Over this past weekend, former Rice pitcher David Aardsma was inducted into the Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Fame. Amanda Comak of The Cape Cod Times Back to Base Knocks blog asked him about the old debate between Team USA and the Cape League. Aardsma stated the following:
“I didn’t play Team USA but I have a lot of friends that did,” Aardsma said Saturday after being inducted into the Cape League Hall of Fame. “That’s a great opportunity too. Being there and being here are both great honors.”
“The thing about here is the families, the relationships. You’re constantly playing against the other competition and enjoying your summer also. With Team USA you build up to the big tournament, the world championship, but during that time you’re not playing against that same competition. I wouldn’t trade my summer here for anything but it’s an honor on either side.”
I tend to agree with Aardsma in this debate as Team USA has had some games over the last couple of seasons which seemed their opponent had no chance. For example, in 2008 when they defeated Lithuania 30-1 and this past summer in the FISU World University Baseball Championships when they defeated Sri Lanka 15-0 in five innings and Sonny Gray only gave up one hit.
Both Team USA and the Cape Cod Baseball League have always had a tedious relationship. Some of the Cape League teams felt this past summer that Team USA waited on the Cape rosters to be released before releasing their invites. I think this past season was more of a consequence of the USA Baseball trials being so late in the summer thus making potential players show up in the Cape for a month then take off for a week to play in the trials. The players that didn’t make the team returned back to the Cape or shut it down for the summer.
What side of the debate are you on? Would you rather play for Team USA to play International Baseball or continue to play against the best players at your age level in the Cape League with wood bats?