Hoiles still waiting for a contract

Editor’s Note: This column appeared in Friday’s York Dispatch.

As the clock moved toward midnight, he made his rounds around the locker room, checking on every man like a general minding his troops.

First, there came a stop at the wounded. Were Jason Aspito’s arms OK after a full-out desperation dive on the warning track that almost saved the season?

Then came the veterans. The stops at the lockers of Chris Ashby and Keoni De Renne — the guys who in all likelihood will opt for retirement and will never suit up for him again.

And after he had made his way around the entire room, shaking the hands of all 25 men — and hugging most of them too — Chris Hoiles took a moment to reflect. He said his men had battled brilliantly; that he would take all of them back next year in a heartbeat.

He beamed with pride when explaining how this blend of differing souls came together to give York a thrilling stretch run that produced the first pro baseball playoff appearance the city had witnessed since 1969.

And then you have to ask the obvious question: In a world where some managers act like classless idiots, how is it even remotely possible that Hoiles does not have a contract to manage the York Revolution for a third season?

It’s just plain disgusting and frankly a slap in the face. Opening Day Partners, the organization that owns the Revolution, re-signed Hoiles with one month to go in last year’s regular season. That was when he pulled off a 58-68 season while working out of a trailer that smelled like a dirty gym sock.

This year, with a new clubhouse and many new players, Hoiles led the Revs to a 70-70 regular season finish, their first playoff appearance and the first ounce of respectability they’ve enjoyed. Never mind that York lost to Somerset in two gut-wrenching playoff games.

Hoiles has shown marked improvement. Sure, he has his faults — pulling pitchers too late, the chief culprit — but he has a quality that many managers lose or never have at all. He has the respect and admiration of his players. And he is always signing autographs and interacting with fans before games. What more could you want?

“It’s disappointing because last year they had it done a month before the season was over,” Hoiles said of his contract status. “This year we had a pretty good year and we haven’t even talked about anything really. The ball is not in my court. We’ll wait and see, and it’s kind of left a bad taste in my mouth.”

Here’s another tidbit about Hoiles — his dedication to his family is incredible. He said after York’s season-ending 6-4 loss to Somerset Wednesday night that he planned to return home to Ohio for his son Dalton’s football game, scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday.

That left him about 12 hours to get back home after York’s bus made the trek from Bridgewater, N.J., to York. And this is after working non-stop for basically six months.

But to those that know this man, this kind of act shouldn’t be a surprise. This is the norm for a father and a manager who puts his family and his players before himself.

And if that’s not enough to even garner a conversation about his contract, Hoiles may want to start dusting off his resume.

Maybe York doesn’t deserve him.

*John Pavoncello photo.

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7 Responses

  1. He should be brought back with out a doubt!! His players respect and like him, and the team had a great run! What more would York be looking for? It’s been a total of two seasons and I think he’s done a job to be proud of, so se what he can build over time.

  2. Well it was printed somewhere that Jason Aspito said if Hoiles Does not return he won’t be either… Hoiles has done a great job so far, i would’nt mind seeing him return.

  3. From the first game of the season in Camden to the last game in Somerset I watched this team turn into a TEAM. The guys on the field did a fantastic job and provided Revs fans with a magical summer. But, there is no doubt in my mind that Chris Holies is the glue that helps bond this team. In two years he took a brand new franchise to the playoffs. I wonder how many championships he’ll bring to York in the next few years.

  4. Hoiles has grown on me, I have to admit.

    I’m not an Orioles fan, so my initial reaction to Hoiles being named as York’s first manager without any professional coaching experience wasn’t a good one. It seemed like it was more about pandering to the fans than it was about picking the best possible candidate. That really seemed to be the case when ex-Orioles Tippy Martinez, Ryan Minor, and Al Bumbry were all added to the coaching staff.

    I will admit, too, that half-way through this season I still would have welcomed a new manager. I seem to remember posting “the sum of the parts is greater than the whole” a lot on this board in the first half. The team seemed to have a knack for finding new ways to lose every night in the first half. If the offense clicked for 10 runs, the pitching would surrender 12 runs. If the pitchers held the opposition to 2 runs, the offense would be shut out.

    Something clicked in the second half, though, and Hoiles has to be given his due credit.

    If Aspito is willing to make an ultimatum for Hoiles, too, I think that says a lot. I don’t know Jason, but everything that I’ve seen of his play and his demeanor on the field tells me that he wouldn’t be someone who would play for a manager simply because he likes the guy. He would have to have confidence that the guy could win.

    All things considered, I’d like to see Hoiles back.

  5. I also had my doubts about Hoiles’ impact on the team last year and early this season.

    But after watching him throughout the year, there’s no doubt he attempts to create a personal relationship with every player on the team. That’s hard to do when someone new is in the locker room every week.

  6. I agree. A team doesn’t turn into a team on it’s own. Adam and Hoiles both worked together to put this team together and for Hoiles to not have an offer yet is insane! Last year they didn’t even make it into playoffs and he had an offer before the season is over. Now he leads the team to playoffs and doesn’t get anything? Come on. Hoiles is a great man!

  7. As we all can tell, Opening Day Partners aren’t in this business to make friends. They have shown it in Lancaster last year with the firing of the mgr. and now it seems they won’t bring Holies back.

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