A fun thing for Oriole fans is planned for the Revolution game on Saturday, May 9; Baltimore Sun Orioles and national baseball reporter Dan Connolly, a York resident, will be on-hand signing copies of his new book, 100 Things Orioles Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die.
Copies of the book will be available for purchase ($15) at a table on the concourse before and during the game against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, a 6:30 p.m. first pitch. Gates open for the game at 5:30.
The similarities between Brooks Robinson and Manny Machado continue to pile up. They were both called up to the Orioles as basically teenagers. They both play third base. And it didn’t take Machado long to almost equal Brooks’ feat of throwing a guy out from nearly the first row of seats.
Apologies if the GIF makes your machine run slow, but it’s an amazing comparison; first you have Brooks’ play in the 1970 World Series against the Reds, which I have always considered, at least at third base, the greatest defensive play EVER. Then take Machado last weekend against the Yankees…and it’s not that far off. Enjoy.
In a season where the Revolution has been caught of guard by four sudden in-season retirements (Dustin Pease, Jason Repko, Dallas McPherson and Jeff Fiorentino), this transaction comes as the exact opposite.
Thought to be retired, outfielder Val Majewski has re-joined the Revolution for at least their series in Lancaster this weekend that will end the first half. Whether this is just temporary or if he’ll be with the club longer remains to be seen. Last year Majewski split the season between the Texas Rangers Double and Triple-A clubs in Frisco and Round Rock, TX. The season prior in 2011, he was plucked off the Revolution roster mid-season by Texas and finished the year at Round Rock before returning to York for the playoffs, helping guide the Revs to their second straight championship.
The Revolution had reached out to Majewski earlier in the season when they were going through roster difficulty and needed outfield help. Majewski re-buffed those requests, but apparently has had a change of heart, even if his time with the Revs is only temporary. Majewski played against York with the Atlantic League Alumni team in April in an exhibition game at Fan Fest, and very much looked in game shape and ready to play. His birthday was on June 1, making him 32. This marks his 11th professional season after a collegiate career at Rutgers.
Andy Etchebarren is now 70 years old. He’s in town after appearing at the Brooks Robinson Classic Golf Tournament in York on Monday, and is spending his birthday week at the ballpark with the Revolution. The 2011 Atlantic League Manager of the year brought the Revolution their first two ALPB Championships in 2010 and 2011, and his number 8 sits alongside Brooks Robinson and Jackie Robinson as retired in center field at Sovereign Bank Stadium. These miscellaneous musings are in his honor.
Time for a quick update on some things…
- The above photo is from the Orioles game on June 10; as far as we were concerned it was “York Revolution Night” at Camden Yards. Pitching Coach John Halama, outfielder Jeff Fiorentino and former Manager Andy Etchebarren all took part in the Orioles Alumni Autograph Series before the game as former O’s players. On the right is Al Bumbry as well, who was a Revolution coach/goodwill ambassador during the inaugural 2007 season. The Orioles fought off the Angels and a two hour and 14 minute rain delay to win 4-3, thanks to a 2-run homer from Adam Jones. Mike Trout and Josh Hamilton each smacked solo homers, but Jim Johnson nailed down his 22nd save in the 9th to end it. Good times.
- We don’t talk college baseball around these parts much, but with two former fan favorites now assistants at Division I schools, we should pass along that former shortstop Chuck Jeroloman (’10) just finished his second season on TCU’s staff, and the Horned Frogs went 29-28 and 13-12 in conference in their first season in the Big XII, moving from the Mountain West Conference. Former centerfielder Scott Grimes (’10-’12) wrapped up his first season as an assistant at LaSalle University in Philadelphia with a 24-29 record, but the Explorers did go 15-9 in the Atlantic 10 after a tough non-conference slate. Most importantly, LaSalle defeated the hated University of Toledo 8-7 in their first game of the season.
- By now most fans have probably heard that former Revolution, now former Skeeters pitcher Michael Nix (’10-’11) was plucked off Sugar Land’s roster by the Chicago White Sox, and assigned to the Triple-A Charlotte Knights. The move made Nix part of a group of six former Revs currently either in the Majors or Triple-A. He’s now just a phone call away from potentially being the fifth former Rev to reach the big leagues. He departed the Atlantic League with a 5-1 record this season, leading the league in ERA at 1.81.
