Sayonara Shea

Editor’s Note: This column ran in Monday’s York Dispatch.

The latest chapter in the Shea Hillenbrand saga didn’t end with debilitating remarks on a clubhouse dry-erase board.

And it didn’t end in near fisticuffs with the manager. (I’d take Chris Hoiles in that dream scenario, by the way). 

But make no mistake, while Hillenbrand’s exit from York lacked the sex appeal or media circus found when he was cast aside by the Toronto Blue Jays two years ago, the two-time Major League All-Star’s time in York was vintage Shea. 

In other words, his brief stay with the York Revolution was focused on what Hillenbrand has been infatuated with his entire career — himself. 

OK, technically I’m a bit premature here. Hillenbrand is still on York’s roster — he’s on the inactive list to be politically correct. And if you ask the question, the Revs’ brass will say they’re hopeful Hillenbrand may return from an injured hamstring later this season. 

But I’m passing on that helping of low-grade baloney. And so should you. 

The fact of the matter is, if Hillenbrand had any intentions of staying with the Revs, he wouldn’t have left in the first place. Last time I checked York has a team trainer and an adequate medical staff to treat injuries. So why the need for the jaunt across the country? 

And what’s worse is Hillenbrand left town leaving his closest teammates — and more importantly the manager and director of baseball operations — uncertain of his return. In essence, he’s held the Revolution hostage the last two weeks. Meanwhile, the Revs have been forced to wait out these shenanigans while they fight for a spot in the playoffs.

Of course, Hillenbrand’s teammates continue to stick by him. They point out that he helped numerous players in the batting cage during his six-week cameo with the Revs. And really, what else can they say? 

But while Hillenbrand offered his hitting expertise and gave York one of the purest swings the Atlantic League has ever seen, he’ll also be remembered for other things. 

The way he dogged it on numerous groundouts. The time he barked at a fan who dared to boo him for his lack of hustle. And the occasion he left the Revs’ dugout with his gear in tow while York was trying to mount a rally in the late innings. 

So here’s the bottom line for York — end this charade already. Cut Hillenbrand and squash this deranged marriage.

No player is bigger than the team. 

It’s time Hillenbrand learned that.

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14 Responses

  1. Other than not liking his lack of hustle I never had a problem with Hillenbrand. I met him a few times on autograph Sundays and he was always nice. And after one particularly rough loss he came over and thanked my friends and I for cheering them on until the end. Seemed like a stand-up guy to me..but then again people aren’t always what they seem.

  2. It was fun to have a big-name position player on the roster for a while, but I don’t think Hillenbrand will be missed much.

    True to his major league career numbers, his homer and walk numbers weren’t very good. Padgett has a better OPS despite Hillenbrand’s high batting average.

    His batting average was kind of fluky, anyway. Particularly early in his Revs stint, Hillenbrand had more than his fair share of seeing-eye grounders that found their way through the infield for singles.

  3. I think he should have stayed. He has lots of bucks, and he probably figured he was done for season. We could use his bat right now. Being loveable is helpful…however, we could use him. Too bad.

  4. Let me start by saying I do not follow MLB, havn’t for years. If it was not reported by the media I would not have known Shea Hillenbrand was a ML ballplayer.
    NOW.. From the first time I saw him play, I was not impressed with his level of play. His attitude, witch came across to more fans in the stands than I is not good for any clubhouse. Players the likes of Aspito, Jones, De Renne, Dryer, Ashby, just to name a few, are much better players, in my opinion. The “York Revolution” should say good bye to “Mister Ego” and try to avoid his type in the future.

  5. I hope Shea comes back. This is a sinking ship without him. (Get it?) Their is no I in team Shea, but there is “ran”, in your last name.

  6. Hillenbrand has many redeeming qualities the public doesn’t see. The way Padgett is swinging the bat the team will be fine if they are without him, but there’s no doubt Hillenbrand made the team better.

  7. Josh, I don’t get it.

  8. That’s what Hillenbrand wrote on the Blue Jays clubhouse blackboard that caused the near fisticuffs with the manager. The Daily Record’s spin on Hillenbrand leaving was much more positive than the Dispatch. Jeff, something personal against him?

  9. I have nothing personal against Hillenbrand. And I’d rather not get into what the competition is doing, but I’ll say this:

    I agree Hillenbrand was a great hitter; I agree he was really helping his teammates; I agree York was better with him (it’s no coincidence that they’ve only averaged 4 runs a game in the last 9); I agree he gave York a clutch bat that complimented Chris Ashby nicely; and I agree he seemed pretty genuine about being changed when he arrived.

    But with the way he left the team, hanging them out to dry, I thought that was classless. If he says, “Hey, I don’t think I’ll be back,” that’s a completely different story. I just got the sense that he really could care less about the team.

  10. Jeff I have to agree with you on your comments.

  11. I’ll bet he is suddenly better and shows up just in time for the playoffs- (Assuming York makes it)…..

  12. Too bad Dryer didn’t pack his bags. I guess he will be a lifer to the York team now that he’s dating a bar maid from Granfalloon’s.

  13. Shea Hillenbvrand, while a great and pure spray-style hitter, was ultimately a detriment to the clubhouse environment and camaraderie overall.

    He never sat in the dugout with the other guys, you know them, his TEAMMATES. No, he had a chair outside at the end of the dugout toward the bullpen area all to himself. Yeah , he gave “knux” to his fellow players, and got along with the fans, you could tell he was thinking something along the lines of “I’ll be signed up to the show again in a week or two.” He dripped of ego.

    His tendency to “dog it” in the field made him look like Roger Dorn in Major League. And Lou Brown, sorry, I meant to say Chrils Hoiles, isn’t the kind of guy to tell him to “knock off that `ole sh!t” and give some effort.

    While he was nice offensively, scoring and driving in runs, he was offensive in oher ways, ways the Revolution does not need in order to achieve the playoffs. In his absence, the team has moved on, and while 3B can be a defensive issue at times, the guys who have slipped in there have done as adequate a job as Hillenbrand, with one “major” exception. They don’t “dog it” while out there. Not one bit.

    Enjoy your off-season Shea, it’ll probably be a long one.

    Go Revolution!

  14. He was a great addtion to the team, but I’m glad he is gone.

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