Mitchell, a former Barons infielder who packed it in because of arm problems is the head coach for this year’s edition of the Barons playing host to the three-team provincial senior B baseball championship this weekend at Jubilee Field.
The winner of the tournament, which also features Stafford’s Welding Gander Pilots and the Mount Pearl Blazers in a double round-robin format with the top two teams playing for the B crown and the right to play the St. John’s Capitals in the provincial A final series.
Mitchell, who had been assistant coach for a number of years, wants his players to come to the field focused on nothing but baseball. He said the Barons haven’t had much success in the last number of years because they didn’t have the same commitment as the opposition and that’s something he wants to change starting with the first pitch this weekend.
“You’re not at the field for a good time and having a few beers with the boys; you’re here to play baseball,” Mitchell said.
The roster doesn’t change much for the Barons from year to year and this year it’s not much different with a few talented young guns in the mix supported by a number of seasoned veterans like Colin Wood, Darren Colbourne and Mike O’Neill.
A crack at the Capitals is foremost on the mind of the new coach. He knows people expect the Barons to compete at the A level and he doesn’t see any reason why his squad can’t get back to the A final if they match the commitment level of the guys in the other dugout.
He knows he has a tough challenge ahead of him but he’s going to embrace it because he wants to get the Barons back on top again.
“I’ve been through it before. I’ve got thick skin,” he said.
The Barons will tangle with the Pilots in the tournament opener Friday 6 p.m. at Jubilee Field.