By Roy Reiss
August 1, 2019
Photos by Josh Muir
As we get set for the playoffs this weekend, here are a few observations, perhaps very little insight, and even more ramblings.
*It’s often said that coaches need to adjust to the talents of their players. Coach Mike Roberts certainly can attest to that line of thinking with his 2019 Kettleers team. Roberts has always been known for his expertise in base running as his teams usually lead the league in stolen base attempts while playing a lot of small ball. Not this year as it’s been just the opposite. The Kettleers attempted only 44 stolen bases over the course of the regular season schedule which ranked 9th in the league. Instead they played long ball, finishing tied for the top spot in home runs with 37, led the league easily with 544 total bases and scored more runs than all teams with 201.
*The final regular season numbers are in and you can only marvel at what Nick Gonzalez (New Mexico State) accomplished. He was second in the league in batting with a .351 average, led the league in hits with 54, doubles with 14, triples with 4 and was tied for second in RBI with 33. Coming from a smaller school that probably isn’t viewed as a baseball powerhouse, Gonzalez certainly enhanced his draft position next year by participating in the CCBL. It’ll be most interesting to see where and what round he gets drafted next June.
*Back in 2010 the CCBL changed the playoff format and had 4 teams in each division eligible for the playoffs. Noted Bourne official scorer Bob Gogan always reminds me of one interesting gem. If you seed the playoff teams from one to eight, no number one team has ever won the Arnold Mycock trophy. In fact, last year’s Wareham team, seeded number 2, is the only second seeded team to win the ultimate prize. When the Kettleers won in 2013, they were seeded fourth while the 2010 championship Kettleers team was seeded seventh.
*One critical issue facing all summer baseball leagues is the lack of pitching depth. College coaches are not sending their best pitchers to the various leagues and they’re also limiting the number of innings pitchers can throw. Instead they’re asking summer coaches to develop the pitching talent despite all the limitations put on the summer coaches. It’s quite a problem for any summer coach. On top of that the unpredictable weather forces doubleheaders which further taxes your pitching staff and causes teams to pitch positional players to eat up innings. It’s a major problem for league officials to wrestle with this off season.
*Questions, questions, questions…..How can any umpiring crew call a game without a complete inning being finished and not raining?…..Will the CCBL ever consider a 40 game regular season schedule?……Ever wonder what catcher Coltyn Kessler (Kentucky) scribbles in the dirt behind home plate whenever he starts a game?…..Does anyone work harder in the Kettleers office than Lisa Theoharidis?
*Things that may interest only me…..The 2019 Kettleers earned 44 points over the regular season, the 2018 edition earned 48 yet I thought this year’s team was better than last years…..It’s awfully nice to witness a memorable moment at Lowell Park. We all witnessed one when young Brady MacNeil, the inspiration for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox was cited at a recent game……Umpiring is always a controversial topic but there’s no one more consistent calling balls and strikes than Pat “Sparky” Burns….This is always a difficult time of year as the end of another season approaches and you say good bye to so many players, interns and people you met along the way.
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.