Q & A with Winnipeg Goldeyes hitting coach Tom Vaeth…by Chuck Duboff

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Winnipeg Goldeyes hitting coach, Tom Vaeth.

© Chuck Duboff
It’s the middle of December and Winnipeg is covered in a blanket of snow; temperatures are falling and visions of hot summer days at Shaw Park seem light years away.  I thought a visit with Winnipeg Goldeyes hitting coach Tom Vaeth would stoke the fire a little and get fans excited about the upcoming 2017 season.
I’ve always wondered how Tom and Rick put a team together, so I reached out to Tom and asked him a few questions about the off season building of a Goldeyes team.  A special thanks to Tom for taking a few minutes to answer these questions during the busy holiday season.

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Chuck: How long have you and Rick been working on putting Goldeyes teams together?

Tom: If you are talking about this year, we are just now starting to get around to it… And if you are asking over the course of my career, then for the last 10+ years

Chuck: Do you do an evaluation of the team and try and figure out who will be back and where you’d like to improve?

Tom: For sure, we do an evaluation of the things we liked and did not like over the course of last season; we are always evaluating and trying to upgrade our personnel. We are currently reaching out to our players from last year to see who is interested in returning

Chuck: So, if you guys decided you needed a left handed pitcher out of the bullpen, or a starting catcher, how would you go about doing that Tom?

Tom: Well first you have to know if there is one available, but then we would go through the same channels that every other team does…i.e. calling agents and checking organizational contacts

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Winnipeg Goldeyes skipper, Rick Forney

 Chuck: Do you guys have a plan that you put together for building the team?  Do you stay in regular contact?

Tom: Rick and I talk a couple times a week to bounce ideas off each other as to the direction we would like to take in building the roster

Chuck: Do you both have organizational contacts who stay in touch with you?

Tom:  I do have some trusted people in different MLB organizations that I will call or they will call me throughout the winter

Chuck: How do you sell players on coming to Winnipeg if they’ve never heard of it?

Tom: Well a lot of the past success that the organization has had over it’s tenure does a lot of the selling for me;  players want to come play in a place that has a good reputation for taking care of them and a solid winning tradition. A lot of players have heard of Winnipeg before, even if they may not know exactly where it is, players have a tendency to talk amongst themselves and a lot of these guys have had friends that have played either in Winnipeg or in our league as visitors to Winnipeg

Chuck: It seems like, over the years, you and Rick have come up with a Goldeyes type of player that you look for…I think it was pretty evident last season…what would that player look like Tom?

Tom: I think we both like players that are young, athletic, strong, versatile and that are basically good character people.

Chuck: Anything else you’d like to share with the fans on how you going about planning, building and recruiting next season’s team?

Tom: Well I don’t want to give away too many secrets, but as you know, the American Association is a pretty cutthroat league and a copycat one at that. Just let the fans know that Rick and I will be hard at work again this winter to put another quality, proven product on the field that will work towards repeating as league champions.

2016-champions

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2 thoughts on “Q & A with Winnipeg Goldeyes hitting coach Tom Vaeth…by Chuck Duboff

  1. Enjoyed that, quite interesting. Thanks Coach Tom and Baseball Reporter, Chuck, for the insight of where and how a club starts trying to “build” for next years baseball team, the time and effort a Manager and his coaches put in, trying to acquire “their” style of player they want to see here in Winnipeg, for all Fish Fans, to cheer on. Great work, Gentlemen.

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  2. Reblogged this on Chuck's Eclectic Blog. and commented:

    With a winter storm approaching the city, let’s warm things up a little with some baseball talk; I hope you enjoy this interview I did with Goldeyes hitting coach Tom Vaeth on how he and Goldeyes manager Rick Forney put the 2017 Goldeyes team together.

    Like

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