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Na Koa schedules press conference

December 1, 2011 - Robert Collias
Na Koa Ikaika Maui independent-league baseball team has scheduled a press conference for Friday at 10 a.m. at the Plumeria Room at the Kea Lani Hotel to announce, among other things, a new manager.

It was pretty evident to anyone close to the team that Garry Templeton would not be back after a 2011 season that finished without Maui playing its final 27 games.

It is also a solid bet that the new manager will be Brendan Sagara, a former UH-Hilo pitcher and independent-league veteran pitching coach who held that post for manager Cory Snyder in Maui's inaugural season of 2010. A home run hire for Maui, no doubt about it. Sagara is a guy who can get all of the Hawaii guys who can and want to play for this team to show up.

Several local baseball folks pushed Sagara for the job before Templeton got the gig for 2011 — Tempy was a solid on-field manager with 16 years of major league experience and the man who guided the Golden Baseball League champions in Chico in 2010 — but for a Maui franchise to be successful, it simply has to be loaded with local guys. Sagara fits that bill better than anyone — he pushed Snyder to keep Gered Mochizuki on the roster after the former Baldwin standout struggled in 2010 spring training and he finished third in the league with a .384 batting average.

Still, a lot of issues for the Maui franchise to make it in the long run, starting with getting fannies in the seats after the team averaged 320 per game in 2011. That is simply not going to pay the bills.

We'll be at the presser with a lot of questions, so stay tuned.


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