Smokies introduce new manager

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (smokiesbaseball.com) -- The Tennessee Smokies, Double-A minor league affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, proudly announce today former major leaguer Brian Harper will be the team's manager for the 2011 season. Joining Harper on next year's staff will be pitching coach Marty Mason, hitting coach Mariano Duncan and athletic trainer Nick Frangella.

Harper arrives to the Smokies after leading the San Francisco Giants' Class A San Jose Giants to the 2010 California League Championship. He also spent two years in the Giants' organization as its roving minor league catching instructor (2008-09). Prior to this time with the Giants, he was in the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim's minor league system, managing its rookie league team in the Arizona League (2001-05) and the Class AAA Salt Lake Bees (2006-07).

Harper's major league career spanned from 1979-95 and included a World Series appearance with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1985 and World Series championship with Minnesota Twins in 1991. He hit .295 in 1,001 big league games and caught behind the plate for a total of seven teams.

Mason comes over from the Cardinals, where he's spent the last 25 years coaching. Prior to his most recent stint as the team's major league bullpen coach (2000-10), Mason coached in the Cardinals' minor league system at Advanced-A St. Petersburg (1986-87, 1989), A-Savannah (1988), AA-Arkansas (1990-96), AAA-Louisville (1997) and AAA-Memphis (1998-99). He played in both the New York Yankees and Cardinals' minor league systems from 1980-86.

Duncan has been in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization the past eight years, most recently as the team's first base coach since 2006. He also coached at AAA-Las Vegas (2005), AA-Jacksonville (2004) and for the team's rookie league team in the Gulf Coast League in 2003. Duncan is a 12-year major league veteran infielder (1985-97) and was a member of two World Series championship teams, the 1990 Cincinnati Reds and 1996 New York Yankees.

Athletic trainer Nick Frangella will return for a fourth season with the Smokies in 2011, his sixth overall in the Cubs' minor league system.

All three members of the Smokies' 2010 staff will remain within the Cubs organization. Manager Bill Dancy will manage the Triple-A Iowa Cubs, while coaches Dennis Lewallyn and Tom Beyers have been promoted to minor league pitching coordinator and hitting coordinator, respectively.


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