What we’ve all been waiting for…

RL v Stewartstown

My apologies for the long hiatus. The mystique of wrestling singlets has consumed my every moment lately.

As many of you undoubtedly already realize, even with the York Revolution’s 2009 season more than two months away, there is still plenty to discuss. We’ll tackle the pertinent issues in bullet-form fashion.

1) A group of Susquehanna and Central League all-stars will face the Revolution in an exhibition game on April 18 at Fan Fest.

Local sandlot fans and townball players have been calling for this game since the Revolution arrived in town. Now they’ll finally get their chance against a group of likely former major leaguers and minor league veterans.

If nothing else, this game should provide plenty of intrigue and excitement. But spring training — as many of you know — is typically the time when Atlantic Leaguers are at their weakest, especially pitchers. Many pitchers new to the league are used to six weeks of spring training and the AL’s 10-day spring usually gives them fits (see: Corey Thurman).

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Revolution will hold spring training in York

revs veres

It’s official: the York Revolution will hold its spring training in York in 2009.

The Revs announced Thursday afternoon that they will not travel to the TigerTown Complex in Lakeland, Fla. — as they have the last two years. Instead, York will stay at home during April for spring training along with Lancaster and Somerset. York and Lancaster are owned by Opening Day Partners.

The move makes sense for a bevy of reasons. 1) Newark and Somerset have both trained up north without a hitch the last couple of years (coincidentally, the two teams account for the ’07 and ’08 Atlantic League titles); 2) Holding spring training in York reduces a slew of costs; 3) This move will give Revolution fans an early look in on their hometown team.

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Von Schell returns; Revs’ tie Camden

Editor’s Note: Be sure to check out “Tat Talk with Matt Dryer” here.

Adam Gladstone has worked in the Atlantic League to the point where nothing surprises him anymore.

So what about Tyler Von Schell’s decision to end his one-week retirement and rejoin the Revolution this season?

“Nothing catches me off guard with these guys,” Gladstone said. “I didn’t expect it, but it was a pleasant surprise.”

Von Schell, a former San Francisco Giants’ prospect, called Gladstone late last week and told him after dealing with some personal issues he was ready to join York in Lakeland, Fla. for spring training. Since his arrival, manager Chris Hoiles has worked Von Schell into two exhibitions off the bench and he has responded. Von Schell ripped a base hit in Sunday’s 4-2 loss to Long Island and got another hit in York’s 5-5 tie with Camden on Monday afternoon.

The right-handed slugger launched a career-high 24 home runs between Double-A and Triple-A last season and he should further complicate the Revolution’s defensive alignment. But having too many guys at a few positions is never a bad thing in the Atlantic League. History tells us that an injury or affiliated signing is right around the corner.

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Dryer shares thoughts on tattoos

Matt Dryer didn’t know what to expect from the fans of York when he first suited up for the York Revolution last season.

But it didn’t take long for Dryer to discover that Yorkers are his type of people. And the town feels the same way about him.

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Perez could be a weapon for Revs

Kenny Perez has not gotten off to the start he’d like in spring training, going 0-for-5 in a couple of games at the TigerTown complex in Lakeland, Fla.

But Perez has shown glimpses of why he could be one of the most crucial players for the York Revolution this season. He’s crushed two home runs this spring and could provide an element of power from the infield positions that was lacking on York’s team last year.

Perez’s second home run of the spring came in the Revs’ 4-2 loss to Long Island on Sunday afternoon — the first blemish in the loss column on York’s all-time spring training record (7-1-1).

Perez has played at Triple-A for the last three seasons — a year apiece with Boston, Arizona and the Chicago White Sox — so it would not be surprising at all to see the Miami native signed quickly if he gets off to a hot start in the Atlantic League. His age (26) is working in his favor and his versatility is one of his strengths.

Perez can play any infield position — including first base — and has also learned the corner outfield spots the last two years.

“I started playing the outfield the last two years and to me, that’s pretty easy coming from the infield,” Perez said. “I came in as a shortstop, and that’s cake for me, but third and second are coming along and a little bit of first.”

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Revs’ spring training dominance ends in odd twist

The York Revolution jumped out to a seven-run lead in a scrimmage against Southern Maryland, but the Revs learned that no lead is safe in the Atlantic League — especially in an exhibition.

York and the Blue Crabs played to a 12-12 tie at the TigerTown complex in Lakeland, Fla., on Saturday. The tie sent the Revs’ all-time record in spring training contests to 7-0-1.

Travis Ezi led off the game with a triple — his second in as many days — and came around to score on an RBI groundout by Keoni De Rene (right). From there, the Revs’ offense went berserk in the second inning. York put a six spot on the board, with the main damage done by De Renne’s three-run bomb.

Wayne Franklin started again for York and struggled for the second straight outing in 2 1/3 innings, giving up five earned runs on seven hits. He also walked five for the second straight start, which might be an indication that Franklin is just taking a little bit of time to get things together this spring.

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“Big Thurm” looking to turn it around with Revs; York wins slugfest over ‘Stormers

LAKELAND, Fla. — Corey Thurman admits it. Sometimes when he’s out on the mound, he gets so fired up that he feels like a bull in a china shop.

Who can blame him? This is the same guy who used to crack heads on the high school football gridiron playing in Texas. He was even recruited by Texas A & M, Louisiana Tech and Tennessee before deciding to pursue baseball. He has a size 15 shoe. And the Revs’ roster lists him at 6-foot-1, 215 pounds. Wait, this just in: that’s just the weight below the waste. Thurman looks more like a chiseled 250.

So it’s this man that the York Revolution will depend on as one of the rocks of the 2008 starting rotation. And from all signs so far, Thurman appears to be more than up to the task.

Plus, he’s a pretty smart guy. He knew even at 17 years old that a future in baseball was much brighter than one in football.

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