September 18, 2021

Andy Etchebarren Succeeds With His Type of Player

August 5, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Defense carried the day for Andy Etchebarren during his 15-year major league career, which included six seasons when he either was the No. 1 catcher or shared the backstop load when Baltimore Orioles teams made the postseason.  So it should be no surprise his York (PA) Revolution, already assured of a playoff berth in his first full season as a manager in the Atlantic League, have a solid defensive team.

They had one stretch in June when they went a club-record 76 innings without making an error, and have committed only 46 in their last 81 games.  It may surprise those who have followed the 67-year-old manager’s career and his personal .235 batting average that York also leads the veteran-laden Atlantic League in scoring (5.8 runs per game), including tallying some100 runs more than their head-to-head opponents.

“I want guys who can put the ball in play and play defense”, he said this week, adding that home run totals were not of great consequence when he studies prospects for his club.

 Look No Further Than Sioux Falls for Clear Dominance

The Sioux Falls (SD) Pheasants, who won the American Association title just two years ago, are making a strong argument that they are the most dominant team in any of the eight Independent leagues this summer.

Steve Shirley’s first-half North Division titlists have won 20 of 27 second-half games, and with less than four weeks to go are nine and a half games better than any of the other nine teams in the league with their blistering 52-23 record, with South Division champion Shreveport-Bossier, LA second best.  The Pheasants are a full 13 games better than the season-long Northern runner-up, the Lincoln (NE) Saltdogs, who are struggling with only two wins in their last 10 games.

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 Not Your Normal No-Hitter

Only the third no-hitter in the 13 years of the Atlantic League was registered Wednesday night when the pitching-dominant Southern Maryland Blue Crabs (Waldorf) bested Newark, NJ, 3-1.  Joe Newby needed three-out help from league saves leader Jim Ed Warden, who entered the road contest with a major mess.

Newby (4-3) walked three of the first four hitters he faced in the ninth inning and hit the other one before Manager Butch Hobson went to Warden, who already had 19 saves.  Warden retired all three hitters he faced to leave the bases loaded.

“I don’t think I’ve had one (save) this special,” said Warden.  “It’s weird because it probably is the most special, but also probably the first one I actually didn’t want to come in for.  We had guys warming up in the bullpen starting in the seventh in case he ran into trouble, but we were all rooting for him to get out of every situation he was in and keep it going.”

(This is an excerpt from the column Bob Wirz writes on Independent Baseball.  Fans may subscribe at www.WirzandAssociates.com, enjoy his blogs, www.AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com and www.IndyBaseballChatter.com, or comment to RWirz@aol.com.  The author has 16 years of major league baseball public relations experience with Kansas City and as spokesman for two Commissioners and lives in Stratford, CT.)

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