by Roy Reiss
We’re at the halfway mark of the season and teams are getting ready for the stretch drive to see who will hoist the Arnold Mycock trophy. Here are some quick observations.
The Future of the CCBL
The face of the Cape Cod League is changing and many fans are grumbling. It used to be that players came to the 10 teams and stayed most if not all summer long. Fans could get attached to players and develop meaningful relationships as they cheered on their favorites. Now with the Major League draft being held in July, the league has more or less become a showcase for temporary players who want to keep sharp, display their skills and leave prior to the draft. The Kettleers are a prime example this season as players are coming and going in turnstyle fashion. Gone are Chandler Simpson who was leading the league in hitting, Jackson Kelly, William Privette, Tyler Bosma, Cameron Collier and 13 others who were on the Kettleers opening day roster. The revolving door of players leaving and new ones coming to Cotuit will continue in the next few weeks leading up to the draft. If you’re wondering, it’s much the same in the 9 other Cape League locations. It’s as if you’ll have two separate teams to get acquainted to for each of the 10 franchises. Get used to it as this will be the future for the Cape League as long as the MLB draft is staged in mid July.
We live in a fast-moving, ever-changing world today and it’s pretty rare to see anyone stay in the same job for double digit years. Yet the CCBL has many managers who remain with the same team year after year after year. Check out these numbers-Mike Roberts in Cotuit for his 18th year, Jeff Trundy in his 24th year at Falmouth, Scott Pickler in his 25th year at Yarmouth-Dennis, Kelly Nicholson presently in his 17th year with the Orleans Firebirds, Steve Englert in his 19th year at Harwich and Harvey Shapiro served 23 years in Bourne before moving to Wareham for the 2022 season. You simply won’t see that type of longevity in today’s employment market.
Teaching, Teaching and Teaching
After a recent tie game in Harwich Coach Mike Roberts said he needed to take some of the blame for the team’s base running mistakes. True to his word the next day he had all the Kettleers position players at Lowell Park for a one hour tutorial on base running and proper leads off the bases.
The Stat That Counts
Pitching has always been the dominant area to determine a team’s success. Check out the team pitching statistics and you’ll find the top four teams are Cotuit, Yarmouth-Dennis, Bourne and Brewster. It’s no coincidence they have the top records in the CCBL.
Things That May Interest Only Me
This is the time of year when parents of the Kettleers players usually visit Cotuit and marvel at the experience. Bob Cole, father of outfielder Zach Cole said “this place is like family”…..Miss seeing Sol Yas who retired from the CCBL this year…..The Kettleers social media account has been filled with real-time information…..Hats seem to be one of the hottest items at the Kettleers store this summer…..Speaking of hats, hats off to Kathy Ware who had the Kettleers web site back up and operating in record time after it crashed…..Will there ever be a solution to the parking situation at Lowell Park…..Did you ever wonder why it takes college baseball players much longer to make it to the Major Leagues when compared to college football and basketball players.
Words of Wisdom
This from Coach Mike Roberts in a pre-season interview with intern Jenna Meyer discussing the impact of having Harrison Cohen, Brooks Baldwin, Ryan Ritter, Carter Trice and a few others return for another year of CCBL action-“Leadership should not come from coaches, it should come from teammates. And it certainly helps to have some continuity with your roster.”