Tony DeFrancesco has managed hundreds of players over 16 seasons in professional baseball. Many eyeballs have been focused on him in the middle of team huddles offering atta-boys or suggesting do-betters. Heâ€™s dealt with multiple personalities, whether it be kids barely out of high school or veterans with fading big-league dreams.
Tuesday at AT&T Bricktown Ballpark, DeFrancesco met with local media, RedHawks front office staff and Houston Astros management â€” most for the first time since he was named in November as manager of Oklahoma Cityâ€™s Triple-A team. After addressing a small gathering, DeFrancesco, a 47-year-old from Suffern, N.Y., sat down in front of cameras and tape recorders and said, â€œNow comes the easy part.â€ DeFrancesco has joined an Astros system thatâ€™s rebuilding from the big-league team down. It is the first organization DeFrancesco has worked for other than the Oakland Athletics since he retired as a player in the Cincinnati Redsâ€™ farm system in 1991. After so many years with the Athletics organization, why did you leave for the Astros? â€œIn baseball, you can move in a lot of directions. I had spent so many years with the Aâ€™s and managing in Sacramento, I thought it was time to go out there and see what else was available. I couldnâ€™t be more thrilled to be the manager of this team.â€ Youâ€™ve said that your ultimate goal is to manage in the majors. Do you think changing organizations will help you do that faster? â€œEvery minor league coach or manager, ultimately we all want to get to the majors at some point.