Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Lincoln's Shah gives Forney props on trade

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INDEPENDENT baseball can kick guys around a bit with balancing roster numbers, player classification and the salary cap, but Lincoln Saltdogs left-fielder Asif Shah found himself moved with care by the Winnipeg Goldeyes.

Goldeyes manager Rick Forney acquired Shah last October from the Frontier League's Normal Cornbelters but then dealt him to Lincoln three months ago when the Winnipeg club got left-fielder Jon Weber back.

"It kind of pushed me out of their plans, but I didn't take that as a slight towards me by any means. Rick wants to field the best team that he can, and he's done that. They're off to a great start," said Shah, who had a pair of hits and scored a run for Lincoln (12-15) in the Saltdogs' 5-2 win over the Goldeyes (18-7).

"He (Forney) sent me to a great organization and I couldn't be happier. He knew I wanted to stay in this league, and I'm very happy with the way things were handled.

"I never played an inning for him. I never met him in person. He could have easily sent me anywhere, but he sent me to a great organization, and I'm very thankful for that. For him to do that for me, it means a lot to me. It shows that he does things the right way."

Shah also has a connection to the Goldeyes through Hal Lanier, his former manager for two years at Normal, who was let go after the 2011 season. Lanier managed the Goldeyes from 1996-2005.

"When Hal Lanier was let go as the manager at Normal (Cornbelters), I went over to the front office and I explained to them it was time for me to go as well," Shah said.

"He gave me a great shot and stuck with me when I'd say 99 per cent of managers in baseball wouldn't."

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 14, 2012 C8

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