Its exciting for the city and for Matt

That is a quote from Brewers General Manager Doug Melvin about new Timber Rattlers manager Matt Erickson and it was taken from this Dean VanderPas story in today’s Appleton-Post Crescent.

Erickson gave a brief talk that hit all the high points at the Red Smith Banquet last night.  It was warmly received and gave a little bump to the excitement that the Fox Cities has for the upcoming Rattlers season.

After being introduced, he received an impressive ovation from the 1,400 in attendance.

“This is a great place to come to work and a great place to play the game,” he said from the podium.

Erickson, 35, was the Rattlers hitting coach for the past two seasons. As the first person with local ties to manage the Fox Cities’ Midwest League team since Marion native Bert Thiel headed the Appleton Foxes in the 1970s, he understands that he will have to show his skills when the honeymoon is over.

He’s confident that he can do the job just like he has in all of his sports endeavors. It started with a memorable three-sport career at Appleton West and continued in baseball at the University of Arkansas and at the professional level. He also impressed Brewers brass as a hitting coach since they opted to promote him.

Matt predicted that the honeymoon will end the first time he gets the tying run thrown out at the plate with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to lose a game. He was joking…I think.

Go read it all.

In fact go check out all of the Red Smith Banquet coverage at the Post-Crescent today.

There was this story on Ron Dayne.  This one on Jeff Cirillo.  This one on Greg GumbelA notes column with Doug Melvin quotes.  And a photo gallery, too.

If you saved your program from last night’s banquet, look for the Timber Rattlers coupon.  That coupon will get you a ticket to Red Smith Night at Time Warner Cable Field when the Rattlers host the West Michigan Whitecaps on Wednesday, July 13.

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