Revolution manager Andy Etchebarren was named the 2011 Atlantic League Manager of the Year. Randy Flaum photo.
Andy Etchebarren is back home now.
The York Revolution manager left York to return to his home in South Carolina in the middle of last week.
He’s had time to reflect on this past season, one in which he guided the Revs to their second-straight Atlantic League championship.
“Well, it was a good team. There’s no doubt about that,” Etchebarren said by phone on Monday evening. “It was a better team than we put out there a year before. You always have to be looking out for good players because some of them get signed during the season.”
But as competitive as the 68-year-old skipper is, he prefers to spend more time on what lies ahead rather than reflect on past accomplishments.
“I’ve already started working on next year’s team in my own notebook. There are some people in our league that want to come here and play in York,” he said.
Etchebarren was named the 2011 Atlantic League Manager of the Year on Monday. Etchebarren said he appreciates the honor. But for a man who has spent more than 50 years in the professional game at the major and minor league level as a player, instructor, coach and manager, he’s not making a big fuss about it.
“It’s not a real big thing for me. I’ve been in baseball for so long, it’s not a big deal,” he said. “(Long Island Ducks manager Kevin) Baez could have gotten it real easy. It was his first time managing and he won both (Atlantic League Liberty Division) halves. It’s a nice thing, but I didn’t win it last year when we won the whole thing.”
Etchebarren led York to the franchise’s winningest season with an overall record of 73-51. The Revs won the Atlantic League Freedom Division second-half crown over the Lancaster Barnstormers by 51/2 games. They became just the second team in league history to only win its second-half division title and go on to win the championship. York is also just the second team in league history to win back-to-back championships.
Revs’ players earn all- star honors: The Atlantic League all-star first-team and second-team honors were also announced Monday. The Revs placed four players on the all-star first team, and one on the second team.
The first-team second baseman was York’s Ramon Castro, who was again a valuable addition to York in June after beginning the season in the Mexican League. Castro, who helped lead the Revs to their first championship as the league’s 2010 postseason MVP, followed that effort with a .323 average in 80 regular-season games on 2011, nailing 14 home runs with 62 RBIs. The Venezuela native was also named to the first team a season ago.
The first-team third baseman was York’s Vince Harrison, who was also named the 2011 postseason MVP after hitting .529 in nine playoff games, with five doubles and a triple, to go with five RBIs and three runs scored. In the regular season, Harrison hit .323 with 10 home runs and 61 RBIs in 115 games.
Revs’ outfielder James Shanks was named to the first team for the second year in a row after batting .314 with 12 homers and 61 RBIs in 101 games this season.
Player of The Year: The race for Player of The Year came down to first basemen Tommy Everidge of Lancaster and Chris Nowak of York. Everidge was named Player of the Year, hitting .319 with 28 homers and 94 RBIs. Nowak blasted 25 home runs with 66 RBIs, while batting .330 in 84 games after joining the Revs in mid-June. That effort earned Nowak first-team honors alongside Everidge.
If Nowak had been with the Revolution for the entire 2011 season and maintained his pace, his projected final numbers would have been 38 homers and 99 RBIs. As it stands, Nowak’s 25 home runs are a single-season franchise record, surpassing Jason Aspito’s 24-homer 2008 season.
The right-handed starting pitcher on the second team is Corey Thurman, the long-time Revs’ pitcher who just wrapped up his fourth season with the club. Thurman went 13-3 in 2011, with a 3.33 ERA in 25 regular-season starts. It is the first all-league recognition for Thurman in the Atlantic League. He is the Revs’ all-time wins leader by 18, with 38 career winning decisions against 25 losses.
Long Island’s Mike Loree was named the Atlantic League Pitcher of the Year, while Southern Maryland’s Keith Lupton was selected General Manager of the Year. The 2011 Ballpark of The Year was Long Island’s Bethpage Ballpark in Central Islip, NY.