Super Regionals Schedule, TV Listings; Ben McDonald Note

by Dave B. in


After a night of overdosing on the MLB draft.... For those who may be interested in following former Cape Leaguer's, or to get an early preview of some of this year's incoming players, here is a link to SEBaseball.com, showing the dates, start times and television outlet for each of the eight Super Regional locations:    http://sebaseball.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1512007 

It looks like some games could be affected by Mother Nature with the remnants of Andrea churning up the east coast.

Every time I see Ben McDonald working on ESPN's college baseball shows, I am reminded of his short stay on the Cape in 1989.  McDonald was the man coming out of LSU and had been taken with the number one overall pick in the amateur draft by the Baltimore Orioles.  McDonald decided to head north to pitch for the Orleans Cardinals (now Firebirds) while contract negotiations took place.  Interestingly, the Cardinals planned to only pitch McDonald in home games because of the revenue that would be generated every time McDonald pitched.  Things didn't quite go as planned, as recalled in this article from July 26, 1989 in The Gainesville Sun:    http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1320&dat=19890726&id=iEpWAAAAIBAJ&sjid=NeoDAAAAIBAJ&pg=3002,8397320


One Week Away!

by Dave B. in


The 2013 Cape League season begins a week from today and I've been away from CodBall for way too long.  That four-letter word - work - has gotten in the way too often recently but now it's time to get back in the swing of things.  I've received a few emails asking about them, but you won't find me doing any in-depth team previews this year.  CodBall has done them in the past and I have a lot of appreciation for those who attempt to do them.  Researching the incoming players involves a lot of time.  However, as is always the case this close to the start of the season, the rosters are simply in too much of a state of flux to try to guess who may be in uniform a week from now, let alone discussing which team might be crowned champion.  Having done the preview thing before, it hasn't always worked out well which, admittedly, may be more a commentary on my lack of prognosticating skills than anything else.  Having said that, I do think that Yarmouth-Dennis, Harwich and Cotuit look real good on paper.  Brewster looks to be at the opposite end of the spectrum.  So, there you go.... expect the Whitecaps to be playing for the championship in August. Even the previews on the league website were outdated to some extent with the mention of Nick Burdi (Chatham) and Kyle Schwarber (Wareham) as key players.  Each player could end up spending part of his summer on the Cape, but both had been invited to Team USA even before the league previews were online.

Wareham and Brewster haven't updated their rosters since they were first posted months ago.  You can be sure there have been a lot of changes to those teams since then.

Chatham seems to have taken the biggest hit so far with regard to the players who have been dropped from their original roster.  The Anglers have released the contracts of 12 players and that doesn't include Burdi.  The most painful losses are RHP's Thomas Eshelman (CS-Fullerton) and Benton Moss (North Carolina).  Eshelman is 12-2 with a 1.59 ERA and has fanned 78 while issuing a hard-to-believe 2 walks over 107.2 innings.  Moss is 8-1 with a 3.78 ERA and has struckout 89 in 85.2 IP.  Those two would look pretty good at the top of anyone's rotation.  Burdi pitched 32.2 innings over 26 relief appearances for Louisville.  He has posted a 0.83 ERA to go along with 59 K's and opponents have hit just .195 off him. UC-Irvine INF Taylor Sparks is another Angler who will be joining Team USA.  Sparks started all 55 games for the Anteaters and batted .360 with 10 HR, 50 RBI and a .969 OPS.

Two other teams may not have lost the numbers that Chatham has lost, but each has lost a couple very talented players.  Team USA has plucked Grayson Greiner (C, South Carolina) and Tyler Beede (RHP, Vanderbilt) away from Cotuit.  Skye Bolt (OF, North Carolina) and Alex Bregman (IF, Louisiana State) were expected to suit up for Harwich but will instead be spending at least part of their summer wearing the red, white and blue.

