York manager Andy Etchebarren cut one of only six players on York’s current roster who had won a pair of Atlantic League championship rings.
He released outfielder James Shanks after York’s 4-3 loss to Lancaster Thursday.
The look on the face of Etchebarren told the real story. He explained that he hadn’t been able to sleep for three days. Shanks is a player who has been “like my son,” Etchebarren said.
Shanks batted .249 with nine home runs in 77 games in a season where he suffered from tendonitis in one knee and a sore hamstring in his other leg.
The Revs acquired left-handed hitting outfielder/first baseman Johan Limonta, and since Etchebarren knew it would cut into Shanks’ playing time the manager wanted to give him an option of finishing the season with a club where he could play everyday.
“With this guy coming, I didn’t need to make a roster move,” Etchebarren said. “I had 24 players (one under the league maximum). But I went up to James and told him, I know you want to play for a couple more years. If you want to get your numbers up … I don’t know if I’ll have enough playing time for you to get your numbers up.”
Etchebarren knows other teams in the league are interested in signing Shanks, but he thought Shanks “deserved” to have the freedom to pick his new team.
“It killed me,” Etchebarren said, “but I think it’s the right thing for him. And it would have probably killed me more to sit him on the bench five days a week.”
Shanks said he will take a couple days before making a decision on what to do next.
“It’s hard, but – you know – it’s part of baseball,” Shanks said. “I’ll give it a couple days, relax. Maybe I’ll play somewhere, or maybe I’ll take it to the house. … But as far as respect for (Etchebarren) and a lot of guys here, (they) still have it.
“I like to play hard and help guys out, but I couldn’t do it (this year). That hurt me the most. I couldn’t give it 100 percent for the guys. … When I wanted to make those type of plays and I couldn’t, it hurt me. But that happens, wear and tear over the years. We came and won rings and that’s what you look forward to do – no complaints.”