A look back at: Jose Enrique Cruz

revs cam season opener

Allow me to share an anecdote from the 2008 season that explains Jose Enrique Cruz’s personality:

After a game in July or August — it’s easy to lose track in the Atlantic League, for those of you scoring at home — Cruz turned from his locker and looked across the clubhouse to find outfielder Kennard Jones with a mountain of lettuce hanging from his mouth.

melmanThen J.E. Cruz let out an unforgettable claim — accusing Jones of resembling the giraffe from the movie Madagascar. I’ve supplied a photo of Melman (right) for visual effect.

And it’s this short story that shines a light on Cruz’s cheerful nature and the camaraderie that he brought to the Revs in ’08. At times, he was strictly a utility player. Later, he was a reliable starter. But no matter his role on the field, Cruz always brought the same sunny demeanor to the ballpark — undoubtedly a product of having a father (Jose Sr.) and brother (Jose Jr.) who both enjoyed careers in the major leagues.

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A look back at: Wayne Franklin

Wayne Franklin has played a large role in the York Revolution’s two-year history.

The former major leaguer started the first game in Revs history. He is the franchise’s all-time leader in wins (20). And he also leads York in all-time defections — leaving once in 2007 for Taiwan before returning; and pulling the same trick in 2008 with Mexico before coming back to the White Rose City once again.

It’s also easy to forget that Franklin was the first guy who York signed in the off-season leading up to the ’08 season (Does anyone remember the idea of turning Franklin into a closer?). And he certainly put together one of the more perplexing seasons for the Revs this past year.

Consider the numbers: Franklin was third in the entire Atlantic League in walks (73) and had a 5.73 ERA for the season. But somehow he managed to record a 12-5 record, good for the team-high in wins, and pitch some incredible games down the stretch — like a six-inning, three-earned-run gem at Newark that gave York a serious jolt on the way to the playoffs.

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A look back at: Aaron Myette

Editor’s Note: This is the second installment in a series examining the performance of players who suited up for the York Revolution in 2008.

Back in April, when York Revolution starters were assembling their own sick wing at York Hospital, Revolution manager Chris Hoiles was looking for an opening night starter.

He turned to a man who hadn’t thrown a pitch professionally in two years. Hoiles gave the ball to Aaron Myette.

“I thought I had enough of baseball, but last year I started getting the itch to play again,” Myette said prior to his first start of the year. “I pitched for 10 years, plus college and high school, and I think your arm just gets worn down. The (two-year) break was great for that.”

Myette had battled nerve problems in his pitching arm during a comeback attempt in Japan in 2005. He described the experience with a bit of color — he said it was like he was sticking his finger in a light socket over and over.

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A look back at: Keoni De Renne

Editor’s Note: This is the first installment in an off-season series examining the 2008 performance of York Revolution players.

In the Atlantic League, records fall as frequently as that young college co-ed who had one too many Mimosas.

The franchise best for hits? For runs? For attendance? These marks fall almost on a weekly basis when it comes to the York Revolution and its brief two-year history.

Yet, here’s one dubious record that we may never see anyone duplicate or exceed — Keoni De Renne’s 36 errors in 2008.

To be fair, the entire York team was awful defensively in ’08. The Revs committed 156 errors for the year, only one behind Lancaster for the league high, and added six more in two crushing playoff defeats. And most will agree that De Renne, a standout shortstop in college at Arizona, is ill-suited for the position in the pros. He’s a decent second baseman — there’s not much debate here.

But that shouldn’t excuse the mistakes De Renne made again and again. Often he would make the spectacular play — like when he dove in the third-base hole and pitched a one-hopper to George Sandel at second to give the Revs the Community Cup. But more often he would botch the routine — De Renne committed a crucial error on a routine ball in that same game against Lancaster that gave the Barnstormers a four-run advantage in the eighth that the Revs would soon erase.

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