Brian Green announced Tuesday that he will be resigning immediately as the manager of the Peninsula Oilers because of commitments resulting from a new job with the University of Hawaii.
Green, who had been the hitting coach at the University of San Diego, found out two weeks ago he had received a job as hitting coach with the University of Hawaii.
"I was hoping to stay through the summer," said Green, who finished with a 35-45 record in 1 1/2 seasons as the Oilers manager. "Recruiting demands, moving demands and their start date forced me to go back."
Green, who will be replaced as manager by assistant Damian Stambersky, told the team he would be leaving after Monday's victory against the Anchorage Bucs. The Oilers scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth to, not knowingly at the time, give Green a spine-tingling send-off.
"Last night was a very emotional game for me," Green said. "To win the game, and win it in that fashion, gave me a lump in my throat.
"I love this team and I told them that after the game."
Heading into Tuesday's action in the Alaska Baseball League, the Oilers had a 9-11 record and were tied for fourth place. Peninsula, which started league play 0-5, is three games out of first place and 2 1/2 games out of second place and a berth in the National Baseball Congress World Series.
The Oilers are off Tuesday and Wednesday before resuming their homestand with a 7 p.m. game against the Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks Thursday. Green will be at the game as a fan and Stambersky, who was traveling Tuesday and could not be reached for comment, will be at the helm. Green will leave Kenai Friday morning.
Mike Baxter, the baseball operations manager for the Oilers, said there is always concern what direction a team will take when it loses its manager in midseason.
"With this particular group of guys, I'm pretty well sure that that's not going to have that great of an effect," Baxter said. "The group was all generally pretty happy for his advancement."
Baxter also has confidence in Stambersky, a coach at the University of Arkansas - Little Rock, and Oilers pitching coach Kyle DiEduardo.
"With Damian and Kyle, this team is going to be fine," Green said.
Both Green and Baxter pointed to solid leaders on the team, like first baseman Andy Schutzenhofer, as another reason for optimism.
"I think losing the head coach will have little effect on the team," Schutzenhofer said. "The two assistant coaches have stepped in and helped out from day one.
"We should be just fine without coach Green."
That's not to say Green won't be missed.
"He was a good guy to play for," Schutzenhofer said. "He never got fired up or down, and he was always on your side."
Green said that in the three weeks between interviewing for the job and telling the team he would be leaving, he lost 10 pounds.
That points to the rub of the ABL, which grooms college baseball players for pro ball and managers for advancement in coaching ranks. But once advancement comes, the ABL must go.
In 1995, the Oilers had a similar thing happen when Sonny Galloway left the team early in the season after accepting the head coaching job at Oral Roberts University.
"When we go out and find the best people, we're always aware these things can happen," Baxter said. "I don't have any qualms with (Green). He did fine, prepared the team fine and we wish him the best.
"Their program is getting a great person."
Green said he didn't want to leave, but the opportunity in Hawaii, which includes tripling his current salary, is too much to pass up.
"I had two sides pulling at me," Green said. "It's especially tough because I know this team is capable of winning the league.
"After we won that game in dramatic fashion last night, I was thinking, 'Can't I just stay another few weeks and see if we can make a run at it?'"
Green thanked the Oilers organization and the community for all the support it gave him over the course of his tenure.
"I think being a head coach in the Alaska Baseball League was a major part of why I got the job," Green said. "I really appreciate what the Oilers have done for my career."
In turn, Green will try to return the favor.
"I'd certainly love to send guys up here," Green said. "My first choice will always be the Alaska league. In my opinion, it's the best league and the best situation of all the summer leagues."
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