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Archive for July, 2012

Chris Nowak is Revolution all-time home run leader…for now

The two most important Revolution home run records now belong to Chris Nowak.  In Tuesday’s home game against Bridgeport, Nowak smacked two home runs, his team leading 17th and 18th of the season.  That makes 43 in a York uniform, surpassing Jason Aspito’s previous all-time franchise lead of 42 (’07-’09).  Nowak also surpassed teammate Scott Grimes with the blasts, who has 42 himself after tying Aspito with a home run against Lancaster on Friday at the beginning of this homestand.

So, Nowak is the Revolution Home Run King for the time being, but a nice little race should develop between he and Grimes the rest of this season – and possibly beyond – to see who holds that title when the dust finally settles.  (We’ll keep you updated here on the blog.) Last season, it was Nowak who hit 25 home runs in just 84 games after joining the club in June.  That clipped Aspito’s single-season record of 24 dingers in 2008.

It’s been a week filled with Atlantic League milestones.  In Somerset, the Patriots picked up their 1,000th all-time win, which was also Sparky Lyle’s 1,000th career win as the only manger Somerset has known in their 15 years as an Atlantic League charter member.  A fellow charter member, Bridgeport, was the first club in league history to notch 1,000 wins, by beating the Revs at Harbor Yard in June.  Longtime Patriot Jeff Nettles also picked up his 1,000th career Atlantic League hit. Nettles is the Atlantic League all-time hit leader, and is the first to reach the 1,000 hit milestone. Former Rev Bryant Nelson (’11), now playing for Long Island, recently notched his 2,000th career minor league hit – all leagues combined.  Nelson also picked up nine Major League hits during a 25-game cup of coffee with the Red Sox in 2002.

Anyway…so Chris Nowak or Scott Grimes…who do you have being on top by season’s end?

-Paul Braverman


Thurston brings MLB experience to York

The common term for a brief stint in the Major Leagues is “cup of coffee.”  Well, consider Joe Thurston highly-caffeinated.

Now in his 14th season as a professional, Thurston has combined various cups of coffee with different organizations into an impressive resume for a player in the Atlantic League.  Despite his veteran status, the infielder is only 32-years-old and has played this season, after stops in Lehigh Valley and Rochester, the Phillies and Twins Triple-A clubs respectively.

Originally drafted by the Dodgers as a 19-year-old in 1999, Thurston has reached the Major Leagues in seven different seasons.  The detail of that experience after the jump:

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Shanks is all-time Revolution hits leader

Short, sweet, yet historical:  With an RBI single in the first inning of the Revolution’s 8-6 win at Camden on Sunday, James Shanks became the franchise’s all-time hits leader.  The run-scoring base knock was his 358th in a Revolution uniform, surpassing Keoni DeRenne for the all-time lead. DeRenne played three full seasons for York from the inaugural 2007 campaign through 2009. Shanks surpassed him after just two and a half seasons with the Revs, as he’s been with the club since opening day 2010.


Pennsylvania vs. Maryland Big 26 Classic coming to Sovereign Bank Stadium

The inaugural Big 26 Baseball Classic featuring the best prep players from Pennsylvania and Maryland is coming to Central PA this weekend.  The series, similar to the Big 33 Football Classic between Pennsylvania and Ohio, will feature the top rising juniors from high school programs throughout the entire Keystone and Old Line states.  Pennsylvania will square off against Maryland in three games Friday, Saturday and Sunday July 20-22.

The games Friday and Saturday night will be held at Sovereign Bank Stadium in York, home of the 2010 and 2011 Atlantic League Champion York Revolution.  Sunday’s game will be held at Metro Bank Park in Harrisburg, PA, home of the Harrisburg Senators of the Eastern League.  Each game in York will begin at 6:45 p.m., and the gates at Sovereign Bank Stadium will open at 5:45.

Tickets for the game are six dollars apiece, and four dollars for fans 12 and under.  All tickets will be general admission, and may be purchased at the gate the day of the game.  Proceeds benefit The Big 26 scholarship fund.  All players in the game will be entering their senior season in high school, however, each game will be nine innings in length, not seven.  Each state will field a team of 26 of their best players.

