The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local Sports

April 8, 2009

LumberKings ready to open Midwest League season

By Jon Gremmels

Herald Sports Editor

CLINTON — Scott Steinmann made a bold prediction — one that everyone knows never could be fulfilled — when he talked about his Clinton LumberKings team that opens the Midwest League baseball season Thursday night at Burlington.

“I predict we’ll go 140 and nothing,” he said Tuesday afternoon in the batting tunnel next to the team’s clubhouse. After pausing for a moment, he corrected himself. “With seven postseason games, 147 and nothing.”

While an undefeated season is out of the question, Steinmann doesn’t plan to concede any games. And, after having the Seattle organization go through several years of fielding some of the younger teams in the Midwest League, the Steinmann said time just might be on the side of the LumberKings as he returns to manage in the Midwest League.

“With some of the experience, some of the older pitchers and some position players, I think it will be interesting,” said Steinmann, who guided Wisconsin to first-place finishes in the Midwest League’s West Division in both halves of the 2005 season. “I think we’ll be in it.”

Steinmann, who managed Seattle’s Class AA West Tenn team a year ago, still is learning about the hand he has been dealt this season. So is the Clinton front-office staff, which is in its first year of affiliation with the Seattle organization.

“We didn’t get everybody (in spring training camp) until the last four or five days; it was kind of piecemeal,” he said. “It’s been good to have the last few days of workouts.”

The LumberKings arrived in Clinton on Monday and went through a workout Tuesday at Alliant Energy Field. They travel to Burlington for games Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and then they open the home season with a 6:30 p.m. game Monday against Cedar Rapids.

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