by Roy Reiss
August 15, 2013
As the playoffs roll on into mid August a few thoughts, ideas and assorted other tidbits swirl around while we got set to crown a 2013 champion.
- 55 players wore the Cotuit uniform this year, an unusually high number, yet this appears to be the norm moving forward rather than the exception. Other leagues, Team USA, injuries, and players being careful health wise are the main reasons so many players come and go. It just isn’t Cotuit, every Cape League team was scrambling for talent late in the season. With colleges starting earlier and the Cape season ending later, you have two moving trains trying to avoid a collision. The end result is more roster churning, perhaps a drop off in the quality of play, and a lot more work for general managers and housing coordinators. It’s something everyone will be dealing with in the future so get used to it.
- Kind of interesting that the Kettleers opened the 2013 season versus Orleans and they’ll end the summer facing the same team. Only one starter from the June 12th game, Bradley Zimmer (San Francisco), is still on the active Cotuit roster. And in the last playoff game against Bourne the only starters outside of pitchers who were on the opening day roster were Zimmer and Nolan Clark. Just goes to show how much player turnover there was this summer.
- There’s perception and reality. Perception had it that Falmouth had firepower galore with their lineup. Six All Star starters and each one could knock the ball out of the park. Reality is they had 32 homers on the season, while the so called “small ball” Kettleers had 30 round trippers. In their terrific 3 game playoff series, the Kettleers had 3 home runs while the Commodores slugged 2.
- Another perception and another reality … Falmouth was a much better team and therefore it was a major upset when Cotuit prevailed 2 games to 1. Reality is Falmouth finished 1 point ahead of the Kettleers after 44 games which certainly doesn’t equate to being that much better. Anything can and usually does happen in a short 3 game series.
- More perception and more reality. Perception says it’s too difficult to come back after losing the first game of a Best of Three series. Reality says looks at this year’s results. Falmouth won the opener and Cotuit bounced back and won the next two. Hyannis won their opener yet Bourne came back to win the final two. And by the way Harwich won their opener but Orleans won the final 2.
- The second inning of Game 1 versus Bourne offered a vivid picture of what Cotuit was this year and what they always will be known for. Five runs scored in that frame as Caleb Bryson and Austin Byler hit homers to account for 3 runs, while Danny Diekroegger delivered a safety squeeze bunt that plated 2 runs. It was “long ball” and “small ball” all wrapped up in one dynamic inning.
- Game 3 versus Bourne was playoff baseball at its best. Each team had opportunities to win a well played, well pitched game. Brian Miller’s (Vanderbilt) relief stint, especially in the 8th inning with runners on 2nd and 3rd no outs, was one for the record books. And Drew Jackson (Stanford) delivering the big hit after a less than stellar performance in Game 2 was poetic justice. Jackson giving credit to his dad, Peter, for some stellar advice was the perfect end to one of the tensest games you’ll witness.
- Some final regular season team totals: The Kettleers finished 16-8 against their 4 Western Division opponents and 9-10-1 against the 5 Eastern Division teams. Cotuit was 9-13 on the road and a very impressive 16-5-1 at Lowell Park. Breaking it down:
WEST: Wareham 6-0, Hyannis 4-2, Bourne 3-3, Falmouth 3-3
EAST: Chatham 1-3, Brewster 3-1, Harwich 1-2-1, Orleans 2-2, Y-D 3-1
- Things that may interest only me…..Cotuit was rained out 3 times this year during the regular season, and every one of the postponements was on a Friday…. Think someone got the message about a juiced baseball in 2012. Last year 384 home runs were smacked in CCBL action while 165 were hit in 2013…….Far too much significance is placed on statistics alone when giving out individual awards. Sometimes you have to dig a bit deeper than just stats..…Intern Hendrik Herz has a bright future for some baseball organization either scouting or in a management capacity……I’ve been to many of the CCBL venues and heard many renditions of the National Anthem but none compare to Cotuit’s Nikki Chevalier…..If the CCBL hadn’t expanded the playoff format several years ago, Cotuit would have been on the outside looking in this season. The Kettleers would have missed the playoffs since only two teams from each division used to advance, and Hyannis and Falmouth both finished ahead of the Kettleers.
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.