- The President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, Jeff Idelson, will be playing in the Revolution’s “Brooks Robinson Classic” Golf Tournament on Monday, June 17 at Springwood Golf Club in York. The Hall-of-Famer Brooks will be joined by Andy Etchebarren and the entire Revolution team and coaching staff at the event, so it should be a great time with plenty of celebrity punch if you’re attending.
Hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend. Bummer the Revolution were on the road, but it was fun catching up on watching some MLB, and listening to Darrell Henry of course. We have a mountain of miscellany to get through, so here we go…
- Perhaps already the best story in baseball this year, it just keeps getting better for Scott Rice. May 28 against the Yankees at Citi Field, he picked up his third career MLB win in spectacular fashion. Trailing 1-0 in the top of the 9th, Rice entered and tossed another scoreless inning. He did allow an infield hit to Ichiro on a swinging bunt off the handle, but then picked him off 1-3-6. Isn’t that just a story to tell forever. It got better however – when Mariano Rivera entered for the save, he allowed three consecutive hits to Daniel Murphy, David Wright and Lucas Duda to win 2-1 and hand Rivera his first blown save of the year. So for one night at least, Rice can say he out-dueled Rivera for an inning in the Subway Series and picked off another possible Hall of Famer to boot.
Took a break from Spring Training games to watch the 1966 World Series film on MASN last night, when the Orioles swept the Dodgers 4-0. Some notes:
- In Game 1 at Dodger Stadium, Frank Robinson and Brooks Robinson each homered in the first inning to set the tone for the Orioles sweep, in a 5-2 victory.
- In Game 2 at Dodger Stadium, Andy Etchebarren was the last man to ever bat against Sandy Koufax. He hit into a double play, but the O’s still won 6-0.
- During a cross country flight, the Orioles plane hit some major turbulence over the Rockies. I guess it got pretty intense. Years later, Etch was quoted as saying “we all said we have to finish this thing in Baltimore in five games or less, because nobody wanted to get back on that plane to go to Los Angeles again.”
- For supposedly being thin on pitching, the Orioles set a record for longest scoreless streak in a World Series, shutting the Dodgers out for the final 33 innings of the series, winning Games 3 and 4 at Memorial Stadium by identical 1-0 scores. As catcher, we’ll give Etch some credit for this too.
- After Paul Blair caught the final out in Game 4, the fans at Memorial Stadium rushed the field ala college football or basketball. Good luck ever seeing that again.
And finally, here are a couple of future managers during that series:
In case you weren’t at the game, here’s a nice video at the link below from the York Daily Record documenting the pre-game ceremony for Andy Etchebarren prior to Sunday’s game. Etch is retiring after three and a half seasons as Revolution manager, and after a 51-year career in professional baseball as a player, instructor, coach and manager. The Revolution have announced number 8 will be retired – no Rev will ever wear it again. Brooks Robinson weighed in with some kind words as well. Enjoy.
What a weekend it was at Sovereign Bank Stadium. As the Revolution travel to Sugar Land for the final six games of the regular season, there is much to recap:
- It was announced Sunday that Andy Etchebarren’s number 8 will be retired by the Revolution. Check out the next post (the one above this one) for a nice video from the York Daily Record with the highlights from Sunday’s pre-game ceremony which honored Etch. Hall-of-Famer Brooks Robinson, his former teammate and a Revolution co-owner, was on hand to say a few nice words as well.
- The Revolution’s 75 regular season wins are already a single-season franchise record, with six games to go.
- Chris Nowak is the second Revolution player to drive in 100 runs in a season (Aspito 105 in 2008), and is currently at 102 after his 34th home run yesterday. He’s five away from Jeremy Todd’s total of 107 in 2005, which is the fifth most all-time in a single season. The top four single season RBI totals in Atlantic League history are 110 (Brian Becker ’05), 111 (Vic Rodriguez ’02), 121 (Jose Viera ’00) and 129 (Ozzie Canseco ’00).
- On Saturday evening prior to the game, reliever Adam Thomas was named the Revolution’s 2012 Community Outreach Player of the Year. Thomas joins a list of beloved Revs from the past including Keoni DeRenne, Jason Olson and Chris Walker.
- On Saturday evening prior to the game, Chris Nowak was named the Revolution’s 2012 Team MVP. Last season he shared the award with Corey Thurman – the two were Co-MVPs. This year, he was selected as MVP outright.
