by Roy Reiss
June 29, 2013
As we approach July and things begin to settle in, here are some observations, rambling thoughts and perhaps a little insight that might interest Kettleers fans.
- The CCBL season really is a 12 month business with the games being played in June, July and August. However, every September GM Bruce Murphy and Coach Mike Roberts start putting together the team for the next season. They get commitments from college coaches and players to stock the Kettleers for the 44 game regular season but things can change in a heartbeat. It’s an interesting and stressful process to follow over the course of the next 8 months to see which players actually report to Cotuit and participate in the CCBL. As an example of how unpredictable this process can be, one has to look at the projected September 2012 roster for this current season and see how many of the 28 players actually are donning Kettleers uniforms right now. If you guessed 11 you’d be correct as Yale Rosen, Danny Diekroeger, Kevin Bradley, Max Schrock, Hunter Cole, Rhett Wiseman, Patrick Corbett, Chris Ellis, Brian Miller, Cecilio Christian, and Ben Smith are in Cotuit uniforms. The other 17 projected players either never made it to Lowell Park or had a brief fling and departed. The end result is GM Murphy and Coach Roberts have to be constantly looking for other players to fill out the roster and try to field a competitive team. And you thought the General Manager had an easy task!
When you think of college baseball programs and big league prospects, you’re sure to look at the Southeastern Conference where stars regularly are churned out. You rarely think of Princeton as a baseball power, yet Mike Ford who enters his senior year at Princeton this fall is turning the CCBL on its head this summer. Ford who was bypassed in the Major League Draft earlier this month has been one of the biggest reasons for the Kettleers early season success. You need a third baseman? Plug in Ford. You want a first baseman? How about Ford. You say the bullpen is a little weak? Try Ford there. You need an emergency starter? Ford’s your man. You need someone to fill the DH slot tonight? You guessed right, Ford can do that too. In fact the all everything Ford is among the league leaders in hitting thru 12 games and added 5 RBI in his do everything role. Wonder how all the major league scouts could somehow bypass such a versatile baseball player?
- It was early afternoon last Saturday when a young man approached Lowell Park carrying two long boxes. He stopped briefly at the 3rd base entrance gate, exchanged a few words with several Kettleer players and then promptly headed to the 3rd base area where coach Mike Roberts was observing batting practice. What followed was really what the CCBL is all about. The coach and individual exchanged bear hugs and big smiles emerged. It was a reunion that spoke volumes of a coach-player relationship. And then Mike Yastrzemski, Cotuit 2010-2011, quickly left Lowell Park where he had so many wonderful memories, leaving behind some autographed bats for the giant auction July 6th at Sun Up to Sun Down.
- Questions, questions, questions … Wasn’t it great to see someone recognizing the great work Alan and Sue Blanchette do at Lowell Park? If you missed the article on CapeCod Wave.com, here’s the link: CLICK. And hopefully you read about the connection between Coach Roberts and assistant Trey McCall as written by intern Nick Solari? Here’s that link: CLICK. Did you know Ward Dunning of the Cotuit Athletic Association has earned our highest respect for his daily work as Clerk of the Works in the Lowell Park Capital Improvement Project? … Isn’t the new Cotuit trademark sign on the 3rd base bleachers an outstanding addition to the pristine ball park?……Is it just me or isn’t that hamburger at the Kettleers Kitchen something special?
- It may not have been one of the most popular decisions at Lowell Park last week but Official Scorer Paul Calder scored high marks for the way he went about his business during Bourne’s 8-0 victory over the Kettleers. You’ll recall there was a controversial decision when Mike Ford’s infield chopper went underneath the first baseman’s glove and was initially ruled a base hit. It turned out to be the only hit Cotuit would register and no one complained. However, Calder was undecided throughout the game if the ruling was correct. After the game he approached Bourne Coach Harvey Shapiro as well as Coach Roberts to discuss the play and later decided to change the hit to an error. There was little to no pressure on the scorer from either side, yet he probably gained much respect from both coaches for the professional manner he went about his responsibilities.
- The best quote of the week was uttered by Coach Roberts after his team was no hit by the Bourne Braves. “It is not how you start, but how you finish.” Kettleers fans only have to compare the 2010 and 2012 seasons to agree. Back in 2010 Cotuit finished with a regular season record of 19-23 but got hot when it mattered and raced thru the playoffs to win the championship. Then in 2012 the Kettleers had the best record in the league, finishing 30-14, but got knocked out in the first round of the playoffs.
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.