The Lexington Legends, coming off a 2-5 road trip, open the home portion of their 12th season Thursday at 7:05 p.m.
The Legends, minor-league affiliate of the Houston Astros, will be opposed by the Chicago White Sox-affiliated Kannapolis Intimidators.
The first 1,000 fans in Whitaker Bank Ballpark will receive a free Legends poster. The Chris Campbell Band will provide live music both before and after the game.
The opener marks the first of nine Thirsty Thursdays, featuring $1 beverages, and also is Greek Night. Anyone dressed in a toga will receive a $2 discount on a box seat. Ceremonial first pitches will be thrown by University of Kentucky basketball player Darius Miller, as well as Ashley Kelsey, who is featured on MTV's Real World: San Diego.
After the game, there will be a fireworks show.
The Legends are guaranteed to win, or else ... fans in attendance will be admitted to Friday's game at no charge.
Former major-league infielder Ivan DeJesus, who managed the Legends in 2004, is back in charge this season.
Here's what DeJesus had to say by phone just before Wednesday's 3-0 victory over the Hagerstown Suns.
Question: What have you learned about your club during the first week of the season?
Answer: I think that we just need to make adjustments. We need to be more aggressive. Then, the pitchers, they have to have confidence in their pitches. ... When we get back home tomorrow, we're going to start doing everything we need to do and bring out the talent that they have.
Q: When things fall in place, what do you think the trademark of this club will be?
A: Every game, we're right in the game. One play here, one play there. I think it's the consistency. Play the game the right way. Consistent play. ... We need to play hard all the time, no matter what. Again, one inning is the one that is killing us, so we need to stop the bleeding right away and make (a way) to correct that.
Q: At this time last year you were coaching third base for the Chicago Cubs. What's the biggest difference between what you're doing now and what you were doing a year ago?
A: It's a lot different. It's way out. We're in development now. They're young. They need to learn from their mistakes. You've got to teach a lot, and that's OK with me. I like teaching. I like what I do.
Q: When you are teaching, are you able to cite any lessons learned in raising your son (Ivan DeJesus Jr. of the Los Angeles Dodgers) to be a big-league player — or do you keep family out of the discussion?
A: No, no. I never mention him. I think that everybody is a different person. I don't know their background that well. I have just started knowing everybody, so personal — how they feel, how they act, how they react when things don't go their way — all of that stuff is part of their development, part of being ballplayers. Sometimes you learn the hard way. Sometimes you've got to learn it, no matter what.
Q: Aside from actual talent and ability, what is the most important asset you can have to succeed at this game?
A: Everything's got to be more confident. I don't care how big, how small you are, you have to play with confidence. The talent is always there. The tools are there. To compete with different players at different levels, I think you've got to have that confidence in you as a player, no matter where you are. ... Sometimes people start real hot and some don't. Hopefully we turn everything around when we get back home.
Q: What is your most important asset as the manager?
A: Teaching. Develop. Tell them when they do the things right and when they're not doing it. I can't do nothing for them in the field. I've got to (teach) before or after to build that confidence that they have. Make sure they go out there and develop what they have. Nothing to worry about. Nothing to be afraid (of). You've got to be aggressive, you've got to be confident and trust your talent.
Q: What will your message to the team be before the home opener?
A: You've got to play one day at a time. Whatever happened on the road, you can't do nothing about it. You've got to start over. Baseball is like that. Baseball is day in, day out; one at-bat; every pitch. Everything has got to be consistent. You can't do nothing about what happened before. It's one day at a time, and improve from there. Make adjustments from there.
Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229. Blog: markmaloney.bloginky.com