SIOUX FALLS, SD (KWSN)– The Sioux Falls Canaries announced Thursday afternoon that they will not be renewing the contract of manager Steve Shirley for the 2015 season. The Canaries will begin a search for a new manager immediately.
The Birds' endured their worst season in franchise history in 2014, finishing with a 33-67 record, 30 games back in the North Division standings. Sioux Falls finished the season 10th in the American Association with a .267 team batting average, and last in the league in pitching with a team ERA of 5.49.
"This was a very tough decision because Steve is such a great guy and a very dedicated manager,” said Stampede CEO and President Tom Garrity. “This past season was very disappointing for everyone involved. We struggled early on and were never able to get on track. Our fans deserve to see a winning product on the field and our ownership group feels now is the time to bring in a new voice to lead us. We feel it is in the best interest of the club and Steve to both start fresh and go in a different direction.”
Shirley, the longest tenured manager in franchise history, presided over the only championship in franchise history in 2008. He would also lead Sioux Falls to a franchise best 63-33 record in 2010, and a second trip to the American Association Championship Series.
Sioux Falls has not returned to the playoffs since 2010, posting a 162-237 record (.406 winning percentage), and four consecutive last place finishes.