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Sarbaugh Named Eastern League Manager Of The Year

September 2, 2009
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Akron Aeros skipper Mike Sarbaugh has been named Eastern League Manager of the Year, the league announced today. Sarbaugh, who was tabbed as the best managerial prospect in the league this season by Baseball America, has led Akron to a league-best 83-53 record while clinching the regular-season Southern Division title for the first time since 2006. The Aeros also became the first team in the 86-year history of the Eastern League with five consecutive 80-win seasons.

"This is a great honor, and it means so much because of how many outstanding managers there are in this league," Sarbaugh said. "I also want to thank pitching coach Ruben Niebla, hitting coach Lee May, Jr., athletic trainer Michael Salazar and strength and conditioning coach Todd Kubacki for all their hard work this season. None of our success as a team would be possible without them, and they should take great pride in this honor as well."

Sarbaugh is in his second season with the Aeros after leading the club to the Southern Division pennant in 2008. He holds a career managerial record of 449-321 (.583), and this is his 20th season as a player, coach, or manager in the Indians system. He has never suffered a losing season in six years as a manager, and has previously won championships with Mahoning Valley in 2004 and Kinston in 2006. He was also named Carolina League Manager of the Year in 2007.

"Mike represents everything that is important to us in this organization and most importantly he does so every day," Indians Director of Player Development Ross Atkins said. "He is exceptionally consistent with his professionalism, he's process driven, and he has the natural gift to challenge players to reach their potential."

Sarbaugh signed with the Milwaukee Brewers organization in 1989 before spending the final five seasons of his playing career with the Indians. During that time he appeared in 208 games for the Canton-Akron Indians from 1991-94, batting .251 with 15 home runs and 88 RBI. He then spent five seasons as a coach with Kinston and Columbus (GA) from 1995-99 and returned to the Aeros for four years as hitting coach from 2000-03, culminating with Akron's first Eastern League championship in 2003.

Connecticut manager Steve Decker was second in the voting for the award and Erie skipper Tom Brookens finished in third place in the voting. The award was voted on by Eastern League managers and coaching staffs, sportswriters, radio and television broadcast personnel, and other members of the media.

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