Blogs > Minor Matters

Run by The Trentonian's Nick Peruffo, this blog will provide daily multimedia coverage of the Trenton Thunder.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tony Franklin wins the Eastern League's Manager of the Year

TRENTON – Finally.

After six seasons, 466 regular-season wins, 16 playoff victories, three Eastern League Championship Series appearances and two championships, Thunder manager Tony Franklin can finally clear a spot on his mantel for a Manager of the Year award.

In a semi-surprise, the team made the announcement on Thursday after announcing the team agreed to an eight-year extension of its Player Development Contract with the Yankees.

“We thought it would be incredibly poignant for him to be a part of this as well and for us to announce this during what is really the relationship between the Trenton Thunder and the New York Yankees,” Thunder general manager Will Smith said about Franklin, who was sandwiched on the dais between Yankees GM Brian Cashman and team CIO Felix Lopez. “The job that Mr. Franklin does is a huge part of that relationship as well.”

It’s been a long time coming for Franklin, who had been vocal in the past in wondering why, despite all his accolades here since 2007, he hadn’t been honored as the circuit’s top skipper. On Thursday, however, the waiting was over, and he could finally bask in what he’d earned.

But he didn’t.

Instead, he deferred credit those around him, including his coaching staff – pitching coach Tommy Phelps, hitting coach Tom Slater and coach Luis Dorante – and his players.

“Awards like this don’t happen just by me being down here,” Franklin said after receiving his trophy. “There are a lot of people that go into helping guys receive these awards. … (My coaches are) tireless workers, very passionate about what they do (and are) one of the biggest reasons I get to stand up here and accept all these accolades.

“And of course the people and the guys who make it all possible are the players that you see out there every single night. These guys have played tremendously well for us, and I can’t say enough about how they’ve played this season. And I know they’ll continue to do it and uphold the Yankee tradition.”

With that out of the way, there’s one last honor before Franklin seals his legacy as the greatest and most prolific franchise history, but he’ll have to wait a little longer for this one, after he’s finally rescinded the Thunder’s helm.

In a few years, Franklin will almost certainly join Ken Macha and DeMarlo Hale as the only former Thunder skippers to be inducted into the 15-member Trenton Baseball Hall of Fame.

When that day comes, he’ll finally be able to sit back and rest on his laurels. For now, though, his focus is the same as it has been since the day has hired – sending players to the big leagues and bringing another trophy to Trenton. 


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