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Maine Guides

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In 1984 the Cleveland Indians moved their International League farm club from Charleston, WV to the resort town of Old Orchard Beach, ME where they became the Maine Guides. Doc Edwards was the manager of a team that included Otis Nixon (.277) and Steve Farr (4-0, 2.60).

The next season the Guides finished second in the IL to the Syracuse Chiefs, as their 76-63 record left them 2 and a half games back (but just 1 and a half up on fifth in a close race). They drew the fewest fans in the circuit (135,965) and were led by All-Star 1B Jim Wilson, who hit .287/~.349/.480. Wilson led the IL in total bases (251), homers (26), RBI (101), game-winning RBI (16) and double-play grounders (19) and finished 11 points behind Willie Aikens in slugging. SS Dan Rohn (.261/~.414/.376) drew a league-high 116 walks while OF Dwight Taylor (.251/~.321/.300) led with 52 steals. Roy Smith went 10-4 with a 2.39 ERA and would have finished second in ERA but finished 3 innings shy of qualifying as he spent a fair chunk of the season with Cleveland.

In 1986 the club was sold and were to become the Scranton-Wilkes Barre Red Barons; ownership blamed the media and lack of fan support. The club again was last in attendance (105,578) and also finished last in the standings (58-82). Jim Napier replaced Edwards as the manager. Wilson (.232/~.273/.353) and Rohn (.217/~.333/.268) slipped drastically as Dave Clark (.279/~.371/.499) and 3B Cory Snyder (.302/~.359/.542 in 49 games) tried to pick up the slack. The team did boast an All-Star in ERA leader Doug Jones (5-6, 9 Sv, 2.09 ERA - 116 innings in 43 games, 40 of them as a reliever).

Things got wild the next year. Owner Jordan Kobritz said Scranton-Wilkes Barre broke their contract and won the club back; the Scranton ownership group filed a suit and had the decision reversed, ensuring that the relocation would go through later. The club would remain in Maine for two more years, switching from a Cleveland farm club to a Philadelphia Phillies one - they would become known as the Maine Phillies in 1988. In 1987, the Guides went 60-80, 7th in the 8-team IL. The Bill Dancy-managed club boasted no All-Stars - they were led offensively by OF Keith Hughes (.283/~.366/.528, though he also spent 40 games with Columbus) and 2B/OF Keith Miller (.292/~.380/.454, 20 SB). Jeff Calhoun had a 0.99 ERA in 28 relief appearances, going 1-1 with 6 saves and 37 Ks in 36 innings, but the team had two of the league's biggest busts - top prospect Marvin Freeman went 0-7 with a 6.26 ERA and Joe Cowley (who had thrown a no-hitter in the majors) went 3-9 with a 7.86 ERA, walking 76 and hitting a league-high 16 in just 46 innings.


[edit] Year-by-Year Record

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
1984 77-59 2nd Doc Edwards Lost League Finals
1985 76-63 2nd Doc Edwards Lost in 1st round
1986 58-82 8th Jim Napier
1987 60-80 7th Bill Dancy
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