One problem with being a good minor league baseball team is that your best players aren’t around for long.
The New Hampshire Fisher Cats, who kick off their 2019 season on Thursday in Manchester, won last year’s Eastern League title with the help of three sons of famous major leaguers: Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio and "born to hit" slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
All three players have been promoted, though, meaning the Fisher Cats, the double A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, need to reload if they want to repeat as champions.
They’re sticking with the same formula.
“The legacy continues: we have more sons of former Major League stars, and this year it is Roger Clemens’ kid, Kacy Clemens,” says Fisher Cats broadcaster Tyler Murray.
Unlike his famous father, who spent 13 season with the Boston Red Sox, Kacy plays first base. The 24-year old was a standout player for the University of Texas.
“Kacy has come in with a great attitude,” says Murray. “He’s already ready to go.”
It’s not all fresh faces, though. The team is returning ten players from last year’s championship squad. Murray says the team will be led by its pitching rotation, including Patrick Murphy, a top prospect who will take to the mound in the season opener against the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. (Murphy’s walk out song, inexplicably, is "Stacey’s Mom" by Fountains of Wayne.)
Along with several key players, the Blue Jays also promoted manager John Schneider to a Major League gig. World Series champion Mike Mordecai, who has coached for the Blue Jays since 2010, will take over as skipper.
Fans will also see some new additions to the stadium this season, according to Murray. There’s a new video board in the outfield at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, and an updated championship banner hanging near the entrance.