|2011 photo of Swanson, manager of the P.G. Axemen|
Swanson appears to be ideally suited to his new role, and the 45-year-old comes with an abundance of experience in baseball operations, media and marketing. We won’t reprint the long list of his credentials from the team’s press release, but it’s glaringly obvious that Swanson has a deep understanding of the game of baseball. Organizer, GM, manager, coach, player, co-commissioner, media analyst – he has successfully performed all of these baseball roles. That experience will be instrumental in allowing him to (in his own words in an interview with Cleve Dheensaw) “...create an environment that allows the coaches and players to do their jobs.”
Another aspect of his background that we like is his extensive involvement with amateur baseball in the province of British Columbia. The soon-to-be-former resident of Prince George comes to the HarbourCats with a wealth of baseball contacts in the province and many friends and business associates in the CRD, so you can be sure that he will thrive in the local community.
In their inaugural season, the HarbourCats organization laid a solid foundation with which to move forward. But from our perspective, the key to making it the model franchise in the West Coast League is to improve the quality of the on-field product (a 12-28 record after June 23rd just won’t cut it). Victoria is a demanding sports market that’s full of knowledgeable baseball fans, and in this town winning -- or at least holding your own -- is everything. Based on his skills and experience, it seems likely that Swanson is exactly the kind of person that the team needs to take it to the next level.
On behalf of the bloggers at the Victoria HarbourCats Baseball Blog, we'd like to wish Jim a long and successful career with the team!