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Archive for January, 2012

More player signings to pass along

Liubiemithz returns for a fourth season, this time as part-player, part-member of Etch's coaching staff

The Revs announced four more player signings today, bringing the preseason total to seven (five returning).  Today’s news brings us the return of LHP Kris Regas and RHP Dumas Garcia, along with the confirmation that Liubiemithz Rodriguez returns to the team, this time as a player-coach.  York also added RHP Omar Javier, who was impressive when he faced the Revs as a member of the Road Warriors last season. (more…)

Revolution odds and ends

We have a few miscellaneous notes to pass along to begin the week:

  • The other day the Delmarva Shorebirds tweeted that former Revolution hitting coach Ryan Minor will continue as their manager, a post he has held since 2010.  It will be Minor’s third season as skipper, and his fifth on the coaching staff there.  After serving as Revs hitting coach for one season in 2007, he moved to the Orioles Low-A South Atlantic League affiliate in Salisbury, MD.  Minor, a former University of Oklahoma basketball and baseball player, is most remembered for taking Cal Ripken’s spot at third when Cal’s consecutive games streak came to an end.
  • Revolution Manager Andy Etchebarren told Jim Seip of the York Dailly Record that 35-year-old Liu Rodriguez will be returning to the Revs this season, as a player-coach.  This makes for a four-person coaching staff, with the return of Pitching Coach Mark Mason and Enohel Polanco.  Polanco served as a player-coach in 2010, before retiring as a player but staying on the coaching staff.  As an English and Spanish speaker, Rodriguez’s future as a minor league coach appears bright.  The Venezuelan-born infielder enjoyed a 39-game cup of coffee in the bigs with the White Sox in 1999.
  • To the chagrin of all Revolution fans, it appears first baseman Chris Nowak is unlikely to return to York this season.  Nowak will attempt to play in the Japanese major leagues this season, and if that doesn’t work out, rumor has it he would play in the Mexican League, officially classifed as Triple-A by MLB.  Sluggers are valued very highly in that league, and players who do not hit home runs usually don’t last long there.  Considering Nowak bashed a Revs single-season record 25 last season in just 84 games after joining York in mid-June, I’m sure Mexico is interested, and he would probably stick if he went there.  While it’s certainly possible he could resurface with the Revolution at some point, right now the coaching staff is moving forward putting the team together without him.
  • Don’t forget that Revolution single-game tickets for all 70 home games in 2012 go on sale this Saturday (Feb. 4) online and in person at 10 a.m.  The Apple Chevrolet Ticket Office will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday for your ticket buying pleasure, and Revs hurler (icon?) Corey Thurman will be on hand from 10-Noon to sign autographs and take pictures.  If you’d like to come to the home opener on May 1, Saturday would be a good time to reserve those tickets. 
  • Revolution co-owner and former York White Rose Brooks Robinson was hospitalized as precaution over the weekend, after suffering a fall.  Brooks fell off a stage at a charity dinner for retired players in Hollywood, FL on Friday night, sustaining two fractures in the area of his shoulder, including a broken clavicle.  He was alert as he was treated by paramedics.  The fall was six to eight feet.
  • There’s another potential complication in the Loudoun Hounds quest to get going in Northern Virginia, to hopefully join the Atlantic League as an expansion franchise in 2013.  (Check out this post from October about Loudoun if you’re new here.)  While construction has not yet begun on their ballpark, construction has begun on the development that will someday surround the ballpark there, in Dulles, VA.  (Homes, shopping, etc.).  Then today we learned, courtesty of the folks over at Ballpark Digest that the Potomac Nationals, the High-A Carolina League affiliate of Washington, might want to cut in on the Hounds action.  The P-Nats play in the D.C. suburb of Woodbridge, VA, in Prince William County.  That franchise has played there for years under several names and affiliations, in aging Pfitzner Stadium, a facility which no longer meets the needs of a professional team in this day and age.  Talk of re-locating the team or a new ballpark has been going on for some years, and the latest solution floated in that Ballpark Digest article may be a little of both.  The P-Nats may move to a new ballpark along the I-66 corridor, which would provide easy access for Loudoun County residents.  Such a thing won’t stop the folks in Loudoun from breaking ground on their ballpark and opening as soon as they can, but it will be interesting to watch, ala the Revolution’s proximity to the Double-A Harrisburg Senators, also a Washington farm, upon opening in 2007.  However, while the Revs and Sens may compete for a few fans equidistant of each city, York and Harrisburg have remained pretty separate markets, and attendance has stayed strong in each.  If anything, the Revolution’s presence with sparkling-new Sovereign Bank Stadium helped Harrisburg’s fans, prodding the organization to make massive renovations to Metro Bank Park perhaps faster than they had planned .  It’s now a very nice ballpark if you haven’t been to a game there lately, and fans who went to the original ballpark as I did, will find it hard to believe “new” Metro Bank Park sits on the same site as the “old” park.  The improvements are that dramatic.  I can’t say for sure whether the Hounds impending presence prompted the P-Nats proposed move to I-66, but there’s no doubt the prospect of some competition accelerated talks of a new ballpark for them, even though those talks began long before the Loudoun Hounds were a factor.  In any event, Loudoun County will have their home team and Prince William County will have theirs, and although there will be some overlap similar to York and Harrisburg, both teams should continue to thrive with brand-new, state of the art facilities. 

