by Scott Kindberg
Lunetta Accepts Job With Montreal
Those were the comments Friday night of Jamestown native Dan Lunetta after learning earlier in the day that he had been named the Montreal Expos' director of team travel. The announcement was made by Bill Stoneman, Montreal's vice-president of baseball administration.
Lunetta, who had been working as the director of baseball operations for the Class AAA Buffalo Bisons, said he would be moving to Montreal within the next two weeks to begin his duties. He replaces Peter Durso, who recently accepted a similar position with the Chicago Cubs.
"We discussed the possibility several times, and then finally the offer came this morning," Lunetta said. "When it came down this morning, there was no question in my mind."
His responsibilities are many.
"I'll be responsible, essentially, for getting the team from city to city and arranging for all our travel, which is 95 percent charter," he said.
But that's not all.
Lunetta noted that he will also be responsible for arranging hotel accommodations and ground transportation between the airport, hotel and stadium. In addition, he will handle the distribution of player meal money – which before last summer's collective bargaining agreement was $43 per day – handle player housing, travel and ticket needs, and work closely with Kevin McHale, Montreal's coordinator of spring training, during the exhibition season.
Ironically, the Brockport State college graduate began his baseball career in 1979 as a groundskeeper in the New York – Pennsylvania League. It wasn't until a year later, however, that Lunetta got his first taste of baseball administration when he was named Jamestown's assistant general manager.
After a seven-month leave from baseball, Lunetta returned to the Jamestown Expos as general manager, a position he has held from 1982-84. During that time he was also the assistant spring training coordinator in its winter home in West Palm Beach, Fla.
A little more than a year ago, Lunetta accepted the position with the Bisons.
While acknowledging that he was "very fortunate" to have worked for the Bisons and owner Bob Rich Jr.," Lunetta said. "This certainly was an opportunity I couldn't let go by. In essence, it's a culmination of the last six years of hard work and just sticking to the plan since day one. To get to the major leagues, I just had to stick with that plan."
"I've been very fortunate in baseball," he continued. "I started my career with Jim Fanning (Montreal's vice-president of player development and scouting), Bob Gebhard (director of minor league clubs), Kevin McHale and Pat Daugherty (Florida scout).
"When I was in Jamestown, I was fortunate to have worked with people like Brian Granger (now assistant player development and scouting for the Cincinnati Reds), Larry Dye and Rich Ruggerio."
He also praised the good working relationship he had with Jamestown city officials, including Russell Diethrick, parks and recreation director; Mayor Steven B. Carlson; and Rick Sotir, corporation counsel.
"My job in Jamestown was easy for me because I had good people with me," he said. "There was a good chemistry there."