Now Ducks, former Revs players trying to take it to old team
Anyone who is familiar with the success Andy Etchebarren has had as the York Revolution manager probably knows how he got things started when he took over the gig.
Etchebarren was hired near the end of the 2009 season, trying to turn around a team that finished a league-worst 53-87 that year.
In an effort to build a winning ballclub in 2010, Etchebarren opted to not bring back fan favorites Matt Esquivel and Matt Padgett, both of whom unsuccessfully attempted to negotiate raises in the off-season.
Playing for York in 2009, Padgett had batted .274 with seven homers and 70 RBIs, while Esquivel batted .259 with 21 homers and 68 RBIs.
Etchebarren gained some criticism for that move. But everything eventually came full circle when the Revs manager led York to its first ever Atlantic League Championship in 2010.
Esquivel and Padgett, meanwhile, went on to sign with the Long Island Ducks that season and Long Island missed the playoffs that year for the first time in seven seasons.
But the pair stuck with the Ducks again in 2011. And now they have a chance at getting their side of the story to come full circle, too, as the Ducks are taking on the York Revolution in the Atlantic League Championship Series.
Esquivel started things off in Game 1 on Wednesday night. With no score in the bottom of the third inning, Esquivel led off with a double off of Revs’ starter Nick Schumacher. Freddie Thon then moved Esquivel over to third with a ground-out to second base, and Kraig Binick followed that with an RBI single to left to score Esquivel.
That run proved to be the difference in the Ducks’ 1-0 victory over York in Game 1.
And Esquivel’s hit was one of only four surrendered by Schumacher in his eight innings of work.
“It’s a great feeling,” Esquivel said afterwards of getting the win over York. “I always wish that when Padgett and I left, and several others that left, we would have the opportunity to come back here and play against these guys. Not for anything for revenge, just the fact that it means something to us as players. We tried to play our best when we were with York and tried to have a good outing every time we were there.”
Esquivel and Padgett are one of four Ducks’ players that formerly played for the Revs. Ducks’ outfielder Kennard Jones played for York in 2008 and 2009. Ducks’ pitcher Bob Zimmerman also played for York in 2009 and 2010. Zimmerman is expected to get the start against York on Friday in Game 3.
Though Esquivel acknowledged that he hasn’t talked to any Revs players or anyone in management recently, he says that he still has a lot of respect for York.
“Without talking to them I know that it’s something at least that they’ve thought about,” he said. “Baseball is a huge fraternity with all of the guys. I’m still very close with all of the guys. I have a lot of respect for everybody that’s over there.”