By Roy Reiss
July 11, 2013
As we head into the second half of the season, things start to crystallize. So here are some observations, thoughts, perhaps a little insight as the season marches forward.
- Sometimes the best laid plans go astray and you make do with what you have. All throughout the Fall and Winter, the Kettleers appeared to have tremendous strength at the catcher position. They had last year’s receiver Aramis Garcia (Florida International) returning along with South Carolina backstop Grayson Greiner who was tabbed as one of the nation’s top catchers. Garcia went home in June with ailing knees, while Greiner made Team USA. That left Will Remillard (Coastal Carolina) as the top catcher but he too suffered a back injury and was released earlier this week. Now the Kettleers will work with Nolan Clark (Concordia) who is their 4th receiver and will probably use Kevin Bradley (Clemson) as a backup. It’s what you call juggling and hoping things work out!
- The Kettleers under Coach Mike Roberts have always been perceived as a “small ball” team. They have always liked to move runners along, utilize the bunt, hit and run, pressure the defense, and scratch out runs with alert play. This 2013 edition is altering that perception with their long ball style. Thru 24 games the Kettleers have slugged 16 homers which ranks second in the league. There’s an old saying in sports that great managers/coaches always adjust their style to the talent they have. Maybe that’s why Coach Roberts said earlier this year that he didn’t want to bunt as much as he used to!
- It’s always interesting to watch batting practice where you pick up little tidbits and see teaching moments. For example during the Kettleers BP, you’ll often see coach Trey McCall on the first base side pulling Galli Cribbs Jr (Clarenden JC) to the side to go over different batting tips. It’s all part of the developmental side of CCBL action which the players never forget when they head back to school.
- One of the toughest jobs during the CCBL season is finding new house parents to house players. Mike and Toni Migliore of Sandwich may be the only people housing two players from two different teams in 2013. Yes that’s right. The Migliore’s nephew, Dylan Toscano (Memphis) is pitching this summer for the Brewster Whitecaps. Growing up Toscano’s best friend in junior high school and high school was Brian Miller (Vanderbilt) who is the Kettleers closer this summer. Toscano approached his aunt and uncle about having a summer reunion with his best friend at their house and that’s how they became Cotuit house parents. Feeding the two players isn’t their toughest job. It’s splitting time catching Kettleers and Brewster games!
- It’s always dangerous to predict or project who’s the best team in the league at this time. That said, this vote would go to the Falmouth Commodores who have the deepest lineup seen to date along with respectable pitching. Will it be good enough to earn them the Arnold Mycock trophy at the end of the year? That’s why they play the games and we shall see what transpires over the next several weeks.
Questions…questions….questions. Where does Coach Roberts get all his energy? If he isn’t out in the bullpen with the pitchers, he’s in the batting cage or throwing batting practice. Or maybe he’s out with grandson Brock teaching him the fine art of base stealing..Or how to throw a change up!…….Does anyone enjoy taking pictures more than Kettleers photog Joe Cavanaugh (at a recent game he took more than 1700 pictures!)? ….How do the home plate umpires make it through the entire game in the recent heat and humidity we’ve had?…..Did you ever wonder how many baseballs are used in a game at Lowell Park?
- Things that may interest only me….A couple of former Kettleers favorites faced off against each other this past weekend in Single A action. Patrick Biondi (Cotuit 2011-12) went 4-9 for his Brooklyn Cyclones in a 3 game series against Mike Yastrzemski (Cotuit 2010-11) and the Aberdeen Iron Birds who took two of three. Both teams visit the Lowell Spinners later this summer…..
- Our quote of the week comes from Coach Roberts on the fine art of pitching. “They are getting behind in the count and throwing fastballs in fastball counts. You can’t do that at any level, when you are in fastball counts you have to continue throwing off speed stuff.”
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.