Shana Metzger, Patrick Day of Berkshire County earn new titles
The list of Berkshire County natives who are baseball executives starts with Dan Duquette of the Baltimore Orioles. Today, you can add Shana Metzger and Patrick Day to that list.
Metzger, a native of Pittsfield, has been named the general manager of the Martha's Vineyard Sharks of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League, a team that is an on-field rival of the Pittsfield Suns.
Day, who grew up in Lee, will be the general manager of the New Britain Bees of the independent Atlantic League. He will take on that role in addition to his continuing to manage business operations for the league's Southern Maryland Blue Crabs.
Both are beginning their new responsibilities immediately.
For Metzger, who graduated from Taconic High School, it's a return to the Vineyard. She was named general manager after the 2015 season had begun.
"She has a tireless work ethic, good business sense and a passion for the game of baseball," Sharks president Kyle Fiore said in a statement. "We are excited to have her back with the organization.
Metzger, 33, an attorney specializing in business and intellectual property law, once worked for the independent Berkshire Black Bears of the Northeast League, and had also been a sales representative with the Boston Celtics and Boston Symphony Orchestra.
"The team has been very successful on the field the past few seasons and we are committed to improving our business operations and fan experience to match the level of on-field success," she said in a statement.
New Britain's Day, 40, will be relocating to Connecticut for the season, which is obviously much closer to Lee than Waldorf, Md., where the Blue Claws are located.
"I actually saw my very first professional baseball game as a child in New Britain, and I still have family in the area," Day said in a release. "This will be a homecoming and a real labor of love."
The New Britain Bees replace the New Britain Rock Cats as tenants in New Britain Stadium. The Rock Cats are now the Hartford Yard Goats, and will begin play in the Eastern League this spring.
In the fall, Day was named the Atlantic League's 2015 executive of the year.
Before taking the reins at Southern Maryland, Day was the general manager of the Class A Lansing Lugnuts of the Midwest League.
This past year, the Blue Crabs won the Freedom Division championship in the Atlantic League, but lost to the Somerset Patriots in the league championship series.
When the North Adams SteepleCats take the field in June, they'll be playing in a revised NECBL Northern Division.
The league has officially welcomed the Upper Valley Nighthawks to the league, a 13th franchise to play in White River Junction, Vt. That'll put seven teams in the North with the SteepleCats. The South Division will continue to have six teams.
"It wasn't so difficult because [Upper Valley general manager] Noah Crane is a proven operator in the NECBL. He did a great job in Laconia," NECBL commissioner Sean McGrath told The Eagle. "Even though it's not his hometown, he put a great product on the field and did a great job recruiting.
"He's proven his commitment to the philosophy and the mission of the NECBL."
The new Northern Division has Upper Valley, the new Winnipesaukee Muskrats, the Vermont Mountaineers, Sanford Maines and Valley Blue Sox, along with the SteepleCats. The Winnipesaukee team is the former Laconia Muskrats.
McGrath said he wasn't concerned with the unbalanced nature of the schedule. The Nighthawks will make things easier for the Mountaineers, who are based in Montpelier. The Mountaineers had a bunch of long bus rides.
The league will play a 44-game schedule. Southern Division teams will have a balanced schedule, and according to McGrath, the North will be close to balanced.
"In a perfect world, sure, we'd be at 14 [teams]," said McGrath. "The reality is, these organizations when they're organically grown, you have to take advantage when the right situation presents itself.
"This is the right situation versus trying to force something to happen somewhere else. This makes sense on many levels."