Riverfront Stadium (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Riverfront Stadium (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

The Newark Bears have announced that Garry Templeton will manage the Newark Bears in 2013.

Here’s the team’s press release.

Newark Bears Hire Garry Templeton as Manager

The Newark Bears proudly announce that former major leaguer and three-time National League All-Star Garry Templeton has been hired as the team’s manager.

“The Newark Bears are excited to welcome Garry Templeton to our organization,” said the team’s owner/CEO/GM Danielle Dronet. “Garry was an All-Star as a player, and has a proven track record as manager in both the minor leagues and independent baseball. We believe that his hiring is the first step toward winning a championship in 2013.”

Templeton was a 16-year veteran, who spent time with the St. Louis Cardinals, San Diego Padres and New York Mets during his playing career. A former shortstop, he had 2,096 hits during his career, earned two Silver Slugger Awards and became the first switch-hitter to have 100 hits from both sides of the plate in one season.

A California native, Templeton has 13 years of experience as a manager in both affiliated and independent ball. He began his coaching career in 1998 with the Anaheim Angels’ minor league system, spending four seasons with the organization. He reached as high as Triple-A, before joining the independent leagues in 2003.

A press conference to introduce Templeton will take place within a month. The date and time will be released soon.

What do you think about the Bears’ new manager?

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About Paul

I'm the former editor of a weekly community newspaper in New Jersey. I've been a New York Mets fan for most of my life and I've been blogging about them, minor league baseball, baseball cards and autograph collecting since 2007. Contact me at paul@randombaseballstuff.com

23 responses

  1. What are Danielle and the good doctor (?) using for money? You can’t average 800-odd fans over the past two seasons and have enough money to pay a former major leaguer to manage.

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  2. Bob Shrekman says:

    What is Templeton thinking??? Danielle Dronet is the worst, and easily the dumbest owner in sports. She has destroyed that franchise. Remember the Bieber fiasco??

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    • Paul says:

      The Justin Bieber incident last fall was not the team’s finest moment, but I give Danielle Dronet and Dr. Doug Spiel credit for keeping the Newark Bears going. The Bears went bankrupt in 2008 and seemed to have a new ownership group every year until Dronet & Spiel came along and brought some stability to the organziation – 2013 will be their third season with the team.

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      • Paul,

        I give them credit for TRYING.

        WARNING: You won’t like the rest of my commentary. But, hey, you brought up the subject. :-)

        But, as they’re averaging 800-per over the past two years (and just 668 last year–if that’s a real number because I know the Bears were good at fudging when I worked there in ’09), they’re not doing much more than trying (if you consider throwing stuff at the wall as “trying”–certainly not succeeding. And Dronet has a promotions company, which you think might be a big help but which doesn’t appear to promote much. Looks like they don’t do much more than make posters for her clients, who are all relatives. Angel’s Barber, back in the old country of Houma, LA, is her grandfather or uncle–something like that.

        So, what we have are two people who bought into something they know little about from a guy who, had they done their due diligence, wouldn’t have been within a mile of, one of whom has a promotions business that doesn’t promote and the other a doctor who bought his way out of an insurance fraud lawsuit.

        And the league ain’t doing so hot, either. What’s happened in the past couple years? Brockton, gone. Pittsfield, gone. Worcester, gone. Newark doesn’t draw. Taking a shot at Three Rivers, which drew about 800-per for a three-game sort of neutral series (Quebec was the home team). And, though it’s many years ago, I don’t think they drew much when they were a AA Reds franchise. And, generously, this new team is an indy league that might barely qualify as short-season A. Interleague with another low indy which has the same commissioner didn’t help while only increasing travel costs.

        If you had to predict the future of the Bears and the league, how far would you go?

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  3. Will in Central NJ says:

    My great-grandfather immigrated to the USA about 100 years ago, and set down roots in Newark. I lived in the city’s north and (later) south ward as a child, and, after moving to a nearby suburb, graduated from college in Newark, too. I now work in downtown Newark, just a light rail ride away from the ballpark. I couldn’t contain my excitement when the Bears’ franchise was announced.

    Given all of that background, I’m just resigned now to trying to enjoy the Bears while we do have professional baseball in the City of Newark. When they do disappear—whether the team’s demise is imminent or not—I will be saddened.

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    • Will,

      Operative six words there–“resigned now to trying to enjoy.”

      Not a glowing endorsement, by any means.

      The Boulders and, to a much lesser extent, the Jackals, are busting it. They’re trying to get their name out there and they’ve got some money behind them to run promotions and otherwise bring people into their ballparks. It also helps that their ballparks are where they are as they cater to the suburban crowd with more money. Those two teams also broadcast their games.

      With the Bears, I get the feeling that those two are just flailing away in a dark room hoping to hit something.

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    • Paul says:

      I agree with your sentiments about the Bears, though I don’t have any personal or family ties to Newark.

