York manager Andy Etchebarren seemed in high spirits Tuesday night during a phone interview. Two weeks since undergoing back surgery, the former big league catcher can walk without pain. And the pain in his leg has subsided. Recuperating with his former host family in Waldorf, Md., Etchebarren will return to his home in South Carolina in a few days.
Etchebarren and pitching coach Mark Mason will return to York next season, ODP President Jon Danos confirmed. And Etch is already thinking about the 2011 season and what players he wants to bring back. He might make some changes, but he said he wouldn’t be upset if all eight position players from the 2010 league championship team returned. He did note the 2011 season could be his final season in a uniform.
“For the last few years, this organization (Opening Day Partners) has been a great organization to work for,” Etchebarren said. “It’s going to be 50th year putting on a uniform. I’ve got to have someone prepared to replace me when I leave, and hopefully (Mason) is that guy.”
Etchebarren expected the players on the Newark Bears final roster to be declared Atlantic League free agents, possibly before the end of the week.
Although he refused to mention any players he might be interested in signing, all seven clubs would be happy to land former big leaguer Brian Barton — the league’s batting champion. Barton torched York while with Newark in 2010, batting .472 (25-for-53) with six homers and 21 RBIs in 13 games against the Revs. Former Revs center fielder Kennard Jones (a second-team postseason selection) and Tim Raines Jr. should also have plenty of job offers if they opt to stay in the league.