The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Triple-A Oklahoma City affiliate introduced Bill Haselman as manager on Tuesday. He was joined by OKC president and general manager Michael Byrnes, and Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett.
Haselman was announced as the Oklahoma City manager last December. Four of the six Dodgers affiliates will be led by new managers this season; Haselman and John Shoemaker represent the lone holdovers.
Last season he guided High-A Rancho Cucamonga to the California League title. He also managed in the Arizona Fall League after the 2015 season concluded.
This year will be Haselman’s third with the Dodgers organization and sixth overall as a Minor League manager.
Along with the Quakes, Haselman previously managed Low-A Great Lakes (2014), the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim High-A affiliate Inland Empire (2012-13), and the Texas Rangers’ former High-A affiliate in Bakersfield (2010).
Haselman takes over a club that led the Pacific Coast League with an 86-58 record last season, all the while supplanting the Dodgers’ Major League roster as they dealt with an assortment of injuries, and looked to take advantage of various day-to-day matchups.
However, the regular-season success didn’t carry over into the postseason as Oklahoma City was swept by Round Rock Expres (Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate) in a best-of-five series. “I’m really excited about the leadership and personality [Haselman is] going to bring to Oklahoma City this year,” Byrnes said.
Haselman spent parts of 13 seasons in the Majors with the Rangers, Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers. He was also a member of the Oklahoma City 89ers in 1991 and 1992, then a Rangers affiliate.
“I’m very excited about being back in Oklahoma,” the former catcher said. Haselman reunites with Greg Harrel, who was an athletic trainer during Haselman’s playing career in Oklahoma City, and holds the same position this season.
Haselman spoke positively of his decision to enter the managing ranks and credited experience gained during his playing days. “As a catcher, you’re involved in the game pretty much every pitch, calling the game and talking to 11-12 different pitchers on a daily basis getting them ready for a game,” he said.
“You have a lot of different personalities. It’s always a challenge to be able to figure out each individual by themselves and get them to perform the best they can. Being involved in the game so much as a catcher and going through that, it’s an easy transition as a manager because you’ve already dealt with half a team your whole playing career.”
Haselman will join the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch for Spring Training.