New 'Topes manager: "We're going to be aggressive"
As he becomes the fourth manager in the franchise’s history, new Albuquerque Isotopes skipper Lorenzo Bundy will be looking to implement a more wide-open style of play that’s built on speed and fundamentals.
In his first meeting with the local press earlier today at Isotopes Park, Bundy talked about a ‘Topes team that will “push the button” whenever the opportunity comes.
“Offensively, if you look at some of the names that are projected to be on our ball club, you’re probably going to see something you haven’t seen in Albuquerque in a while — there’s going to be a lot of speed,” he said.
“…We’re going to be aggressive, we’re going to push the button and we’re going to go first to third. We’re going to make [other] teams [have to] execute defensively and put the pressure on them.”
Bundy, 51, is entering his tenth season of managing in the minors. Last season, he coached the Dodgers’ rookie-level squad in the Arizona League to a 30-25 record.
He has solid experience with the Pacific Coast League, having managed the Las Vegas 51s in 2007 and 2008. In 2006, he served as the hitting instructor for the Tucson Sidewinders as they captured the PCL title and Triple-A National Championship. His help was critical to the Sidewinders’ success that year as they boasted a .289 batting average, tops in the league for team batting average.
Bundy brought along his Triple-A title ring for today’s conference, which might come in handy as motivation for his new players — especially with Isotopes Park playing host to this year’s national championship on Sept. 20.
“This is a different team [than the Sidewinders], but I look at this team right here and — you
know, you’ve got injuries, you’ve got call-ups, you’ve got trades,
you’ve got everything and anything that goes on in baseball happening at
this level. On April 4 or 5, we have no idea who’s going to be in this
clubhouse come September. But hopefully, two weeks from then, we can be
playing a home game here in Albuquerque and that would be fun. That
would be really, really fun.”
“We know what it’s all about,” he continued as he showed off his ring. “We’ve been there and this is the reward, so maybe I can use that to pump some guys up a little bit.”
In addition, he plans on adopting a more vocal nature of managing, which may also serve to boost the ‘Topes in 2011.
“This club’s pretty young,” he said. “We’ve got some guys coming up from Double-A that have never been here before at the Triple-A level. There might be a tendency for me to be a little more vocal, a little bit more hands-on than you would be with a veteran Triple-A club with guys that have been in Triple-A for four or five years.”
That being said, he’s looking forward to coaching a younger ‘Topes squad in a city that he has fond memories of dating back to his playing days.
“As a visitor, I’ve had some memorable moments in your beautiful stadium,” he said. “Being an offensive player in my playing days, it was always fun to come here because you knew you would get some hits and you would hit some home runs. The question is, ‘How many are you going to give up?’
“Now I’m going to be here for 72 games here at home, so we’re going to see if we can keep the other guys down.”
— Chris Estrada