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Canadians Offer High Level Of Ball

Photo's by Laird Allan/Sportswave

Rich Miller at the young age of 65 isn’t any manager, he’s the one who was the the manager of the Met’s single-A team with Shelby (NC) located in the South Atlantic League when Jay’s skipper John Gibbons was a 20-year old catcher.

He remembers that day very fondly as it was only his second day on the job and he’s been employed since then in a variety of positions which include taking over the C’s midway through the 2011 season managing to lead them to the Northwest League title.

Lot’s of miles from then to now and the Vancouver Canadians new Manager Rich Miller isn’t one to mix words either especially when it comes to what he’s expecting from his players.

He mentioned that “he’s looking forward to the C’s being much better than last season’s team record that saw the C’s finish with a tumultuous record of 29-45, which was the worst  record since the C’s joined the Northwest League in 2000.

Monday saw the C’s hold the annual media day in which members of the media gathered for a meet and greet for the players, which be all accounts is an exciting time for media and players alike.

The squad is filled with a young roster that has three Canadians on the roster and given the play of the Jay’s of recent, it’s no wonder why some of the players only want a “cup of coffee” when in Vancouver.

Miller is interesting to say the least as he seems like could be your dad if you ever needed someone to have an open discussion with – yet on the other hand he seems like someone that could play hardball if you ever needed to be put in your place, which is really refreshing to see.

He was asked by the assembled media on hand (Brook Ward, Steve Ewen, myself and a couple of others on hand) what we could expect from his line-up given the start of the season is only days away.

He mentioned that “it’s a work in progress and he just wants to see the guy’s play hard while he is demanding that his pitchers throw strikes and hopefully get better as the year goes on”.

He went on to mention “all are at the lower levels of the minors” and continued to mention that 20-year old Reggie Pruitt would be his every day centerfielder selected in the 24th round by the Jays in 2015 – but ranked much higher.

With the team’s passing on him they felt he was going to go to the NCAA route in Vanderbilt, but somehow the Jay’s convinced him to sign with a $500,000 signing bonus.

Mattingly Romanin (24) is from Burlington Ontario and is in his second season who only got into 12 games last season with the C’s due to a torn cartilage in his left wrist that ended his season pretty abrupt.

It’s interesting to note that Mattingly was a 39th pick from Chicago State in 2015 and is named after Don Mattingly of baseball hall of fame and Canadians Mattingly’s Father works for the Jay’s in Toronto.

Interesting to note that “Matty” has his same billet Family as last year and is happy to be reunited with the and when asked about any tendency he mentions “he does drink a lot of milk”, but he’s young and still growing.

Given the amount of young talent on the roster Miller has his hands full, but he’s succeed cause after all he spent eight years as an outfielder in the Met’s minor-league system and was drafted in the sixth round of the 1973 draft.

This just a short two draft picks after the Cardinals selected John Tamargo Sr. and the door continues to revolve – round and round.

The Canadians first home stand kicks-off at the “Nat” June 20th with the first pitch set for 7:05 pm and given the fact it’s another fireworks night, grab your tickets early.

Another successful day for Sportswave covering the Vancouver Canadians and we welcome the home for another exciting season of Canadians ball.