Results tagged ‘ Cape Cod Baseball League ’
Although it seems like forever ago, I’m not all that far removed from my summer on the Cape broadcasting games for the Bourne Braves in 2008. Last night, the Cape Cod Baseball League kicked off yet another season that promises to be a success.
When you really think about it, the Cape League might be the best blend of talent plus love for the game on display anywhere in the country. Every young hopeful is playing for free in hopes of either being discovered or further increasing their stock.
Partially funded by Major League Baseball, the Cape League has produced such stars as Jeff Bagwell, Jacoby Ellsbury, Normar Garciaparra, Tim Lincecum, Frank Tomas, Evan Longoria, Buster Posey, Kevin Youkillis, and hundreds more.
As you keep up the with PawSox this summer, you might want to spend a couple of minutes each week checking in on what’s happening along the Cape. You never know who might be the next star to make a name for himself.
- Impressive work last night by Doug Mathis, Daniel Bard, and Garrett Mock. The trio of right-handers held the Bisons scoreless over nine innings and combined to allow a mere four hits. It marked the sixth shutout win of the season for Pawtucket.
- Despite walking the first man he faced, Bard saw the minimum over two innings and struck out the final four batters – one looking. Last night marked Bard’s first outing without allowing a run, and pitching more than one inning.
- Pedro Ciriaco is now riding a 10-game hitting streak (13-for-45), and is nearing his club-best streak of 12 games he set in May.
- Although we have not received official word confirming the move, RedSox.com is reporting that outfielder Cody Ross “plans on starting a Minor League rehab assignment on Friday for Triple-A Pawtucket.” Ross fractured a bone in his left foot when batting.
- Former PawSox pitcher, and current Red Sox reliever, Andrew Miller, is part of the Cape League’s 13th Hall of Fame class, scheduled for induction on November 10 at the Chatham Bars Inn. Miller pitched for Chatham and posted a 2-0 record with a 2.03 ERA in 2004 and a 6-0 mark with a 1.65 ERA in ’05. That year, Miller was named the league’s outstanding pro prospect, co-pitcher of the year, and college summer baseball’s player of the year.
The PawSox and Bisons continue their series tonight from Buffalo with righty Justin Germano (7-3, 2.56) getting the start for Pawtucket. Coming off a nine-inning complete game shutout, Germano will be opposed by right-hander Dylan Owen (3-3, 5.19).
First pitch tonight from Coca-Cola Field is set for 7:05, pre-game coverage begins at 6:50.
Talk with you then.
It’s hard to believe, but Opening Day is exactly one month away. I get asked often when I speak to groups such as Rotary and Lions Clubs, “what does a minor league broadcaster do during the off-season”? Well, as is typically the case, I’m working on various random projects to get ready for the season and, since a number of people have expressed interest, I thought I’d begin by telling you what’s going on in my world one month before Opening Day.
- This afternoon I’m jumping on a conference call with Michael Gwynn, our VP of Sales and Marketing, along with the general manager of a Massachusetts radio station. We’re in the final stages of adding them to our radio network for 2012 and are hoping to close the deal today. We currently have a nine-station network and look to build that number to 11 or 12 by Opening Day.
- Bill Wanless, our VP of Public Relations, has given me a copy of our 20-page game program to proofread. The son a long-time middle school English teacher, I’m one of our resident proof readers (for better or worse). The best part is, if I have have any questions, mom is just a phone call away.
- One of the biggest things on my to-do list is to finalize my 2012 broadcaster’s scorebook. Every year I order a custom scorebook from a friend in St. Louis and I’m reaching the deadline to get my order submitted. I’m working with PawSox graphic designed Kevin Galligan (who is currently swamped) to create a cover. Here’s a picture of what my book looked like last year.
- Everyday I need to spend at least an hour reading various blogs, websites, and written publications about the Red Sox and what’s going on in Ft. Myers. Especially since I haven’t worked in the Sox farm system since 2009, I have some catching up to do in order to really feel like I know all the notable names and recent story lines. On my reading list today is the March edition of New England Baseball Journal. It’s a little funny to think that I get paid to read what most Red Sox fans read for pleasure everyday, but it’s my job to know these things and consequently I have to dedicate enough time each day so I know the latest news.
- On my to-do list everyday: writing this blog, and helping PawSox Account Executive Pete Sachs update Facebook and Twitter throughout the day.
- I’m especially excited because starting at 1:05 this afternoon, I can listen to five different Spring Training radio broadcasts online while I work. The MLB Gameday Audio package is the best $19.99 I spend every year.
Switching gears, some of you may know that I spent the 2008 season calling games for the Bourne Braves of the Cape Cod Baseball League. That season, which seems like forever ago, was without question the most difficult season of my career. I was 1,200 miles away from my home in St. Louis, took a broadcasting job that paid me $0.00, was grateful to find a landscaping job through craigslist to pay me some money, and half of our 25 games I broadcasted solo, off-air, because we could only afford to air half of our games online (via Skype).
If it wasn’t for my (now) wife’s charitable grandmother in Yarmouth, and her spare bedroom, I could have never afforded to take the Braves’ job, and who knows what that would have meant for my broadcasting career. Although it was a tough summer, I learned tremendous lessons and gained great perspective on the profession.
Last night my wife, Heather, and I drove to the Cape to have dinner with grandma Claire and Heather’s parents. On our way we happened to drive by Upper Cape Technical School where the Braves’ games are played.
Once we sped past the school, I quickly pulled u-turn so I could drive by the ballpark where I paid my dues during the summer of 2008. It was great to get back there because I can still remember the first time I drove into the empty parking lot over-looking the field prior the ’08 season. As the team’s soon-to-be broadcaster, I got excited thinking that would soon be “my field.”
