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Archive for February, 2013

News and Notes

 

The obligatory pitchers' BP photo for Derrick, a right-handed slugger at the plate, and a left-handed artist on the mound. Pretty good outfield football player too.

The obligatory pitchers’ BP photo for Derrick, a right-handed slugger at the plate, and a left-handed artist on the mound. Pretty good outfield football player too.

The Revs are expecting to announce more player signings (maybe as many as three!!!) before the end of the week, but in the meantime, a few odds and ends to pass along… (more…)


“Fio” and Fox latest duo to join Revs

Fiorentino, Jeff 6

Former Orioles & Athletics outfielder Jeff Fiorentino will return to York to start the 2013 season, in search of his next MLB contract.

The York Revolution continue to build their 2013 roster, with two more key signings made official.  Outfielder Jeff Fiorentino will return to York this season, while right-handed pitcher Matt Fox is penciled into a spot in the starting rotation.  The signings were announced by Revs manager Mark Mason.

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Revs Announce Plans for 2013 Fan Fest

Yes, we've really designed a jersey with the logo of every Atlantic League team, past and present.

Yes, we’ve really designed a jersey with the logo of every Atlantic League team, past and present.

With less than two months until the first pitch of the 2013 season, the York Revolution have finalized plans for this year’s Fan Fest, held at Sovereign Bank Stadium on Saturday, April 13.  Beginning with a live country music performance, and leading up to an exhibition game between this year’s Revs squad and a group of Atlantic League alumni all-stars, the preseason party will kick off the seventh season of Revolution baseball at Sovereign Bank Stadium. (more…)


Scott Grimes retires to join coaching staff at LaSalle University

Grimes, Scott LaSalle[1]

One of the all-time greats in York Revolution history, center fielder Scott Grimes has announced his retirement from baseball as a player after eight professional seasons, the last three of which were spent in York.  Grimes has accepted an assistant coaching position at the Division I level with LaSalle University in Philadelphia, and begins the next phase of his career today as LaSalle opens its season in Cary, NC at the USA Baseball Complex Classic.

Grimes caps his time in York, leaving the Revolution as the franchise’s all-time leader in games played (357), runs scored (298), at-bats (1,350), hits (374), extra-base hits (128), triples (13), total bases (605), stolen bases (69), and walks (205).  He ranks second all-time in home runs (45), third in doubles (70), and fifth in RBI (155).

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Revs Ink Major Speed, Finalize Thurman’s Return

Graham bat

The Revs have announced their two latest signings, inking outfielder Tyler Graham (pictured) who made his Major League debut just last season, while bringing back Corey Thurman for his sixth season with the team.  Here is the full press release: (more…)


Octavio Martinez hired by Washington Nationals as bullpen catcher

Martinez Octavio 37_Nats

Former Revolution catcher and Atlantic League veteran Octavio Martinez was like countless other players; he battled the odds through a long minor league career including time at Triple-A, but never received the call to the big leagues.  While his playing days may technically be over, Martinez will now get to live the big league lifestyle that eluded all of those other players.

After catching in 83 games last year for the Sugar Land Skeeters, Martinez has been hired by the Washington Nationals as their bullpen catcher.  If you go to a game, home or road involving the Nationals this season, you’ll see Octavio suited up and rubbing elbows with the likes of Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman and oh, let’s say Roger Bernadina along with the rest of the defending National League East Champions.  In the Majors, the bullpen catcher is a signifcant part of a team’s coaching staff, and truly helps out in all areas in addition to catching bullpens pre-game and during the game.

Not to put words in Octavio’s mouth or anything, but it’s hard to imagine a better post-playing career job.  It’s hard to say he’s retired considering he’ll be breaking a sweat at the ballpark everyday, and his expertise after 14 professional seasons behind the plate will be of good use to the Nationals pitching staff.

Originally drafted by the Orioles out of Bakersfield College in 1999, Martinez was with the O’s through the 2005 season.  He spent 2006 with the Pirates and 2007 with the Dodgers, and garnered Triple-A time with Baltimore and L.A.  He played in the Atlantic League from 2009-on, spending a full season with Southern Maryland before being traded to Lancaster mid-way through 2010.  In 2011 he signed with York and spent the entire season with the Revolution, before being selected by the Sugar Land Skeeters in the 2012 expansion draft.  It’s been a pretty good 12 months for Octavio, who also had the opportunity to catch Roger Clemens on national TV with Sugar Land last August.