Jumping around a bit....  Will this be the year Falmouth breaks their 33-year championship drought?....  Most of Brewster's players haven't had great springs but the Florida State trio of RHP Luke Weaver, LHP Brandon Leibrandt and IF/OF Jose Brizuela could provide some excitement at Stony Brook Field.  Leibrandt tied for the team lead with 10 wins.  Weaver compiled a record of 7-2 with a 1.95 ERA to go with 114 K's and 17 BB.  Brizuela batted .325 and drove in 43 runs for the Seminoles who will be hosting Indiana in a Super Regional this weekend....  What's new at your favorite team's ballpark this year?  Cotuit's Lowell Park will have new restrooms and a new Kettleer Kitchen.  Brewster has built a new storage shed.  (Yeah, I know, real exciting.)....  Among the West Division teams that have lights at their field, Wareham is the only team that will start games at 7:00.  Starting time for games in Falmouth will be 6:30.  This year, Hyannis will make the move that Bourne had previously made, moving their start time to 6:00....  Milford HS played Nauset HS at Eldredge Park last night in the state baseball tournament.  The Milford Athletic Director is Rich Piergustavo who once coached Falmouth in the CCBL.  It was during Piergustavo's tenure that the Commodores fielded a team of all New England-area players in an attempt to showcase "local" talent....  Last night's Texas Rangers-Boston Red Sox game was devoid of any suspense but, for very different reasons, it was an interesting night for a couple of former Cape Leaguers.  Rangers starting pitcher Justin Grimm (Cotuit, '09) was knocked around for 7 hits, 3 walks and 8 earned runs in 1.2 innings as the Red Sox went on to win, 17-5.  David Murphy (Wareham, '01, '02) made his MLB pitching debut when he came in from left field in the eighth inning.  Murphy was the only Rangers pitcher to fare well as he gave up one hit and struck out Mike Carp in his scoreless inning....  The story is just developing, but multiple sources are reporting that the MLB hammer may be ready to drop on Milwaukee's Ryan Braun (Brewster, '04) and many others, as part of MLB's investigation into the use of PED's.  Stay tuned....        

I'll be posting a lot of notes to @capeleague on Twitter (not to be confused with @Official_CCBL which is the league's official Twitter account.)

Jump on board and share your thoughts about your favorite team and the upcoming season.


Kettleer Kitchen and New Restrooms Almost Ready

by Andrew in


Picture from barnstablepatriot.com Lowell Park (home of the Cotuit Kettleers) is one of the most beautiful ballparks in the country, and it will be even better in 2013. Construction work on the new Kettleer Kitchen and restrooms is slated to be complete by June 1, 2013--just in time for the 2013 season.

The renovations include a new Kettleer Kitchen, which will now serve burgers, salads, and wraps in addition to hot dogs, chili, chowder, and lobster rolls. The updated restroom facilities will feature a trophy and memorial case built into the outside wall.

For more on the renovations, check out The Barnstable Patriot's story and see CapeHomepage.com's photos on Flickr.


Bradley Headed to PawSox Soon?

by Andrew in


Since our last post, Jackie Bradley Jr. (Hyannis, 2009) has started six games so far for the Boston Red Sox, going 3 for 21 (.143). Due to his slump, it is expected that he will be sent down to the Pawtucket Red Sox once David Ortiz completes a rehab assignment.  As Over the Monster blogged, it is even more likely that Bradley will be sent down due to the success of Daniel Nava and Jonny Gomes. On the plus side, this gives Red Sox fans near International League (AAA) parks the chance to see Bradley before he inevitably returns to the show.


Friendly's Sponsors 2013 All-Star Game

by Andrew in


Friendly's Cone HeadFriendly's Ice Cream has inked a deal to become the title sponsor of the 2013 CCBL All-Star Game and the official ice cream of the CCBL. This year's All-Star Game will be on Saturday, July 27, at Red Wilson Field in South Yarmouth (Home of the Y-D Red Sox). According to a Friendly's press release, Friendly's was the first ever title sponsor of the CCBL All-Star in 1992 at Whitehouse Field in Harwich (Home of the Harwich Mariners). In January 2012, Friendly's emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection (Wikipedia). They closed 100 restaurants since their bankruptcy filing. Cape Cod has three Friendly's restaurants: Hyannis, Falmouth, and Sagamore Beach.


