Oilers undergo changes

Posted: Sunday, September 21, 2003

Both baseball operations manager Mike Baxter and manager Kyle DiEduardo have left the Oilers, the organization announced recently.

The Oilers do not have a replacement for Baxter, while DiEduardo will be replaced by Aric Thomas.

Baxter recently finished his ninth season with the Oilers as their baseball operations manager. Under his leadership, the Oilers won three straight Alaska Baseball League crowns from 1998 to 2000. He has been involved with the organization since 1978.

Baxter often called the baseball operations manager for the Oilers his dream job, but the long hours of his dream job began to take a toll over nine years.

"I had probably the longest single stint of an Oilers general manager," Baxter said. "It's pretty taxing. There are a lot of long hours.

"It's time to look at the rest of the world."

Baxter is not sure if he will stay involved with the Oilers in any capacity. He is looking at doing some work for the Alaska Baseball League, and he's not sure whether that work would allow him to be affiliated with any of the ABL's teams.

"There have been a number of duties that I have been doing with the ABL that I'd like to continue," Baxter said. "It just isn't going to take up all of my time."

Baxter added that he probably would not be paid for his ABL work.

Being baseball operations manager for the Oilers was Baxter's primary from of employment. He said his wife, Peggy, would not let him retire, so he will now devote his energy to his business, Unique Bus Charters.

Baxter said the organization will continue to be strong without him.

"They've got a well-rounded group of people," Baxter said. "They'll be there a long time.

"If they're not the, they're one of the best organizations in the country of their kind."

Thomas, currently the director of baseball operations at the University of Oklahoma, was named the Oilers manager for the 2001 season, but commitments with the University of Oklahoma kept him from joining the team that year.

That resignation right before the season threw the Oilers' manager position into a state of flux. Brian Green managed the 2001 season and half of 2002 before he had to leave the team due to other commitments.

Oilers assistant Damian Stambersky took over for the last half of 2002, but did not come back for 2003. DiEduardo was named the manager for 2003, but Baxter said DiEduardo decided to leave the Oilers job because of a desire to stay on the East Coast.

That led the Oilers back to Thomas, who is a member of the Oilers' 1993 National Baseball Congress World Series Championship team.

Making it big Two former Oilers have recently stepped up to the Major Leagues. Danny Garcia, an Oiler in 1999 and 2000, has made several appearances at second base for the New York Mets. Mario Ramos, an Oiler in 1997, has been on the mound for the Texas Rangers.

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