One Step Closer to playing ball at Texas Rangers’ new Globe Life Field

Ready for baseball? Video by Brian Bearden – images of Texas Rangers’ Globe Life Field in Arlington TX – Preview of new ballpark 2020. Photos: Globe Life Field. Music: Creative Commons license via Slide Show app

Frisco calls up Pelicans’ skipper to manage RoughRiders

The Frisco RoughRiders will have a new manager for the second time in as many seasons, as Joe Mikulik has been tabbed to lead the squad in 2015. Mikulik (pronounced “MICK-uh-lick”) will be the lone new face on RoughRiders coaching staff, and he replaces 2014 Texas League Manager of the Year Jason Wood, who will manage Triple-A Round Rock next year.

The other members of Frisco’s coaching staff will remain the same for the fourth consecutive season. Jeff Andrews will return as the pitching coach and Jason Hart will resume his duties as the hitting coach, with James Vilade serving as assistant hitting coach. Carlos Olivas will remain the athletic trainer and Eric McMahon will be back as the team’s strength and conditioning coach.

Joe Mikulik replaces 2014 Texas League Manager of the Year Jason Wood, who will manage Triple-A Round Rock next year.
Joe Mikulik replaces 2014 Texas League Manager of the Year Jason Wood, who will manage Triple-A Round Rock next year. (Photo courtesy of Frisco RoughRiders)

Mikulik, 51, managed the Advanced-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans to a Carolina League-best 82-56 record in 2014. The Pelicans won their first round matchup in the playoffs before falling in the circuit’s championship series. Mikulik joined the Rangers organization prior to the 2013 season and served as the roving minor league outfield instructor for one year before being named Myrtle Beach’s manager for 2014.

Known for his passionate approach to managing, Mikulik will be entering his 17th season as a minor league skipper in 2015. Prior to joining the Rangers organization, he spent 13 seasons with the Colorado Rockies as a manager with the Single-A Asheville Tourists. Mikulik also managed the short-season Burlington Indians in 1997 and 1998.

He owns a career regular season managerial record of 1,061-957 (a .526 winning percentage) and has guided his teams to the playoffs five times, posting an 11-12 record in the postseason.

Under Mikulik, Asheville won the South Atlantic League championship in 2012; he was the league’s manager of the year four times (2000, 2002, 2007 and 2008) and was elected to the South Atlantic League Hall of Fame in 2010. He is the Tourists’ and South Atlantic League’s all-time leader in career victories as a manager (938).

Mikulik was born in Weimer, Texas, and lives in nearby Keller. After graduating from Bishop Forest High School in Schulenburg, Texas, he played for two seasons as San Jacinto Junior College in Pasadena, Texas, where he was an All-American.

Mikulik was Houston’s ninth round selection in the 1984 June Draft and played for 12 years in the Astros organization, rising to Triple-A Tucson. He was a career .274 hitter with 78 home runs, 161 doubles, 48 triples, 527 RBI and 135 steals in 1,053 games.

Outside of stints in Mexico and Venezuela, he manned the outfield for Astros affiliates for the entirety of his professional playing career.

He began his coaching career as a player/coach in the Cleveland organization for Double-A Canton-Akron in 1995. Mikulik’s managerial career began as an interim skipper when he replaced then-Burlington manager and former Rangers special assistant Harry Spilman late in the 1997 season.

After one season as Frisco’s manager, Wood will manage Texas’ Triple-A affiliate, the Round Rock Express, in 2015. Wood was the Texas League Manager of the Year this past season, leading the RoughRiders to a league-best 80-59 record and a playoff berth. His .576 winning percentage ranks third best in team history, trailing only Dave Anderson (.607 in 2007) and Scott Little (.600 in 2008).

Andrews, 55, returns for his seventh season as Frisco’s pitching coach and his 30th as a minor league instructor. He joined the RoughRiders in 2009 and previously served in the same capacity on the Pittsburgh Pirates’ major league staff in 2008. Under Andrews’ tutelage, Frisco’s pitching staff posted its best statistical season in franchise history in 2014. The RoughRiders set club marks in ERA (3.39) and fewest hits allowed (1,136), led the Texas League in shutouts (12), were second in runs allowed (538), second in strikeouts (1,136) and third in fewest home runs surrendered (89).

Hart, 37, is back for his fourth season as the RoughRiders’ hitting coach and his seventh as a coach in the Rangers organization. Frisco’s offense had another strong season under Hart’s instruction, leading the Texas League in batting average (.266), hits (1,239), slugging percentage (.402), and OPS (.332). Five 2014 RoughRiders hitters reached the major leagues this past season (Rougned Odor, Ryan Rua, Luis Sardinas, Jake Smolinski and Tomas Telis), in part thanks to Hart. As a player, Hart played nine seasons of professional baseball, including the 2005 campaign with Frisco. He reached the major leagues with the Rangers in 2002 before a brain tumor disrupted his playing career.

