Flying Tigers Get New Manager

Yesterday, the Detroit Tigers announced organizational changes. One change affects the Lakeland Flying Tigers:

With former Class A Lakeland manager Kevin Bradshaw now serving as the organization’s infield coordinator, Andy Barkett receives a managerial promotion from Oneonta to the Flying Tigers. Lakeland’s coaching staff of former Tigers Joe Coleman and Larry Herndon remains intact.

Barkett was signed as a free agent by the Tigers in 2003. Here’s an interview with the former first baseman when he was with the Toledo Mud Hens in 2004.

“I think staying there (in the majors) is difficult. I always used to hear that getting to the big leagues is hard, but staying there is even harder. I never really bought into that until I hit .300 and got sent back down. I don’t know, whether I make it back to the big leagues or not, I’m going to enjoy playing baseball until I’m not able to do so anymore.”–

Last year, Barkett managed the Class A (Short Season) Oneonta Tigers to a first place finish in the Stedler division of the new York-Penn League. He is founder and General Partner of Baseball Pros, an organization which provides “services critical to this development, which include our College Recruiting Program, Instructional DVDs, training aids, equipment, and nutritional supplements.”

Barkett was once based in Oviedo as an instructor for the Atlanta Braves. He is from Miami, and has played winter ball in the Venezuelan Summer League, “Andy Barkett performed double-duty as a translator for his American teammates. He grew up in Miami and his mother is of Cuban descent, so Barkett speaks fluent Spanish, making him the unofficial interpreter for his fellow imports.”