MOOSIC, Pa. - Ironic that the manager of the Yankees' Triple-A affiliate might just need a bigger, "mantle". Scranton/Wilkes-Barre skipper Dave Miley has been named Minor League Manager of the Year by Baseball America, the preeminent publication in the industry. It is the second significant accolade of 2012 for the veteran field general, who also took International League Manager of the Year honors for a second time in SWB pinstripes.
But while his 2007 squad won the division by 7.5 games, and his 2008 unit won the Governor's Cup, his 2012 efforts might mark the zenith of his career. Despite having to play its entire season without a true home stadium while PNC Field underwent a $43.3 million reconstruction project, SWB posted the second-best record in the International League at 84-60.
"No home games and win the division, that's pretty unbelievable," Mark Newman, senior vice president of baseball operations for the New York Yankees told the publication. "He is a really good person and very good at his job."
Miley championed SWB to its fifth division title in six years as a Yankees affiliate. In 23 seasons as a minor league manager, the 50-year-old Miley owns a record of 1,973-1,610 (.551).
"I tell the players the first day of the season, everybody has aspirations to get to the big leagues or go back to the big leagues. That goes from the clubhouse guy all the way through," Miley told Baseball America. "If you aren't going to be in the big leagues, Triple-A with the Yankees is tremendous to me. It's been great. I have been treated outstanding. The communication involved has been great. We all want to be in the big leagues and go back to the big leagues, but it has been a great experience."
Miley is currently in Puerto Rico managing Indios de Mayaguez for the second straight year after winning the Puerto Rican League title a year ago. His squad sports several Yankees' farmhands including an SWB alumnus in right-hander Preston Claiborne, and possible future RailRiders like shortstop Angelo Gumbs, first baseman Luke Murton and outfielder Adonis Garcia.
"Dave's work in 2012 was mind-blowing," said SWB RailRiders president and general manager Rob Crain. "Under rare and difficult conditions, he authored the type of season most would find unbelievable on a movie screen. Sincere congratulations to him from the entire RailRiders family."