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Changes abound in Cape League offseason

     November signifies vibrant autumn foliage and the return to cold weather. It also marks the first full month without baseball on the national scene and often ushers in a hot-stove season of offseason changes. 

It's no different for the Cape Cod Baseball League, which has seen personnel changes and adjustments in the 2014 schedule during this offseason.
 
     Longtime Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox public address announcer Joe Rubin, who also has held the office of vice president of the Y-D Red Sox since 2008, will be taking over as president of the team. Rubin replaces Steve Faucher, who steps into the role of general manager in place of the retiring Jim Martin
 
     In another personnel change, Steve West has taken over as president of the Chatham Anglers to replace Doug Grattan, who stepped down late this summer. 
 
     The Cape League has added two seven-inning doubleheaders for each team, one played at home and the other away. These will be held the first two Sundays of the season, on June 15 and 22. While crowds are not as large during those early games, it was a policy most of the league agreed to in order to open up two more playing dates during the summer. 
 
     This is so players, who already play six games per week throughout the summer, will be able to get an off-day or two extra during the summer, as rain-outs usually happen in June and load up the schedule later in the season. 
 
     “It was an initiative encouraged by a majority of the League’s coaches. They want more days off for the players,” Cape League Commissioner Paul Galop said, explaining that players already endure a grinding schedule of six games a week during the summer season. 
 
     The Cape League is gearing up for this weekend's annual Hall of Fame weekend, in which eight new inductees will be honored. Hall of Fame inductees include current Baltimore Orioles star catcher Matt Wieters (Orleans ’06); Cape League single-season saves leader Ryan Speier (Bourne ’01); the late Merrill Doane, a longtime player, coach and administrator from Chatham; former league MVP Daniel Carte (Falmouth ’04); former major league and Cotuit infielder Garrett Atkins; 1970 league MVP Jim Prete (Wareham ’66-67, ’70, Bourne ’68); slugging first baseman Ed Drucker (Harwich ’66); and undefeated southpaw pitcher Mickey O'Connor (Chatham ’76).