An Interview With Marc Bombard

After looking at Marc Bombard's career yesterday, it's time to hear what the master manager has to say. In the second part of our look at one of the best managers to ever come through the Phillies system, Bombard talks about getting 1500 wins, his love for managing and what the future may have in store.

After reaching a career milestone of 1500 wins as a minor league manager making Marc Bombard the winningest manager in minor league history, it would seem to be a time to reflect on such a successful career and perhaps set new goals for himself. Not so says, Bombard, "I did not look at my career any differently." Having said that he makes it clear that being a part of the game on a major league level remains an aspiration.

"Nobody in this game," he stated pointedly, "wants to stay in the minor leagues." Though there had been a rumor that he was offered a job as a coach for the Cincinnati Reds - a team he served as third base/bench coach for in 1996 - he says the rumor just isn't true. However it seems obvious to anyone who knows Bombard's career that his expertise and clearly his destiny, is managing in major league baseball.

In a career that has included his coaching stint with the Reds, managing Indianapolis (85-86 record), Buffalo (at the time a Pittsburgh affiliate), not to mention Tampa (1984-87), El Paso (1989), Harrisburg (1990) and Carolina (1991), Bombard has won countless accolades. In 2002 he was named International League manager of the year and Sport's Weekly's Minor League Manager of the Year. Previously, in 1995, he was named American Association Manager of the Year, Triple-A Manager of the Year by Baseball Weekly and Minor League Manager of the Year by Baseball America, following his Triple-A best year of an 85-56 record. The Phillies organization has been his home for eight years. In 1997, he became the manager of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons and in 2002 he led the franchise to a record 91 wins as the club advanced to the Governor's Cup Playoffs for the fourth consecutive season. When asked about his longtime home he was nothing but positive, saying "this is a class organization."

Bombard is devoted to the job of managing the Red Barons. Part of that devition, he says, is an appreciation for the familiar. "I don't like to move around," he admitted, adding that he hoped to stay within this organization but that "It's something you can't control." His feelings towards the organization are more personal than that. Bombard says that, "they have been good to my family and that is key for me." Though Larry Bowa's contract has been extended, when the time comes for a replacement, Bombard would seem to be a natural candidate for the position. And Bombard admits that if an offer were made to manage in the majors he would consider it.

Bombard looks ahead, but also takes great pride in what he does though and feels strongly about his current position. "I'm here to keep ‘em (the players) ready to help the big club if they need it." Finally though it is Bombard's love for the game that became so obvious as he described what it is he enjoys most about managing in the minor leagues. "The bottom line is seeing the players play at their full potential. It's dealing with 25 different guys and seeing them improve as the season goes on."

As he spoke of his team with such dedication I thought about something he said earlier in our conversation; he had commented on the Phillies organization being a class act. It occurred to me that to know the meaning of class you have to have it. Marc Bombard is proof of that.

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