I’ve heard it from former players.
I’ve heard it from fans.
I’ve heard it from former Revs employees.
More than one person believes Southern Maryland manager Butch Hobson (pictured above) is building York’s team. They don’t have real proof, but they believed it was happening. So I started asking some questions.
Revs general manager Matt O’Brien denied the rumor immediately. York manager Andy Etchebarren is in charge, he said.
“We’ve adopted a style, and I think you’ve already written that story,” O’Brien said. “It’s similar to what happened after ‘Moneyball.’ People didn’t use (A’s general manager) Billy Beane, but they did adopt some of the tactics.”
Etchebarren spent almost two full seasons with Hobson. He’s going to pick up habits and tactics from Hobson.
“I have the last decision,” Etchebarren said. “Don’t blame (team owner) Peter Kirk. Don’t blame (ownership president) Jon Danos. Don’t blame Michael Kirk. There’s no player coming onto our team or leaving that I don’t OK.
“If all these guys fall on their face, you can blame no one but me. I’ll take the whole blame. I’m in charge for putting this club together. I’m not playing to get 5 or 10 games over .500, I’m shooting to take Somerset out of this division.”
Some of the players who did not receive contracts for the 2010 season questioned why they didn’t deal one-on-one with Etch during negotiations. Etchebarren, whose wife, Vicky, died during the second-to-last week of January, admits he has not felt himself lately. It’s been the worst experience of his life. He has trouble sleeping. He sees daily reminders of his wife. So he may not be himself. And he wanted to avoid getting into a yelling match with outfielder Matt Esquivel or Matt Padgett. Because as he said, “they didn’t deserve that. This is something I have to go through.”
He made the decision to offer the pair of players the same salaries they received in 2009. They wanted raises, and so Etch decided to move on. Padgett was traded. Esquivel was released. Etch made the decision and notified Revs director of player procurement Michael Kirk to talk to the players.
Etchebarren admitted he did not make the final phone call to Esquivel or Padgett for personal reasons. He didn’t want to say something he would later regret. Emotional after his wife’s passing, he feared letting loose on two players who didn’t “deserve” to be yelled at. He knew they had more lucrative offers, and he was willing to let them pursue those offers. But he didn’t want to get to the point where one small comment — from either player — sent him screaming in the phone at a player he knew he didn’t have the money to pay.
“I like Padgett. I like Esquivel. And if they go somewhere else and it doesn’t work out, I’d be happy to have them back if we had a spot,” Etchebarren said.
But he’d only welcome them back at their salaries from 2009.