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      • Will in Central NJ says:

        Well, between the new amateur league, NJIT home games, and the Bears, it seems that baseball will continue in some form at Riverfront Stadium. I just see what’s in other urban areas—Camden, Bridgeport, for example—and wonder why, why, why couldn’t expectations have been adjusted, marketing done properly, and the Atlantic League hung on in Newark, with an influx of capital from a more resourceful and savvy ownership?

        I know. It’s a rhetorical question. We had a revolving door of owners in Newark for awhile, and the debts and problems are deep-rooted for the Bears and their creditors. They have been since the Rick Cerone days. Just venting.

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  4. Will,

    That there will be baseball at Riverfront is a foregone conclusion.

    That it’ll be something that other than players’ families and friends would want to watch isn’t.

    There was pretty much a common thread after Cerone. And that thread was named Kalafer and Cetnar. Despite whatever they said, they didn’t give a damn about the team. Kalafer also owned Somerset and wanted to get into the Meadowlands in the worst way but wanted someone else (the NJSEA and maybe Bergen Co. and the state) to pay most of the freight, most of that involving a new ballpark. Mascot night in 2009 was both a hoot and one of the most pathetic things I have ever seen at the same time as the Bergen Cliff Hawk was part of the festivities. Kalafer had money and wanted to make sure he kept his while others spent theirs on him. Cetnar had no money (hell, he served time for helping himself at the Essex Co. Prosecutor’s Office) and seemed to have an innate ability to separate other people from theirs, convincing them to buy into the Bears while he retained some form of control. Four owners in four years while he was there showed that he was a class-A con man.

    The good news is that both the guy who treated the Bears as a bastard stepchild as well as the con man are both gone. Sadly, they’ve been replaced by well-meaning neophytes who really have no clue. Now, after ten years or so of these people, few baseball fans care about baseball in Newark as the team has fallen into disrepair–and in a league that’s not even the equivalent of short-season A.

    As to why Camden and Bridgeport but not Newark, I don’t know, as both places host indy ball and not the affiliated variety. The best thing that could have happened was if the Mets let the Yankees move their AAA club to Newark for last season while the Scranton park was getting rehabbed as it would have shown, convincingly, whether affiliated minor league ball was worthwhile in Newark. And, if that wasn’t, then nothing would be and, to continue to peddle minor league ball in Newark would have been a profound waste of time. But the Mets were still bitter over not being allowed to move a minor league franchise to Long Island, as the Yankees exercised their territorial rights. And, from what I heard and read, the Yankees were willing to let the Mets move a franchise here if only the Mets would have allowed them just the one season. Alas, we’ll never truly know about the viability of minor league ball in Newark.

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    • Paul says:

      I believe the proposed reciprocal arrangement offered by the Yankees would have only allowed the Mets to move a minor league franchise into shared territory for one season.

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      • Paul,

        Except for re-habbing a ballpark, what would be the point of such an agreement?

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        • Paul says:

          I can’t think of one. The Yankees were making a more or less empty gesture. If the Mets were going to be allowed to make a permanent move, I’m sure they would have given more thought to allowing the Yankees’ Triple-A team to play in Newark last year.

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  5. I agree w/Mark Ruckhaus on the part they make 0 effort to promote the team. I heard that theDr. Doug & Danielle are worth close to $60M. (Compared to Worcester & a few other CanAm & AA owners, the players checks always clear) They refuse to spend on marketing.

    It is sad going to the ballpark, seeing the same 40 faces & getting all of the LF line to myself. It’s impossible to get people to go with me. I win 10 tix, can’t go b/c of a wedding. So I post on FaceBook “who wants free tix?” Get no response. I win a 20 person luxury suite, I get 9 people to come (3 of them were family).

    This team needs to spend some money on promos. Best one is giveaway jerseys, done by the Cyclones, SI Yanks & HV Renegades. If the owners made an effort, they could get a company to sponsor giveaway jerseys (ie Prudential).

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    • This is sad
      2012 sponsorships: http://brickcitybears.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/sponsorship-picture-6.jpg About 20
      2013: http://brickcitybears.com/?page_id=75 10 sponsors

      I go to Cyclones games & EVERYTHING is sponored. The Bears are polar opposites.

      The season ticket benefits are a joke. http://brickcitybears.com/?p=2487 seperate lines? there is never a line at the Den. Everything else is just there to make it look more enticing. I’ll be getting tix from the batboy 7 be able to enjoy everything as well.

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    • Paul says:

      Adding company-sponsored promotional giveaways isn’t really as easy as you make it sound. Any business is going to be looking for a return for the marketing dollars, and it’s debatable whether jerseys, bobblheads, caps or other items with a company’s logo really provide that much bang for the buck.

