Tony Franklin’s eight-year run as manager of the Trenton Thunder is ending, multiple sources have told both Dan Pfeiffer and Matt Kardos of Rolling Thunder. After posting a 67-75 record in 2014, current plans call for the veteran minor league skipper to be handed the reins of the organization’s newest affiliate, the Rookie-level Pulaski Yankees.
Franklin, 64, has won three Eastern League titles since taking the reins of the Thunder in 2007. Perhaps just as impressively, his teams made the Eastern League postseason five times during that span, including four division titles. In May, he surpassed Dave Machamer for the most victories by any Eastern League manager since the league became a Double-A affiliate in 1963.
Franklin had previously stated during the team’s final homestand that he was hopeful about returning to the Thunder for another season in 2015.
“I hope [the Yankees] do invite me back,” Franklin told me. “I do like working here. Always have liked working here, and I’m not anxious to go anyplace else right now.”
“I’m still very passionate about the game and I still enjoy the game, and I’m still able to perform the duties out there on the field,” he added. “For that reason, I’m not ready to retire. I feel like I’ve got something left to pass on to the young players here.”
The status of the remainder of the Thunder coaching staff is unknown, though there was speculation earlier in the offseason that Franklin’s hitting coach, Marcus Thames, has interviewed for the same position with the big league squad.
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