Photo/Release courtesy Rockland Boulders
Rockland County, N.Y. — The Rockland Boulders have named Kevin Baez as the team’s new manager for the 2019 season. Baez brings a wealth of experience as both a manager and a player to Rockland along with many personal and professional ties to the New York metropolitan area.
Baez managed 1,087 games with the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League over the last eight seasons, posting a 571-516 record with two league titles (2012 and 2013) and six trips to the championship series, including each of the past the three seasons.
He attended nearby Dominican College and was a 7th round pick in 1988 draft by the New York Mets. He appeared in 63 games over the course of three Major League seasons for the Mets. He continued his playing career primarily at the AAA level over the next decade before joining Long Island in 2002 where he helped the Ducks capture the Atlantic League Championship in 2004.
The Boulders new manager resides on Long Island with his wife, Marianne, and children, Kevin and Vincent. He was born and raised in Brooklyn and made his Major League debut for the Mets at Shea Stadium on September 3, 1990.
Baez, 51, becomes the third manager in the Boulders history, following Dave LaPoint (2011-12) and Jamie Keefe (2013-18). Keefe spent six seasons at the helm in Rockland with a 344-260 record in Rockland, highlighted by the team’s lone Can-Am League Championship in 2014.
“Managers with the pedigree and success of Kevin Baez do not become available very often,” noted team president Shawn Reilly. “We’re very fortunate to have the opportunity to being him to Rockland. From our very first day, the Boulders have been not only committed to winning, but the expectation is also to compete annually for the championship. And an organization we are always striving to reach the next level of success and I am confident that Kevin is the person who will take us there. Our time with Jamie has been wonderful with many great memories for our fans. I know he has great opportunities ahead of him and we wish him and his family the best.”
“From everything I’ve heard over the years, this is a great organization to be a part of,” stated Baez, “but seeing how beautiful (Palisades Credit Union Park) is and meeting the staff, it just seems like a perfect fit. Management wants a franchise that sets the standard for independent pro baseball and I’m excited to be a part of that.”
Several familiar faces on the Boulders staff will help ease Baez’s transition as the team has announced the return of Director of Player Development Kevin Tuve, Bench Coach Andrew Romanella, and Trainer Lori Rahaim, though the organization is currently in search of a pitching coach for the upcoming season.