by Roy Reiss
July 17, 2013
As we head to the finish line, there’s lots to talk about. Hopefully here are some thoughts, insight and happenings that may interest you.
- Simply can’t forget that wonderful sight the night of July 13th as Mike Ford rounded third base after slugging a first inning home run with a broad smile to be greeted by an equally broad smile from Coach Mike Roberts. It was the exclamation point after a day and previous night of serious discussions concerning potential free agent contracts for Ford. The two along with Ford’s parents, Barbara and Bob, had strategized for hours on a course of action and in Ford’s first at bat he responded with a round tripper. Of course that was followed by two singles and another homer, 5 RBI in all to spark the Kettleers to another win. Yet it was the smile the two exchanged that stands out as a moment to remember. Three days later Ford agreed to terms with the Yankees on a free agent contract.
- We often think of a lead off hitter as someone with a good eye, great speed, and able to get on base regularly. If you go back to the 2012 Kettleers, most baseball people would tab Tony Kemp (Vanderbilt) as the ideal number one hitter. However, Coach Roberts who rarely had Kemp in that slot has a different philosophy about the lead off position. “I look for someone who makes contact, who hits the sweet spot of the bat often. The reason being I want that person up in the late innings. I want them to get the extra at bats, especially in close games when I can trust them to make contact.” Perhaps the best example supporting Coach Roberts philosophy was Jordan Leyland (UC Irvine) in 2010 as he led the Kettleers to their 15th championship. Leyland, a big lumbering 1st baseman, had a sensational playoff run at the plate as he helped the Kettleers whip Bourne, Falmouth, and YD on the way to the Arnold Mycock Trophy.
One of the fun jobs for youngsters in the summer is serving as Kettleers batboy or batgirl. Young Thomas Harris of Sandwich has taken the job to another level as he does the games he assigned but also makes all the games he’s not assigned to, even those on the road. He’s one of the players favorites as he simply pitches in to get the job done at all games!
- Perseverance should be the calling card for Danny Diekroeger as the young Stanford infielder has certainly faced his share of speed bumps this summer. At the beginning of the season, Diekroeger was having a difficult time finding a regular spot in a crowded infield situation. Then came a 2 week stint on the disabled list for a sore shoulder that set him back. Yet recently Diekroeger has been one of the most consistent performers for the Kettleers as he’s settled in at 3rd base and at the leadoff spot in the batting order while seeing his average climb to .325 which is tops on the team after Mike Ford left to sign with the Yankees.
- It’s hard to explain but certain teams somehow dominate other teams with no rhyme or reason. For example this season in the CCBL the Kettleers have beaten Wareham 5 straight times. To further prove the point Hyannis is 4-0 versus the powerful Falmouth lineup this season. For those who like this type of material, the Kettleers have defeated every Cape League team this season except Chatham.
- Questions, questions, questions…….When did it become so fashionable to catch fly balls in the outfield one handed? What ever happened to catching with two hands? ……Who do you think is the Kettleers fiercest rival in the CCBL?…..Hasn’t the umpiring by and large been better this year?….Why don’t all the teams start a southpaw against the Kettleers?….
- Things that may interest only me…Love the spirit of Galli Cribbs Jr who has donned the catching gear in the event the team needs a back up for Nolan Clark (Concordia). Cribbs caught several innings in Harwich the other night and gunned down a potential base stealer. It’s called learning on the job….The chicken salad wraps at the Kettleers Kitchen has everyone raving at Lowell Park.
- Our quote of the week comes from house parent and National Anthem singer extrodinaire, Nikki Chevalier. “I’m going to cry….I’m so sad!” This after learning that Mike Ford who’s been staying with the Chevalier family this summer would be leaving to start his minor league baseball career.
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.