Forbes Ready For Return to Lakewood

For the first time in their history, the Lakewood BlueClaws won't have to welcome a new manager. P.J. Forbes, who isn't far removed from being a minor league player himself, will lead the BlueClaws for a second straight season. Forbes' first run as manager was the most successful in the short season of Lakewood baseball.

The Lakewood BlueClaws announced that P.J. Forbes will return to manage the club in 2005. Forbes will become the BlueClaws first repeat manager in their five-year history.

Also joining the staff will be pitching coach Steve Schrenk and hitting coach J.P. Roberge.

Forbes, who played briefly at the major league level with the Phillies in 2001 and in Baltimore in1998, played at the triple-A level from 1994-2002. The scrappy infielder hit .305 in Scranton as recently as 2001. During the course of his 13-year professional career, Forbes was a .280 lifetime hitter.

"Everything I heard going in to my first year proved to be true and exceeded my expectations," said Forbes from his home in Wichita, KS. "I'm looking forward to the challenge and I'm very anxious to return with my family."

Under Forbes' leadership, the BlueClaws enjoyed their most successful campaign through four years of play. The 2004 team won a franchise record 70 games to finish the season at .500 (70-70). The club also set a club best mark with 39 wins in a half.

Steve Schrenk will begin his second season as a pitching coach in the Phillies system after spending last year in Clearwater. Schrenk pitched professionally for 16 years (1987-2002), including spending time in the majors with the Phillies in 1999 and 2000.

The Lakewood hitting coach will be a newcomer to the Phillies' minor league system. J.P. Roberge played 11 seasons in the minor leagues, the last four with triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and double-A Reading.

This year the Lakewood BlueClaws will surpass the TWO MILLION-fan attendance plateau faster than any other team in New Jersey professional baseball and South Atlantic League history.

Anyone interested in BlueClaws tickets for the 2005 season can call the ticket office at 732-901-7000. The BlueClaws ticket office is open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 9 3 p.m.

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