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Generals GM talks about team's season outlook

By jhornberg
June 1, 2010 at 1:01 a.m.

Generals' mascot Buck Shot dances the "Chicken Dance" with kids from the crowd during the top of the 7th inning.

Blake Koch wears many hats, and it isn't just because he's involved with a baseball team.

Last season, he was the general manager for the Victoria Generals of the Texas Collegiate League, and this season is the general manager of the expansion Texas Tomcats in Weimar also. Koch took time out of a busy opening night that saw about 1,500 fans in the stands for the Generals and Tomcats at Riverside Stadium to answer a few questions about the Generals, the Tomcats and the league this season:

With the first season here, it looked like the team might have broken even last season. Are the expectations up at the gate and on the field?

Blake Koch: We're looking to do more than break even this year, make a little money, continue to improve this thing. Everything we make we'll throw back into it, and invest into it, and make this bigger and better each year.

How about the product on the field? You have some players that returned this year and some new players, including some fairly big names that some baseball fans would recognize.

BK: Absolutely, we've got about 12 guys that returned from last year's team that make up a pretty solid core, and we did add some big names in the offseason. A couple of guys that have last names that are similar to others in professional baseball: Kyle Arnsberg, who's father is the pitching coach for the Houston Astros; Trace Knoblauch, who's the nephew of Chuck Knoblauch, a famous guy for the New York Yankees; and then Torrey Jacoby, who hasn't reported yet but will be here soon, who is the son of Brook Jacoby, hitting coach for the Cincinnati Reds. So, we do have some big names and hopefully we will have a successful season on the field.

What are the goals for the team on the field this season?

BK: It's going to be the same every single season. We're going to hope to win the regular season championship and a post-season championship. We want to have the best record, the best attendance, the best fan support and everything. We want to be the best at everything in this league. We like to win, our organization, and we hope to continue to do so.

The Texas Tomcats are new to the league this year, and you're the GM of the team as well. What went into building the team, and when was the decision made and why in Weimar?

BK: About half way through last season, we looked at the possibility of adding a franchise just to strengthen our net worth. We got it for the right price at the right time. This league is continuing to expand, and I think we bought in at the ground level and we'll continue to build them both up. And, you know, hopefully, four to five years from now you'll see both of these two being very powerful franchises and the TCL as a whole being a powerful league that's capable of sustaining itself and making money on a yearly basis. And that'll continue to help the product on the field - we'll continue to get good players. So, adding the Tomcats was a big deal for us in that we were able to expand the league, add another team, which is huge.

What's it like to be the general manager for two separate teams?

BK: It's busy, that's probably the easiest thing to say, of course, but it's a lot of fun too. There's not much down time, it's a constant thing. We only play for two-and-a-half months, but this is a year-round job for me. This is the reward for all the hard work, seeing the turnout like this on opening night, you know, for both sides, the Weimar group, the Texas Tomcats and the Victoria Generals as well. It is definitely a challenge, and my days are pretty busy, but I love it. It's baseball, I love to be around the game.

When is the Tomcats opening night?

BK: It's Sunday, June 6. They'll be hosting the Alexandria Aces there at Veterans Memorial Park in Weimar.

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