Calling it a ca­reer

Lin­coln’s own Mike Reynolds re­al­iz­ing dream as gen­eral man­ager of the Lan­caster Barn­storm­ers, an At­lantic League club

Woonsocket Call - - Front Page - By JON BAKER | jbaker@paw­tuck­et­times.com

Long­time Pa­triot line­backer Rob Ninkovich ended his 11-year ca­reer with the an­nounce­ment of his re­tire­ment Sun­day.

Mike Reynolds doesn’t know how or why, but he has a knack for land­ing on his feet in the sports busi­ness world. His new gig as gen­eral man­ager of the Lan­caster Barn­storm­ers’ base­ball fran­chise, a mi­nor-league or­ga­ni­za­tion within the At­lantic League, the largest such In­de­pen­dent League in the coun­try, of­fers proof.

Fol­low­ing sev­eral jobs on the busi­ness side of WNBA and NBA De­vel­op­men­tal League teams over the years, the Woonsocket na­tive and Lin­coln res­i­dent de­cided on a whim last fall to in­ves­ti­gate and ap­ply for the open GM po­si­tion with the Penn­syl­va­nia-based Barn­storm­ers.

“I sent them my re­sume, and it didn’t take long for them to re­spond,” ex­plained Reynolds, who had just jumped in his ve­hi­cle to make the short trek from Clip­per Mag­a­zine Sta­dium to the At­lantic League All-Star Game fes­tiv­i­ties in Somerset, N.J. “That night, I had a two-hour con­ver­sa­tion with one of the own­ers, and it went very well.

“They in­vited me out three days later to show me around, and I in­ter­viewed with the own­er­ship group and staff; I was re­ally im­pressed with the setup,” he added. “Three days af­ter that, I was of­fered the job, and I love it!

“I grew up play­ing base­ball in Lin­coln, so al­ways liked the sport. It’s a dif­fer­ent ti­tle than the one I had with the Reno Bighorns (Vice Pres­i­dent of Sales and Mar­ket­ing for the NBA De­vel­op­men­tal League fran­chise in Ne­vada), but I have the same job re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

“I over­see the op­er­a­tions of the en­tire or­ga­ni­za­tion, the fa­cil­i­ties, the front of­fice and work­ing with the coach­ing staff. I let the coaches do what they’re great at, men­tor­ing the guys, han­dling the re­cruit­ing and the trades. If they want to sign a guy, they just do it. I help man­age the salary cap.

“On the busi­ness side, my main goal is to turn this or­ga­ni­za­tion into a prof­itable one, and things right now are good. We’re hav­ing an in­cred­i­ble year on and off the field. The At­lantic League ac­tu­ally has two halves to the sea­son and two di­vi­sions, the Free­dom and the Lib­erty. We play in the Free­dom, and we fin­ished in a first-place tie with the South­ern Mary­land Blue Crabs.

“We had a makeup game sched­uled against them last Fri­day (at this writ­ing, the sec­ond half has al­ready be­gun), and the win­ner will take the Free­dom Di­vi­sion firsthalf cham­pi­onship and gain an au­to­matic berth in the play­offs. We’ve also had seven

LONG POND, Pa. (AP) — Kyle Busch used a bump-and-run on Kevin Har­vick to take the lead and held on to snap a 36-race los­ing streak and win the NASCAR Cup race at Po­cono Race­way on Sun­day.

Busch won for the first time this sea­son in the No. 18 Toy­ota and won for the first time ever at Po­cono. Busch had led more than 1,000 laps this sea­son en­ter­ing the race. He was rac­ing for the lead last week­end in the Brick­yard 400 when he wrecked with Mar­tin Truex Jr., which led to a pit road al­ter­ca­tion be­tween mem­bers of both teams.

Busch won from the pole and gave Toy­ota its 100th Cup win since its 2007 de­but.

Busch, the 2015 Cup cham­pion, had never gone a full sea­son with­out win­ning a race. Char­lotte Motor Speed­way is now the only track where he's failed to win.

"I never thought this day would hap­pen," Busch said.

He also won his 176th ca­reer NASCAR race over the Cup, Xfin­ity and Truck se­ries.

"We've all been fight­ing all year long and just wasn't sure why," Busch said. "This is some­thing I've been wait­ing for for a long, long time. It's been a frus­trat­ing year but an awe­some day to­day."

Har­vick fin­ished sec­ond, fol­lowed by Truex, Denny Ham­lin and Brad Ke­selowski. Har­vick, who hasn't won in 34 ca­reer races at Po­cono, said he had noth­ing for Busch down the stretch.

"There was no bat­tle. He was way faster than we were," Har­vick said.

Busch had seven top-five fin­ishes and was run­ner-up to Austin Dil­lon in the Coca-Cola 600. All the near misses have gnawed at Busch, who won the All-Star race. He won for the first time since the 2016 Brick­yard 400.

Busch earned a spot in NASCAR's play­offs. There are just three open spots and five races left be­fore the field is set.

Other items of note at Po­cono:

THE BIG ONE

An eight-car wreck on the first lap knocked Aric Almirola and Matt DiBenedetto out of the race. Matt Kenseth got loose and spun to trig­ger the ac­ci­dent.

Almirola missed two months of the sea­son with a frac­tured ver­te­bra suf­fered in a race at Kansas.

"Sort of a bum­mer not to even make a whole lap," he said.

JOHN­SON WRECK

Jim­mie John­son wrecked and did not fin­ish for the third time in the last four races. John­son con­nected with Hen­drick Mo­tor­sports team­mate Kasey Kahne and was spun into the wall.

The seven-time Cup cham­pion also crashed out of the first Po­cono race in June.

DOU­BLE DUTY

NASCAR held qual­i­fy­ing be­fore the race in­stead of ear­lier in the week­end. Po­cono had no Cup cars on the track Fri­day dur­ing the con­densed sched­ule. NASCAR will try the two-day show again next week at Watkins Glen and Oct. 29 at Martinsville.

"Just thank­ful for the op­por­tu­nity to have the two-day shows," Busch said. "We love spend­ing time with our fam­i­lies, and be­ing on the road, that is some­times dif­fi­cult."

UP NEXT

The se­ries shifts to the road course at Watkins Glen. Denny Ham­lin is the de­fend­ing race win­ner.

Sub­mit­ted photo

Lin­coln High School grad­u­ate Mike Reynolds is the new gen­eral man­ager of the Lan­caster Barn­storm­ers, an in­de­pen­dent league base­ball club based in Penn­syl­va­nia. Hired by the team last Novem­ber, Reynolds’ list of re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in­clude over­see­ing the fa­cil­ity where the At­lantic League’s Barn­storm­ers play their home games and manag­ing the salary cap.

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