Ted Currle ready for another summer of fun in Nashua
It’s Ted Time.
In other words, it’s the time of year when Ted Currle comes to town.
Currle is the class act that is the Nashua Silver Knights manager, beginning his second year, and Monday he’s greeting his new players for the 2015 season. The first workout is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Holman Stadium – although Mother Nature could change that – and of course the season opens up in Portsmouth versus Seacoast on Thursday night with the gala home opener this Friday at 6:45 p.m.
Currle doesn’t have much time in the offseason to come to Nashua, as he’s the athletic director and head baseball coach at Norton (Mass.) High School. He gave up his head football job last year as it was a lot on his plate. The last time most Silver Knights fans saw Currle was when they lost their regular-season finale versus eventual league champion Worcester (Mass.) at Holman, a defeat that forced them to have to play Torrington (Conn.) in the one-game playoff on the road instead of at home.
Managing summer collegiate league baseball is tricky. That’s why the recruiting process is so important, and as Knights Vice President of Player Personnel B.J. Neverett will tell you, you’re recruiting the college coaches to send you players, not the players themselves. So if a coach sends you someone, he expects that someone to play.
So there’s that. Then there’s the fact that the players have already gone through a competitive college season, can they gear up to try to win for another team and season or just go out and have fun?
“In summer ball I’m a firm believer all the kids are there to play,” Currle said the other day before his Norton team won its regular season finale to go 11-9 and get geared up for the Eastern Massachusetts Tournament that begins Wednesday. “I talked to a lot of the kids since and they said what a great summer it was. … They all got their opportunity, we made the playoffs, they had fun, so it was a success.”
But Currle knows the Nashua fans want more. The Silver Knights won the first two Futures Collegiate Baseball League titles, but of course things have changed since as the league has grown and the talent base is much better. “It’s been unbeliveable,” Currle said.
“I think we’ve gone from 50th to 28th to the eighth best league in the country. That’s a tribute to the ownership groups, to the facilities, and Commissioner Chris Hall.”
But Currle feels he has the best job in the FCBL, and he knows Nashua is a different animal. The Silver Knights have been able to treat the college players like pros and get them to perform on the field as well.
“You couldn’t ask for a better ownership group to work for,” he said of the Drew Weber-owned Lowell Spinners. “All the people are phenomenal, just what you need.”
Last summer, Currle felt the starting pitching went south, and that had been Nashua’s strength in years past. He also felt that with a returning nucleus in 2014, some of the Silver Knights got too comfortable. That’s why he likes the huge roster overhaul that has taken place.
“B.J. did a great job of signing enough local kids and kids from all around the country,” Currle said. “I’m excited.”
Currle felt the team struggled down the stretch after a hot streak put them in good shape for a playoff berth.
“I think we battled all year with our starting pitching,” he said. “Maybe I should have pulled some moves with the pitching earlier.
“Right now, it looks like we’ve got some kids who have experience, who have played a lot (this spring),” Currle said. “With position players that’s always big. … I like the fact that a lot of these kids can play multiple positions.”
But Currle simply likes the Silver Knights managing job, period. He found out last summer just how into the team and winning the Knights faithful fans can get.
“It surprised me how passionate the core group of fans is,” Currle said. “They are really into it, really into the Silver Knights. They want to win, as I do. You don’t see that with the other teams in the league.
“It was very much appreciated, I’ll tell you that.”
Welcome back, Ted Currle. It’s summertime, meaning it’s Ted Time. That’s a good thing.
Tom King can be reached at 594-6468, firstname.lastname@example.org or @Telegraph_TomK.