For team rosters and more information, fans should visit Big26.org.   For more information about the games in York, please contact York Revolution Baseball Operations Manager Andrew Ball at 717-801-4476 or e-mail aball@yorkrevolution.com.


Lancaster chooses to host games 1 & 2 of Freedom Division Championship Series

Atlantic League rules dictate the first half division winner gets to choose whether they want to host the first two games or the final three games of the best-of-five divisional round of the playoffs.  A season ago after winning the first half, Lancaster chose the final three games in their series against the second half Freedom Division-winning Revolution.  After the Revolution took the first two games of the series at home, the Barnstormers rebounded to win two in a row at Clipper Magazine Stadium, forcing a game five.  Behind Corey Thurman, the Revs of course won a classic game by a run in extra innings, to close a classic series.

After beating Long Island three games to one to win the title, York became just the second franchise in Atlantic League history to win a championship after qualifying for the playoffs in the second half.  Somerset was the other.

This season, Lancaster has opted to host games one and two.  Therefore, should the Revolution make the playoffs and play Lancaster in the first round, games three, four (if necessary) and five (if necessary) would be at Sovereign Bank Stadium, September 28-30.  The Barnstormers will host games one and two of a first round series on September 26 and 27, that much is for sure.

The Atlantic League Championship series will begin Tuesday, October 2 and be played over five consecutive days weather permitting through October 6, should the best-of-five series go the distance.

-Paul Braverman


Revolution sign former O’s outfielder Jeff Fiorentino, Haveman to Inactive List

Nobody panic:  Brandon Haveman is going on the inactive list temporarily, but it’s not injury related.  He has some personal, non-injury things to handle and Etch allowed him to leave the team for a few days.  He should be back by the end of this seven-game homestand.  In the meantime, the Revs have inked Jeff Fiorentino to a deal, maybe a familiar name to area fans.

Fiorentino brings 58 games of Major League experience to the Revolution, mostly with the Baltimore Orioles. He made his Major League debut in 2005 with Baltimore, and also climbed to the big leagues again in ’06 with the Orioles. In 2008, he reached the Majors with the Oakland Athletics, before his most recent MLB stint, again with Baltimore in 2009.

The well-traveled Fiorentino has had four separate stints with the Orioles organization, shuttling back and forth between the Majors and minors. Before coming to York, he was also on his second go-round with the Athletics, playing for their Triple-A affiliate in Sacramento to begini this season. A season ago, he spent time in Double-A and Triple-A with the Braves, and in 2010 played for Hiroshima in the Japanese Major Leagues.

The ninth-year pro is a .270 hitter in big league action with a home run and 21 RBI, and has played in over 700 minor league games, with a .280 average, 84 home runs and 377 RBI upon joining the Revolution. Fiorentino played collegiately at Florida Atlantic University before being selected by Baltimore in the third round of the 2004 draft.

-Paul Braverman


One-time Rev Dave Veres prominent in Kile documentary

Darryl Kile

It’s been 10 years since St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Darryl Kile died suddenly from a heart attack in his Chicago hotel room, prior to a game at Wrigley Field on June 22, 2002.  On Thursday night, MLB Network debuted a documentary to mark the anniversary, titled The Life and Death of Darryl Kile.

Former Revolution reliever and 10-year Major League veteran Dave Veres is among the most prominent interviews in the hour long program.  Veres, in the documentary and at other times has been referred to as Darryl Kile’s best friend.  It’s not hard to see why;  both debuted with Houston in the big leagues after playing together in the Astros minor league system, and they were teammates at three different stops in the majors; Houston, Colorado and St. Louis.

Veres was with the Cardinals in 2002 when the tragedy happened.  While it was nice to see a familiar face, a nice guy and someone who had one of the better stories of the Revolution’s early days, it was unfortunate it was in such a sobering setting.  Veres, who didn’t play in 2005 or 2006 due to chronic hip problems, was pitching with the Revolution in 2008 attempting to comeback – with an artificial hip.  His perseverance made national news as one of the bigger names in the Atlantic League, attempting to climb a big mountain.

