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Sagara going to Jamestown, N.Y., not Maui
December 29, 2011 - Robert Collias
Brendan Sagara's gain is Na Koa Ikaika Maui's loss. The third manager in Na Koa's thwo-year-plus history will end up with just a 26-day career on the gig.
Sagara confirmed for me a couple hours ago that he received an unexpected call from the Miami Marlins last week and within a day he was their pitching coach for the Jamestown (N.Y.) Jammers of the short-season Class A New York-Penn League. Sagara took the Maui job at a press conference in Wailea on Dec. 2 after interviewing for a different job with Miami that he did not get.
"I thought that was that," Sagara told me on the phone. "So, it was on to the Maui job."
Sagara, a 1991 Leilehua High School and 1996 UH-Hilo graduate, was excited about the Maui job, even with all of its questions marks after two seasons of struggles on and off the field and the uncertain future of the North American Baseball League. Affiliated ball is where everyone in independent ball is trying to get — and where Sagara has been striving to reach for many years — so while a tough decision, it ultimately was a no-brainer.
I will have much more on this in Friday's paper.
Here is the press release from the team (with some personal contact info redacted):
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Na Koa Ikaika’s Manager, Brendan Sagara, going to the Florida Marlins
Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii, December 29, 2011 – It is with mixed emotions that Hawaii’s only professional sports team, Na Koa Ikaika Maui, announces that the Manager of the team for the 2012 season, Mr. Brendan Sagara, has “agreed to terms” with the Florida Marlins Major League baseball organization . Mr. Sagara will serve as Pitching Coach for the Jamestown Jammers, the Marlins Single-A affiliate in the New York-Penn League. He will remain a consultative resource for Na Koa Ikaika Maui throughout the 2012 baseball season.
Needless to say, this opportunity is something Brendan has been working towards his entire life. “While we are happy for Brendan and his family for the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream, we are also disappointed that we won’t have him as our Skipper for the 2012 season. It is reassuring that a Major League ball club saw the same talent in Brendan that we did. The search for our new Skipper begins immediately” said Dan Partney, General Manager of Na Koa Ikaika Maui. Brendan stated “Although I was really looking forward to returning to Maui this season, I have been granted a great opportunity and will be unable to take the field with Na Koa this summer. The chance to join the player development staff with the Marlins is an opportunity I must take, as it will give me a chance to work my way towards my ultimate goal in baseball.”
“The franchise is in good hands with David (Andrus, C.O.O.), Dan (Partney, G.M.) and Ozzie (Chris Osgood, of OMG Inc, Marketing Consultant)” Sagara continued. “They have the right vision to keep Na Koa moving in the right direction. We all want professional baseball to stay in Maui, and I know they will do everything in their power to make this team work. While I will no longer be leading the team on the field, I will continue to offer my advice and support.”
ABOUT NA KOA IKAIKA MAUI The team, Hawaii’s only professional sports organization, is entering its third year of existence. They will be competing in the North American Baseball league (NAL) against teams from Canada, California, Arizona and Texas. They play all of their home games in Iron Maehara Stadium in Wailuku.
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