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League. It was Franklin's first stint in the Arizona Fall League.

The Eastern League Championship was Franklin's second title as manager. In 1993, he led South Bend (Single-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) to the Midwest League Championship. Prior to his time in Trenton, Franklin spent most of the last 11 years as the Minor League Infield Instructor for the San Diego Padres. His 11-year managerial career began with the White Sox organization as the manager for Geneva (NY) of the New York-Penn League in 1982.

Franklin spent four seasons in Geneva, making the playoffs in 1985. After one season with Wytheville (Appalachian League), he guided the White Sox affiliate in the Florida State League, the Sarasota White Sox, to a playoff appearance in 1989. Franklin spent two years as the skipper of the Birmingham Barons of the Southern League, including 81 wins in 1991 and a berth in the Championship Series.

While in Birmingham, Franklin was the manager of former Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson. Before Trenton, his last managerial stint came with Las Vegas in 2000. Franklin filled in for Duane Espy and guided the Stars to a 43-50 mark.

Franklin was honored by San Diego in 1997 with the Jack Krol Award for Outstanding Minor League Instruction in the Padres' organization. He and his wife, Haiba, have three children Derrick, Wayne and Shelby.

Scott Aldred returns to Trenton after leading the Thunder to the second lowest ERA in all of Minor League Baseball in 2007. He helped in the development of RHP Alan Horne (Eastern League Pitcher of the Year), as well as the progression of RHP Joba Chamberlain, RHP Ian Kennedy, and RHP Edwar Ramirez who all advanced to New York during 2007. In 2006, he was the Pitching Coach for the Charleston RiverDogs (Low-A affiliate of the New York Yankees). Aldred was originally drafted by Detroit in the 16th Round of the 1986 Draft and posted a 20-39 record in 229 Major League games with six different teams.

Tom Wilson returns to Trenton for his second season after concluding a 16-year pro career. He was originally drafted by the Yankees in the 23rd Round of the 1990 Draft (Fullerton J.C.). He spent portions of eight pro seasons in the Yankees system, including parts of the 1995 and 1997 seasons with Norwich of the Eastern League. Wilson played 214 games in the Majors with Oakland, Toronto, N.Y. Mets and L.A. Dodgers, collecting a .253 BA, 15 HR and 76 RBI. His career includes a Post-Season home run with the Dodgers in the 2004 NLDS against St. Louis.

Tim Lentych comes to Trenton after the prior three seasons as the trainer for the Charleston RiverDogs (Low-A affiliate of the New York Yankees). In 2004, he began his stint with the Yankees organization as the trainer for the Staten Island Yankees (New York-Penn League). Lentych received his B.S. from Ball State University in 2002, and his M.S. from the University of Tennessee in 2004. He has completed internships in athletic training with the Baltimore Orioles in 2001, and the Tennessee Smokies (former Double-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals) in 2003.

Julius Matos joins the Thunder staff after a lengthy playing career concluded in 2006. His 13-year career includes two seasons in the Major Leagues. Matos, who played primarily at shortstop during his career, appeared in 76 games with San Diego in 2002. With the Padres, he compiled a .238 BA with two home runs and 19 RBI. In 2003, he played in 28 games with Kansas City and had a .263 BA with two home runs and seven RBI. Matos was originally selected by the Indians in the 16th round of the 1994 draft.

Lee Tressel joins the Thunder after spending last season as the Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coordinator at the Yankees Minor League Complex in Tampa, FL. Prior to his assignment in Tampa, Tressel served as a Baseball Operations Assistant under Brian Cashman in the Bronx for three years. He graduated with Sports Management and Business degrees from Baldwin-Wallace College in his hometown of Berea, OH.

Thunder season tickets, half season tickets, Mini Ticket Packages and Pic-A-Plans are on sale now by calling 609-394-3300 or online at The Thunder host the Harrisburg Senators (Double-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals) in the 2008 home opener on Thursday April 10th at 7:05 p.m.

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