Fisher Cats Notes & Quotes – September 6 Edition


Wins and losses: Your New Hampshire Fisher cats have been craving a win lately, especially at home. At a time like this, I always remember the ill-fated 1962 New York Mets 40-120 and their feisty, wealthy owner Joan Whitney Payson. In August of that first summer of the Mets’ existence, she went to rural Maine as she did every year. No television. No daily newspapers. Just a small general store with a Western Union telegraph office.

Ms Payson asked the Mets public relations office to send her a daily telegram on how her team was doing, and could Mets manager Casey Stengel add a sentence or two.

Casey Stengel never made sentences, not in the conventional sense. He could rival William Faulkner to fill a page with hanging participles that no one could understand. Casey did some epic ballads. He made Bible books. He gave long graduation speeches in the hot sun without lemonades.

Joan Whitney Payson, center, with Casey Stengel, left.

Telegrams arrived daily but the first 12 brought no good news. The Mets were losing, and as Casey said, “I’ve been in this game for a hundred years, and they’re finding ways to lose that I’ve never seen before.” A game ended on a bunt that the Mets botched so badly that the bunter was able to circle the bases on a series of pitching errors. This had never been done before at that time. Baseball is in the Cooperstown Hall of Fame. You could search for it. Stengel sat catatonic in the dugout.

After the twelfth consecutive loss, Ms. Payson replied via cable: “Only notify me when the Mets win.”

It took another week for a response as the Mets lost 18 in a row.

Think of all the time and money Mrs. Payson saved by not having to pay or read telegrams with Stengel’s news attached.

Now this it was a vacation!


Fisher Cats pitcher Sem Robberse comes out on top. Photo/Mark Steffens

Fisher Cats starting pitcher Sem Robberse is the No. 2 pitching prospect in the Blue Jays’ minor league system. He is from the Netherlands and considered the variety of American restaurants, especially fast food restaurants, to be a major difference between countries. Being tall, thin and 20 years old, he can still gorge himself on burgers. He doesn’t see much else to adapt to here.

“In 2017 I got an offer from the Blue Jays when I was in a tournament in Barcelona and when they offered me a contract and I was like ‘Wow!'” Robberse said. “If they offer me something right now, I have the opportunity to move on and play professionally. I didn’t take the chance then, but when the Blues Jays came back in 2019, I gave it a shot.”

According to the pitcher, baseball is not a big sport in the Netherlands. There are six small baseball academies that house the best talent in the country. Robberse went through one, with the academies taking turns.

“My best pitch is my fastball because I can command it the best,” Robberse said. “It’s part of my strength as a pitcher. There’s not too much speed like a power caster, but I can mix it up. I can get a lot of takedowns, that’s where my power lies.

The thrower counts their slider as a secondary throw that they continue to work on.

“The slider grip is more to the side of the ball than the front,” the pitcher explained. “It spins clockwise. A curve ball, you go further. It has forward rotation. For some people with the slider, the thumb is underneath, for others it’s on the side.

A good curve ball is said to move like “falling off a table”. A pitcher does not want a slider and a curveball to move on the same horizontal plane.

Robberse will spend the offseason in Florida as the Jays have practice facilities there and will make a few trips to the Netherlands to see his parents and family. His family has not yet been able to see him in concert. Their plans for 2020 were scrapped due to Covid.


Fisher Cats Mental Performance Coach Raul Pimentel (L) with fan, pitcher Alejandro Melean. Photo/Brandon Maffitt

Fisher Cats Mental Performance Coach Raul Pimentel is a born salesman for his product, which is mental focus and relaxation. Energetic, positive and bubbly are some of the adjectives that can be used to describe him.

“We work with the mental side of the players, what motivates them, the intangibles to help them achieve their maximum performance,” explained Pimentel. “We like to apply mental strategies that increase performance, recovery and increase pre-game preparation.”

As an undergraduate, the coach studied psychology. Her master’s degree is in crisis intervention and psychotherapy. A doctorate is the next step.

“One of the biggest things we see is players who are overly tense, getting nervous in the game,” Pimentel said. “You want to provide mental things that you can do. People like to use the breath, some like to talk about themselves or something you know and like to focus on.

The coach believes in aromatherapy, and Fisher Cats pitchers can use a whiff of lavender or perfume between innings to help focus.

“I don’t know why,” Pimentel said, “but they always choose expensive perfumes!”

The coach considers it important to create a team atmosphere where players can get creative with what works for them. This is his first year with the Blue Jays after two years with the Mets. He says people are surprised it’s his first year when they see the tight-knit ball club.

“Your goal is to help and if you do that, success will come,” he said.

“Yes, I meditate every day,” Pimentel said in response to a question. “People sometimes think you’re going to be the next Buddha, but it can be as simple as focusing on your breath for ten seconds or focusing on all the sounds you can hear for two minutes, three minutes. This will help you stay present. That’s one of the things we teach guys, try to stay present, try to be there in the moment, one pitch at a time. No two events occur at the same time. »

Coach Pimentel will also be spending time in Florida this offseason and making visits to see family in the Dominican Republic.

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Strange Days Game: It was not a thing of beauty. With the Cats trailing 6-3 with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning on Saturday, Will Robertson hit a line down the middle that Sea Dogs second baseman Christian Koss caught on a nice backhand play.

Orelvis Martinez was at first base via a walk before out, but anticipating a hit, he had taken a few steps to next base when the line drive was caught.

Koss saw that and threw to first base, hoping to end the game with a double play.

The game ended on a double play, but Koss’ shot was way off the mark. Martinez broke badly for second place this time as the ball bounced quickly to Sea Dogs first baseman Niko Kavadas. He placed second in time to knock Martinez out for the final.

What made this game weird was that Martinez shouldn’t have run in the first place. His position on the bases made no sense. The Fisher Cats needed another runner to bring the tying run home.

Koss tagged Martinez, registering an assist and a strikeout on two different runners during the same streak.


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