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Phoenix Manager Survives in Season With 69 Changes of Team Roster

September 06, 1987|Associated Press

PHOENIX — Wendell Kim learned a lot about managing at the Class AAA level during his first season with the Pacific Coast League's Phoenix Firebirds.

Mainly, he learned to deal with a roster that seemed to change almost daily. In all, the Firebirds--the San Francisco Giants' AAA farm team--had 69 roster changes.

Still, the Firebirds posted a winning record and were not eliminated from the PCL playoffs until the final game of the season.

"With all the different players we had, I think we did pretty well to come in second in both halves," Kim said.

The Firebirds lost their last four games to Calgary, allowing Las Vegas to win the PCL Southern Division second half championship. Phoenix finished the second half with a 38-34 record and posted a 77-67 overall record.

Kim, who managed at Class AA Shreveport in 1986, said there is very little roster movement at that level and he had to adjust to the ever-changing lineup of players.

"You get guys that are coming down after being in the big leagues, and they usually don't care--there's a big letdown," Kim said. "It takes a week for them to get going. I ain't got a week.

"A team can go to pieces on you. I think I did (a good job). With all the trades, it could have broken wide open."

Kim said he expects to return as Firebirds' manager next season and, although he doesn't know what kind of team to expect, he believes it will again be young.

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