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Around the Horn - Notes on the Cape Cod Baseball League

01/17/2011 7:56 AM

Article By: John Garner Jr.

Notes on the Cape Cod Baseball League

By John W. Garner Jr.
Director of Public Relations & Broadcasting

     The Cape Cod Baseball League will adopt the 20-second pitch/between innings clock protocol which has been introduced by the NCAA for the 2011 season. It is hoped the adoption of this rules will further speed up the collegiate game, which is already faster than its professional counterpart.
     "We believe this decision by the NCAA to speed up the game will be a real plus to the CCBL and we look forward to implementing the new rule for our 2011 season,” said Cape League CommissionerPaul Galop.There will be a 20-second limit between pitches when no runners are on base and a 90-second limit between innings.
     Base umpires will enforce the NCAA’s new pace-of-play rules at the College World Series and other national tournament games in 2011 by using a stopwatch to monitor time between pitches rather than require visible pitch clocks.
     “Anything that speeds up the game should be beneficial to baseball,” said CCBL deputy commissioner Sol Yas, who oversees league officiating. “We may have bumps in the road as players and coaches get used to the new rule, but we’ll work diligently with (assignor) Nick Zibelli and his (CBUAO) umpires to make sure of a smooth transition."
     After one warning, a ball or strike will be added to the count depending on  whether the pitcher or batter causes a violation. No pitch clock will be used in the NCAA tournament or the Cape League.
     The 20-second time limit starts when the pitcher receives the ball on the mound and stops when he begins his pitching motion. The time limit is used only when the bases are unoccupied. If a pitcher violates the 20-second rule he shall be warned by the umpire. If he continues to violate the rule, a ball will be awarded for each violation. There is one warning per pitcher. A pitcher stepping off the rubber does not stop the time limit unless the umpire grants the pitcher time. 

BAYLOCK WINS GOMEZ AWARD: Former University of Connecticut head coach (1980-2003) and CCBL mentor Andy Baylock recently received the 50th Lefty Gomez Award, one of the most prestigious awards in amateur baseball. Named after former New York Yankees All-Star southpaw hurler Vernon “Lefty” Gomez, the award is presented by the American Baseball Coaches Association to an individual who has distinguished himself amongst his peers and contributed significantly to the game. The presentation is made each year at the ABCA Hall of Fame/Coach of the Year Banquet. Baylock coached baseball for 39 years at Connecticut before his retirement in 2003. During that time, the Huskies won two Big East Championships and made three trips to the College World Series. Baylock coached five summers in the Cape League with Falmouth, including three as field manager and was pitching coach for the USA National Team three times. ‘I was surprised and deeply honored to receive the Lefty Gomez award,” said Baylock. “I actually got to meet Lefty several times. I also enjoyed my time coaching in the Cape League and still stay involved by throwing batting practice to a few teams each summer.” He is past chair of the ABCA Division I baseball coaches and All-America Committee and a past member of the ABCA Executive Committee. He was inducted into the ABCA Hall of Fame in 1996. Some previous Gomez Award recipients include Jack Kaiser, St. John’s; Rod Dedeaux, USC; Peter Ueberroth, MLB Commissioner; Ron Polk, Mississippi State; Ron Fraser, Miami; Archie Allen, Springfield, and Dennis Poppe, NCAA.

AARDSMA ON MEND AFTER HIP SURGERY: New CCBL Hall of Famer David Aardsma underwent hip surgery on Jan. 3 and is hoping to be fully recovered in time for opening day. The Seattle Mariners closer was on a stationary bicycle within hours of his operation and is currently undergoing two rehab sessions lasting approximately six hours a day. He is optimistic that he will be ready to play by opening day, but his doctors are a bit more conservative, pegging his return roughly two weeks into the 2011 campaign. Aardsma (Falmouth, 2002), a former Red Sox reliever, was a member of the CCBL’s 2010 Hall of Fame class.

GRANGER GETS HIS HALL OF FAME PLAQUEWayne Granger, a pitcher and slugging outfielder for the Sagamore Clouters in the Upper Cape League in 1962, received his Cape League Hall of Fame plaque from former teammate Jim “No-Hit” Winders at a recent gathering in Cincinnati. Granger, a two-time National League Fireman of the Year with the Reds, was unable to attend the CCBL induction ceremony in November at the Chatham Bars Inn, but told Winders he hopes to visit Cape Cod this summer.

CCBL ALUMNI -- Where Are They Now: Former Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox hurler Chris Sale (2009) is expected to play an important role on the Chicago White Sox pitching staff in 2011. Last season, the 6-6 southpaw collected four saves and 32 strikeouts in 23.1 innings … Former Chatham A’s pitcher Andrew Miller will try to win a spot on the Boston Red Sox staff, after compiling a 15-26 career record with the Tigers and Marlins and a 5.84 ERA over 294.1 innings. A former teammate of Sox bullpen stalwart Daniel Bard at North Carolina, the sixth overall selection in the ‘06 draft stands 6-7, and tall, left-handed pitchers sometimes take longer to figure things out … After serving as bench coach with the Dodgers, Athletics and Royals, former Hyannis Mets skipper Bob Schaefer, is now a special assistant to the general manager in Washington. Schaefer, a CCBL Hall of Famer, managed Hyannis to back-to-back league titles in 1978-79, including a league-record 33-7-1 mark in ’79 …Justin Smoak, 2006 Cape League MVP for Cotuit, hit .218 with 13 HR and 48 RBI for Texas and Seattle last season and is on the Mariners’ 40-man roster for 2011 ... Conor Gillaspie, batting champion and league MVP with Falmouth in ’07, batted .287 with 8 HR, 67 RBI with AA Richmond in the SF Giants organization … Todd Cunningham, batting champion and outstanding pro prospect with the Commodores in ’09, hit .260 with the Class A Rome Braves last season … Grant Green, outstanding pro prospect with Chatham in ’08, hit .318 with 20 HR and 87 RBI for Class A Stockton in the Oakland organization … Aaron Crow, outstanding pro prospect with Falmouth in ’07, posted a 9-10 record with a 5.73 ERA for Wilmington and NW Arkansas in the KC Royals system … Shaun Marcum, CCBL outstanding relief pitcher for Harwich in ’02, was 13-8 with a 3.64 era for Toronto last season … Matt Wieters, outstanding pro prospect with Orleans in ’06, caught 126 games for the Baltimore Orioles last season, hitting .249 with 11 HR and 55 RBI.