Archive - Sports Article
August 17th, 2011
Mike Hazenâ€™s role with the Boston Red Sox may have expanded, but make no mistake: heâ€™s still very much in touch with whatâ€™s moving and shaking down on the farm.
Promoted to vice president of player development prior to the season, a position that involves overseeing the minor-league operation and amateur scouting, Hazen spoke Wednesday about some of the storylines that have crept up over the past 4 Â˝ months as they relate to the Pawtucket Red Sox.
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. â€“ Dave Belisle has long been a standout hockey coach at Mount St. Charles.
But for the next few days, heâ€™s just a kid again.
The 14 members of the Cumberland American Little League team have carried Belisle on the ride of his life this summer. This week the ride has reached its final destination, the ultimate destination for every Little Leaguer â€“ the Little League World Series. The Series does not only exist on television to these players and coaches anymore. They are here, they are experiencing it and they are enjoying every moment.
It didnâ€™t take long for Dave Belisle and his Cumberland American Little Leaguers to become immersed in the â€śChristmas in Augustâ€ť fervor that typically surfaces in Williamsport, Pa. around this time each year.
PAWTUCKET â€” In this town, Pawtucket Country Club is to golf as Fenway Park (or Yankee Stadium) is to baseball.
Legends have long resided on this plush piece of greenery located on the cityâ€™s border with Seekonk. Caddy master Jim Tanner has been working the room since 1952. You can still find him downstairs almost any day of the week, taking care of clubs and caddies.
The Cumberland American team that waltzed its way to Bristol, Conn., had gone missing in action.
Sure, the pitching and defense were still present, but the merciless offensive attack that became the theme of Cumberlandâ€™s state title run was nowhere to be found. The Rhode Island champions dropped two of their first three pool-play games in the New England regional tournament, standing perilously close to the end of a memorable summer.
But just when manager Dave Belisleâ€™s club needed them most, Cumberlandâ€™s bats awoke from their ill-timed slumber. The rest, as they say, is history.
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. â€” On paper, the PawSox four-game enterprise against the stingy Gwinnett Braves pitching staff ought to have gotten gradually easier after they got the better of Julio Teheran on Friday.
Manager Arnie Beyeler wanted no such notion inhabiting his clubhouse, as evidenced by his thoughts between Friday and Saturday nightâ€™s bouts and the outcome of the latter game.
BRISTOL, Conn. â€” It was only fitting.
The shutdown pitching. The relentless hitting. The comeback.
They were all on display in Saturdayâ€™s New England regional final. And that is why the Cumberland American players circled Breen Field in jubilation, their championship banner in tow, with Kool & the Gangâ€™s â€śCelebrationâ€ť blaring over the sound system.
Next stop: South Williamsport, Pa.
Down three runs before taking a swing, Cumberland erupted in an eight-run bottom of the first inning that set the tone for its 13-7 victory against Andover (Mass.) National.
LAWRENCEVILE, Ga. â€“ The PawSox mustered just enough to deny the International Leagueâ€™s winningest pitcher, Julio Teheran, another decision Friday night. The Gwinnett Braves ace, who entered with a 12-2 record and a sparkling 1.11 ERA, nearly preserved a 2-1 lead through seven innings, but instead left with a 2-2 deadlock at hand.
â€śI thought hockey was tough.â€ť
BRISTOL, Ct. â€” Dave Belisle, who along with his dad Bill Belisle, was part of 26 state titles won by the Mount St. Charles Academy hockey team the last four decades, couldnâ€™t help but make that analogy on Thursday night. Those five words were the first to come out of his mouth after the Cumberland American manager watched his squad hold on for an 8-7 semifinal win over Fairfield American in the New England Championship of the Eastern Regional Tournament.
BRISTOL, Conn. â€“ While his two-run homer in the fifth inning proved to be the eventual game-winner on Thursday, that wasnâ€™t the main reason that Dave Belisle was smiling.
It was what Chris Wright did as a reliever - particularly in the bottom of the sixth - that had the Cumberland American manager beaming with the most pride after his teamâ€™s hard-earned 8-7 semifinal victory over Fairfield (Ct.) American in the New England portion of the Eastern Regional Tournament.