UCSB's Lance Roenicke Gives First-Person Account of Dad's Hiring as Milwaukee Manager

Nov. 5, 2010

UC Santa Barbara outfielder Lance Roenicke will be entering his junior season for the Gauchos. On Thursday, his father Ron was named the new manager of the Milwaukee Brewers after spending the previous 11 seasons with the Los Angeles Angels. The following is Lance's reaction to his dad's good news.

It didn't really stay a secret very long, which was the funny part. My dad called me on Tuesday morning that they had offered him the job. It was one of those `official, unofficial' things. He said "Don't tell anybody yet because it won't be official until Thursday."

A couple of minutes later I'm getting a text, a phone call. I'm thinking `What's going on?' I go to baseball practice and my teammates are coming up to me and saying congratulations. After practice I had like 55 texts and 25 missed calls. I called my dad and said `Well, that stayed a secret a long time.'

When I saw on ESPN that he had been hired, to hear his reaction and how excited he was - that was a pretty cool experience. My mom called me right away and everyone called - all of my family and it was pretty funny.

I'm just excited for him. I've known he's wanted this for a long time and he's definitely put in a lot of work to get this opportunity. It is very exciting for my family.

He had been with the Angels for 11 years and with the Dodgers for about 10 years before that. The first 10 years of my life I was a Dodgers fan and the next 10 or so I've been an Angels fan. Hopefully for the next 10-plus I'll be a Brewers fan. It's funny, too, because I've always been a Brewers fan, I've always liked them. When I heard they let Ken Macha go, I said to my dad `You've got to get this job.' When he got a call from the general manager, I was pumped right off the get-go.

It was definitely hard to keep quiet. Every day the guys on the team were asking me `What's going on? Has he heard anything?' Knowing my dad, he kept quiet. Reporters would call and ask him about it. It was hard looking up stuff online and he was always mentioned as being the fourth guy and the least likely to get job out of final four candidates. (Ron Roenicke joked in his interview with Milwaukee media that "Over the last week, maybe a little longer, my wife has been on the Internet," he said. "My wife has two new nicknames: Dark horse and No. 4.")

Talking to my dad and his feelings, he felt he had a good interview. The Milwaukee guys liked him. In my mind he was not fourth on the list, that he was doing good. When the news came out, it was a relief; just knowing he was the guy for the job and that he earned it.

The Brewers GM, Doug Melvin, was talking about how he didn't know my dad at all. When he asked around and talked to people, everyone had good things to say. That's where it went from there. He just talked to whomever knew my dad. Everything that came back was positive. He said in his interview "he's not experienced, but he's experienced a lot" which is what they were looking for. They were trying to decide to either go with experience, or a go with a new direction. (Ron Roenicke was chosen over experienced former managers Bobby Valentine and Bob Melvin as well as Chicago White Sox coach Joey Cora.)

Now we're thinking `What are we going to do with all of our Angels stuff now?' We've got all this red now we've got to update and get some blue.

Hopefully if I get drafted and keep playing, it will be hard to be a Brewers fan. Unless I get drafted by them. It would be pretty cool one day if I do happen to make it all the way to the majors and see him in the opposite dugout. I'll just give him a wink.

Lance's family is synonymous with baseball. Aside from his father, who played eight seasons in the majors, his uncle Gary is a former Major League player and currently a scout for the Baltimore Orioles. His cousin Josh Roenicke currently pitches for the Toronto Blue Jays and his other cousin, Jason Roenicke played baseball at UCSB before playing professionally in the Toronto organization.

To read more about Ron Roenicke's hire, please click here.

UCSB will host its second annual baseball fundraising dinner, which will take place on Friday, Jan. 28. After having special guest Tommy Lasorda speak, this year's ceremony will be called "A Night With An Angel" and feature Angels manager Mike Scioscia. For more information or details on this exciting event, please contact Christina Baglas at (805) 893-5372 or e-mail her at: christina.baglas@athletics.ucsb.edu.

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