- Despite coming up short on Team MVP, Corey Thurman took the mound on Sunday undeterred. He fired 7.2 shutout innings to earn the win against Somerset, improving to 14-3 on the season. That is a new Revolution single-season wins record, surpassing his own mark of 13-3 a year ago. The 2-0 victory was York’s 10th shutout win this season, another club record. Thurman now has 52 wins with the Revolution since 2008, placing him third in Atlantic League history. He’s 10 wins away from second place Lincoln Mikkelsen (62), and 22 away from all-time leader Tim Cain (74).
- The Somerset Patriots were the bane of the Revolution’s existence for the first three years of this franchise. That is no longer the case. With the four-game weekend sweep York finished the season 14-6 against Somerset, a franchise best. The Revs were 9-1 against the Patriots at home.
- Reliever Mike DeMark, who was not around for the Revolution’s championship run last season because he finished the season with Mobile (AA) and Reno (AAA) after being picked up by the Arizona Diamondbacks from York in June, got his championship ring this season with Reno. On Saturday night Reno defeated Omaha (Kansas City) 8-2, winning the PCL Championship Series three games to one. DeMark pitched an inning and a third scoreless in Reno’s 13-1 win in Game 1. After spending the entire season with Reno, keep your fingers crossed DeMark gets a September call-up to the Diamondbacks before the month is over.
Leading up to Saturday’s Bridgeport-Sugar Land game being broadcast in its entirety on ESPN Classic, I was facetiously asking why ESPN wouldn’t broadcast an Atlantic League game from Sovereign Bank Stadium, considering the Revolution had won the league title the last two years. Okay, so the Skeeters signed Roger Clemens. 3/5 of York’s rotation also pitched in the Major Leagues (Corey Thurman, Ryan Feierabend, Chris Waters), so what’s the big deal?
I kid, I kid. I was pacified though, when the ESPN crew was going over some facts about the Atlantic League. We did get a shout out mid-game, accompanied by this screen graphic. I was a little disappointed they didn’t mention the Revs had won the last two ALPB titles, but I was still pumped to see and hear our name on national TV. So much so, I am over-looking the fact that ESPN spelled “Rickey” Henderson’s name wrong. Former Revs-turned-Skeeters Octavio Martinez and Michael Nix also got some awesome face time as well, as Nix entered to relieve Clemens in the fourth, with Martinez catching the whole game and the seven-time Cy Young winner.
This was actually the second time the Revolution has gotten some pub on an ESPN Network. Some of you may remember Brooks Robinson giving an interview on Mike & Mike in the Morning in 2008, prior to his statue being unveiled outside our ballpark. A couple days before, I remember UPSing Greenberg and Golic personalized Revolution jerseys, and Golic actually wore his the whole show. That was a great day for the Atlantic League, as was last night’s 1-0 Skeeters win over the Bluefish on live, national TV. It’s an exciting time to be in the league.
On Friday we celebrated Brooks Robinson’s 75th birthday. He’s of course enshrined in bronze on the Brooks Robinson Plaza outside of Sovereign Bank Stadium, in his 1955 York White Roses uniform. And finally last October, the long overdue statue of Brooks in Baltimore was unveiled across the street from Oriole Park. While the Baltimore statue may be way bigger, always remember it was York and the Revolution who were the first to properly honor the 1964 American League MVP, winner of 16 consecutive Gold Gloves between 1960 and 1975 and first ballot Hall of Famer in 1983. He got his professional start in the White Rose City 57 years ago as an 18-year-old.
So happy birthday Brooks. The second reason for this post was to share this awesome photo of the best uniform the Orioles ever had. They brought back the orange jersey this year, hopefully the orange pants aren’t far behind. Maybe a little out there, but Brooks pulled it off.
A poster on facebook today suggested the Orioles winning ways so far this year are due to the return of the Brooks-era cartoon bird logo on the cap. Sure! Finally, here is Revolution Box Office Manager Mike Foster, paying his respects to the Brooks statue this afternoon:
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!
No doubt one of the highlights from yesterday’s celebration at City Hall honoring the Revs for their 2011 Atlantic League championship was the surprise visit from Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson, who stood alongside his pal Etch during the ceremonies. But what stood out to me from yesterday was seeing the interaction between the two as former teammates from the greatest era in Baltimore Orioles history. (more…)
Baltimore has caught up to York.
On Saturday, a great injustice was un-done when a long overdue statue of Brooks Robinson was unveiled in Baltimore across the street from Oriole Park at Camden Yards. For years, it was a head-scratcher to all that there was no monument to the living legend in the Charm City. The project turned out to be six years in the making, taking into account securing the funding, finding a site and completing the artwork. DownTown was so excited, he spent the day in Baltimore to check it out…