Von Hayes steps down in Lancaster

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File this one with the rest of the managerial moves this season: It was only a matter of time. Lancaster Barnstormers manager Von Hayes stepped down after Thursday’s game. The team made it official this afternoon.
The franchise’s first skipper, Tom Herr, returns to the helm of the team he last managed in 2006 — when Lancaster won both halves and the league title. He left in the offseason to work for the Nationals affiliate in Hagerstown. Lancaster has not posted a winning record since his departure.
This move is not a surprise. Since his arrival, players and sources from around the league have voiced opinions about Hayes. Most of the comments have been off the record and unfavorable. And when the team hired Herr as a bench coach, it appeared only a matter of time until Herr earned the title of manager again. A blog entry from the preseason explained why this was a bad decision.


The philosophy of bringing in former managers to look over the shoulder of current skippers is flawed. It doesn’t work. If the front office has no faith in a manager, and a proven winner like Herr or Bridgeport’s Willie Upshaw needs to “help” out, the organization has a big problem. It doesn’t have one leader.
And it appears Bridgeport and Lancaster found out the difficult way, replacing managers in the middle of the season. I don’t disagree with the move of hiring Herr or Upshaw. I disagree with the move of not hiring them as a manager in November or January or February.
Lancaster obviously hopes the move will alter the landscape of the Freedom Division. If Herr can somehow turn around the Barnstormers, Lancaster should figure in the playoff chase. Currently 6-9 and trailing first-place Somerset by 3.5 games, Lancaster can still make a push at the title. Lancaster has the players to challenge for first place, and the recent acquisition of Matt Watson could be the left-handed power hitter the club has been looking to find for some time.
Here’s the Barnstormers press release:
LANCASTER, Pa. – Von Hayes is stepping down as manager of the Lancaster Barnstormers for personal reasons and will remain as a baseball advisor to the organization. Bench coach Tom Herr will take over as acting manager for the remainder of the season.
“I’ve appreciated and have enjoyed my time in Lancaster,” Hayes said. “This community has tremendous fans and this team has some special ballplayers. I believe they’re going to win this year.”
Hayes became manager of the Barnstormers in November of 2007 after winning championships with the Oakland A’s at Single-A Modesto in 2004 and Double-A Midland in 2005. He was named the manager of the year in the California League and in the Texas League after each of those seasons. With the Barnstormers, Hayes had a 64-76 record in his first season. The team is 39-46 this season, including a 6-9 mark in the second half.
“We thank Von for his commitment to the team and for his leadership,” Barnstormers president Jon Danos said. “We offer him our support in the future and look forward to working with him as an advisor.”
Herr served as manager of the Barnstormers in 2005 and 2006, leading the team to its first championship in 2006. After spending one season with the Washington Nationals as manager at Single-A Hagerstown in 2007, the Hempfield High graduate returned to the Barnstormers as a bench coach in December of 2008.
“I’m excited about this opportunity,” Herr said. “I wish Von the very best.”

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Jim Seip has been posting podcasts with Frank Bodani for years. He deserves a trophy.
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6 Responses to Von Hayes steps down in Lancaster

  1. What were you thinking? says:

    This doesn’t have too much to do with Von Hayes as it does with Hoiles…It’s Sat night and you’ve been playing almost 4 hours…it’s the bottom of the ninth 2 outs but you had one of your players hit a HR which tied the game and now you’ve got a player on 1st…the next batter is 3 for 3 for the night with one walk and one RBI…what do you do? If you’re Hoiles you pull him and put in a player to pinch hit who’s been in a slump…what does he do? He strikes out…I’ve never been too harsh on Hoiles because he’s not the one who acquires the players…but last night left me so mad I left the game before it was over due to the incompetency and lack of loyalty shown to the only player that night that reached base everytime he came to bat…I hate to say it but I think Hoiles should also step down the way Von Hayes did…that call to send in a pinch hitter was stupid…the only saving grace last night is that the Rev players still won the game despite the other team and Revs managers decision making…

  2. Rev Backer says:

    To the comment about Hoiles stepping down. Please don’t comment unless you know the game of baseball!! As I have watched the games in the second half, I have noticed that Hoiles has tried everything to get this team going. Different line-ups, and different personnel. Guys have not done what he had brought them in to do. That’s to hit and pitch and play defense. Trying to find the right people is not a fault of Hoiles!!! He may still be learning the art of managing, but trying to get the team to do what they are suppose to do is not a fault. I didn’t find that move last night at all a problem. I know that the player he hit for had three hits, but he tried to match up with a right handed pitcher on the mound. Plain and simple. That’s the way the game is to be played. By the way, it worked out in the end!!!!!!

  3. bball fan says:

    I wake up this morning to read this nonsense about having Hoiles step down. Give me a break!! The moves Hoiles made were very strategic and left our team with another win. Did anyone notice it was a righty pitcher? It made the most sense for Hoiles to bring in a lefty. This is the game of baseball and moves like this are made even at the high school level.

  4. dewey says:

    second guessing is exactly whats wrong with people. Do you know any of the facts? 1st off the righty vs lefty thing. 2nd and probably more important is the manange knows the pulse of his team. Do you know if maybe the player has some type of injury? Maybe the player who has been in a slump is showing signs of coming out of his slump and a big hit here could play huge dividends for the rest of the season. If the pinch hitter would have gotten a hit or drove in the winning run would you still have been so mad that you would have left the game. There are tons of things that go on behind the scenes that we fans are not aware of, my advice is to watch the game and support the WHOLE team.

  5. What were you thinking? says:

    I’d rather have a player who’s been “seeing the ball” all night in lieu of having a player coming in cold…when you have a player that’s hot that it seems nothing can stop him you ride that horse the whole night not pull him because he hits right…I could see if he wasn’t hitting but like I stated before…he was perfect that night which to me speaks much louder than you can bat left…

  6. dazedandconfused says:

    lets see what happens on the road folks and then we can all b—–!!!!!!

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