08/11/2008 1:50 PM
11 August 2008
THIS WEEK IN THE CAPE LEAGUE
TEAM OF THE YEAR AWARD
Hyannis Mets Awarded
Commissioner’s Cup as Top
Cape League Franchise of 2008
HYANNIS, Mass. -- The Hyannis Mets have won the prestigious Commissioner’s Cup, the annual award given to the franchise that “demonstrates the highest level of integrity and professionalism on and off the field, ensuring and enhancing the championship caliber of the Cape Cod Baseball League.”
Sol Yas, Bill Bussiere, Rick Robinson and Paul Galop
Photo by SportsPix
The Mets organization is the fifth to receive the Cup, which was first awarded in 2004 when Falmouth and Wareham were declared co-winners. Wareham was a repeat recipient last year following wins by Cotuit in 2006 and Bourne in 2005.
Cape League Commissioner Paul Galop and his two deputies, Dick Sullivan for the East Division and Sol Yas for the West Division, select the winner each year. “It was a unanimous choice among all the commissioners,” Galop said. “Hyannis was the clear-cut winner.”
The Hyannis franchise made substantial progress in 2008 under the leadership of a new general manager, Bill Bussiere, and a new field manager, Rick Robinson. The most visible improvement was the addition of a new lighting system which permitted night games to be played in downtown Hyannis. The Mets drew more than 34,000 fans, an increase in attendance of 8,000-plus from last year. In addition, the McKeon Park infield was redone with new dirt and was laser leveled to become one of the better infields in the league.
Bussiere was thrilled to win the award. “We had a phenomenal year, both on and off the field. One goal we set at the beginning of the year was to win the Commissioner’s Cup, so this means a lot to us,” he said. “We had support from our organization’s president, Tino DiGiovanni, right down to the volunteers who work at the games.”
Bussiere also praised the Mets players, calling them “good, quality players who acted professionally on and off the field. Many had leadership type personalities which really helped the team,” he said.
Galop noted that there were no Mets ejections during the season, and said he received several comments from umpires about the team’s good sportsmanship. He praised the organization for its commitment to meeting deadlines. “Administrative matters, such as the college contracts and the roster submissions and changes, were all done in a timely manner,” Galop said. “They followed the rules.”
Robinson, head coach at Young Harris College in Georgia, led the Mets to a 22-22 record on the field and had his team in contention for a playoff berth until the last day of the regular season. Galop pointed to the first-year manager’s belief in fundamentals and keeping discipline, both on and off the field, as key ingredients in the team’s success.
Although it was a team effort, there were a number of individual standouts on the ballclub.
Andrew Carraway (Virginia) was twice selected as the Coca-Cola Pitcher of the Week. He struck out 57 batters in 47 innings and posted a 1.90 ERA. Russell Brewer (Vanderbilt) led the league with 12 saves.
The offense was keyed by Chris Dominguez (Louisville), who tied a Cape League record by hitting three home runs in one game and finished with a league-leading total of 10 round-trippers. Ben Paulsen (Clemson) hit eight homers and drove in 33 runs, was named West Division MVP in the Under Armour Cape League All-Star Game and set league records for consecutive games (44) and chances (408) by a first baseman without committing an error.
Trent Ashcraft (East Carolina) finished fourth in the league with 55 hits and seventh in batting with a .327 average; he also stole 11 bases.
After a successful and very competitive 2008 season, the entire Hyannis organization can take great pride in being formally recognized by the Cape Cod Baseball League as its premier franchise of 2008.
Hyannis Mets 2008
Photo by SportsPix
Bill Watson, CCBL Public Relations Staff (email@example.com)
John Garner, Jr.
Director of Public Relations & Broadcasting
Interns: Chris Blake, James Chandley, Ashley Crosby, Phil Garceau, Stefanie Marini, Laura Rasmussen