Knights may need another manager
The road is hard, the road is long, and sometimes the road has some interesting tids and bits to tell you as the Nashua Silver Knights 2015 season has come to an end.
Here are a few:
We’ve got the feeling the Currle Man may not be back as the Silver Knights manager.
Ted Currle is scheduled to meet sometime in the next few days with team president Tim Bawwman about his future and it sounds as if two mediocre seasons in Nashua, without a home playoff game, has taken its toll.
"I have a very young family and I live far away (Norwood, Mass.)," Currle said. "I love this organization. I don’t know. If I’m not here, I’m not going to coach somewhere else, I don’t want to coach anywhere else."
Currle was given a place to stay by the team to alleviate the commute when needed, but it’s clear he missed his family.
"I love being a part of Nashua and I don’t want to leave, but I have to talk it over with the family and Tim. I definitely want to come back, but I just don’t know if I can."
While Nashua’s 7-0 semifial loss to Bristol was kind of a drab affair, the other semi between Worcester and Martha’s Vineyard on the island was a classic.
It was a four-hour,
43-minute, 15-inning affair that ended after the Bravehearts scored three runs in the top of the 15th for a 7-4 victory.
In fact that game didn’t end until just before the Nashua team bus got back from Bristol.
There were 39 combined strikeouts in the game – 20 by Bravehearts hitters. It had to be a late arrival back in Woostah, who had to get right back on the field at Holy Cross for Game 1 of the finals Friday night. Amazing that 10 days ago the Bravehearts looked dead in the water and now on Friday night they had to have a quick recovery to take the field.
It’s likely they didn’t get back to Worcester until 5 or 6 a.m. That’s a minor-league, or even big-league experience for sure.
Now it’s Bristol vs. the defending champ Bravehearts. If the heavily favored Blues win, it will be the second year in a row a new franchise has won the FCBL title in its first year.
There’s been a lot of debate over the number of teams in the Futures League playoffs, and while it makes for a great tournament, eight out of 10 is too many. Heck, Worcester was the sixth seed at 26-30 and goes into the finals still below .500
The New England Collegiate Baseball League has eight of 12 make it; that’s a little more palatable but still over-saturated.
But, let’s give you a reason why there are that many teams in the post season, as offered by Nashua coach/VP of player personnel B.J. Neverett: Players.
"You’ve got to keep the players around and interested," Neverett said. "If they lose interest they may leave. Seacoast was out of it and our final game of the year, they only had 14 guys. That’s like high school (roster number)."
Neverett has a point. But still, we’d cap it at six, give the division winners a bye – they have to be rewarded for that – and keep the single-game elimination for the
It’s going to work out fine, but every summer the FCBL lives in the danger zone with the duration of its season. The league should cut its regular season down by a couple of games, and should have started the playoffs right away on Monday.
It ran into a problem with Tuesday’s rainout as the finals won’t end until Sunday if it goes all three games and many players around the league had flights for Sunday to go home. League officials had contemplated/debated playing a doubleheader Saturday if a third game was necessary, but that idea was nixed. What, give up an extra date playoff and the potential dollars that go with it? We hope they pick up the flight reschedule tabs for these kids.
The Blues are in the finals but the guy who managed them most of the season, former New York Mets catcher (and member of the 1986 World Series championship team) Barry Lyons, isn’t with them.
Lyons was let go by the team during the final week of the regular season after reportedly missing a few too many games but also wasn’t too popular with the players or even the other managers in the FCBL.
It appeared coaching in a league with college players was a tough adjustment for Lyons, who had been a minor league manager and broadcaster.
The team elevated pitching coach Pat Riley to the job and it appears he’s their choice for next year as well.
Fans, you’d like old-fashioned Muzzy Field in Bristol, whose brick facade can remind you of Holman. It looks like it can seat a couple thousand with covered stands that are right on top of the field but don’t go as high up as Holman. Pine trees adorn the outfield, but are closer than they are at Holman. Not much foul ball room, either.
And how’s this: Babe Ruth played there, and legend has it he hit the final home run of his playing days with a barnstorming team in the 1930s.
The FCBL is still fighting for respectability among college coaches, many of whom prefer their players, after a year in the FCBL, to play in the NECBL their next summer. That’s the case with Nashua’s leading hitter, Erik Ostberg, who revealed he’s already agreed to play for a team in the NECBL next season.
The problem? Pitching. It’s not where it needs to be in the Futures League, and neither is the defense.
Tom King can be reached at 594-6468, firstname.lastname@example.org., or @Telegraph_TomK.