      But let’s say your company has decided it’s going to sponsor giveaways with a local baseball team: who do you pick, the Brooklyn Cyclones (6,553 per game average), Somerset Patriots (5,308 per game average), Rockland Boulders (3,293 per game average), Staten Island Yankees (3,715 per game average), Camden Riversharks (3,462 per game average), New Jersey Jackals (1,896 per game average) or the Newark Bears (668 per game average)?

      The Bears need to find a way to boost the number of fans at their games so that they can become more attractive to potential sponsors, but you can’t really expect giveaways to be the first step.

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      • I understand it is a process. However, It makes people more likely to come. When the Cyclones had Jersday Thursday & Bat Day the lines to get are long 30 mins before the gates open. When the Cyclones have no giveaways, no lines at 5:30.

        As for bang for the buck, I have 25+ free Cyclones jerseys with ads on them. I feel $8-$10 each time has been worth it.

        They should start off with simple promos: Magnetic schedule, keychains, team photos, stickets etc. Stuff that costs little & can be given out again if they have extras. People like free stuff.

        This is a great way to market the team: http://www.cyclonessocialscoreboard.com Get the fans to share stuff on Facebook, Twitter & FourSquare & reward them for it. Cyclones gained 9K likes on Facebook. Service isn’t that much.

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        • Paul says:

          Sponsored giveaways are great for fans. They get free stuff!
          Sponsored giveaways are great for teams. They get somebody to pay them to distribute stuff that might bring more people to the ballpark.
          Sponsored giveaways are of much more questionable value to sponsors. Out of all the jerseys, bats, etc. that the Cyclones handed out last year, do you remember which companies sponsored any of it?

          Then there’s the attendance issue. The fans have to come first. If you had $1,000 budget to spend to advertise your business at a New Jersey baseball park in 2013 – which team do you pick to work with? The Newark Bears, who averaged 668 fans per game in 2012, the New Jersey Jackals, who averaged 1,896 fans per game, or the Somerset Patriots, who averaged 5,308?

          The social scoreboard thing is a good idea – any kind of social media marketing works better if it’s done in a way that makes new people aware of the business rather than just focusing solely on the current customer base.

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    • markruck says:

      Daniel,

      Does that “M” mean “million?” After all, M in Roman numerals is a thousand. :-)

      A dubious doctor and his ex-showgirl wife from backwater Lousy-ana (sic) who apparently lies about her age are worth $60 million? That’s a tough one to swallow. If so, the way they run the Bears defies any explanation as running on the cheap in what appears to be an increasingly dilapidated ballpark is nowhere close to a successful business model. I know they live very comfortably in the posh town of Millstone.

      Sorry, but that can’t be right. The reason why I say that is that (and I’d have to look again) that long article in the Star Ledger in July 2011 may have indicated that they were into their personal finances to run the team. At that level of wealth, you start a separate company where your personal wealth is shielded and where that personal wealth is immune from lawsuits, because you’re suing the LLC and not the people who own it. You don’t get to $60 million by being stupid–unless you hit the lottery. A promotional company that doesn’t promote and a baseball team on the skids? Something doesn’t smell right.

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      • Sorry for the delayed response.

        I was shocked when I heard it as well. However, owning a team costs a lot. It was explained to me: They are paying off the debt Centar left them & they can write this off as business losses for 3 years.

        What they tell the media might not be the truth. As you wrote ” that long article may have indicated” doesn’t mean it’s true. Whatever it is, they don’t spend.

        I’m not sure how she got the money. Some investments could have paid off, she could have inherited it. IDK

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  6. Paul,

    I think the Mets were bitter about being shut out on Long Island. Given the way that team is run (and you know I’m a fan too, as being a fan since ’65 transcends the current lousy ownership), it doesn’t surprise me that they may have thought more about sticking it to the Yankees rather than about doing something that, in the end, might have been a benefit to them.

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  7. Daniel (can’t hit “reply” to your last post, so I have to post this separately–hopefully, you’ll see this),

    If Danielle is saying stuff just to get a pity party going, like saying she had to dig into personal finances when she and the doctor may very well have set up an LLC, that is, well, pitiful. And, in the comments to the July 2011 article, someone mentioned that Danielle might be a “humble-bragger,” telling anyone and everyone how much effort she and Spiel are putting into the club (a lot of it misguided, IMO) but singing the blues and looking for pity whenever she can.

    I’ve got to tell you, it’s darned difficult to wish these two well and root for their success as the stench around them is too much to bear right about now. They got started on the wrong foot by not doing their due diligence and investing with Cetnar and it’s been downhill from there–from dropping into the Can-Am (Cetnar, again) to beer pong on MADD night to holding Pop Warner and hockey nights.

    If I had the desire (and a few more bucks :-) ) I’d give it a shot. But my due diligence says to stay the hell away from Newark as it appears to be a black hole for any type of professional baseball. And, even if there were a night light at the end of the tunnel, the Bears have been in that dark tunnel for so darned long that the cost of passing through the toll booth (figuratively speaking) at the end of it would be way too high.

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