Managers get their assignments too. And Tommy Thompson got his, when the White Sox informed him they wanted him to manage the Class-A Winston-Salem Dash of the Carolina League.
The territory is completely familiar. Thompson managed the Dash to a Mills League Cup Championship in 2012, then moved on to manage the Low-A Kannapolis Intimidators in 2013.
Each experience is one he welcomes, and he understands the White Sox have their plan. Like the players, he's ready to do his job wherever they send him.
"[The White Sox] tell me where I'm going. It's their decision," he said from Spring Training in Arizona Thursday. "I'm excited. It's a dream job."
Buddy Bell, the team's assistant GM, and farm director Nick Capra let Thompson know where they wanted him, and it makes sense. Thompson has been at different levels with the same players; he knows their tendencies, their personalities, and what their needs are. He also has a firm grasp on what works at each level.
"I'm a little more patient with the players at Kannapolis. There's certain things they need to know, but they still have to be reminded. I know them more personally, too. Whether they need a pat on the back, or, and I hate to say this, a father. Which sometimes you do have to be. But even at the major league level, you have to keep them balanced."
The Carolina League (High-A) in comparison to the South Atlantic League (Low-A) is considerably different, more advanced. While you wouldn't think there'd be much of an adjustment, Thompson has seen firsthand what a big jump it is.
"[Carolina] really is one of the toughest leagues. There's seven teams and they player each other twenty times. So if you're working on something, you can be exposed. Which is good. At the big league level, you get exposed. But it's a tough transition for them."
Thompson is working with a mix of players this Spring Training, some he'll manage once camp breaks, some he won't, but could down the road. But getting to know all of them is important.
"We're teaching the White Sox philosophy. My role is to help manage those guys, even if I don't have them this year, they might be with me later."
He's nothing but happy with his place in the White Sox organization, and sees his relationship continuing with them.
"They've been great to me in good times and bad, on the field and off. If I spend the rest of my days in the White Sox organization, it would be a good stepping stone."
You can read my continued coverage of the Dash, and the rest of the Carolina League, here and for Minor League Ball this season.