Two noteworthy items

When teams begin play in the Arizona Fall League a week from tomorrow, it turns out that Tyler Townsend will be playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions. The team's roster includes 8 O's minor leaguers. Townsend told me recently he would not play in Arizona, but rather Australia. The reasoning being that he is a "taxi squad" player on the Scorpions and said player can only start once or twice a week. He needed more at bats than that and playing in Australia would provide that. Now, word is he will likely wind up playing in Arizona and Australia. In the AFL, if another player on his team misses a game or games due to injury, Townsend's playing time could increase. So, it's off to the AFL he goes. Townsend, the O's third-round pick in 2009, missed at bats because he spent time this year on the disabled list dealing with a recurring hamstring injury. Over 52 games, most with Delmarva and Frederick, he batted .325-6-45 and had 31 extra-base hits and an OPS of .959. He is expected to stay with the Scorpions for their full schedule which runs to November 18 and after that likely head for Australia. Sometimes good things do happen to good people. One of them is Andy Etchebarren. The former O's player, bench coach and minor league manager recently led the York Revolution to the Atlantic League championship. Check out this article and video in the York Daily Record. In two of my three years broadcasting Aberdeen IronBirds games from 2004-06, Etch was the manager. I learned so much about the game and about life just being around him and talking to him daily. He can be gruff on the outside, but he's a big old softy on the inside. He cared deeply about his players and that was easy to see. He cared deeply about the Orioles and was a catcher during the team's greatest seasons. He liked to say he was number 8 before Cal. Most days, I couldn't wait to get to the ballpark to talk with him about the game the night before. There are plenty of people in this game that I really admire and respect. Etch is at the top of that list. He had some falling out with the Orioles and that's why the O's loss is York's gain. In recent times he has lost his wife and battled back pain. A deeply private and proud man, he battles on. Now he has a championship and that was exciting to hear and read about. Maybe somehow, even at this late stage, the O's and Etch could re-unite. That ship has probably sailed but when I sit here today thinking about Etch winning a championship, I just sit back and smile.
Luke Scott Named 2010 Most Valuable Oriole
And so it begins...

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