Thank you to Tom Fink for hiring me in Bourne and keeping my dream of broadcasting alive.
Thank you to Claire for giving up your guest bedroom and never asking for anything in return.
Thank you to Heather for always being ready to move and for putting up with me always being away.
Thank you to my parents who somehow supported me driving half-way across the country for an unpaid, Internet-only broadcasting job.
As evidenced above, it’s impossible to make it in this business without the support of those around you. Soon enough, another young Cape League broadcaster will learn that just like I did.
Today is not a fun day at McCoy Stadium. It has nothing to do with the fact that it’s Monday, but everything to do with the man pictured to the left. Short debates have been had here at the ballpark among co-workers as to whether or not last night’s loss was more deflating than the loss 0f 2007. As a guy with no ties to the Patriots, I’m trying to stay low, keep my mouth closed, and avoid eye contact with pretty much everyone.
As sad as I am that football season is officially over, the bright side is that we’re now even closer to the beginning of baseball season. It’s crazy to think that pitchers and catchers report on February 19 – that’s in 13 days! Speaking of which, looks like I’ll be out in Fort Myers for Spring Training March 18-24. I can’t wait to get out there, see the new facility, and start covering the team. I’ll be blogging daily and also conducting interviews to share here and at pawsox.com.
Here are some news and notes the I found interesting this morning:
- For the first time since 2008, the annual Cape Cod Baseball League All-Star Game will be played on Cape soil. This year’s “Mid-Summer Classic” will be at Whitehouse Field, home of the defending league champion Harwich Mariners. Recently the game has been hosted by the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. The Sox once again invited the Cape League to Fenway this season, but the two sides couldn’t agree on a date that worked for both parties. Despite not hosting the All-Star Game, the Red Sox have declared Sunday, July 22, as Cape Cod Day at Fenway Park. The Cape League will hold the qualifying round of its Home Run Contest at Fenway that day.
The Charlotte Knights, the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, and fellow members of the International League, are working towards a new ballpark in Charlotte’s Uptown area. The club has been looking for a new ballpark deal for years now, but various economic occurrences have delayed the project. Some good news for the Knights is that Mecklenburg County has tentatively approved spending $8 million on a new ballpark and will provide the land for the project. The city of Charlotte is now having talks about putting in somewhere between $6 million and $11 million. No matter the ballpark, I’m just hoping for an Emily Maynard sighting when we travel to Charlotte (her hometown).
- Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was the keynote speaker at a recent banquet to honor the participants in Major League Baseball’s Venezuela-Dominican Republic Showcase. According the redsox.com, “the event was held at the Mets complex in Boca Chica where 25 prospects from each country displayed their skills in front of more than 200 big league scouts in a series of drills that included the 60-yard dash along with infield, outfield and batting practice — before wrapping up with a six-inning game on Friday.”
- Fun fact of the day: after last night’s game in Indianapolis, 15 of the 46 Super Bowls have been played in a city with a minor league baseball club.
You’re invited this Friday, January 13th to the 35th Annual Pawtucket Red Sox Hot Stove League Party at McCoy Stadium from 6-9 p.m. This FREE event is open to the public and gives our great fans a chance to get autographs and photos with some terrific Red Sox prospects.
Today I’ll profile the fourth and final player who will be here Friday night, RHP Alex Wilson.
Ht.: 6-0 Wt.: 215 Age: 25 Resides: College Station, Tx. Drafted: 2nd Rd., 2009
Born in Dhahram, Saudi Arabia, Wilson is the son of a geologist and, believe it or not, grew up a Red Sox fan. If he makes it to Fenway, he’ll become the first Saudi Arabian-born pitcher to make the major leagues and the second player overall (Craig Stansberry, 2007-’09).
His family eventually relocated from the sands of Saudi Arabia to the mountains of West Virginia where Alex was named Gatorade Player of the Year as a high school senior in 2005.
Wilson then went on to pitch at Winthrop University (S.C.) where he was named Collegiate Baseball’s National Freshman Pitcher of the Year in 2006. However, the righty soon suffered a setback when he needed Tommy John surgery.
In a video interview Wilson did with Sox In Site, he talked about how he believes having already had Tommy John is a positive. ”I feel like I’ve already got it out of the way. A lot of guys – power guys especially – have to end up having it. I got that out of the way when I was in college. I’ve been 100% since then, have had no problems whatsoever with it.”
After recovering from the surgery, Wilson pitched in the Cape League for Falmouth during the summer of 2007. He didn’t put up great numbers, but then again, didn’t pitch very much (0-1/9 hits/5 walks/7 runs/4.0 innings).
Wilson then transferred to Texas A&M where he redshirted in 2008. That summer the Chicago Cubs drafted him in the 10th round but Alex wisely opted not to sign. Instead he returned to Falmouth for another summer where he improved to 0-1, 4.60 with 36 strikeouts in 29 1/3 innings.
His career as an Aggie was was short lived: 24 appearances in 2009 before the Red Sox selected him in the second round.
Things have worked out well for wilson since being drafted by his childhood team:
- Red Sox Minor League Pitcher of the Year
- Sea Dogs Opening Day starter
- Invited to big league Spring Training
- Tied for the second-most wins in the system (10)
- Tied for second-most strikeouts in the system (123)
- Second-highest winning percentage in the system (.714)
- Third-lowest ERA in the system (3.11)
- Ranked by Baseball America as having the best fastball and slider in the Sox system
A self-proclaimed “low-tech” country boy, Wilson will be here at McCoy Stadium tomorrow (Friday) night to sign autographs and answer questions. Both of us look forward to seeing you then.