Browning to Dayton

Here is some more Minor League news for you…the Reds’ Class A Dayton club announced its coaching staff Wednesday morning.

Delino DeShields is back for a second year as manager. Alex Pelaez is also back for a second year as the hitting coach.

And Reds great Tom Browning is the new pitching coach.

For Browning, this will be his sixth season as a pitching coach in the Reds organization. He was pitching coach with the Arizona League Reds in Goodyear the last two seasons.

**And to tie up a loose end not addressed from Tuesday, former Triple-A Louisville hitting coach Adrian “Smokey” Garrett is retiring after nine seasons in the Reds organization and 27 years of coaching. Garrett will remain with the organization to help on a part-time basis.

Here is more information from the Dayton Dragons press release about DeShields and Browning:

DeShields led the Dragons to a record of 83-57 and a second half Eastern Division title in 2011.  The Dragons improved dramatically over the course of the season, finishing the first half at 35-35 before posting a 48-32 record in the second half.  Their second half mark was the best in a half in Dragons history and the top second half record in 2011 in all of Minor League Baseball among teams playing a split-season format.  DeShields will enter his fourth season in the Reds organization in 2012.  He served as manager of the Billings Mustangs in 2010 and was the hitting coach at Billings in 2009.

Browning is a legendary name in Reds history.  Best known for firing a perfect game vs. the Dodgers on September 16, 1988, Browning spent 12 years in the major leagues from 1984-‘95, with 300 of his 302 career appearances coming with the Reds.  His best season came in 1985 when he posted a record of 20-9 to become the first rookie in 31 years to win 20 games.  In 1988, Browning went 18-5 for the Reds, finishing second in the National League in winning percentage.  He was the starting and winning pitcher for the Reds in game three of the 1990 World Series against the Oakland A’s, helping the Reds to a four-game sweep.  That same post-season, he had also started and won game two of the N.L. Championship Series against the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Browning represented the Reds in the 1991 all-star game.  His 298 starts with the Reds are the most for any Cincinnati pitcher over the last 70 years and fourth most in club history.  He was elected to the Reds hall-of-fame in 2006.


That is great news.

I have a nephew who was drafted by the Phillies, later picked up by the White Sox, but failed to advance. So he bounced around the independent leagues for a few years trying to catch someone’s eye. One of those years Browning was his manager. He didn’t have a lot of positive remarks about him. Now my nephew wasn’t a pitcher, so maybe he relates better to his own kind. Hope so for the sake of the Reds’ organization.

That bio of Browning doesn’t catch the flavor of the man – the rooftop in Chicago, the dime bag under the car seat, the stealth exit to the birthing suite during the World Series. He was the Reds’ Bill Lee. My buddy and I go up to Dragons games about three times a summer. They’re a hoot. And if you ever wanted Browning’s autograph without paying for it (except to buy a game ticket), there’s your chance.

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