By Matt Noonan
Noontime Sports caught up with New York State Federals manager, Scott “Skip” Nathanson the past week to learn more about his traveling Minor League baseball team. Here’s our interview with the manager on the team, challenges the squad has faced thus far, as well as his take on where some of his various players are headed in the future.
On managing the New York Federals: “It’s my first year managing a travel team. The last three years, I was a manager in the New York State League, which is a developmental league and we’ve had a lot of success sending players to the CanAm League, so this year they named us the official developmental league for the CanAm League and a couple of months after that they were short an eighth franchise, so they invited us to put a team in the league.”
On dealing with challenges or obstacles: “Each place we go to, it’s usually a bit of a new routine and early in the year when each team has their new staffs, they’re not exactly organized all the time, so especially being on the road, we’re learning everything as we get there instead of having things [ready] in advanced. We got to Worcester and they didn’t know that we were supposed to be at the hotel and we had to wait about a half hour until they cleared the issue up. It’s difficult. Coming up [to Brockton], the first day of [our most recent] series, we blew a tire on our van and luckily one of our players had his car and he was following us, so [what ended up happening was] we loaded all the guys in [our two different vans] and everyone got here on time.”
On not always having a “loads” of fans: “We have some family members who are very true to the organization, so we see the same faces at each stop and it’s nice to have them along with us. We don’t have any trouble with [not having loads of fans] we’re used to playing at Westchester Community College, which is great for us because we’re able to use it, but it’s not a field like the ones [we’ve been] playing on. So, for us, we’re happy to be [playing at] a professional field and we’re thrilled to play. The competition is excellent and that’s motivating for us. We have a lot of young players, we have a few veterans and it’s a great mix of players.”
On playing baseball everyday: “Every day is a grind. The games that we’ve won have been mostly 2-1 or 3-2. We had one game where we scored nine runs, but we haven’t been scoring, so we’re putting a lot of pressure on our pitchers and our defense. We’re trying to battle every pitch.”
On seeing players advance from the Federals: “I see several of our players who have enough ability to become affiliated players. The step that they will take now is they’ll be seen by the other managers in this league and their stats will be seen all over the country and they will be able to be signed off our roster to another team to be able to have a home and play in a home stadium, half their season and also to add to the salary that their making. Here with the New York Federals most of our players are making a very small amount compared to what the players in the CanAm are making.”