Ultimately, Veres would decide after half a season that comeback would have to end, but then-Manager Chris Hoiles, who at the time was less than two years the senior of his 41-year-old right-hander, allowed Veres to go out in style.  In Veres’ final three appearances as a professional he saved three consecutive games, all at Sovereign Bank Stadium as the Revolution swept a series.  His decision to hang it up was not performance based, as in 35.2 innings with the Revs Veres ERA was just 2.27, with six saves total.  He accumulated 95 career saves a big leaguer.

Throughout the documentary on Kile, the point was driven home that Kile was not only a top-notch ballplayer, but a top-notch teammate, father and human being.  It’s not hard to see why he and Veres were kindred spirits…one story about Veres stood out when I thought about him for the first time in a while as I watched.

In 2008, I remember Veres writing a personalized note to an older fan who was in the hospital, recovering from a painful hip replacement.  Who better than to offer good wishes and empathy than Veres, who was pitching professionally after such an ordeal.  After I took the card to give to the sales rep who had brought it to me in the first place, Veres said “if there is anything else I can do, please let me know.”  Just going out there and pitching was more than enough for us and that one particular fan.

I don’t want to share too many details of the documentary, you should definitely watch for yourself.  While it can be difficult to watch, it’s definitely worth an hour, especially to see the bond between Dave Veres and Darryl Kile.  There is an encore showing on Friday (July 13) from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., so write yourself a note or set your DVR.  MLB Network on Comcast in York is channel 280, 859 in HD.  I’m not sure about Directv, sorry.  Right now that’s the only encore showing I could find, but I’m sure there will be more.

-Paul Braverman

Dave Veres, in spring training with the Revolution prior to the 2008 season


All-Star Break Notebook

Well, the All-Star Break is here.  Last year at this time, the Long Island Ducks and Lancaster Barnstormers had already clinched playoff spots after winning the first half in their respective divisions, and the Revolution were in limbo after a second place finish.  And this year…well how’d that work out for those two clubs last fall?

Once again the Revolution will need to qualify for the postseason in the second half to win their third straight championship, either by winning the Freedom Division race or by a wild card entry, should Lancaster win the second half as well.  Last season, York became just the second team in the Atlantic League’s first 14 seasons to win a championship after making the playoffs via the second half.  Somerset was the other.  Now on to business…

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Six Revs will play in Atlantic League All-Star Game

Ramon Castro, Brandon Haveman, Michael Hernandez, Andres Perez, Adam Thomas and Corey Thurman will represent the York Revolution and play for the Freedom Division in Wednesday’s All-Star Game at Campbell’s Field in Camden.  Read the official release from the team after the jump:

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Do The Berney 46 times

With seven solid innings in Sunday’s 9-2 win over Somerset, Corey Thurman notched his 46th career win in a Revolution uniform since joining the club prior to the 2008 season.  Far and away the franchise’s all-time leader in that category, the closest to Thurman is Wayne Franklin – with 20. 

Thurm’s 46th career win also placed him third in Atlantic League history.  He is now 16 wins behind second place man Lincoln Mikkelsen who has 62 ALPB winning decisions.  Tim Cain is the league’s all-time leader, with 74.  Thurman would be even closer had he not missed the second half of the 2009 season with hand injury, after starting the All-Star Game for the Freedom Division. 

Thurman’s 8-1 record this season makes him 46-24 for his Revolution career, and eight consecutive winning decisions is also a club record.  York is 12-2 when he pitches this season. 

With no apparent plans to retire anytime soon, who knows how far he’ll climb.  Could Mikkelsen and Cain actually be within reach?  Time will tell, but based on performances such as Sunday’s, and most of his starts this season, Corey Thurman keeps getting better with age.

-Paul Braverman


Grimes passes Esquivel for all-time home run lead at The Vault

On May 3, Scott Grimes drilled two solo shots against Camden, to become the Revolution all-time home run leader at Sovereign Bank Stadium.  His 18 dingers at the time were one better than the 17 bombs each hit by Jason Aspito and Matt Dryer. 

