08/10/2022 8:22 AM
Article By: Brian Butler
Last year, the Brewster Whitecaps, led by manager Jamie Shevchik and pitching coach Scott Landers, defeated the Bourne Braves in a series sweep to win the Cape League Championship. This year, Shevchik’s Whitecaps will once again face off with the Braves for the title, but with a new face in the Bourne dugout: Scott Landers.
While the two are now in opposite dugouts, they both look forward to the matchup in the finals.
“I wouldn’t rather play against anyone else.”, said Shevchik of their matchup in the finals.
“I concur with everything he said. I wouldn’t want it any other way.” said Landers ahead of Game One.
Landers and Shevchik first faced off on Opening Day, with Landers getting the 5-3 win in his first game as a Cape League manager. Following that game, the two somewhat jokingly discussed a potential championship matchup.
“It was exciting for me to start up in a new place against them.” said Landers of getting started against his former team.
Although the two mentioned a possible playoff matchup from day one, it took some time for both managers to realize how likely the faceoff was.
“It didn’t start happening until the last week [of the regular season]”, Shevchik said of when he really began putting together that he might face his friend in the finals, continuing by saying
“We started playing really good baseball, and these guys won seven of their last eight.” Landers added, “I think we were the two hottest teams coming out of the All-Star Break. We knew at some point, we were probably going to play them, hopefully.”
Both managers agreed that the two best teams down the stretch had ultimately advanced to the finals.
The pair is also connected through Braves pitching coach Brad Cook, who played for Shevchik at Keystone College, then went on to coach alongside him during their days in the NECBL.
“People keep forgetting about the other connection we have... There’s more of a connection here than most people really know”, said Shevchik of Cook joining Landers’s staff in Bourne.
Landers, who also led Bourne to the President’s Trophy, will be the first manager to appear in the finals in their debut season since Tom Holliday did it with Chatham in 2018. Shevchik’s Whitecaps won the East Division title in the regular season, so the pair will likely manage against each other again in next year’s All-Star Game.
Before the teams square off for the championship, both managers got a couple lighthearted digs in about their predictions for the series.
“I’m grateful for everything they did for me, but now I’m on the other side and I guess I’m gonna have to beat ‘em. In two games.”, said Landers ahead of Game One.
Shevchik fired back, saying “The only thing that’s different is I played every home game to start. We’re coming on the road now for Game One, but it’s good, we get to win it at our place tomorrow in front of our crowd.”
The pair still talk frequently, having spoken on the phone twice the day before Game One, and often spend time together off the field.
When asked if emotions were running high coming into the series, Shevchik responded, “I’m calm. It feels like we're playing another regular season game.”
Regardless of the winner, this year’s Championship Series is sure to be a good one, featuring a matchup between two good friends. Both Landers and Shevchik are looking forward to the matchup, and the manager who comes out victorious will likely not soon allow the other to forget who took home the 2022 title.