Sports

Boise Hawks make leadership change; fall in extra innings

Boise’s minor-league baseball club hired Bob Flannery as its general manager in November. He officially takes over as the club’s president Saturday when the resignation of current President Todd Rahr takes effect.

The Hawks announced Rahr’s midseason resignation Wednesday, concluding 12 years with the organization.

“We talked about when was going to be the appropriate time,” Rahr said. “And quite frankly, I don’t think any time seemed more appropriate than another. Yeah, I can see the perception of midseason being weird. But really, your planning for next year starts now.”

Boise marks the fifth club Flannery has run. He also served as the GM in Double-A New Haven, Conn., and with Low-A clubs in Columbus, Ga., Hagerstown, Md., and Augusta., Ga., which is also owned by Boise’s new owners, Agon Sports & Entertainment.

Agon President Jeff Eiseman was not available for comment Wednesday.

Flannery left Augusta last year to return home to Massachusetts to work for Learfield Sports. But after a year, he said he missed the multiple skills minor league baseball requires.

“It was probably me being pigeonholed doing one thing, which is corporate sales,” Flannery, 48, said. “I’m not saying that’s good, bad or indifferent. But I think my DNA is, I like being all over the place and having my hands in things. I think this better suits my skillset.”

Flannery grew up as a Red Sox fan and attended Double-A games in Holyoke, Mass. The left-handed pitcher reached the junior college level, but when he missed the cut after transferring to UMass Amherst, he realized he needed to focus on a sports management degree.

He started coaching Nichols College, an NCAA Division III baseball program, at 23. And his first minor league experience, as a 28-year-old clubhouse manager in Midland, Texas, came with a Boise tie.

Midland was two steps above Boise in the Angels organization. And he waited on Todd Greene, a former Boise Hawks catcher who went on to play 11 seasons in the majors.

“It was probably the hardest job I ever did,” Flannery said. “You’re like your own owner of a shop. You’re feeding them, you’re putting out towels, you’re taking their stuff to the airport and you’re working for tips, really. I learned a lot on how to be independent.”

Flannery said his first nine months as the GM in Boise focused on chasing new revenue — new sponsors and new ticket sales — while leaving the existing clients to Rahr. But with the transition in place, he said having Rahr stay with the team through July helped him adjust to the market in Boise.

“In the last two weeks, that’s what we’ve been doing, going around and meeting some of the corporate partners that Todd has relationships with,” Flannery said. “He’s been great in the transition, downloading what I need to know. I’ve been a GM before, but I’ve never been one here.”

Rahr said after 24 years in minor league baseball, he’s not looking for another job in baseball, or even in sports. He wants to remain in Boise with his family, which includes four children and both his and his wife’s parents.

Rahr said some of his favorite on-field moments include a 2004 Northwest League championship and a few of the major-league prospects who came through Boise. He said many of his fondest memories remain off the field.

“Besides the team, I remember the staff members,” Rahr said. “All these names nobody in the sports page remembers, those are the ones that I worked with. And those are the people that I remember.”

HAWKS FALL IN EXTRA INNINGS

Boise squandered a plethora of opportunities Wednesday, and the Vancouver Canadians finally made the Hawks pay in the 12th inning in a 5-4 victory at Memorial Stadium.

Vancouver’s Justin Atkinson’s groundball single up the middle in the top of the 12th broke a tie that remained intact as Boise stranded 17 runners on base.

Vancouver (17-24, 1-2 second half) threw out catcher Hamlet Marte at home plate for the walk-off run in the bottom of the ninth. And Boise (15-26, 1-2) loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the 10th only to have Kevin Padlo strike out swinging and Brian Mundell fly out to right field.

Marte led the Hawks at the plate, going 5-for-6 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs.

The five-game series with Vancouver continues through Sunday (12:15 p.m. start) at Memorial Stadium.

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