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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Playing the prediction game

nunez-cup

No Atlantic League team has signed a single player yet for the 2009 season.

Is that really a reason to hold off on predicting how the season will play out, though?

Hardly.

So here are five things that will take place in the Atlantic League this year, according to yours truly.

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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 135: York 5, Newark 3

NEWARK, N.J. — After Newark’s Keith Reed had just launched a ball into orbit for a two-run homer, Wayne Franklin dropped his head and sulked on the mound.

He had just given up a game-tying homer. He couldn’t find his release point. And he was playing the part of human rain delay as he struggled to find a rhythm.

Then third-base umpire Dan Wilson handed him a new baseball as Franklin said, “That was the right pitch, just the wrong location.”

To which Wilson replied: “Don’t throw it there anymore.”

Franklin laughed, loosened up and most importantly remembered to play baseball through the rest of his outing. The calmed nerves led to three more shutout innings and Franklin ended the day with six innings, only three earned runs allowed and the win in York’s 5-3 victory over Newark Wednesday at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium. 

The win helped the Revs (37-28, 67-68) take their first series in 12 tries against the Bears (33-33, 72-64) and moved their magic number down to one.

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Game 134: York 5, Newark 3

NEWARK, N.J. — George Sandel is listed at 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds.

And even those numbers suggest he had a pocket full of change and some lolly pops taped to his shoes, a la Bart Simpson, during his physical.

So it’s no surprise that Sandel, 27, has only five career home runs in six pro seasons. Or that he’s gone 374 days since he last hit one.

But during the sixth inning Tuesday night at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium, the fact that Sandel missed a tater by a matter of feet was inconsequential. The guy the York Revolution acquired to be the glue role guy on an already capable playoff team came through with one large hit.

Sandel’s RBI double, part of a 3-for-4 night, gave the Revs a big insurance run in a 5-3 victory over the Newark Bears.

“I thought it was foul, to be honest,” said Sandel, who helped York (36-28, 66-68), now 3 1/2 games up on Newark, move its magic number down to three. “I’m not a strong guy and I didn’t really get all of it.

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“The Den” continues to baffle Revs

NEWARK, N.J. — Consider the normal checklist of amenities that accompany typical home-field advantage.
 
First, there’s that cozy recliner in the corner that has your backside’s imprint ingrained in the fabric. Then there’s the comfort of sleeping in your own bed. And don’t forget the value of having your very own clubby around to carry out every desire and to serve as the butt end of a few good-natured jokes. 

The York Revolution enjoy all these luxuries when playing at Sovereign Bank Stadium. But the Newark Bears? Now there’s a team that takes the term home-field advantage to a new level.
 
Sure, the Bears regularly play in front of sparse crowds — about 150 people made Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium feel about as lively as a wake Monday night. But Newark enjoys plenty of perks playing on its home turf.
 
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Game 133: Newark 10, York 6

NEWARK, N.J. — The shot off Jason Aspito’s bat echoed in the brisk night air at “The Den” Monday night. And it’s a matter of debate whether the monstrous three-run home run, which cleared a five-story parking garage 405 feet away from home plate, has even landed yet.

But ultimately the big blow that gave Aspito 23 homers and 100 RBIs on the season was just a fun footnote to another loss at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium for the York Revolution.

The Revs’ taxed pitching staff was battered around once again in a 10-6 loss before an announced crowd of 1,996, which was realistically about 150 strong. York (35-28, 65-68) has lost seven of eight games in Newark this year and 13 of 16 all-time.

“If we put together a big inning the two times we had the bases loaded, it’s a different story,” said Revolution manager Chris Hoiles, whose club only got one run off a base-loaded situation in the third inning and killed another bases-loaded chance in the eighth with a double play. “It has to happen sometime (York winning at Newark).”

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