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Lugnuts Take the Field with New Manager, Lights

When the home-plate umpire yells “play ball” at Jackson Field on April 8, fans attending the Lansing Lugnuts’ home opener might notice a lot of newness.

Like the new manager Phil Pohl, or Greg Kigar, the newly minted assistant general manager of stadium events and operations. A new lighting system also has been installed at the diamond to provide a better experience for players and fans alike.

Pohl is managing a team for the first time.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to start my managing career in Lansing after spending the last six years at the big-league level as the Oakland A’s bullpen catcher,” said Pohl, a California native who played for the Athletics in their minor league system, rising as high as Triple-A Sacramento.

“I’m already looking forward to the Crosstown Showdown on April 6, Thirsty Thursdays and other big evenings,” he added.

Kigar, who has been with the Lugnuts for three seasons, said there will be many theme nights and promotions during the 2022 season.

“We’ll have bobbleheads and other giveaways,” he said. “Beerfest will return, along with other types of festivals and events.”

Kigar said the Major League lockout didn’t affect the Lugnuts.

“It really only affected players on the 40-man MLB rosters,” he said. “We didn’t expect having any of those players at the high-A level.”

Health safety regarding COVID-19 remains a priority at Jackson Field, Kigar said.

“We will still do our due diligence with sanitizer stands on the concourse and touchless dispensers,” he said. “But nothing drastic like when we started our 2021 season.”