June 5, 2008: Andy Skeels of the Augusta GreenJackets, Class A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, in a game against the Greenville Drive at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C. Photo by: Tom Priddy/MiLB.com
Following up on some coaching news . . .
The San Francisco Giants have announced they are promoting Andy Skeels to manager of the 2010 Double-A Richmond (Va.) Flying Squirrels.
I photographed Skeels when he was with low-Class A Augusta in 2008. He was promoted to high-Class A San Jose last year. Skeels’ Augusta and San Jose clubs finished a combined 178-102. The Flying Squirrels, an Eastern League team, moved to Richmond from Connecticut, where they were called the Defenders. They’ll play in the old Richmond Braves ballpark, The Diamond.
The Giants also announced that manager Dave Machemer will come back as manager of the Augusta GreenJackets next year.
I photographed Machemer last year in the dugout next to the team’s temporary mascot, a good-luck token that they kept with them after a winning streak.
The Augusta Greenjackets have a stuffed mascot monkey named Norm. He was picked up by outfielder Dom Duggan as a good luck charm after the team lost 11 of 13 to begin the season. The team went on to win the next six of eight, and though they fell on another rough patch, the monkey stays, largely at Duggan’s request. He’s become a pseudo-celebrity, having been featured in the Augusta Chronicle and on local television station WJBF, our ABC affiliate, says Eric Little, the GreenJackets’ media relations staffer. He is shown here with manager Dave Machemer (21).