At The Ballyard ... with Steve Weissman

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Y-D Red Sox Win Cape League Crown in Spectacular Fashion

The Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox this weekend won their second Cape Cod Baseball League championship in three years, and they did it in the spectacular fashion that is so typical of the Cape League. Consider the following:

- The team lost one of its pitching stars right away when lefty Matt Meyer (Boston College) signed with Cleveland and began his pro career.

- It started the season 8-11 and seemed to be going nowhere.

- It then won nine straight and went from worst to first in its division.

- It set a league record for wins in July (20). Along the way, righty Terry Doyle (also Boston College) threw a no-hitter against Chatham.

- It finished the regular season with the league’s best record, overtaking at the very end the Cotuit Kettleers, who had dominated all season long.

- It defeated the Brewster Whitecaps twice in a row after losing the first game of the first playoff round.

- It defeated the Wareham Gatemen twice in a row after losing the first game of the final playoff round.

One of the great things about the Cape League is that the season is so short (44 games) that there isn’t really time for teams to fall so far out of contention that a well-timed winning streak can’t put them over the top. The problem is that the pitching is so good, and so many hitters have such trouble adjusting to the wood bat, that few trailing teams actually ever string together enough wins to do them any good. Consequently, it usually is fairly clear by mid-July which teams have a shot at the playoffs and which teams don’t.

- This team broke the mold.

- This team went 18-5 after its mediocre start.

- This team had players who exhibited none of the “big leaguing” that can destroy a club’s chemistry.

- This team generated a buzz in the local community that was unusual even for the closely-knit towns of Cape Cod.

- This team attracted a reported 8,200+ people to its final game, a crowd said to be larger than any other ever to attend a Cape League event. (One happy fan went home with a record-shattering $3,500 from the 50-50 raffle, a fund-raising contest in which the winner takes home half the pot. Can't do THAT at Fenway Park!)

This team was something special. Congratulations to those who played on it, coached it, volunteered behind the scenes, and were part of the energy and excitement on Sunday.

See you next summer!

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