One reason Andy Etchebarren gained respect in York is that he turned the Revolution into a winner.
Sometimes that required making difficult roster decisions.
Just look at York's current crop of players, which includes only four members from the Revs' 2010 championship team.
But there was more to Etch than just winning. His competitiveness comes quickly to mind.
There was the time he had a shouting match with a fan in the stands, who turned out to be the father of an opposing player.
There were the many times he grabbed a base and carried it to the clubhouse after getting ejected.
Or the time he covered up home plate with dirt, upset with the umpire over the strike zone.
Or the time he buried Atlantic League umpiring with comments made to reporters, which earned him a four-game suspension this season.
It certainly won't be easy for pitching coach Mark Mason to follow in Etchebarren's footsteps next season.
"Sometimes it's hard when you come in and you win two championships in a row or three championships in a row and now here you are. You know?" Mason said last Wednesday. "Sometimes to follow the guy that followed the guy, that's the route to take."
Coaching: Mason, 51, will add to his already lengthy coaching resume when he takes over the managerial duties in York in 2013. As the coach at Washington & Jefferson College from 1987 to 2002, he led the school to three conference titles.
He spent his next eight years coaching in the independent Frontier League, splitting four years as a pitching coach and the other four years as a manager. He earned the league's Manager of the Year (2005) and Coach of the Year (2006) honors and accumulated a 175-208 record as a skipper.
And Mason has already made quite a mark in his short time on the Revs' staff since 2010. In 2011, Revs' pitchers set club records in team ERA (4.32), starters' ERA (4.61), bullpen ERA (3.87) and saves (34). Since 2010, seven Revs' pitchers have earned big league contracts.
The accomplishments are impressive. But what about Mason as a person?
Business: Well, Mason hasn't spent all of his life in baseball, something that gained the respect of Revs' president and general manager Eric Menzer.
A Waynesburg University and Canon-McMillan High School product, Mason reached Class AA Lynn (Mass.) in the Pittsburgh Pirates' minor league organization as a player before going into the business world.
"When I first got done playing baseball I was a warehouse manager for U.S. Steel. I was a national operations manager for Westinghouse, which was eventually bought by Philips lighting. I worked in my family business, which was an industrial laundry and supply business," Mason said last Thursday. "And I ran my own baseball school."
Personality: A baseball guy well-versed in the business world, Mason certainly has a diverse and impressive resume. He also has a rather calm, even-keel personality, a trait that pitchers might prefer.
"He can sense when I'm getting frustrated out there, which obviously everyone tries not to be but you can't help it when you're competitive," Revs' starter Chris Cody said. "He'll come out and calm you down."
But Mason apparently has a fiery side, too. He pulled stunts similar to Etchebarren's in the Frontier League. In some ejections, he sat on the pitching mound to force the ump to throw him out.
If he wants the respect of Revs' fans, Mason will have to win ballgames. But he might also have to have some outbursts, too.
-- Reach John Walk at firstname.lastname@example.org.