Reno, Nev. - Blake Lalli returns as the Aces manager for his second stint as Reno’s manager in the past three seasons as Reno looks to defend its Pacific Coast League Championship this season. Want to catch up with the skipper? Hear where he's been and what he's looking forward
Reno, Nev. - Blake Lalli returns as the Aces manager for his second stint as Reno’s manager in the past three seasons as Reno looks to defend its Pacific Coast League Championship this season. Want to catch up with the skipper? Hear where he's been and what he's looking forward to!
*To start, could you touch a little bit on where you were last year and what you’ve been up to? *
"Yea, so last year, I was the field coordinator for the Arizona Diamondbacks. I spent last season going from affiliate to affiliate, watching players and staff seeing how the whole organization ran. It was a really fun year, I was at the ballpark here a good bit, sometimes in the dugout, sometimes in the stands, but I had my eye on the Aces all year, and during the championship run, I was in Vegas as a fan, and we went down there and supported them. Just really looking forward to getting back in the dugout and managing this team in 2023."
*What were some of your favorite memories from the 2021 season? *
"I think any time you manage a team, the players and staff you’re with are the things you remember. We had such a good group of kids in 21’, the staff was great, and you remember the fans. It was a transition year coming off of COVID where it was a shortened season, and I think we started around half capacity, and by the end, we were full, and it was really cool to see fans pile back in this ballpark and supporting the team. The fans here are amazing, and it’s a really fun place to play."
*What are some things your excited for, whether it be Spring Training, the near future, or even the coming future? *
"I spent the past three weeks down in Arizona doing the instructional league with the younger kids and getting to see the whole organization last year. I think one of the things that excites me most is the amount of talent that’s going to be coming through here, not just last year, this year, or next year but for years to come. As a coach and manager, it really excites me to see these kids come here and be a part of this city and hopefully move on to help the Major League team."
*You were a player in Reno before being the manager; what was it like playing for the Aces? *
"It was amazing. I think I’ve said before - the things you remember it’s the same as coaching; I had great teammates and great coaches. Phil Nevin was my manager when I played here, I remember all those things, and I remember the fans. I still see the same season ticket holders that say hi every single night, and those are the things you look forward to. It’s a great place to be, to live, to play – it’s really a good place."
*The COVID ejection. Walk us through it. *
"I get the COVID ejection question a lot of places. To be honest, I just got upset, and that’s what I went with. There was no real plan. I’ll say that we have the automated zone now, so that probably won’t happen anymore. It ended up being funny, but at the time, I was a little upset."
Fans can enjoy Blake Lalli’s return as skipper of the Reno Aces as the club kicks off the 2023 season beginning on Friday, March 31st, as the Silver State rivals, Las Vegas Aviators, Triple-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics, kick off the season at Greater Nevada Field. Season Memberships are available via RenoAces.com, texting “MEMBER” to 21003, or calling (775) 334-7000.