Fire General Manager
By Frank Rizzo
MOUNTAINDALE April 18, 2000 -- Jay Baldaccis tenure as general
manager of the Catskill Cougars lasted less than four
The teams president, Mike McGuire, fired Baldacci
on Sunday, saying, We needed to make a change now
for the sake of our organization.
This was a midstream adjustment, McGuire
added, likening the move to changing pitchers. This
is not a personal attack on Jay. In our situation he
wasnt able to get the job done. We were not going
in the right direction. In a different situation I would
not hesitate to hire him.
McGuires wife, Corinne, was named interim general
manager, a step up from her assistant GM position.
McGuire said he has several candidates in mind for the
Baldacci came to the Cougars in December after two years
as an assistant GM with the Waterbury Spirit, a fellow
independent Northern League franchise.
Jay came highly recommended, and I think highly of
him, but this was a bit over his head, McGuire
said. I believe with a little more experience he
will be ready to go, run his own club.
Baldaccis duties had less to do with the
traditional task of GMs roster and personnel
than running the administrative, business end of
things at the Mountaindale-based franchise.
McGuire noted that in minor league baseball a general
managers task might change focus from month to
At this time of year its a 99 percent sales
position, mainly advertising sales, McGuire said.
This is not an easy market to work in, and you need
someone to understand the market. I think Jay was unhappy
living in this rural area, and was discouraged by his
lack of success [selling advertising].
McGuire acknowledged the perception problem
in firing Baldacci, which will bring to mind the numerous
personnel changes in the Cougars troubled past.
I would not read too much into this [firing],
McGuire said. I would suggest this is not
indicative of an organization in disarray. Operationally,
nothing has changed.
McGuire made an analogy to a principal in a newspaper or
radio station who changed his lead salesperson.
His wife, he acknowledged, took on the interim role with
Corinnes best behind the scenes,
McGuire said. Shes been heading up
improvements here at [Baxter Stadium].
In a press release, McGuire stated, Corinne has
worked with me for several years, she knows what I expect
and shares my vision for the long term success of
professional baseball at Baxter Stadium.
McGuire was athletic director at Sullivan County CC from
1990-97 and helped the mens basketball program to
achieve prominence. His marketing efforts resulted in a
large jump in attendance at the mens games.
Im here every day running this place,
McGuire said. This is not the old Catskill