Is Newark’s Rivefront Stadium the Coors Field of the Atlantic League?

riverfront-stadium

Revolution Rumblings delved into the world of sabermetrics in May of last year and we learned that former Rev Travis Ezi was not only the best outfielder in the Atlantic League — he was one of the best outfielders period.

So that idea got the braniacs at this site thinking of other ideas. What other sabermetric formulas can be used to analyze the Atlantic League?

Here’s what the guy who got a C-minus in Algebra 2 borrowed from other geniuses — “Park Factor.” I’ll list the formula below and then attempt to explain it in Lehman’s terms.

park-factor

Basically, Park Factor is used to determine “how much a specific ballpark contributes to the offensive production of a team or player.” In the above formula, the numerator is runs scored at home + runs allowed at home divided by home games while the denominator is runs scored on the road + runs allowed on the road divided by road games.

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ODP rubs some the wrong way

NEWARK, N.J. — There is no questioning the fact that Opening Day Partners knows how to run successful baseball franchises.

The organization, formerly known as Keystone Baseball, has been incredibly successful over the last eight-plus years running Camden, Lancaster, York (the Revs’ Sovereign Bank Stadium appears above) and Southern Maryland in the independent Atlantic League.

But along the way, ODP has acquired a reputation for making rash decisions when it comes to baseball operations. The organization adopted Baseball and Sports Associates — an agency that procured talent for four different teams, including York, in 2007 — and that moved backfired badly while creating an incredible conflict of interest.

And ODP has also shown a willingness to shake up its staff and remove its managers on the field. Last season, ODP made the first mid-season fire of an Atlantic League manager in league history when Lancaster let go of Frank Klebe.

That came after the organization let Wayne Krenchicki, a Trenton, N.J. native, walk after six seasons as the Camden Riversharks’ manager.

Krenchicki, now the manager of the Newark Bears, still has a bobble-head doll of himself on his desk decked out in Riversharks’ garb. And there’s a touch of bitterness in his voice when he discusses the way he was ushered out the door in Camden after leading the ‘Sharks to the Atlantic League’s best record from 2002 to 2005. 

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Game 129: York 5, Bridgeport 2

As Chris Hoiles made his way from the York Revolution clubhouse to the Sovereign Bank Stadium field prior to Thursday night’s game, he breathed in the cool September air.

He looked at the crowd of 3,903 filing into the stadium. He scanned the men in his dugout. And a thought that was never present at this time last year crept into the front of the Revolution manager’s brain.

These games mean something.

And Hoiles is enjoying the beauty of the Revs’ first meaningful playoff chase.

York moved another step toward the postseason Thursday night while using five different pitchers to stifle Bridgeport, 5-2, a night after the two teams collided in fisticuffs in an entertaining brawl. The win means the Revs (34-25, 64-65) have won four straight, took four of five in the series with Bridgeport (29-30, 62-67) and moved the club’s magic number down to eight.

The Revolution now embarks on a six-game road trip that could provide the opportunity to pop the bubbly and smell the roses. York is four games ahead of second-place Lancaster in the Freedom Division with 11 games to go.

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Game 128: York 6, Bridgeport 2

In the Atlantic League, a revolving-door approach strips a team of any continuity or sense of togetherness.

Just when you’re feeling secure, an affiliated organization scoops up your starting third baseman. The next thing you know, a key pitcher heads to Mexico or Taiwan. And you’re right back where you started — waiting for the next shoe to drop and introducing your latest acquisition to the men left behind.

But if anyone was looking for proof that the 25 men in the York Revolution clubhouse share a special bond, the evidence came in the eighth inning of Wednesday’s 6-2 win over Bridgeport at Sovereign Bank Stadium.

Bluefish pitcher Jeff Tam threw a pitch directly at Kennard Jones’ head that narrowly missed him. That came after Tam had plunked Jose Enrique Cruz square in the back with a fastball in the previous at-bat. The missile aimed at Jones’ head was apparently payback for Jones (pictured) running too vigorously during the late innings of a 12-0 blowout win Tuesday, according to Revolution manager Chris Hoiles.

Jones then rose to his feet to find Tam, 38, barking in his face and attempting a punch. And after Jones threw his helmet off in anger, outfielder Matt Esquivel, a running back who planned to walk on to the University of Nebraska in his younger days, came barreling out of the dugout like a free safety and landed a hit to Tam with his body.

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Game 126: York 12, Bridgeport 0; Game 127: York 6, Bridgeport 5

Steven Tyler and his million-dollar vocal cords were nowhere to be found.

And the living members from Run-D.M.C were certainly not anywhere close to the 17401 zip code.

Still, the York Revolution managed to borrow a page from the book of Aerosmith’s front man and the revolutionary hip hop group.

It was “Walk This Way” all night Tuesday at Sovereign Bank Stadium.

York piled up a season-best 11 walks in Game 1 of a doubleheader and then drew five more free passes in Game 2 to sweep Bridgeport in a twinbill before an announced crowd of 3,375. The Revs recorded a dominating 12-0 victory in the first game to tie their biggest win of the year and hung on for dear life in the second game, besting the Bluefish, 6-5. Both contests were seven innings.

All of the efforts helped York (32-25, 62-65) open a 2½-game lead on second-place Newark, a 9-8 loser at Southern Maryland. And Revolution manager Chris Hoiles (pictured) credited the Revolution’s rediscovery of plate patience for the two crucial victories.

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Game 125: Bridgeport 5, York 1

Just what did 33 home runs, 94 RBIs and a Co-Atlantic League Player of the Year Award in 2007 get Jesse Hoorelbeke?

A whopping 13 at-bats for Double-A Arkansas in the Los Angeles Angels’ system.

Hoorelbeke was cast aside by the Angels after only four games earlier this year. Sure, he was hitting .154. But his other teammates weren’t exactly setting the world on fire.

“Of course it was because I’m the free agent guy, the old guy, the guy who’s always been moved around because I wasn’t drafted,” Hoorelbeke (pictured) said. “I’m a guy who had to fight my way in. Because of that I’m expendable.”

Hoorelbeke, 30, admits his release ticked him off — and who could blame him? But rather than sulking or moaning, he returned to Bridgeport, where the magical ‘07 season started. And he’s resumed taking his frustrations out on hapless Atlantic League pitchers.

That was the case again Monday night as Hoorelbeke, Bridgeport’s cleanup man, collected two more RBIs to extend his season total to 102 in the Bluefish’s 5-1 win over the York Revolution at Sovereign Bank Stadium. Bridgeport (29-26, 62-63) had 17 hits — 14 for singles — and baserunning mistakes and a lack of clutch hits plagued the Revs (30-25, 60-65) for the second straight day.

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Game 121: PPD

The York Revolution’s game with the Bridgeport Bluefish was postponed due to rain Wednesday night in Bridgeport, Conn. York was trailing 1-0 in the second inning following Jesse Hoorelbeke’s RBI double when the game was called after a vicious thunderstorm settled over the Ballpark at Harbor Yard. Rolando Viera (2-1, 1.30 ERA) started the game for the Revolution.

The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader when Bridgeport visits York for a four-game series next Monday, according to the Bluefish’s Web site. A specific date for the doubleheader was not announced.

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