THREE-RIVERS — Is-what T. J. Stanton draws about Marc Bergevin? Always is it that the manager of the Eagles has not played in the subtlety, Monday, at the press conference announcing the start of the training camp of his team.
The one who will begin his second full season as the manager shouted, from the first seconds of his speech to the media, that there would be major changes in leadership in the locker room Trifluviens. As well say that he has put a lot of pressure on his group… and about himself. Let’s talk about attitude.
“It was a household this winter, more than half of the players of last year are not back,” he noted, before explaining how he came to such an overhaul.
“I had a long reflection compared to the way that I want to manage my team and who I want to lead. This is nothing against the former players, but I had the impression that it could not be complete. I was not able to adapt to their vision for the game of baseball. It was not in line.”
Above all, Stanton had the unpleasant impression that the victory was not of the same importance to all. “I have the pressure to win. If I am completely honest with you, I will say that yes, I want to keep my job for as long as possible. I have never lived sequence of defeats as long and difficult as the past year, and I never want to relive it. What has disappointed me in 2017, it is felt that sometimes, the guys in the room did not have that urgency to go and look for the matches. Now, we are going to change the culture of the Eagles.”
This is the first time that Stanton emits such remarks in regard to the players he had led since his arrival in Mauricie, in the summer of 2016. At the same date last year, he said he was confident of aligning one of the best rotations in the circuit, and boasted the potential of his enclosure. In the end, the mound proved to be the main disappointment of the Birds. This time, he will not have the luxury of getting it wrong and he knows it.
“As soon as you change the culture, anything can happen. I’ve done a lot of research during the winter to find new leaders with the character, the type of players that we see in Quebec or Rockland. I understand the frustration of the supporters, I’m not insensitive to their claims about the social networks. It will be different this summer.”
This puts the table in training camp, which began Monday at the Stadium Stereo. Thirteen new players are brought in the city, including the veterans Yerder Caramo and Kramer Sneed, two starting pitchers, left fielder Alberth Martinez, the fourth record of the veteran being occupied by the crowd favourite Javier Herrera.
The recipient of a 24-year-old Anthony Hermelyn, the successor of Kyle Lafrenz, will have big cleats to fill, as the shortstop Sam Dexter, who does not have 30 games of experience to this position within the ranks of affiliates. This said, it is still early to speculate on the position of each, and Stanton will have more than a week to assess his troops.
“There are a lot of things that I love, already! The momentum of our first-order Kevin Cornelius impresses me. [The outfielder] Michael Suchy seems to have all the skills to stand out. From one to nine, almost all of our alignment has played games at level AA or AAA.”
The 80-year-old stadium
The marketing team of the Eagles pulls down a good job since 2013 to attract spectators to the park of the Expo. The summer of 2018 will revolve around the 80-year-old stadium. For the occasion, we presented the sweater theme that will be worn by the players every Friday, at home.
The oldest will appreciate this nod to the era of the Eagles of the Eastern League, when the Cincinnati Reds had a club-school at Three Rivers in the 70’s. Video clips have been recorded with various stakeholders, and a committee was formed to identify the major moments of the history of the stage, a small architectural jewel that is the pride of the sporting community. The Eagles have started to reach the pole with former players of the Eagles Eastern. Is it that Ken Griffey Sr. could land in the city this summer?
“We want to attract people who have marked this period then yes, it is possible. But we are far from yet,” smiles the director-general René Martin, who wished to congratulate the committee put in place for these tributes memorials.