|Wanda Harron Photography|
The Regina Red Sox will have a new manager in 2019.
Mitch MacDonald has confirmed to rodpedersen.com that he will step aside after 3 seasons as Sox skipper to focus on his young family.
MacDonald, who led Regina to an 81-61 regular season record over his 3 years at the helm, got married back in May and is back at his day job as a school teacher at Thom Collegiate High School in Regina.
After using up his last 3 summer vacations to run the Red Sox on-field operation, Mitch is ready for a break. “The demanding nature of the job will definitely take a toll on you”, MacDonald said from his Regina home Thursday night. “The original plan when I took the Manager’s job was to go 3 years and see where it is after that. I just wanted to step back a little bit. I’m still going to stay involved in a smaller capacity.”
MacDonald is expected to stay on in a front office role in assisting the organization with recruiting players for next season.
As the greatest player in Regina Red Sox history, he has a long and storied history with the club including his triple crown achievement of 2010, and Harry Hallis Cup championships in 2011 and 2012.
The first 2 seasons as manager for the one-time Florida Marlins prospect ended in disappointment, being swept in the first round by the Yorkton Cardinals in 2016 and then a 3 games-to-1 disappointment to the Weyburn Beavers in 2017.
2018 was a much better finish for the Sox who struck lighting in a bottle with their Cinderella playoff run that featured upsets of the 2-time defending league champion Swift Current 57’s and division-leading Weyburn Beavers. The Red Sox awesome August ended in a winner-take-all 5th game loss in the championship final to the Medicine Hat Mavericks.
The surprise playoff run came after his club lost 3 of their most effective run producers in Riley Hickerson, Colton Onstott and Jake Wilson along with 2 of his best relief pitchers, Sam Cottingham-Beard and OndrejSebek late in the season. “The stars aligned for whatever reason and it made August really, really fun. That group of guys we had come August 1st would be a team I would coach any day of the year and any year of my life.”
Pitching Coach Jason Veyna is expected to be promoted as MacDonald’s replacement in the manager’s chair, though that has yet to be confirmed by MacDonald or anyone in the Red Sox organization as of yet.