Vilade, a Rangers scout, will return for his sixth season with the RoughRiders as an assistant hitting coach and will handle first base coaching duties for home games. Prior to his time with the Rangers, Vilade spent 12 years as an NCAA baseball coach, serving as head coach for 11 of those seasons. While at the University of Dallas and The University of Texas-Tyler, Vilade compiled a career record of 348-117. His .748 career winning percentage makes him the 18th-winningest coach in the history of NCAA baseball and the second-winningest coach in the history of NCAA baseball in Texas, trailing only Cliff Gustafson, the former University of Texas coach. In 2007, Vilade coached the UT-Tyler team to a 37-1 record. The team is featured in the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. Vilade played baseball for and is a graduate of Baylor University.

The RoughRiders’ award-winning athletic support staff will also return for the 2015 season.

Olivas is back for his fifth season as Frisco’s athletic trainer and his seventh year with the Rangers organization. He was named the Texas League’s Athletic Trainer of the Year for both the 2012 and 2013 seasons. McMahon will once again be the team’s strength and conditioning coach, his fifth with Frisco and seventh in the Texas organization. He was named the Texas League’s Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year for 2014, the second time in three years he has been honored with the award.

The RoughRiders open the 2015 season on April 9 against the Arkansas Travelers.  For tickets to see the RoughRiders in 2015, please call (972) 731-9200, e-mail, or visit

Cowboys, Circus, Jimmy Buffett on tap …

By Brian Bearden

Catch Terrance Williams of the Dallas Cowboys and the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders at StarPower on Saturday. …

Did you see 22-year-old right-hander Zach Lee of McKinney shut out the Texas Rangers for two innings of Spring Training baseball? Lee is now pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Check out this Los Angeles Times story on the 2010 McKinney High star athlete who had a scholarship offer to play quarterback for LSU … 

Super season: The Allen Eagles made the State finals in Class 5A basketball Friday, but came up short to Converse Judson, 52-41.

Collin College wants you to spend an hour in the life of a dancer. Attend the dance department’s Open Studio Week:

Hydrous in Allen is hiring a Sales/Marketing Director – It’s a great opportunity for stay-at-home mom’s, for more detail, go to this link and email resumes to …


The Village at Allen & The Village at FairviewThe Carson & Barnes Circus is in town at Allen – Fairview this weekend Circus performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday, 1:30, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. Sunday

The Women of Richardson Bikemart will be having a 8:30 a.m. Second Saturday road ride each month. Mileage options: These will be no-drop rides (the group will stay together, and nobody will be left behind) with 20-mile (12-14 mph average) and 40-mile (16-plus mph) options. The event starts near White Rock Lake in Dallas at 9040 Garland Road and Old Gate Lane just down the street from the Arboretum.

Spokes For Folks is gearing up for the Spring Roll! Sunday, March 16 at Hans Johnses 8901 Chancellor Row from noon to 4 p.m. Richardson Bikemart reports Spokes needs volunteers of all levels of experience to help repair kids bicycles for the Rae’s Hope organization with the goal of donating the repaired bikes to the Scottish Rite bike rodeo and the International Rescue Committee on March 18.

St. Paddy’s celebrations – The AREAA DFW St. Paddy’s Happy Hour will be at Lights Farms in Celina, Texas, from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday, March 17 at 1234 Homestead Court. AREAA is the Asian Real Estate Association of America …

Happy Birthday this weekend to Monkey Mickey Dolenz, Freddie Prinze Jr., James Van Der Beek …

What’s for lunch on Saturday? Patina Green Home and Market in downtown McKinney on the square has Brisket Quesadilla, served with Queso Blanco, Candied Jalapenos, Chips and Salsa and don’t forget the Waygu Roast Beef, Smoked Pepperjack, Red Carrots, Black Radish, Green Chili Buttermilk Slaw, Empire White …

Or how about pizza at Sal’s at The Shops at Legacy? …

Try some New York style pie at Sal’s Pizza Restaurant in Plano …Spring break weather … featuring Fox4’s forecast

Book your Golf Tee Times online 24-7 … No need to wait for the pro shop to open ….

In case you missed it … Dirk Nowitzki scored 22 points with Jose Calderon added 19 points as the Dallas Mavericks edged the Trail Blazers at home, 103-98. WATCH the highlights from last nights win here:

Retiring: Frisco’s Director of Public Safety Todd Renshaw is retiring.

