Revs’ Etchebarren takes simple approach to managing All-Star Game

Revolution manager Andy Etchebarren will lead the Freedom Division team at the 2011 Atlantic League All-Star Game. Randy Flaum photo

York Revolution manager Andy Etchebarren has been involved in his fair share of all-star games over the course of his baseball career.

Heck, come Wednesday, when Etchebarren will handle the duties as manager of the Freedom Division team in the Atlantic League All-Star Game, 45 years will have passed since the former catcher had his first experience with a Major League Baseball All-Star Game in 1966.

That year, Etchebarren was one of four Baltimore Orioles on the American League team, alongside Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson and Steve Barber. They were among a cast of players that also included Roberto Clemente, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Harmon Killebrew — all future Hall of Famers.

Etchebarren was also selected to the game in 1967. However, he didn’t see action in either of the games. Detroit’s Bill Freehan and Minnesota’s Earl Battey caught in 1966 and Freehan caught the entire game in 1967.

Etchebarren has a hard time remembering the experiences, whether that be because those games were held nearly half-a-century ago, or the fact that he didn’t see time in them.

“You know how long ago that is? That’s 45 years ago,” Etchebarren said.

Nonetheless, the skipper admittedly won’t have a problem managing Wednesday’s game at Sovereign Bank Stadium.

“We’re not gonna have any signs. We’re not gonna bunt. We’re gonna swing the bats and see what happens,” he said.

Etchebarren will have the task of making sure all 22 players on the Freedom Division team see playing time. And along with that comes the duty of handling the pitchers, including five starting pitchers.

On the major league level, that can be a contentious issue. Look at Philadelphia, where the Phillies are worried about the amount of pitches and innings that starters Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee will toss Tuesday night in Phoenix for this year’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

Etchebarren, though, doesn’t see the big deal in worrying about that.

“The starter will go two innings, and everybody else will pitch an inning. It’s as simple as that,” he said. “And if the starter gets in trouble, he doesn’t have to go two. Every pitcher after that could pitch an inning, but they don’t have to throw a whole inning.”

The Revs will have seven players suit up for the Freedom Division team on Wednesday. Catcher Octavio Martinez, starting pitchers Corey Thurman and Matt DeSalvo, infielders Vince Harrison and Eric Eymann and outfielders James Shanks and Val Majewski were all selected to the game.

It’s unclear who will be Wednesday’s starting pitchers. Even Thurman himself said Sunday night he’s not sure if he’ll be the Freedom Division’s starter. Either way, Thurman said he’s just glad to pitch in front of his home crowd.

“I’m just excited for something like this, with this importance to the City of York, especially after winning the (Atlantic League) championship last year. Then to be here, to be at home, it’s pretty great,” Thurman said.

Etchebarren has similar sentiments.

“I love this place. I love the fans. I think they like me. We’ll have a good time with it,” he said. “Of course we want to win. This division wants to win. But if we don’t, it’s not the end of the world.”

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Local players to compete in Atlantic League All-Star Home Run Derby

York Suburban grad Matt Petersen swings for the fences during a family home run derby game at his aunts house in Manchester Township Sunday, July 3, 2011. The family has been playing a Fourth of July game for close to twenty years. Matt will take part in the Atlantic League All-Star Game Home Run Derby contest at Sovereign Bank Stadium Wednesday, July 13. Randy Flaum photo

Gripping an aluminum bat in his hands, Matt Petersen stepped to the plate with a big challenge.

Petersen needed 10 home runs to have a chance at taking home the coveted Petersen family Home Run Derby trophy.

The 19-year-old Petersen, though, would only go on to hit four homers, marking another year in which he has yet to win the derby.

Every Fourth of July weekend, Petersen’s family gathers at his aunt’s home in Manchester Township and holds an annual Home Run Derby.

It started as just a fun Fourth of July activity. But it has now grown so popular with the family that they hold the derby every year, usually in the aunt’s backyard, using an aluminum bat and a tennis ball. Anyone in the family can participate, from children to grandparents.

“We’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember. Probably since I was like 4 or 5 (years old),” Petersen said.

The winner takes home a small trophy. Petersen, who starred for the York Suburban baseball team this past spring, has yet to win the derby, though.

“We use a tennis ball. You have to hit it softer for it to go farther,” Petersen said. “It’s completely opposite of using a baseball.”

Though he finished in the middle of the pack of the 15 or so people who participated in his family’s derby on July 3, Petersen will soon get a chance to win a different derby: the Atlantic League All-Star Home Run Derby.

Petersen will be one of six local high school players participating in the derby, which will be held Wednesday at Sovereign Bank Stadium, just hours before the 2011 Atlantic League All-Star Game. Each high school athlete recently graduated from their respective high schools.

The derby will feature six teams, each consisting of an Atlantic League player, a local high school player and a player from the Susquehanna or Central baseball leagues. High school players will use aluminum bats, while Atlantic League and adult league players will use wooden bats.

Each team will be playing for a designated charity of their choice, with the winning team getting a monetary prize from the Revolution that will go to the charity. And the high school player on that winning team will receive a savings bond for college.

Along with Petersen, the remaining high school players that will participate in the derby include York Suburban grad Zeke Ottemiller, New Oxford grad Anthony Goldhammer, Spring Grove grad Luke Rohrbaugh, York Catholic grad Alex Tucci and Dallastown grad Ryan Leader.

Representing the Susquehanna and Central leagues in the derby will be Rick Thompson (Windsor), Nate Neumann (Windsor), Jason Seitz (Hallam), Eric McNeil (Red Lion), Austin Rickrode (Dover) and Todd Meyer (Pleasureville).

