DeShields in Dayton

The Dayton Dragons have a new manager.

New Dayton Dragons manager Delino DeShields stopped short of predicting a Midwest League championship — or even a playoff appearance — next season for the low-Class A team.

There was no mistaking his enthusiasm, however, shortly after the Dragons and parent Cincinnati Reds confirmed his appointment Monday.

“This group we’re going to start with is definitely going to be a good baseball team,” said DeShields, reached at his home in Atlanta. “I know things can happen, but it’s not going to be like last season. We’re going to get it poppin’ at Fifth Third Field right from the start.”

This will not be the first rodeo for DeShields.

DeShields, 41, managed for the first time in 2010, guiding the Reds’ rookie-league team in Billings, Mont. He emerged from a short list that included Ken Griffey Sr., the Dragons’ hitting coach last season. The Reds granted Griffey’s wish to manage, but are assigning him to Bakersfield, Calif., new home of their high-Class A affiliate.

Billings went 38-37 under DeShields in the Pioneer League last season.  The Timber Rattlers are down in Dayton June 3-5.

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