Playoffs out of reach as Squeeze enters final weekend of season
| 8:38 a.m. July 30, 2015
WINTER GARDEN — With the season nearing its end and the playoffs quickly becoming a mathematic impossibility, the Winter Garden Squeeze (5-27) has experienced a mixture of highs and lows through the summer.
As of July 27, Winter Garden had dropped its last seven games after a relatively positive stretch coming out of the All-Star Break. But head coach Eddie Taubensee said although his ballclub struggled throughout the summer, his players will go back to their respective collegiate programs better for having been a part of the team this season.
“I don’t know if the players realize it; they are going to go back to college with a different attitude,” Taubensee said. “Going through something — going through trials and to be able to get through it — they’re going to realize that, in a way, it’s a good season.”
Taubensee would know: He’s a former major league catcher who played on teams that struggled. Those experiences, he said, helped him coach the Squeeze and keep morale up this the summer.
“You just keep grinding and find a way to make yourself better,” Taubensee said.
The Squeeze will play this week against two of the league’s best on the road — July 30 at Altamonte Springs (21-12) and July 31 at Sanford (25-11). On Aug. 1 the Squeeze is slated for a doubleheader at home, again taking on the first-place River Rats.
The final game of the 2015 season for Winter Garden is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 2, a home game against Winter Park. The Florida Collegiate Summer League Playoffs begin on Aug. 4 with a play-in game between the No. 5 and No. 4 teams in the standings — currently Winter Park and DeLand, respectively.
Although the playoffs are out of reach for the second-year franchise, General Manager Adam Bates still feels good about the product his players put on the field.
“We have quality kids and, after some roster turnover and things, I can’t ask any more of these kids,” Bates said. “On the field and off the field, we’ve learned some, and we’re going to finish strong and represent this community well.”