By Roy Reiss
August 8, 2012
With the regular season completed and the playoffs starting against Bourne, here’s a few observations of what’s transpired up to this point, a very little insight, and some rambling thoughts from a very interested observer.
- Ryan Connolly came awfully close to being a Bourne Brave this summer and just think how that would have affected the Kettleers. The Coastal Carolina junior went undrafted this year and was all set to return to Bourne for his 2nd straight summer as a temporary player. “Two days before I was set to report to Bourne, my college coach called and said Cotuit GM Bruce Murphy and Coach Mike Roberts called and offered a permanent contract. Obviously I was going to take that over a temporary opportunity, and I’m glad things worked out the way they did,” stated Connolly. Guess things really did work out well! All Connolly did during the regular season was notch 8 wins, 4 saves, strike out 56, appear in a league leading 23 games, and was 2nd in the league in innings pitched. While he was somehow snubbed for an all star roster spot on the Western Division team, Connolly is undoubtedly the MVP of the CCBL for 2012. No one has meant more to his team than the submarineing righty who if he received the Cotuit offer two days later would have been back in Bourne this summer.
- If you’re looking for a Most Improved Player on the Kettleers this magical season, look no further than James Roberts (Southern California). Roberts started the season at 3rd base and was somewhat of a disappointment early on, and quickly landed on the bench. However, he kept working, showing up early almost daily with Coach Roberts to work on every aspect of his game. Finally in a marathon game at Bourne the first day of July, Roberts delivered a clutch bases loaded double that won a see-saw extra inning battle. From that point on things started clicking for the USC product as he quickly earned the starting shortstop position. He soon found himself in the cleanup spot and he kept delivering big clutch hits (.306 batting average) like the grand slam against Brewster that helped the Kettleers to yet another win or the two run single in the home finale against Falmouth. The shy Roberts credits Coach Roberts, no relation, for helping him develop his game and taking it to another level. And while he’s had terrific success, Roberts still keeps showing up early to practice, working on improving other aspects of his game which will likely pay off during his junior year at USC.
- How about a turning point to the regular season? Pretty easy to select Daniel Aldrich showing up Wednesday, July 4th and providing the fireworks for the Kettleers record setting July performance. Weary after a delayed flight from Omaha and eating a sandwich and banana in the Cotuit dugout prior to the Falmouth holiday game, Aldrich had 3 hits including a home run that day along with 4 rbi. And then he never stopped slugging as he sparked the Kettleers to their gaudy 30-14 record.
- Here’s the breakdown on how the Kettleers fared against each of the 9 other teams in the league.
- Bourne 4-2
- Brewster 3-1
- Falmouth 4-2
- Chatham 4-0
- Hyannis 5-1
- Harwich 1-3
- Wareham 4-2
- Orleans 1-3
- Y-D 4-0
Questions, questions, questions. Would you believe me if I told you many of the 2013 Cotuit team has already been initially selected even though contracts can’t officially go out until after September 1st? Who likes their job better than Frank Custer who has been the Kettleers bus driver for the past 5 years? Did any parent enjoy the summer more than Bob Ford, Mike’s dad, who was a regular around the Kettleers this summer before returning to work in New Jersey this week?
- A special tip of the multi colored Cotuit hat to the Kettleers coaching staff. If you happened to show up early any time during the home schedule you saw just how hard Brian Scott, Alex Gett, Mark Thomchick, Scott Gurss, Will Veith and Sarah Money worked with the roster players and on Lowell Park.
- Factoid that may interest only me. If Daniel Aldrich played for Wareham this year he would have projected to hit almost 40 home runs! Aldrich had 5 homers in 3 games played in Wareham. If Aldrich maintained that pace, he would have hit 31 homers in his 19 other Wareham home games plus who knows how many on the road. It’s kind of fun to project numbers!
- Other factoids that interest this wandering mind. The Kettleers were actually a better road team this year, going 16-6 opposed to 14-8 at Lowell Park. Cotuit had 3 winning streaks this year, 7 wins in a row then 10 wins in a row, but even more spectacularly they won 11 in a row on the road and 12 of their last 13 away from home. Coach Roberts had his best season leading the Kettleers as the 30 wins was the most in any season in his 9 year tenure. Meanwhile the 2012 edition is only the 2nd Cotuit team to win 30 games in a season since 1961 (when records begin on the website archives). As colleague Joe Cavanaugh points out the 1964 Kettleers won 31 games. Finally this was the first time since 2000 that the Kettleers went thru the regular season without a tie game.
- The Deven Marrero watch. Thru 42 games the former Kettleers SS and #1 draft pick of the Red Sox is hitting .247 with the Lowell Spinners in Class A action. Marrero has committed 9 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.