The fans weren't demanding a changing of the guard.
Nobody from the York Revolution front office forced him out.
So, in a way, Andy Etchebarren got to go leave on his own terms.
Then again, his health (mainly his back) and his desire to spend more time with his family played a role in the 69-year-old stepping away from the game he's been involved in for 51 years.
It's fair to say Etch accomplished what he set out to do when he came to York near the end of the 2009 season. A third straight Atlantic League title would have been nice. But he had already won two in as many seasons. And he proved he still had what it takes to succeed as a skipper this year despite the Revs' disappointing finish -- getting swept out of the playoffs by Lancaster.
Roster moves: Chasing Lancaster all season, York finally caught up to the Barnstormers in the final day of the regular season to win the second-half Freedom Division crown. In the process, York set a new club record for wins in a half with 43 victories after the all-star break and won a club-record 79 regular-season games for the year.
In large part, York's success came via a bevy of roster moves in July, when the Revs got rid of six players and brought in four new ones (starting pitcher Derrick Gordon, outfielder Jeff Fiorentino, infielder Joe Thurston and catcher Salomon Manriquez). York also saw the return of starting pitcher Ryan Feierabend in late July.
A couple of tough roster decisions concerning a pair of longtime Revs' players were made during the final two months, as well. The Revs released outfielder James Shanks in early August after he batted just .249 in 77 games, down from the combined .320 average he held the previous two years. Etch later sent infielder Ramon Castro, in his third year with York, packing in early September for an on-the-field incident.
Playoffs: It felt as though York had yet to hit its stride most of the year before winning 19 of the final 27 regular-season games, including a 15-4 mark in the final 19 games.
The offense and the bullpen had been good to great throughout the season. The starting rotation, meanwhile, had been average to above-average. Not that it really mattered who was on the mound for the Revs in the Freedom Division Championship Series against Lancaster.
York's three starters in the series (Feierabend, Corey Thurman and Chris Cody) combined to allow 18 runs (16 earned) over 121/3 innings. The bullpen, which held an impressive 3.79 ERA in the regular season, surrendered 12 earned runs over a combined 122/3 innings. York's defense also committed six errors.
All of that negated the hot hitting from infielders Chris Nowak and Andres Perez. Nowak, who became the club's all-time leader in homers this year while also setting the single-season home run record, batted .769 in the series. Perez, who hit a career-high 23 homers in the regular season, went 7-for-13 at the plate (.538).
Big league contracts: On the same day Lancaster knocked York out of the playoffs, former Revs' pitcher Shawn Hill returned to the majors for the first time since 2010.
Starting this season with York, Hill ended up being one of three Revs' players to earn contracts from big-league organizations. Reliever Ian Thomas (Braves) and Feierabend (Reds) were the other two. Hill held the New York Yankees scoreless in three innings of relief for the Toronto Blue Jays to pick up the win, becoming the first pitcher to earn a major league victory after playing for the Revs.
-- Reach John Walk at firstname.lastname@example.org.