As the Portland Sea Dogs begins its 20th season, we wanted to sit down with General Manager Geoff Iacuessa and see what fans can expect during this special anniversary year. And, we also wanted to take this opportunity to wish the Portland Sea Dogs a Happy 20th Anniversary. It’s been fun being along for the ride as a corporate sponsor since the first year. Heading to the ballpark is a wonderful family fun activity!
What do you think fans will be most excited about this season? Players, etc.
Well, we always try to have new and exciting things for our fans at the ballpark. We have some new in-between inning promotions that we are excited about and some game day promotions including Friday night bands, the Saturday Kastaways appearances, and appearances by an American Idol finalist and New England Patriots player. Also we have one of our best prospect laden teams in a while. All five starting pitchers along with our bullpen and lineup are very strong.
In addition this off-season, we completely re-did the playing surface by re-sodding the field, re-surfacing the infield, and redoing the irrigation system. Obviously many fans may not notice the direct impact of that but the benefit for the players will be great. The sod itself came from a Maine farm while the infield mix is identical to Fenway Park.
Rich Gedman brings a tremendous amount of on and off field baseball-related experience with him in his first year as the Sea Dogs Hitting Coach. How have you seen this experience translate to the players on and off the field?
Rich is a great person and coach. He brings a wealth of both knowledge and experience to the job and that translates well for the players. The success he had through his career going from an undrafted player to a long major league career certainly helps from a coaching standpoint.
This is the Sea Dogs 20th season, what special events do you have planned for the fans?
It is hard to believe that we are in our 20th season. We have several season-long promotions going on to help celebrate including our Field of Dreams on September 1. The event will feature our players coming through a cornfield we build in centerfield. It should be an exciting season.
How do pitchers (and top prospects) Matt Barnes and Brandon Workman’s playing styles differ? Who else should fans be watching this season?
Both are very good pitchers and are only getting better. They both work hard and approach the game with a good plan. I think anytime you have as many top pitching prospects as we have it is a good thing for their development as they are always pushing each other.
How important is it to have sponsors like Oakhurst involved? What does it mean to the ball club?
It is extremely important. Our corporate partners allow us to keep pricing low for our fans and hopefully the partners see a great benefit through the partnership as well. Oakhurst has supported us for 20 seasons and we are very grateful for their support.