Scott Steinmann (Photo/Timber Rattlers)
Rattlers manager Scott Steinmann is finishing up his first season as the team’s manager. But as many of you know, Steiny is not a new face around the Fox Valley. Steinmann played for the Rattlers as a catcher in 1997 and served as the team's hitting coach from 2000-2001. His familiarity with the team and the Midwest League has been an asset for the young skipper in his first season as the Timber Rattlers' manager.
“I have a little bit of history in this league as far as the travel, the food and the temptations possibly at different affiliates around the league,” said Steinmann about his history in Wisconsin. “We wanted to curb them before they even happened. I think it’s a positive thing that I was in this league.”
“I think that it has helped that he was here as a player because he can tell the players what to expect,” said Wisconsin President and General Manager, Rob Zerjav. “He’s also from the Midwest so he knows the people and coming here the fans know him so he was received very warmly.”
Steinmann has also had prior managing experience in the Mariners organization. He spent the last two seasons managing the Peoria Mariners of the Arizona Rookie League.
“It’s a different baseball down in Arizona," said Steinmann. "It's a little bit more elementary.
"There are no series'; this year you play in the four-game series, you play teams a couple times, you play your division quite a bit and you get tendency charts.”
Steinmann has been very pleased with the transition from Arizona to the Midwest League and how his players have performed and developed.
“I think we’ve done a heck of a job developing our players to understand the game, how to play a long season, how to prepare themselves every day, how to win series', how to go out there and compete with your good stuff and your bad stuff,” said Steinmann. “Some of our guys have gotten better quicker but I think everybody here at this level has gotten better and that’s our job.”
And while the team has enjoyed great success and has seen many players improve dramatically, it has come with some struggles as well. Steinmann pointed to motivation as one of his biggest challenges this season.
“First year managing a long season I think everything is a challenge - how to read my team, how to keep them going, keep them motivated,” said Steinmann. “That is probably my biggest challenge. With winning the first half and competing here for the second half, I think we as a staff have done a good job getting these guys going every day.”
While the majority of the manager’s responsibilities lie on the field, it is also important to have a good relationship with the front office and, Steinmann has excelled in that respect as well. He has a good relationship with the Rattlers organization and appreciates the help they've given him.
“He’s done a very nice job and for us as a front office it’s been fantastic working with him," said Zerjav. "He’s very easy going, he does whatever we ask, he gets involved in the community. He's been a real pleasure to work with.”