Rich's Column :Summertime Fun For All

 July 15, 2005


Summertime means a lot here on the Cape. Weíve got the Cape League. Weíve got the Road Race. Weíve got the beaches. Weíve got the traffic.

Well, three out of four ainít too bad I guess.

Personally, Iím a baseball guy. Always have been, always will be. 

The Commodores season is not breaking down quite as well as last yearís. You never know, the team could get red hot and run off a big winning streak and make the postseason, but right now, things arenít looking so good. 

Cape League seasons are funny things. They take forever to start and then theyíre over before you know it. In between you have a bunch of kids out of school looking to impress Major League scouts while having a good time.

Chemistry-wise, I think this yearís team is about on a par with last yearís. The players seem to genuinely enjoy one anotherís company. They do the things that ballplayers do Ė play jokes on one another and play baseball.

The thing that makes this yearís team so maddening to watch is not the effort, but the inconsistency. On some nights the Commodores are a hitting machine, pounding the ball all over the yard. Other nights they canít get the ball out of the infield. It doesnít help that Mike Ambort, of Lamar University, will be out of action for the rest of the year due to an injury. Heís been a great asset to the team, but now heís on the shelf for the remainder of the slate.

Pitching-wise, things are on a par with the hitting. Some nights the arms look great, other nights, theyíre pounded. Dallas Buck is a good example. The Oregon State ace, who was downright awesome all of last year, was rocked his first two times out. Then, on Wednesday evening, he looked like his old self as he only let one ball get out of the infield through seven innings while suffering the toughest of tough luck losses.

If Jeff Trundy and his staff could figure it all out, they would. Thatís the thing, though. There are basically 10 all-star teams competing in the Cape Cod League every summer. Which ones are going to rise to the top is anyoneís guess.

Every spring you look at the rosters and say the same thing: "they look great on paper."

Every summer you come to the same resultĖgames arenít played on paper. 

About three weeks remain in the season. Itís going to be interesting to see what happens in the field, and then what goes in the paper.

Road Race Appears In SI

Thumbing through the most recent Sports Illustrated (July 11) I came across an interesting story: SIís 25 Summer Essentials. Basically it was a story that lauded the best stuff to do and see during the summer. Packers Training Camp, baseball on the radio and going to batting cages all made the list.

So did the Falmouth Road Race. Under the heading ĎSweat Ití was a brief story lauding the FRR. "It was a crazy idea, given life during the 1970s running boom. Cape Cod bartender Tommy Leonard watched Frank Shorterís 1972 Olympic marathon triumph and imagined a race from a bar called The Captain Kidd in Woods Hole to his place, The Brothers Four in Falmouth Heights Ö"

We all know the rest as the FRR has gone on to become one of the premier running events in the country each summer. As Sports Illustratedís Tim Layden succinctly stated when comparing the other big-time events. "None combine the effort of running a challenging course with the joy of spending a summerís day on the New England coast."

As for the other essentials, if I had my choice, Iíd definitely like to check out Bullís BBQ at Citizens Bank Park in Philly and see some pick-up hoops in NYCís Rucker Park. I think Iíll also try to hit some batting cages and a round of mini golf. Summerís the time to do this stuff. Putting on artificial turf isnít nearly as fun in February.


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