The Atlantic League All-Stars participating in the derby will include Ben Harrison (Southern Maryland), Matt Esquivel (Long Island), Wes Bankston (Bridgeport), Val Majewski (York), Tommy Everidge (Lancaster) and Josh Pressley (Somerset).

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Seven Revs selected for All-Star game

Outfielder Val Majewski is one of seven Revs’ players selected to the 2011 Atlantic League All-Star game. John A. Pavoncello photo.

Seven members of the York Revolution have been selected to play in the Atlantic League All-Star game set for Wednesday, July 13 in York.

The Atlantic League board of directors has announced its All-Star selections for the Freedom Division and Liberty Division teams on Friday.

Twenty-two players from each division will go head-to-head in the league’s annual mid-summer classic. The selections were made based on fan voting, as well as media votes and manager votes from each of the league’s eight teams.

The 2011 Atlantic League All-Star Game will be played Wednesday at Sovereign Bank Stadium, home of the defending Atlantic League champion Revolution.

The Freedom Division All-Star Team will be managed by York manager Andy Etchebarren, while the Liberty Division’s club will be managed by Bridgeport Bluefish manager Willie Upshaw. Both managers guided their clubs to last year’s Atlantic League Championship Series.

Etchebarren’s Freedom Division squad includes seven representatives from the Revolution, with pitchers Corey Thurman and Matt DeSalvo, catcher Octavio Martinez, shortstop Eric Eymann, infielder Vince Harrison, and outfielders Val Majewski and James Shanks all selected. Thurman ranks eighth in the league with a 3.97 ERA through 14 starts. DeSalvo leads the league in innings pitched (96.2) and strikeouts (94). Harrison ranks third in the league in batting with a .336 average, and Majewski leads the league with 57 runs scored.

 

The rest of the Freedom Division roster includes the following players:

-Lancaster: Pitchers Ross Peeples and Justin Segal, first baseman Tommy Everidge and infielder Gilberto Mejia.

-Somerset: Third baseman Jeff Nettles, outfielders Michael Hernandez and Joe Holden, designated hitter Josh Pressley and pitchers Derrick Gordon and Andrew Dobies.

-Road Warriors: Catcher Josh Johnson, first baseman Carlos Sosa, second baseman Amadeo Zazueta and pitchers Miguel Martinez and Adam Thomas.

The Atlantic League Liberty Division roster includes the following players:

-Long Island: Catcher J.R. House, infielder Javier Colina, outfielders Kraig Binick, Matt Esquivel and John Rodriguez and pitchers Mike Loree and Mike Parisi.

-Southern Maryland: First baseman Ben Harrison, second baseman Brandon Pinckney, shortstop Yunesky Sanchez and pitchers Michael Schlact and Nick Green.

-Bridgeport: Outfielder Danny Putnam, third baseman Luis Lopez, designated hitter Wes Bankston and pitchers Matt Pike and Pat Ryan.

-Camden: Catcher Toby Hall, infielder Lloyd Turner, outfielder Noah Hall and pitchers Jay Marshall and John Bale.

The rosters are subject to change, based on potential personal conflicts, player injuries or other factors.

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June 20 Atlantic League News & Notes; Vote now for the All-Star game

The Lancaster Barnstormers saw the contracts of right-handed reliever Jeff Bennett and right-hander starter Jerome Williams get signed by affiliated ballclubs over the past week.

Bennett was picked up by the Arizona Diamondbacks and assigned to Class AAA Reno. With Lancaster, Bennett appeared in 17 games, going 2-0 with two saves and a 0.42 ERA.

The Los Angeles Angels signed Williams and assigned him to Class AAA Salt Lake. Williams, 29, went 6-0 with a 2.91 ERA with the Barnstormers. His 40 strikeouts ranked third in the Atlantic League.

Williams and Bennett are the fourth and fifth Barnstormers to be signed by affiliated clubs this season. The last three, signed over five days, have all gone to the Class AAA Pacific Coast League.

As Williams and Bennett departed for affiliated teams, the Barnstormers brought in former Minnesota Twins and Philadelphia Phillies pitcher J.D. Durbin over the weekend.

The right-hander tossed two scoreless innings in relief against the York Revolution in his first appearance for Lancaster on Sunday.

After bouncing around with the Twins and the Arizona Diamondbacks for his first few seasons in pro ball, the Phils picked up Durbin in April 2007.

Durbin went on to pitch a complete game shutout that season against the San Diego Padres. He ended up going 6-5 with a 5.15 ERA in 10 starts and eight relief appearances for the Phils in 2007.

Vote Now: Online voting for the 2011 Atlantic League All-Star game has begun. Fans can now vote on www.yorkrevolution.com or www.atlanticleague.com/vote.

Fans can vote on all position players and the designated hitter for each division. The All-Star rosteres are decided by fan vote, Atlantic League managers and coaching staffs and league front offices.

Voting will last through July 6 and rosters will be released July 8. Willie Upshaw of Bridgeport will manage the Liberty Division team and Revs’ manager Andy Etchebarren will manage the Freedom Division team.

The all-star game will be played July 13 at Sovereign Bank Stadium. The game will be preceded by the Stauffer’s All-Star Family Fun Festival, a free event on the Brooks Robinson Plaza beginning at 3:30 p.m. that afternoon, including an autograph session with all of the Atlantic League All-Stars. Inside Sovereign Bank Stadium, the AAA Home Run Derby will begin at 5:20, once gates open at 5 p.m. for the game. First pitch will be at approximately 7 p.m.

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