In 2011, Martinez was unfairly ridiculed by his York teammates for his lone home run of the season being wind-aided at Long Island.  Now would be a good time to point out that he has 23 career home runs.  And since the Nationals are probably going to win the World Series this year, he’ll have a big fat World Series ring to put next to his 2011 Atlantic League Championship ring.

In addition to your day-trip to D.C. to catch Octavio in the big leagues, here are Washington’s games in Philadelphia and Baltimore:

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Remembering 2012: Profile of Brandon Haveman

In this week’s edition, we re-visit the story of Revolution outfielder Brandon Haveman, who joined York after being released by the Lancaster Barnstormers last season.  This column about him ran in edition number 8 of the York Revolutionary Times in case you missed it at the ballpark.

Copy of Haveman, Brandon 30 - Copy

Haveman Making a Sizeable Contribution to Revs’ Push for Playoffs

By Ron Gardner 

OK – so York Revolution outfielder Brandon Haveman has been mistaken a couple of times for the team batboy in his career.

It’s also true that his youthful appearance combined with his 5-9, 165-pound frame led to hometown fans chanting “tee-ball, tee-ball” whenever he came up to bat when he was with the Pulaski Mariners in his first minor league season in 2009.

While Haveman may not possess the super-sized athletic build scouts and front-office types covet in a guy who earns a living playing professional baseball, his physical stature hasn’t kept him from making an oversized impact since joining the Revs on May 24.  York was sputtering along with an 8-16 record at the time, in last place in the Freedom Division and manager Andy Etchebarren was busy looking for someone who could provide a positive spark for his struggling team.

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‘Dre Returns in 2013, Revs add catcher Patrick Arlis, and a former Revs great welcomes a new addition to the family

 

Celebrating his walk-off home run on September 2 (video below), one of the league's top hitters, Andres Perez is set to return to York this season

Celebrating his walk-off home run on September 2 (video below), one of the league’s top hitters, Andres Perez is set to return to York this season

Little by little, the 2013 roster is beginning to take shape, and today the Revs announced the latest signings, bringing back All-Star infielder Andres Perez and signing catcher Patrick Arlis.  We also congratulate a former Revs great who welcomed a new addition to the family today.  That, plus the full press release, and my $0.02 on the signings after the jump. (more…)


Talkin’ Baseball on February 11 in York

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Here are the details on the now annual pre-season baseball talk at Zion Lutheran Church in York:

Zion Lutheran Church will hold its third annual baseball talk at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 11 in the church’s sanctuary, 2215 Brandywine Lane, York. This year’s event again features: Mel Antonen, baseball writer for SI.com, baseball panelist for MASN and Sirius/XM talk show host; Dan Connolly, Orioles/national baseball writer for The Baltimore Sun; and Jim Seip, York Revolution beat writer for the York Daily Record/York Sunday News. The writers will present their thoughts on the upcoming baseball season – Orioles, Phillies, all MLB, plus the York Revolution and the Atlantic League — and will answer questions from the audience. There is no admission fee, but a freewill offering will be taken to benefit the church’s youth ministry program. For more information, contact the church at 717-767-4673.

As an attendee of the event last year, I can confirm it really is a great primer to get you back in the baseball mindset, especially now with the Super Bowl over and pitchers and catchers reporting in a mere matter of days. In addition to the topics mentioned above, this audience member will try to throw in some talk about the Yankees and Nationals, you know, two clubs that actually finished in first place in their division last season. Revolution fans will also want to attend to hear the latest scoop around the locals. Fun! See you there.

-Paul Braverman


Remembering 2012: Q&A with Joe Thurston

Don't spike me bro:  Joe Thurston spent 2012 Spring Training with the Houston Astros, where he stood in here against Bryce Harper to turn a double play.  Thurston also played in seven MLB seasons with the Dodgers, Phillies, Red Sox, Cardinals and Marlins.

Don’t spike me bro: Joe Thurston spent 2012 Spring Training with the Houston Astros, where he stood in here against Bryce Harper to turn a double play. Thurston also played in seven MLB seasons with the Dodgers, Phillies, Red Sox, Cardinals and Marlins.


