By Daniel Paulling
There’s at least one thing new Mark Mason is looking forward to as he moves from pitching coach to replace Andy Etchebarren as York Revolution manager.
“It’ll be nice to manage the game and have a little more interaction with the umpires,” he said, before laughing, at the 24th Annual Hanover Rotary Sportsnight. “It was really hard for me to have some interaction because I didn’t know when Etch would vacate the premises. I had to make sure I struck around to pick it up if he had to leave.”
Etchebarren is retiring after three-plus seasons with the Revolution. He inherited a team that led the Atlantic League with 87 losses in 2009 and won two Atlantic League championships under his tenure.
But Mason doesn’t feel any more pressure.
“Every year, our expectation is to at least make the playoffs,” he said. “As far as the opportunity to try to keep our momentum going that we’ve established, keep the fan base happy by putting a good product on the field, it’s a good challenge.”
It appears the Revolution will have significant turnover. Mason said about “50 to 60 percent” of the guys will return from last year’s 79-61 team. He’s already begun the process of filling out the remainder of this year’s team.
In addition to managing the team, his job, in a sense, is to make sure those players sign elsewhere as soon as possible.
“For me, I want to see every guy move on (to a major league-affiliated team),” Mason said. “That’s my number one mission: to bring in the best guys available and get them signed and get out of here. It would not upset me if every guy I bring to spring training makes it out of camp and signs a big league contract before the all-star break. We’re trying to make them better and not hold anybody back.”