Lugnuts return under new parent club

It has been a season of change, and it’s only the first game.
Published: May. 4, 2021 at 5:51 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The Toronto Blue Jays had served as the parent club for the Lansing Lugnuts over the last 15 years. But things change, the Lugnuts survived minor league baseball’s consolidation this year from 140 teams to 120, and the new parent club is Oakland.

It has been a season of change, and it’s only the first game. Some Lugnuts players, like Shortstop Max Schuemann, say they’re learning what Michigan baseball is all about.

“It was fun getting out to spring training and getting after it a little bit,” Schuemann said. “Getting out here in lansing and doing the real thing where things actually count is going to be pretty fun.”

So the excitement to get on the field is evident, but with a COVID-19 season, its one filled with a lot of changes.

Lugnuts General Manager Tyler Parsons said, “We joked around and it’s like on one hand, if you’re going to have some changes, might as well have them all happen in one year right? On the other hand, you’re like maybe we should have slow rolled some of these things. It would’ve been nice to kind of happen one at a time.”

But adjusting is what they had to do. A brand new high-a central level, a new affiliation with the Oakland A’s, a new stadium name, a new manager, new protocols, and new overall structure with major league baseball.

“It’s been a little bit of a rollercoaster, up and down, and I think the one thing we’ve had to learn a little bit through 2020 and now into 2021 is just flexibility,” Parsons said. “Things change every week, every day and we know we’re going to have to learn and adapt and be flexible with everything when that happens.”

Despite not having much time together, the team already has great chemistry.

Schuemann said, “We got some jokesters on the team which is always fun. We got a lot of good locker room guys and we all can play.”

Stevie Emanuels, #31, is pitching in his First Season with Lugnuts.

“I can’t wait. It’s been a long time coming,” Schuemann said. “I’ve been waiting for this for lots of months. I can’t wait to get on the field and have some fans in the crowd. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Around 2,200 fans to be exact, and this organization is ready to welcome them back.

“It’s getting the chance to be that entity again,” Parson said. “Being that community gathering place, being that asset here where we can bring people from all over Lansing, the greater Lansing region and beyond, here in one spot, cheering for their Lugnuts and having a good time.”

Tyler told News 10 he’s ready to show fans what the Lugnuts have been planning the last year. It will be scaled down as far as people, but the team says it’ll be the same experience it’s always been.

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