By: Alexa Galloway, Field Reporter Intern, Boston University.
June 26, 2013
The Cape Cod Baseball League is where premiere players go to play elite competition. They come from all over the country, Maryland to California, hoping to be seen by MLB scouts and to work hard for their team in an effort to win. Players also have to get used to hitting with a wooden bat instead of the usual aluminum bat that they use in their college leagues. Hopefully by the end of the season, each player will develop new skills, strengthen the ones they already had, and create a lifetime bond with their coaches and new teammates. This is all dependent upon if they make it that far.
Each team consists of twenty-eight active players. Some are given contracts to guarantee them a spot on a team for the entire season, and some are signed as temporary players. While each player may have the intention to start and complete a forty-four game season, things happen. Players may have played too many games at their college team and need rest, players are invited to play with Team USA or other external reasons could be keeping them from playing in the league. To combat this, organizations take on temporary players.
Temporary players are game by game. They have the opportunity to come to the best summer baseball league in the country and hopefully make an impression. Mike Ford, Kettleers first basemen and pitcher, knows the difference between a temporary player and a contract player since he has been both.
“I was a contract player last year so I know how it works,” Ford said. “I’m very relaxed but I know it could be a stressful situation.”
Galli Cribbs Jr. agrees that while it’s stressful not knowing your last day, it’s worth it because you’re playing in this league.
“Even though you don’t know when you’re last day is going to be, it is worth it getting to come out here,” Cribbs Jr. said.
The role of a temporary player varies. It could be to fill the void until a contract player arrives or it could be to fill a position yet to be filled by a qualified player. This year coach Roberts has noted that it is the first year the Kettleers have had so many temporary players because of the College World series that kept his guys from Vanderbilt and Stanford from coming in before the first game.
Galli Cribbs Jr., a temporary player from Clarendon College, is spending his second year at Cotuit but filling his first year on a temporary contract. Cribbs sees his temporary contract as a way to make sure he works hard every game but he also sees the downfall.
“You try not to dwell on your bad plays, and just try to shake it off and move it on to the next one,” Cribbs Jr. said.
The good thing about a temporary position is that it can turn into a permanent contract. The downfall is a couple games when a player makes mistakes defensively or is weak offensively and they could be sent home to pack their bags and on the next flight home.
So why are players sent home? Ford thinks it’s situational.
“You never know what coach Roberts is looking for, since a new player comes almost everyday.” Ford continues, “they want to see as much as possible in a short amount of time and see who wants and who can help the team in a certain way.”
With so many temporary players trying to fill so many spots, one could assume that there would be a rivalry amongst players but many disagree.
The difference between a temporary and contract player is just in the name. Every player is listed in the roster, every player suits up for games and every player participates in practice, including the two-a-days Coach Roberts scheduled in the beginning of the season.
Overall, the idea of being a temporary player is motivational at its finest moments.
“Everyone meshes pretty quickly and just plays for each other,” Ford says. “It’s not a competition, per se, but everyone wants to do well. It definitely motivates you in a good way.”