By Roy Reiss
June 20, 2013
The first week of the season is history and we’ve got some observations and notes that hopefully will interest you.
- Last year at this time we were wondering about home runs flying out of ballparks around the Cape. When the season ended there was a record number of round trippers slugged, 384 in total or a 142% increase over the 159 blasted in 2011. It was determined that the Diamond baseballs weren’t quite the same as in years past. Earlier this year, CCBL President Judy Scarafile assured GM’s that Diamond would make the same baseballs as in 2011. Well one week into the season, it looks like the situation has been resolved. Only 8 home runs have been slugged thru the initial week which may be a record low. Interestingly enough, the Kettleers, never known as long ball threats, lead the league with 3 of those 8 round trippers.
- What do Coach Mike Roberts and Patriots coach Bill Belichick have in common? Each likes versatility and players who can perform at multiple positions. You might say Belichick likes “football players” while Coach Roberts likes “baseball players”. How about opening day when the Kettleers had Kevin Bradley (Clemson) at 3rd base and Patrick Mazeika (Stetson) catching. What stood out was that neither had played that position once during the spring at their respective colleges yet they performed admirably when given the opportunity. In fact Bradley made a key defensive play that preserved the Kettleers 4-2 win over Orleans. So in an age of specialists, maybe coach Roberts is on to something when he looks for “baseball players” who can do multiple things.
- No sport is geared to statistics more than baseball. Fans love to pore over every stat imaginable. There’s the OBP, RBI, OPS, WHIP and on and on. Sometimes we get so caught up in stats that we overlook the very simple things during a game that rarely show up in the stat sheet. Like the 11 pitch at bat Steven Duggar had in the opening game as he coaxed a walk in the Kettleers 4-2 win over Orleans. Or Connor Castellano’s two beautifully executed sacrifice bunts. Or Castellano’s beating a pickoff throw and being on the back end of a double steal that resulted in the eventual winning run. Those are the little things that every coach loves and you rarely if ever find them in the box score. By the way the versatile Castellano leads the league in batting after the first week.
- Most of the time college players take a few days off before reporting to action with their teams in the CCBL. Not Danny Diekroegger who took his last final exam last Wednesday at Stanford. He then caught the red eye from the West Coast to Boston and arrived early Thursday morning. Pretty soon he was sleeping on GM Bruce Murphy’s couch before reporting to Lowell Park later Thursday. Surely any coach would love all his players to have that kind of attitude.
- Words can’t describe adequately the beauty and elegance of the new trophy case at Lowell Park! The display captures the history and tradition of the Kettleers franchise perfectly. The picture tells the story!
- Not sure everyone saw Coach Mike Roberts’ interview with intern Alexa Galloway after the opening victory, but the coach actually said “I don’t want to bunt as much as I used to as a coach, but everyone needs to know how to execute a bunt.” Interesting comment from Coach Roberts!
- Things that may interest only me. ..It was kind of unique to see two players with the same unusual first name (Hunter) on two different teams in the same game at the same time. We’re talking about Cotuit’s Hunter Cole (Georgia) and Chatham’s Hunter Redman (Midland-Texas Tech)… When Coach Roberts had to attend to a personal issue this week, Coach Brian Scott, who is back for his 4th year with the Kettleers, took over and notched his 1st Cape League win as the Kettleers whipped Brewster. Nice to see a good guy like Scott get some notoriety to reward his loyalty to the Kettleers…Did you know that Rhett Wiseman’s dad, Mike, played left field for the Kettleers in 1988? It had to be quite a treat for the elder Wiseman as he watched his son make his Kettleers debut last week…Hats off to Nolan Clark (Concordia) for his terrific impersonation of Coach Roberts at the Welcome Picnic for the Kettleers family prior to the season opener.
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.com.