By Roy Reiss
July 1, 2019
When the calendar turns to July, you realize there’s only one month to go to another Cape Cod Baseball League season. The finish line is ahead and the 2019 Kettleers look like they could be a serious playoff contender.
Nick Gonzalez We’ve seen many prospects come through Lowell Park in the last decade. Many have made it to the major leagues yet it’s always difficult to predict how a youngster will eventually do. Here’s one vote for Nick Gonzalez to be in a major league uniform sometime in the next few years. The New Mexico State sophomore has taken the league by storm. He’s a potential Triple Crown candidate as he leads the league in batting average, runs batted in and is 2nd in home runs as we enter July. His fielding has been above average and also has speed to burn. I think it’s safe to say he’s the best second basemen to don a Kettleers uniform in the last 10 years! And he also appears to be just as good off the field as well.
Scheduling It’s not easy to schedule 44 games in such a short period of time and then have to deal with mother nature. That said here’s a few quirks in the Kettleers 2019 slate of games. They’ll play 20 of their final 28 games against opponents from their Western Division. As we enter July the Kettleers have yet to play one game against Bourne or Falmouth and only one game versus Hyannis. They’ve played 11 of their first 16 games against the five teams from the Eastern Division. They’ve were very good in June at home with a 5-2-1 record while on the road they were just the reverse, 2-5-1.
Unsung Star Things happen over a long season and everyone should be ready to take advantage of any opportunity that comes their way. No one has done that better than catcher Cody Pasic (Maine and Cotuit). The local kid has shown some grit and great mental toughness during the last week in June taking over for starter Coltyn Kessler (Kentucky) who suffered a knee injury. Pasic has a on base percentage with a batting average of .350 plus his work behind the plate in calling a game has been very consistent. He came to the Kettleers as a temporary player but off his performance in June he appears to be a lock to get a permanent contract.
Questions, question, questions…Why does the Cape season fly by so quickly?….When will we see our first really good argument with the men in blue?….How many foul balls are hit out of Lowell Park in one home game?….How about 11 year old Callie Flynn singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame during the 7th inning stretch at Lowell Park?….Is there anyone who enjoys the Lowell Park experience more than 12 year old Matt Flaherty?….Why don’t the Kettleers wear gray pants when playing on the road?….Do you believe Polar Cave Ice Cream is available at the Kettleers Kitchen?
Things that may interest only me……What a wonderful assortment of promotions the Kettleers have this year. Credit goes to hard working Don LeSieur and his marketing team.….Not sure anyone works harder during the season than Terry Moran who makes sure every player that comes to Cotuit has a home and host family….What a wonderful experience it must be to host a player and develop that relationship with a potential major leaguer. Fresh in my mind is that picture of Red Sox star Steve Pearce having some fun with Willie Nastasi of Centerville back in 2004 when he was playing with the Kettleers…..Love to talk with the parents of current players who are visiting Cotuit for the first time and to get their reaction to this special place….Think the Kettleers have some real good starting pitchers this year, the question could be how strong is the bullpen.
Quote that Stand Out ”One thing Coach Roberts stresses is the mental approach to the game and come here ready to play every day. I’m fortunate to be around a coach who preaches that mental toughness,” a former Kettleers player.
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 ESPN.