2006: Season in Review

by Greg in

’06 Season PassThe 2006 Cape Cod Baseball League season ended as it should in a third and final match on a sunny Sunday in Yarmouth with the Y-D Red Sox defeating the Wareham Gatemen. Looking around my home office just outside of Seattle, I have saved stacks of Cape Cod Times, Boston Globe and Falmouth Enterprise sports pages. There are CCBL media guides and books containing narrative histories of the league.

I attended a lot of games this season, but sadly I was not among the 8,000 lucky funs who attended the finale. I did take advantage of the terrific Cape Cod Baseball Broadcast Network (http://www.capecodbaseball.org/teams/CapeCom/CapeCom2006.htm), which I punch into often from my laptop or cell phone. I think I'll do a post on the broadcasts later as well. The CC Times got it right on the next day's front of the sports page by putting the photos of Terry Doyle, Y-D's masterful pitcher, side by side with Kenya's Gilbert Okari who won the Falmouth Road Race that day ("One Run, Two Hits.")

All of this puts me in a reflective mood to look back on some of the highlights and lowlights of this season. In a future post I will look ahead. (And, yes, please add yours!)

Highlights · Another season of CCBL enjoyment with my son, Ryan. Nothing beats an afternoon or evening of Cape baseball followed by a morning cup of coffee with the Cape Cod Times’ CCBL wrap-up.

· Riley Boening’s pitching performance for Wareham (a complete game shutout) in the second and deciding western division playoff game was something to behold. He kept the Cotuit bats quiet for three innings prior to the light fiasco but came back 52 minutes later after the stoppage even stronger. His pitches seemed to buckle the knees of opponents, who swung weakly (and late).

· The discovery of two books about the Cape league to go along with Baseball by the Beach. The Last Best League by Jim Collins and Beach Chairs and Baseball Bats by Steve Weissman. Both are necessary volumes for any CCBL lover. I hope to post reviews of both.

· John Wylde, the PA announcer for the Wareham Gatemen, brings an erudite voice to Cape Cod baseball worthy of Fenway Park or Yankee Stadium. The Harvard man makes Thurston Howell, III sound common when he reminds fans in his unmistakable New England accent that an “express lane has been opened behind the Gatemen concession for your convenience serving hot dogs, Coke, Diet Coke and water.”

The Cape Cod Baseball Broadcast Network announcer who called the final moments of Game 3 of the championship game gave it all he had (volume and enthusiasm). It worked well to build suspense around David Robertson's final strike out of the Gatemen. "Red Sox win! Red Sox win! Red Sox win!" was the perfect call. Not original but I confess to getting some goose bumps.

Lowlights · We were disappointed that the Falmouth Commodores missed the playoffs this season by a single game. Living as we do during the summer in Woods Hole, we are quite a bit biased. We had gotten to know some of the players and coaches through the baseball clinic for kids. I had felt the pitching staff and batting order were loaded with enough talent to make the cuts. But Spillane Field, where the Commodores lost to the Gatemen in 10 innings during a must-win game, has proven to be a tough away game for many teams on the Cape.

· The CCBL umpires’ inability to make a call for 20 minutes in the opening game of the eastern division playoffs was simply inexcusable. To make matters worse, the CCBL commissioner also hemmed and hawed at home plate after being consulted.

What were your highlights and lowlights?