More announcements on player signings for the upcoming season will be coming this week.  Rev it up!

-Paul Braverman

Fan Fest will be Saturday, April 21: Revolution vs. Susquehanna/Central All-Stars (and some stuff about spring training.)

Here’s some news and notes regarding the Revolution’s annual Fan Fest, which this year will be on Saturday, April 21:

  • The Revolution will play an exhibition game that day against the “York County All-Stars,” a collection of players from the Susquehanna and Central Leagues, to be chosen by each league.  The manager of the team is TBA.  This is the second time we’ve had this matchup, at Fan Fest 2009 the Revs defeated the York County All-Stars by the score of 18-1.  Among the highlights were Red Lion ace Shawn Hedrick starting for the opposition, and Hedrick would join the Revolution later in the season, making his professional debut as a 34-year-old rookie at Sovereign Bank Stadium.  Hedrick pitched admirably as a spot starter when the Revs rotation was nicked up by injuries.  He made four starts for the Revolution in 2009, and one more in 2010.  Glen Rock’s Fritz Allison also hit a monster double to center off Rick Bauer in the first inning, but it was pretty much all Revs from there.  Bauer would later leave the Revolution to finish ’09 in Taiwan, but the former Oriole also pitched in the big leagues for Cleveland a season prior in ’08.  Allison did play 37 professoinal games for Elmira in the Short-Season New York-Penn League in 1994, after signing with the Marlins as an undrafted free agent that year.  It was his only professional experience.
  • Hedrick still plays for Red Lion in the Susquehanna League, and former Revolution outfielder Jason Aspito is his teammate.  Aspito joined Red Lion after retiring from professional baseball after the 2009 season, when he also became the head baseball coach at Penn State-York.  Aspito was with the Revs beginning with the inaugural 2007 season, and his 24 home runs in 2008 was a single-season franchise record until Chris Nowak hit 25 last season.  Seeing that Aspito is the most experienced professional player in either league, there’s a good chance he and Hedrick will face their former squad in this exhibition game.  Aspito was a pro for 10 years, after being drafted by the White Sox in 2000, also spending time with the Angels, where he reached Triple-A in 2006.
  • Tickets for this game will be $5 for the general public, and $3 for Revolution season ticket holders.  Start time is at 1 p.m., and the Sovereign Bank Stadium gates will open at noon.  $1 of each ticket sold will go back to the Susquehanna and Central Leagues, so support your local baseball team by coming out.
  • The manager and the rosters will be announced at a later date in a press release.  Stay tuned for that announcement.
  • Fan Fest will also include a party on the Brooks Robinson Plaza as in years past, which will include a TBA country music show presented by WGTY.  It will be family friendly fun as usual!
  • The Revolution will be reporting to York on Friday, April 13 to begin spring camp workouts.  Between then and when they depart for Sugar Land on April 24 to open the season, they’ll have a handful of exhibition games including Fan Fest on the 21st.  Of course Lancaster will be on the exhibition schedule, and probably at least one game with Camden or Southern Maryland as well.  Sugar Land will actually be spending the week in York to train, so they’ll have nearby competition for exhibition games as well.  There will likely be at least two Revs-Skeeters matchups during spring training week.  The exhibition schedule will be posted online soon.  There won’t be an admission price for any exhibition games other than Fan Fest.

More Chris Hoiles news, he’s back with the O’s

Last week we reported that Jim Seip reported that Roch Kubatko reported that former Revolution manager Chris Hoiles was interested in returning to the Orioles organization in any coaching capacity.  After spending a decade with the O’s as their primary catcher, it appears that request has been honored.  MASN’s Kubatko is reporting that Hoiles will be joining the Orioles in Sarasota for spring training next month, where he’ll be a special instructor.  No word yet on whether that may translate into a minor league coaching job this season or in the future.  Hoiles did re-locate to York County from his native Ohio, and lives in Spring Grove.  He wouldn’t be too far from home and family if he were to work with one of Baltimore’s lower affiliates in Maryland, Aberdeen (Short-A, New York-Penn League), Delmarva in Salisbury, MD (Low-A, South Atlantic League) or Frederick (High-A, Carolina League).   

So good for him, Chris is a good guy.  But the real reason for this entry is the excuse to post this AWESOME picture from Hoiles’ early days with the O’s.  You’re welcome York.