Grimes’ solo home run in the second inning of Sunday’s 9-2 win over Somerset was his 22nd homer all-time at the venerable ballpark in Downtown York, surpassing Matt Esquivel’s total of 21 with the Revolution and as a visitor with the Long Island Ducks.


Notebook: Heat wave edition

It’s too hot.  On that note, I’d like to thank everyone in York City this week who came up to me and said “hot enough for ya?”  Anywho, a lot of miscellaneous facts about the Revolution have been piling up in my head during the week, and it’s time to remove them to make room for other things.  So I hope you enjoy this in some type of air conditioning.

  • After making his off-season home in New Brunswick, NJ for the last five years, Revs bench/third base coach Enohel Polanco is now a United States citizen.  A native of Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic, it was a long time coming for Polanco, and it became official on June 19.  I was fortunate enough to spend some time with him talking about it, and you can catch the full story in the new edition of the York Revolutionary Times at the ballpark.  The new one will run Monday, July 2 through Sunday, July 8 for the series’ against Somerset and Camden.
  • Chris Nowak was released from Mexico City in the Mexican League shortly after he arrived there.  He is on his way back to the Revolution, and should be active to play on Monday.  With the roster at 25 active players, a roster move will have to be made.  What that move will be remains to be seen.  I seriously don’t know, so we’ll all be forced to speculate.
  • As you know, a slew of former Revolution pitchers are currently in Triple-A, and for the most part the results haven’t been too shabby.  Who will be the next Rev to reach the Majors?  Click below to check out the up-to-date numbers of the following alums:
    Scott Rice, Albuquerque Isotopes (Dodgers Triple-A, Revs ’11)
    Mike DeMark, Reno Aces (Diamondbacks Triple-A, Revs ’11)
    Ryan Feierabend, Louisville Bats (Reds Triple-A, Revs ’12)
    Shawn Hill, Las Vegas 51s (Blue Jays Triple-A, Revs ’12)
    Ian Thomas, Rome Braves (Braves Class A, Revs ’12)
  • Lancaster Manager Butch Hobson will not be suspended for throwing first base into the York dugout trash can twice last Sunday at Sovereign Bank Stadium after being ejected.  I thought there would be a chance for a one-game suspension, but honestly it’s not that big of a deal.  I think the main reason the league didn’t want to act is because it was hilarious.  Fans of both teams enjoyed it, as did I.  Family friendly entertainment is what it’s all about after all.
  • Former Lancaster Barnstormers starter and current Los Angeles Angels hurler Jerome Williams is on the road back to the big leagues.  After starting last season in Lancaster and ending it in Anaheim, Williams was placed on the DL June 20 of this year with a “chest” injury.  He’s made two rehab starts for High-A Inland Empire in the California League, and will now head to Triple-A Salt Lake to finish his rehab.  He made 12 starts for the Angels this season before landing on the Disabled List.
  • With the Atlantic League All-Star Game July 11 at Campbell’s Field in Camden, the all-star rosters will be unveiled sometime this week.  We’ll post the official release from the Revolution here on the blog as soon as the selections are revealed, so watch out for that.  I’ll attempt to predict which Revs position players will be selected in no particular order:  Castro, Haveman, Perez and even player-coach Liu Rodriguez.  Looking at his average, how do you keep him off?  Pitching is more of a crap shoot, but I can mostly guarantee that Corey Thurman (7-1) will be making his third appearance at the All-Star Game in the last four seasons.
  • Andy Etchebarren will manage the Freedom Division All-Stars for the second consecutive year, as the division-winning manager is always offered the opportunity to manage his division in the next year’s all-star game.  It doesn’t always happen that way, but the last two years it has.  Etch managed against Willie Upshaw of Bridgeport a season ago, and this year Long Island’s Kevin Baez will skipper the Liberty Division squad.  With Etch now back in the York dugout full-time as he recovers from back surgery, there may have been a question of whether he’d make the trip to Camden or take the time off.  But he’ll be there.

-Paul Braverman