By Roy Reiss
July 1, 2015
With lots of games completed in the glorious Cape season, here’s more observations, perhaps a very little insight, and even more ramblings as we’re about to near the halfway mark of Cape League action (where has the time gone?).
Coach Mike Roberts always says he’ll know a lot more about his team come July. So here we are as the calendar turns and we can make some observations of what we’ve witnessed to this point. Our pitching staff is much improved over last year and is really doing a nice job to date. Daniel Brown (Mississippi State) has turned in several outstanding efforts. Austin Sexton (Mississippi State) has also been impressive in his recent appearances. Let’s not forget Nick Lewis who shut down Orleans over the weekend. Or either Matt Milburn (Wofford) who was superb in relief earlier this week. It’s hard to believe they rank 8th in the league in team pitching statistics. If there’s been one weakness it’s been pitchers inability to shut down hitters when they’re ahead in the count in difficult situations. The wrong pitch selection hasn’t helped in those tense moments. Meanwhile the defense has improved dramatically over the last week as Brody Weiss (Riverside C.C.) shifted to 3rd base and Spencer Gaa (Bradley) moved to 2nd while Mike Paez (Coastal Carolina) solidifies things at shortstop. And the hitting has come to life over the last few games as well. So, yes, we do know much more about this Kettleers 2015 team as we enter July, but we still have another 26 games to learn even more!
Couldn’t help but notice that Baseball America selected catcher Garrett Stubbs (USC) to their All America First Team this year. Stubbs had a short but memorable stay with the Kettleers in the championship 2013 season. Current coach Nolan Clark was catching almost every day since the Kettleers had seen their other receivers leave via injury or signing with a major league organization. The team was desperate for a backup who would provide some relief.
Stubbs did just that appearing in just 2 games during the regular season going two for five, while in the playoffs he was a key contributor in 6 games going 5 for 11 at the plate. Kettleers fans will never forget Stubbs walk off base hit in extra innings of Game 2 of the Falmouth series that started the Kettleers on their championship journey during those 2013 playoffs.
Questions, Questions, Questions …
Wondering why the CCBL schedules doubleheaders in early June when all the players aren’t on their teams yet, and all the fans haven’t come to the Cape yet? If you’re going to play doubleheaders why not in July when most players are with their teams and more people are on the Cape? After all, shouldn’t the CCBL goal be to showcase the BEST players in front of the MOST fans? … Our trivia question for the Hyannis game June 16th was “what 5 time World Series champion is the only MLB player to be on the field for three perfect games?(answer below) … Isn’t the brick commemorative plaza at Lowell Park special? … Why is it that most Kettleers fans are really liking the play of Mike Paez (Coastal Carolina)? Read more about Mike’s recent achievements here.
Hope you’ve all had a chance to see the new “full color” Kettleers Yearbook for 2015. There’s a great story behind the actual production of this year’s edition which finally can be told. Noreen Jones is the individual who put together the book which takes hours and hours of careful attention to detail during the April-May time frame. What made this year more difficult than ever was the fact Jones was one of the jurors in the heavily publicized Marathon Bombing trial in Boston. She had to be in Boston every day traveling from Barnstable and sat through all the testimony and then the penalty phase of the long trial. When the deadline for the yearbook was approaching, Jones had to ask the judge if she could bring her computer into the jury room so she could work on the project during down time. The 2015 Kettleers Yearbook is surely exhibit A in dedication to the Kettleers cause!
Things that may interest only me … Can’t ever remember any CCBL game when pitchers from the same school started for their respective teams. It happened in June when George Tech’s Zach Ryan (Brewster) and Jonathan King (Cotuit) toed the rubber in a 4-3 Kettleers victory … Really like the new Kettleers hat with the super logo … Love watching coach Nolan Clark interact with the players. After all he was a player two years ago … Everything seems proper and right at Lowell Park when Arnold Mycock, the individual most responsible for the Kettleers illustrious history, is present to watch his beloved Kettleers … trivia answer: Paul O’Neill (Tom Browning 1988, David Wells 1998, David Cone 1999)
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.