-Paul Braverman

Revs announce first three signings of 2012 season, lose Martinez to Skeeters

Revs RHP Santo Luis (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

After months of waiting, in some ways baseball season finally arrived on this snowy Monday in York, with the Revs announcing their first three signings for the upcoming season.  Returning vets Ramon Castro and Salvador Paniagua are familiar names to Revolution fans, while the third, relief pitcher Santo Luis, is a quite intriguing addition in his own right. The Revs also say goodbye to Octavio Martinez, whose rights were claimed by Sugar Land in the expansion draft. (more…)

Sean Stidfole: “I’m retiring”


The 48th annual York Area Sports Night was not without a surprise Thursday evening at Heritage Hills Golf Resort.  During the Q&A portion of the celebrity dinner and reception, now former Revolution reliever Sean Stidfole was put on the spot about his preparations for the upcoming season by M.C. Wayne McCullough of WOYK.  To Stidfole’s credit, he did not dance around the question with a cliched response, but rather gave it to the crowd straight:


Former Revolution Manager Chris Hoiles wants return to Orioles

More good lookin’ out over at Revs Inside Pitch, the blog maintained by York Daily Record Revolution beat writer Jim Seip.  He found this link from MASN’s Orioles reporter Roch Kubatko, who we affectionately refer to as “the Jim Seip of Baltimore.” 

An interesting read as Kubatko recently sat down with Chris Hoiles.  The former Orioles catcher who was inducted into the O’s Hall of Fame in 2006 is quite eager to return to professional baseball in a coaching capacity with the Baltimore organization, whether in the Majors or minors.  He was the Orioles primary catcher for most of his 10 MLB seasons (’89-’98).  Hoiles’ most impressive season came in 1993 when he batted .310, belted 29 homers and knocked in 82 runs – all career highs.

Hoiles was the Revolution’s first manager, skippering the club from 2007-2009.  He led the Revs to their first playoff berth in 2008, dropping the Freedom Division Championship series to Somerset.

What questions do the Revs face this off-season?

What decisions will the Revs have in front of them this winter as they aim for another on-field scene like this one?

By now the baseball staff has most of its off-season plan in place, its “shopping list” for 2012 as Etch and company aim to keep the club not only in contention, but make a run at an unprecedented third consecutive Atlantic League title.  We’ll start to hear some news in the next couple of weeks with the first signings, as well as the announcement of which player’s rights the Revs end up losing to Sugar Land in the Atlantic League expansion draft.

But in the meantime, ‘tis the season for speculation, so here goes, on a position-by-position case. (more…)

Scott Rice heads to Major League spring training with the Dodgers, Mike DeMark too, with D-Backs

When the Dodgers were in Brooklyn, their fans affectionately referred to them as “Dem Bums.”  Now that the Los Angeles version is marred in bankruptcy, perhaps that name is most fitting now.  But I digress.  Former Revolution left-handed reliever Scott Rice will spend March rubbing elbows with the big leaguers, as he strives to make his long awaited, and long overdue MLB debut. 

Scott Rice pictured in spring training with the Cubs, one of his many stops.


First order of off-season business – the expansion draft

York selected Travis Hake from Lancaster in the 2007 expansion draft. Who will the Revs lose to the Skeeters on February 1?

I’ve shared some details regarding this on Revs All-Access on Facebook as well as my Twitter feed (@RevsPBP) the last few days, but in case you missed it we have some news regarding the 2012 Atlantic League’s expansion draft which will take place on February 1 and assist Gary Gaetti and Michael Kirk in constructing Sugar Land’s inaugural roster. (more…)

Some stuff you (probably) haven’t seen

Looking through our photo archives on this Friday, I’ve unearthed several gems.  I know working for a minor league baseball team may sound glamorous, but it’s just business as usual here at Kramerica Industries.  I’m not sure how many days there are in February this year, but there’s like 3 1/2 months until opening day.  You can figure out the number of days on your own.  Enjoy.

From 2008 spring training in Lakeland, Florida: The tiny Kaz Tanaka pauses for a photo-op with the rather gigantic Derrick DePriest of Southern Maryland. The only player in Revolution history shorter than Tanaka would be Dave Flood...for those of you that remember crazy week.


Groundskeeper Jones joins Miami Marlins

The Miami Marlins lavish off-season spending spree has finally trickled down to the York Revolution of the Atlantic League.  After securing the services of perennial All-Stars Heath Bell, Mark Buehrle and Jose Reyes, and falling just short on Albert Pujols, the Marlins have taken that leftover Pujols money and secured a top-notch groundskeeper. 

Greg Jones, the second Head Groundskeeper in team history has been hired by the Marlins as their top assistant for the 2012 season.  Jones joins the organization which has re-branded from the Florida Marlins with new colors and logos for the upcoming season, as they move into a brand new stadium on the former site of the Orange Bowl.


Learn from a pro

Are you a baseball coach?  Have you ever sat around after your season saying to yourself “wow, wouldn’t it be nice if we could win the championship every year like the York Revolution?”  Yeah?  Well here is your big chance to take the next step and improve as a coach by learning from Revolution pitching coach and former minor league manager Mark Mason.  Mason is offering a coaches clinic at Sovereign Bank Stadium on Saturday, January 28.


Remembering 2011: More than just a relaxing night at the ballpark

In case you missed an issue of the “York Revolutionary Times” this past season, we’ve re-run columns by staff writer Ron Gardner here on the blog on Tuesdays.  In our sixth and final installment, Ron takes a broader look at the Atlantic League, and the quality of baseball it has to offer.