McKinney Convention and Visitors Bureau

The McKinney Farmers Market will be held on March 15th and the regular season will begin weekly on April 5th.

Regular Season: Chestnut Square Historical Village on Saturdays 8 a.m. to noon and Adriatica Village on Thursdays from 3 to 6 p.m.

Fire and Rescue … 

Michael O’Keefe is always on the scene with First Response Photography.His fire and rescue pictures are always fascinating.

Hockey: Missouri edged the second-place Allen Americans, 3-1. Ben Power scored for Allen, which plays next at the St. Charles Chill in back-to-back games this weekend beginning Saturday at 7:05 p.m.

Kentara McKinney and John Jordan representedMcKinney Velo Club at the 35-plus division in the Fair Park Criterium.

Running tale: Area runner’s brush with death makes 15K win even sweeter. … Roger Clifford knows he’s lucky to be alive. That’s what makes winning last month’s Plano Pacers Bead Bash 15K even more rewarding. Read Debbie Fetterman’s story at

Political parody: The Republican Women of North Collin County welcome economist and author, Loren Spivack, on Tuesday, March 11. Check out Spivack’s books …


Loren Spivack’s event key points: 11 a.m. sign in, 11:30 a.m. buffet lunch, Noon meeting Location: Stonebriar Country Club, 5050 Country Club Drive, Frisco. Cost: $20 per person.

Cold snap for crawfish: Dodie’s Place Cajun Bar & Grill reports on Facebook that “Our supplier cannot get crawfish out of his beds because of last weekends cold snap. They harvested all they could get for Mardi Gras, and the demand was so high that they do not have enough. The earliest we might be able to get them is Sunday late, more than likely Monday. Very sorry, hopefully spring will hit us and they will be as good as they have been.” Try these items at Dodie’s instead …

Play ball!

Baseball single-game tickets go on sale on Saturday, March 15 for the Frisco RoughRiders.

Fins to the Left, Fins to the Right …

Jimmy Buffet and the Coral Reefer Band will play

at Toyota Stadium in Frisco on June 21.

John Fogerty will open the popular Fins fiesta.

SPONSOR: Stonebridge Home Repairs 469-358-0165

Andre + CPA 972-548-1040



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High school baseball playoffs


Plano (19-6-3) vs. Keller (14-12-2)
Gm. 1: 7:30 Thursday at Lewisville
Gm. 2: 7:30 Friday at Lewisville
Gm. 3 (if nec.): 1:00 Saturday at Lewisville

Kel. Fossil Ridge (19-9) vs. Plano East (17-12-1)
Gm. 1: 7:30 Thursday at Keller Fossil Ridge
Gm. 2: 7:30 Friday at Plano East
Gm. 3 (if nec.): 1:00 Saturday at Kel. Fossil Ridge


McKinney Boyd (23-7) vs. Lake Highlands (18-11-1)
Gm. 1: 8:00 Thursday at McKinney Boyd
Gm. 2: 8:00 Friday at Lake Highlands
Gm. 3 (if nec.): noon Saturday at McKinney Boyd

Frisco Centennial (21-7) vs. Rockwall (22-8)
Gm. 1: 7:30 Thursday at Hebron HS
Gm. 2: 7:30 Friday at Hebron HS
Gm. 3 (if nec.): 1:00 Saturday at Hebron HS

Rockwall-Heath (25-7) vs. Frisco (14-11-1)
Gm. 1: 7:30 Thursday at Rockwall-Heath
Gm. 2: 7:30 Friday at Frisco
Gm. 3 (if nec.): noon Saturday at Highland Park

Frisco Wakeland (21-8) vs. McKinney North (18-8)
Gm. 1: 7:30 Thursday at Carrollton’s Kelly Field
Gm. 2: 7:30 Friday at Carrollton’s Kelly Field
Gm. 3 (if nec.): 1 Saturday Carrollton’s Kelly Field

Sanger vs. Van Alstyne
7:00 Friday at Frisco Heritage

Celina, bye

Farmersville (22-6) vs. Madison
7:30 Friday at Mesquite’s Tillery Field
Prosper, bye

Bonham vs. Aubrey
Gm. 1: 7:00 Thursday at Princeton
Gm. 2: 1 Saturday at Princeton
Gm. 3 (if nec.): following Game 2

Carrollton Ranchview vs. Lovejoy
Gm. 1: 7:30 Thursday at Lovejoy
Gm. 2: 7:30 Friday at Carrollton Ranchview
Gm. 3 (if nec.): noon Saturday, site TBD

Melissa, bye

Prestonwood vs. El Paso Cathedral
San Antonio Central Catholic d. John Paul II, 10-5.

Rockwall Christian d. Watauga Harvest, 10-0.

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