A Conversation with Joe Thurston
Revolution infielder and a veteran of parts of seven Major League seasons, Joe Thurston talked with the York Revolutionary Times this past season about his time in the big leagues, his approach and a famous family member.

YRT: Everyone always wonders about big league life, what it’s like to be in the Major Leagues. And you got to experience that for parts of seven seasons. What’s the best part about being in the Major Leagues?
JT: Great teams, great teammates and just playing at the highest level. Every part of it is great. I can’t really pinpoint just one thing that sticks out the most. Obviously in 2009 I was up there the whole year with a great team (the St. Louis Cardinals), and we made the playoffs, so to have big league playoff experience on a winning team, playing with Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday, Adam Wainwright, Yadier Molina and all the different guys on our team; and Manager Tony LaRussa, that was something special.

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World Series time in the Caribbean

Michael Nix celebrating the Puerto Rican League title, courtesy of his Facebook page (with his permission, of course)

Michael Nix celebrating the Puerto Rican League title, courtesy of his Facebook page (with his permission, of course)

 

It’s on to the Caribbean World Series for the Winter Leagues as all four participating nations have had their champions crowned, and there is still a good amount of Revolution / Atlantic League representation to track. (more…)


Former Rev Shawn Hill will pitch for Team Canada in World Baseball Classic, joining host of other Atlantic League Alums in tournament

Hill-Shawn-56_WorldBaseballClassic

The third World Baseball Classic Tournament will begin on March 2 during spring training, in Florida, Arizona and sites around the world.  The finals are slated for San Francisco’s AT&T Park from March 17-19.  Since the last World Baseball Classic prior to the 2009 season, the Atlantic League has passed the mark of over 100 former players reaching Major League Baseball.  Concurrently, the league’s footprint is continuing to grow in the international game as well.

The headliner in the WBC for the Revolution, and most likely the best Atlantic League Alum in the competition is Canada’s Shawn Hill.  In his final five starts in York last season, Hill did not allow a run, setting a new franchise scoreless innings streak at 27 and 2/3.  His contract was then purchased by the Toronto Blue Jays on June 18, the team he was last in the Majors with in 2010.  By September 29, Hill was summoned back to Toronto, becomming the third Revolution alum to reach the big leagues, and the second to go from York to the Majors in one season.  (Tike Redman, Revs to Orioles in 2007.)  That day he earned the winning decision for the Blue Jays, over the Yankees and Andy Pettitte no less, becoming the first former Revs pitcher to earn a Major League win.  The Mississauga, Ontario native will be a top of the rotation starter for Canada in the WBC.

Following the season, Hill was released by Toronto and opted to sign with the Detroit Tigers, where he will go to Major League spring training around his Team Canada duties.  If he does not make Detroit’s final 25-man roster, his likely destiniation is Triple-A Toledo.  Should he pitch well there, a call-up to the big leagues would be likely for sometime in 2013.

Below is a list of the former Atlantic League players suiting up for their country, or adopted country in this year’s WBC.  (If anything is confusing, remember that certain players are allowed to pitch for their nation of “heritage.”)  Every WBC game will be televised on MLB Network, so bookmark the schedule and remember to watch all of these familiar faces, or if you find yourself on a spring training vacation, check them out in person!

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Liu Rodriguez to play in Italian Baseball League this season

Rodriguez, Liu 71

While you never say never when it comes to the Atlantic League, it appears Liubiemithz Rodriguez’s long run with the York Revolution is over.

The do-it-all infielder joined York mid-way through the 2009 season, and had been on the Revolution roster every game through last season, making him the second-longest tenured Revs player behind only Corey Thurman of course.  Last season, Rodriguez was officially designated as a player-coach, but still appeared in 64 games, batting .329 with three homers and 39 RBI in limited action.  Liu is now taking his talents to the fledgling Italian Baseball League, where he has inked a deal with the Godo Knights.

In Italy, games are twice a week on average, so Rodriguez will essentially continue to be a part-time player as he transitions into an eventual career in coaching.  During last season, he sat down with our Ron Gardner for this feature about winding his playing career down, and his yearning to become a coach.

The 36-year old Caracas, Venezuela native did reach the pinnacle of his profession in 1999, suiting up for 39 games as a 22-year-old middle infielder with the Chicago White Sox.  It would be the only MLB regular-season playing time of Liu’s career.  Only time will tell on whether he re-surfaces back in York in the future.

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