The opportunity of a lifetime

Have you ever sat in the confines of an Atlantic League park during a dreadful 4-hour, 58-minute, 14-12 slugfest and wondered: Boy, maybe I can play better than these guys?

This Saturday you have your chance to prove it.

The York Revolution will hold an open tryout at Sovereign Bank Stadium on Saturday for any local baseball players looking to prove they belong in the Atlantic League. Tryout participants will pay a $45 fee, need to provide their own wooden bat and glove and should bring career statistics to the tryout. Registration will start at 8 a.m. followed by the workout starting at 9 a.m. as part of the Revolution’s Fan Fest.

revs_cap_logo.pngAdam Gladstone, the Revs’ director of baseball operations, will lead the workout along with Revolution pitching coach Tippy Martinez. Matt Dryer and Jason Aspito will also be present to help with the tryout.

Gladstone told me this afternoon that trainer Gary Himes will start off by stretching out all the participants and then pitchers will branch off to work with Martinez. Position players will then run a 60-yard dash, which will be followed by fielding practice. Every position player will get the opportunity to take batting practice after that.

“This is a great opportunity for anyone local to showcase their talents and learn about the Atlantic League,” Gladstone said.

So what kind of chance does York have of finding a gem in this tryout? Well, Gladstone has done it before. He’s found players in other open tryouts when he worked for the Somerset Patriots and Gladstone said Randy Dicken — now a pitcher with Bridgeport — was first noticed in an open tryout last year.

The Revolution also has at least one player who earned a professional opportunity via an open tryout. Aspito showcased his skills at an open workout last season before signing with the Edmonton Cracker Cats of the Northern League.

matt-dryer.jpgDryer, the Revs’ always comical infielder and right-handed slugger, also told me he’s been spreading the word about the tryout all over York. He’s even encouraged some of his friends in local rock bands to show up on Saturday. How great would that be? We could see a man with hair down to his rear running after fly balls in center field. ZZ Top blended with Willie Mays. It just doesn’t get any better than that.

I plan to attend the tryout on Saturday — assuming I don’t injure myself when my alarm clock rebounds off my bedroom wall and hits me in the chest. So it should be entertaining to see what kind of turnout the Revs have.

As for the latest player signings, we’ll have to wait a little longer. Gladstone said there was a possibility one of the new acquisitions will be announced on Thursday, so stay patient. I’ll get that information to you as soon as it’s announced.

Brooks on Mike and Mike: Be sure to catch Mike and Mike on ESPN radio on Friday at approximately 6:40 a.m. when Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson joins Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic on the popular morning sports talk show. Robinson will have a statue of himself unveiled at Fan Fest on Saturday and will be present for the event.

Nivar released: According to our friends over at Atlantic Leauge Baseball News, former Revolution infielder Ramon Nivar was released by the Padres. The former major leaguer was a loner in York last season and my guess is that he won’t be returning to the Atlantic League — at least with none of the Opening Day Partners franchises.


3 Responses

  1. I realize that even Major League franchises hold occasional open tryouts, but I think the Revs holding an open tryout hurts their credibility without offering much realistic hope of improving the team.

    I know a few Yorkers who, despite never actually seeing a game, seem to think that since the Revs aren’t affiliated that they are some kind of semi-pro team. Basically, their impression is that if a guy has a decent batting average in the Central or Susquehanna League that he can have a spot in the Revs lineup. The team allowing people from the community to try out without any sort of minimum qualification (such as former pro experience) just perpetuates that misconception.

    And how likely is it that someone from the tryout will really make the team? I know they got Reid Price from an open West Coast tryout, but I’d be surprised if he even made the team. What does a 4.73 in the South Coast League translate to in the Atlantic League? The South Coast League actually suspended operations a few days ago.

    The fact that the Revs are giving the tryout fee to charity is commendable, certainly. I always thought it would be a great idea to let fans take a crack at the Arch Nemisis for a donation to charity. I know I’d pay a couple bucks a pitch to try to knock a few pitching machine fastballs into that thing.

  2. I agree with most of what you’re saying. This tryout is mainly a dog and pony show that will unlikely present any legitimate talent.

    But at the same time, it gives fans a chance to be on the field and an experience they won’t soon forget. Plus, it will also help quiet the Susquehanna League/Central League guys who boast that they can hold their own in the Atlantic League. If that’s the case, this will prove it once and for all.

    I, for one, am pretty excited about watching how this turns out. At the very least it’s going to be hilarious to watch some common folk try to run a 60-yard dash.

  3. I’d have to run a 60 yard dash in three, seperate, 20 yards stints. I imagine that would probably hurt my chances of making the squad.

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