Bourne Announcer Auditioned with the Boston Red Sox

by Andrew in


Bourne BravesThe Bourne Braves' announcer Kevin McGonagle auditioned in January to become the next Fenway Park public address announcer. Unfortunately, it does not seem likely that McGonagle will be selected for the position since the Red Sox should have already flown him down to Fort Myers to try his voice out in Spring Training. The Enterprise/capenews.net has the full story on their site with a fascinating look into the process.


Partial Roster of Orleans Firebirds

by Dave B. in


Here is the link to the 2013 Orleans Firebirds roster:  http://www.orleansfirebirds.com/roster-2/ At this time, only 13 players appear on the roster. It looks like Vanderbilt LHP Philip Pfeifer is the only returnee. UMass-Lowell RHP Garrett Cole was on the early-season roster for Orleans last year, but he did not play for the Firebirds.

North Carolina head coach Mike Fox has indicated that RHP Trevor Kelley may open the season as the closer for the Tar Heels.

We will take a closer look at the roster as more players are added.


2013 Hyannis Harbor Hawks

by Dave B. in


Here is the link to the recently released Hyannis Harbor Hawks roster:  http://harborhawks.org/roster/ It looks like Stanford outfielder Dominic Jose and UAB infielder/outfielder Jeff Schalk are the only returnees. Jose batted .272 with 6 HR, 12 RBI, and had an .857 OPS last summer. Schalk hit .200 for the 2012 Hawks. 

Florida State has reported that sophomore RHP Mike Compton has a right elbow sprain and is out indefinitely.

Andrew Thome comes to Hyannis from the University of North Dakota. Let us know if you can recall another Cape Leaguer from UND. 

Drew Stankiewicz' (IF;  Arizona State) father, Andy, played seven seasons in the major leagues for the New York Yankees, Houston Astros, Montreal Expos and Arizona Diamondbacks. Shane Zeile's (C/IF; UCLA)  uncle, Todd Zeile, played for eleven different teams over a 15-year major league career.

Former North Carolina pitcher Jimmy Messer has joined Chad Gassman's coaching staff. Messer pitched for the Harbor Hawks in 2010.


Boston College Honors Matt Pare

by Dave B. in


From the Boston College baseball twitter account (@BCBirdBall):  "Head coach Mike Gambino announced senior catcher Matt Pare will wear No. 8 in honor of Sonny Nictakis." Pare was a temp player for Yarmouth-Dennis last year. He spent the balance of his summer playing for the Newport Gulls of the NECBL. Pare batted .344 with 5 HR and 17 RBI in the regular season and added 2 homeruns and 4 RBI while batting .467 in Newport's six playoff games. 

In honoring Pare, Gambino is continuing a tradition he started two years ago by selecting a player to wear No. 8 in honor of former player Peter "Sonny" Nictakis. Each season, a player who has battled adversity and represents the best qualities of Boston College baseball will wear Nictakis' old number.

Sonny Nictakis was a two-time captain for the Eagles in 1998-99 who lost his courageous battle with Hodgkin's disease in the summer of 2000. Until 2011, the number 8 jersey had not been worn since 1999. In 2011, Gambino chose senior outfielder Mike Sudol to be the first to wear the number. Last year's recipient of this honor was senior pitcher Kyle Prohovich.

 


Falmouth Raises Money to Renovate Press Box

by Andrew in


Steve Cishek On January 10th, the Falmouth Commodores hosted a fundraiser for renovating the Eric Palmer Memorial Press Box at Guv Fuller Field. The event was held at the New Seabury Country Club in Mashpee and featured incoming Red Sox manager John Farrell, Miami Marlins closer and Falmouth High School grad Steve Cishek, 2011-2012 Red Sox relief pitcher and free agent Rich Hill, former Commodores manager Jeff Trundy, and Cape Codder/Yankee scout Matt Hyde.

WickedLocal Yarmouth posted a great summary of the event, written by Sarah Murphy. Sarah explained John Farrell's association with the CCBL:

Farrell, who pitched for the Hyannis Mets in 1982, said his family’s connection to the Cape Cod Baseball League, particularly the Commodores, runs deep. All three of his sons, Jeremy, Shane and Luke, played for Falmouth, and Luke also played for the Wareham Gatemen. Tim Schorer of Falmouth housed the Farrell boys, and his relationship with the family made Farrell’s appearance at the event possible.

