Monday, June 22, 2009

Cape Code Times Article about this season by Russ Charpentier

I am very excited about my team and this article by Russ Charpentier reciently published in the Cape Code Times….
Coach Roberts~
Looking for a reason to get excited about the first week of Cape League action? Take a peek at what’s going on in Cotuit. Kettleers infielder Chris Bisson has 11 stolen bases in five games through last night and been caught just once.
The league record is 48, set by Roy Marsh in 1993. Everyone knows Cotuit manager Mike Roberts loves a running game, but Bisson’s early efforts take that to the extreme.
“Coach Roberts is really aggressive,” said the Ottawa, Ontario, native, who had just 13 steals in 15 attempts at Kentucky. “At school, we had a lot of good hitters and we were a little more passive on the basepaths. We didn’t want to run ourselves out of an inning.”
Not the Kettleers under Roberts, who have 29 team steals and are threatening the record of 134, set by Wareham in 1988 and again in 2000. Bisson, who has stolen second and third on several occasions, had six steals before he had his first hit.
Bisson was headed for the Northwoods League going into the college season, but as he picked up his game (he hit .373), the plan changed.
“Coach told me he’d work hard to get me a shot here. It took forever. I had a temporary contract, and coach Roberts decided to give me a shot.”
Getting a shot is a big thing for a baseball player from Ottawa. “A lot of good players are starting to come out of Canada right now,” Bisson said. “I’m really excited about that. If I wasn’t at the University of Kentucky, I wouldn’t be here. I’d be home studying at Ottawa University.”
In 2005, Emmanuel Burriss, now of the Giants but then an Orleans Cardinal from Kent State, was ahead of Marsh’s pace deep in the season but finished with 37 thefts as pitchers started paying much more attention.
“We’re only a few games in,” Bisson said after stealing six bases in the first two games. “Pitchers will start holding on. First time through, nobody knows who anybody is. They’re going to figure out who can run and who can’t run. I imagine pitchers will start holding on pretty good.”
NAME GAME: Chatham manager John Schiffner rolled up his pants leg before Tuesday night’s game against Cotuit at Veterans Field and said, “Look at this.”
Schiffner was sporting a colorful tattoo of the old Chatham A’s logo on his right calf. Chatham changed its name from the Athletics (A’s) to the Anglers this season rather than pay Major League Baseball and buy from MLB’s suppliers.
“They can take my name, but not my leg,” Schiffner joked.
It was good to see the longtime Chatham coach laughing. Schiffner, in his 25th year in Chatham and 17th as head man, was hospitalized twice for a medical condition he wouldn’t specify between Memorial Day weekend and a few of days before the opener. He missed the first game of the season at Chatham last Saturday.
“They are narrowing down what the problem is. I’ve got some new medications and I’m fine.”
The tattoo was the result of a bet he made more than a decade ago.
“I told the ’98 team if they made the playoffs I’d get a tattoo. Some of them were still asking me if I’d gotten it yet. So I got it in March. “My wife (Martha) loves it,” he said.
AROUND THE DIAMOND: It’s not uncommon for a player to change teams if he plays a second summer on the Cape. Relief pitcher Russell Brewer set a Hyannis record last year with 12 saves and was named the league’s Outstanding Relief Pitcher, but this year is coming out of the Anglers’ bullpen. The Vanderbilt right-hander was draft eligible this year as a redshirt sophomore, but wasn’t selected. He went 1-2, 2.96 at Vandy with four saves and 39 strikeouts in 27 1/3 innings … Cotuit general manager Bruce Murphy believes the Yankees’ unsigned No. 1 pick from 2008, Gerrit Cole, now at UCLA, will pitch for Team USA and not wear a Kettleers jersey.

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