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Risk and Reward

Throughout the history of baseball, a general manager’s willingness to roll the dice mid-season has paid off plenty.

The Chicago Cubs’ acquisition of Rick Sutcliffe in 1984 paid huge dividends — 16 wins, a Cy Young Award and a division title to be exact. And we’ve seen what’s happened with the Milwaukee Brewers just this year. C.C. Sabathia has been incredible, posting a 1.42 ERA and a 9-0 record in 12 starts for the Brew Crew.

Then there’s the other side of the coin.

What about Cleveland dealing Bartolo Colon and Tim Drew (Bridgeport fans, please stand up) for Grady Sizemore, Brandon Phillips, Cliff Lee and Lee Stevens in 2002? Or the deal that sent Jeff Bagwell from the Red Sox to the Astros for Larry Andersen in 1990? Or even perhaps the worst deadline deal of them all — the Cubs trade of a 24-year-old Lou Brock to the Cardinals for Ernie Broglio? (Had to scour the Internet for that one).

As you can see, many rolls of the dice end in snake eyes.

So while we’re talking in-season moves on the independent level with the York Revolution, you can still see how easily GMs can look like geniuses — or like idiots without a clue. And so far, Adam Gladstone, the Revs’ director of baseball operations, and manager Chris Hoiles are looking pretty clever for taking some risks and tinkering with their club.

George Sandel (pictured above) has gone 5-for-12 in three games while turning in some solid defense. Edgar Clemente is 4-for-10 and has shown off his rocket arm in the outfield. And then there’s Kenny Perez, who is 8-for-20 — including a mammoth homer Tuesday night — and has played the finest third base of the season since his return.

Tuesday night Hoiles explained how he has mixed the new players into the lineup while still managing to stick with the guys who got York where it is now.

“It’s very hard but I think the guys who have been here all year deserve to play,” Hoiles said. “That’s why I’ve tried to get them in there two and three games at a time. But the guys we’ve picked up are very solid also. Sandel, since we picked him up, has been swinging the bat well. 

“… To me, it’s a good thing. It’s a good problem — if you call it a problem at all. I’ve got (Matt) Padgett on the bench the first game (of the doubleheader). I’ve got (Chris) Ashby on the bench the second. There are a whole lot more options. Just because they don’t start doesn’t mean they won’t get in the game.”

There’s also something to be said here for team chemistry — and Sandel is looking like a great find in that department. As reporters interviewed Perez Tuesday night, I asked Perez (pictured on the left here with Jose Enrique Cruz) what was going through his mind while York was in the midst of a near meltdown in the seventh inning during a 6-5 win over Bridgeport.

Sandel interrupted though, blurting out, “I. I. I. I. I. …” as Perez started to answer. Then a few moments later Sandel offered some insight into my next line of questioning: “Seriously, though. Kenny got awarded assistant captain today. You might want to talk to him about that. It’s all about pure heart and dedication with him.”

Every clubhouse needs a guy like that.


2 Responses

  1. When Clemente entered the game for Jason the other night a lot of frowns showed up on faces in the stands. Until he fired that rocket to home for an out. Sandy Aracena actually had the ball in his glove and had time to turn and WAIT for the runner on 3rd! When Clemente hits the ball he seems to SMASH it. Every time he gets wood on a ball it takes off. He fits in with our guys. George has been a great addition. Another hot bat. And Kenny seems to be continuing his AAA magic with the Revs. Rather than new guys on the team its more like team members that were delayed getting her. They fit. They’re team players. And they give us fantastic bench strength. I’m scheduling my days off to follow all these guys to Somerset and whoever else we get to beat in the Leage Finals!

  2. George Sandel was definitley a great addition to the team. He fit in well, and kept the guys alive.

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