Additional photos of the event can be found on the Falmouth Commodores website.


Patterson (South Alabama) shares CCBL experience

by Andrew in


Jordan PattersonThe University of South Alabama posted a short-and-sweet interview with 1st baseman/left-handed pitcher Jordan Patterson about his 2012 experience with the Bourne Braves. He talked about how it is "overwhelming" at first to use wood bats and also face the top pitchers in college baseball. My favorite part of the interview was when he talked about being a bit of a local celebrity:

You go to the gas station or somewhere, and the people in the community recognize you and know what is going on. They know the history of the league – the community is so involved because there is so much history to it. They enjoy it and care about it, and that makes it a great experience.

In the regular season, Patterson batted .263 for the Braves with 35 hits in 40 games. He had six hits in the Braves' playoff run, which ended on August 13th with a loss to the Wareham Gatemen in the semifinals. The Gatemen went on to win the 2012 CCBL Championship.


2013 Cotuit Kettleers

by Dave B. in


Check out the Cotuit Kettleers roster that was recently posted at  http://www.kettleers.org/roster/ Name recognition doesn't win games, let alone championships, but the Kettleers have a very impressive group of players heading to Lowell Park if their roster looks anything like this on June 12.

Vanderbilt will once again be well-represented on Cotuit's roster with RHP Tyler Beede (Auburn, MA.), LHP Brian Miller, RHP Carson Fulmer and OF Rhett Wiseman (Mansfield, MA.) expected to suit up for the Kettleers. Beede, was named ESPNBoston.com's Mr. Baseball in 2011 after starring at Lawrence Academy. He was named a 2012 SEC Freshman All-American. Beede was drafted in the first round (21st overall) by Toronto in the 2011 MLB Draft, and was the only first round pick not to sign that year.  Wiseman was tabbed as Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year last year while attending Buckingham Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge.

Stanford infielder Danny Diekroeger played very well through the playoffs for Yarmouth-Dennis last summer after signing with the Red Sox late in the season. Drew Jackson, another Cardinal infielder, will be following in the footsteps of his brother Brett who played for Cotuit in 2008. Brett now plays for the Chicago Cubs.

Returnees from Cotuit's 2012 team include UNC-Wilmington RHP Jordan Ramsey (2-0; 4.35 ERA; 31 IP), Arizona State LHP Adam McCreery (1-1; 5.46 ERA; 29.2 IP), Florida International catcher Aramis Garcia (.250; 3 HR; 14 RBI) and Coastal Caroliona RHP/INF Patrick Corbett who appeared in just one game last summer.

As with all of these early roster postings, CodBall  will take a closer look at the 2013 Kettleers as we get closer to the start of the season.


2013 Harwich Mariners

by Dave B. in


Here is the link to the 2013 Mariners roster:  http://harwichmariners.org/index.cfm?base=4 As with all the teams, we will take an in-depth look at the roster over the course of the next few months. One word of caution though....  if you see Notre Dame RHP Pat Connaughton hanging around a basketball court this summer, don't challenge him to a game of H-O-R-S-E!


Lowell Park Capital Improvement Photos

by Andrew in


Lowell Park Drawing Our friend Joe Cavanaugh has been staying up-to-date with the Lowell Park Capital Improvements Project. Check out his photos on his Flickr photoset. As of December 20th, it looks like they now have the foundation for the updated restroom facility.

We last blogged about The Campaign for Lowell Park on July 6th.


Happy Holidays from Codball!

by Andrew in


Thank you to all of our readers for another great year with CodBall. We hope that you are all enjoying a few days off with your friends and families. We are 170 days away from the first pitches of the 2012 CCBL season at Lowell Park and Red Wilson Field on June 12th. The last bit of CCBL news for the year (probably) was a picture of Gary Gateman showing off the 2012 trophy in the Wareham parade.

We recently launched a new site design for CodBall, which should work very well on smartphones, tablets, and full-sized screens. We went back to a simple layout, and we hope to fill it in with pictures and video from the 2013 season.