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Mills managed in the minor leagues for 10 seasons before becoming Terry Francona’s first base coach with Philadelphia in 1997. The two played together in college and again with the Expos.

Though Mills remained positive as things got worse this season, he acknowledged recently that all the trades had made things even more difficult for him.

“When we first got here it was kind of a slow transition. Now all of a sudden with the new regime changes and things we decided: `Let’s do the whole thing now,’” Mills said recently. “It definitely puts things in a situation where wins are tougher because you’re dealing with a lot of inexperienced individuals.”