by Roy Reiss
July 22, 2012
As we nudge toward the All Star Game, here’s some observations of what’s transpired this season, a very little insight, and some rambling thoughts from a very interested observer.
- No doubt the pendulum has swung big time this season toward hitting in the CCBL. How else can you explain over twenty .300 hitters and two .400 hitters this deep into the season? How else can you explain a team batting average of .322 (Y-D) while the Kettleers are hitting .288 as a team? It used to be pitching dominated hitters in the CCBL and you were lucky to have maybe four .300 hitters in the entire league in a season. Team batting averages would peak at around .250 which was exceptional. The Kettleers alone have Patrick Biondi (Michigan), Jacob May (Coastal Carolina), Mike Ford (Princeton), James Roberts (Southern California), and Tony Kemp (Vanderbilt) over the .300 mark while Adam Nelubowich (Washington State) hovers near the mark. The hitting can be contagious as Coach Mike Roberts thinks, the baseballs can be different from previous years, but the unmistakable fact is the pitching isn’t close to what it used to be. And the offensive statistics prove it.
It’s All Star time and the always difficult decisions of who should make the team. Here’s one man’s opinion on who should and could represent the Kettleers July 28th in Harwich. Definites-Jacob May, Patrick Biondi, Tony Kemp , Kevin Ziomek (Vanderbilt), Ryan Connolly (Coastal Carolina), and Dan Slania (Notre Dame). Maybes- James Roberts, Adam Nelubowich, and Mike Ford. Most of the time voters go by just statistics which is unfortunate since there are many elements that go into making up an All Star. Who do you think should be the Kettleers representatives next Saturday night in Harwich?
- Just wondering if the improvement in the Kettleers’ pitching staff has anything to do with catcher Aramis Garcia (Florida International) becoming more familiar with each member and knowing how to get the most from each. Garcia has impressed with his arm strength and quick release on steal attempts. Add that to his quiet leadership qualities and you have a top notch catching prospect. If the Kettleers were to have a captain, Garcia would be the ideal candidate.
- It’s always a good story when a Division 3 player has an opportunity in the CCBL. Derek Smith from tiny Pitt Bradford took an interesting route while ending up at Lowell Park. His college coach, Bret Butler, was looking to find a spot for the slugging Smith. He mentioned him to friend Kevin Kime who just happened to be a coach with the Kettleers in their championship year of 2010. Kime in turn talked with Coach Roberts and asked him to give Smith a look see. The catcher/1st baseman came as a temp player and made his way onto the roster much thanks to the Butler to Kime to Roberts connection.
- Factoid that may interest only me. No one will ever know the exact number but Arnold Mycock estimates that he’s seen 2898 Cotuit Kettleers games over his glorious 63 years with the team. Doubt very much anyone will top that number!
- Questions, questions, questions. Did anyone get a picture of Assistant GM Sue Pina in that stylish hat she was wearing the other day? How come Daniel Aldrich (combined total with Orleans/Cotuit) isn’t listed among Home Run leaders in CCBL stats? Is there a better looking CCBL web site than www.kettleers.org (guess I’m partial!)? Hasn’t Coach Roberts done a masterful job in managing the bullpen this summer?
- Never thought a home plate umpire would actually help a team win a game! It happened last Friday at Lowell Park when plate umpire Sean Healy stopped Coach Roberts from going to the mound in the top of the 9th immediately after reliever Ryan Connolly (Coastal Carolina) had completed his warm ups before facing dangerous Daniel Palka who had homered earlier in the game. Roberts was going to lift Connolly for a lefty, but Healy told him a new rule this year prevented him from making the trip to the mound at this time and Connolly would have to face at least one batter. Palka popped up, Roberts left Connolly in the game and he recorded the final 2 outs in the 2-1 victory over Wareham after the assist from the man in blue.
- The Deven Marrero watch. Thru 23 games the former Kettleers SS and #1 draft pick of the Red Sox is hitting .266 with the Lowell Spinners in Class A action. Marrero has committed 3 errors in the field.
Kettleers Korner will be anything and everything that might interest fans, past and present, about the Kettleers. Roy Reiss, who started his career working for Curt Gowdy Broadcasting, was a former sportscaster on Channel 7 and several radio stations in Boston. His son Mike now covers the Patriots for ESPNBoston.