Where do we go from here?
WARNING: The following ideas, thoughts, and statements are solely those of the author and do not represent the thoughts of feelings of the team, the team captains, the Patriot League 2011, or league management. Readers should recall this was written by an asshole and all statements should be taken with a grain of salt.
So far, this season has been a good one for the team. Our first week out we shutout what might be our arch-rivals, we stick it out through our second, rain-soaked week and we even made it to the bar. People seem to be getting along and so far theres been no injuries.
But the seasons Volta leaves no time for waste, week 3 stands to be a complete sea-change. According to reports our Week 3 opponents were beaten by our Week 4 opponents 7-1. That sounds like we’re in for an easy week on the 26th but last nights score masks the reality of the situation. Pitchin’ Tents (Week 4) was a team farmed from last years teams, a VIP collection of occasionally good-natured, but none-the-less ruthless players who were upset they didn’t shutout Big Blue WINNING! MaSheen (Week 3). If that sounds like a dick statement on their part, it is. But that’s mostly irrelevant. After the game they’re actually pretty nice people, but they came into this season with a plan that did not include mercy.
First off, MaSheen is not nearly as bad as their name or that score from last night implies. They themselves are a team comprised of two previously competitive teams who did all right on their own. Rain can throw a lot of teams for a loop, and when you play against Tents, you’re going to need to be on you’re a-game. Its evident from watching them that they’ve got some big guns and they aren’t always pop-flies. Teams who’s outfielders don’t back one another up often end up chasing balls into adjacent games. According to the Standings, they won their previous game 7-1.
Tents is a different ball game all together. Unlike regular teams where you hope to outplay them, Tents as a team (in this league) is impossible to outplay. There will be no weak portion of their line-up, there won’t be sloppy errors or players who grab the ball and don’t know where it’s supposed to be thrown, or where the smartest play is. I think its reasonable to expect them to hold runners back, rather than go for outs, and just pick off much easier players via fly balls. Double-plays are not an impossibility here.
But Tents is, after all, mortal and there are going to be exploits we should work. I’d remind folks that they aren’t going to give quarter here, so its best to force them to try for things they aren’t good at. The major weakness of teams like this: Tents, C.L.I.T., the Cider of old, or any other team who might be found to be too serious is the thought that they might lose. If you come out of the second inning beating them and getting them frustrated about their winning potential, the wheels tend to come off. Smart opposition will often dash this with some indirect, arrogant chatter to get under their skin. All-star teams do exist, but if you force them to beat themselves, your chances improve ten-fold.
The reality of the situation is anything could happen, and while the next two weeks are going to be a test of will, they shouldn’t hamper the season. Lets just say, for the sake of strategic advancement, that we lose the next two weeks. The chances are good that well finish the season 6-2 in that unfortunate situation leaving us mid-pack for the playoffs. I haven’t looked at how they intend to deal with the 2 extra teams (likely a bye round). But Mid-pack is a great place for us to be. A lot of math is done during the season to establish X,Y, & Z but the truth is regular season stats don’t matter much in the playoffs, and a team with momentum is often tough to beat. The Volta’s here, the cake-walk won’t be back until Mid-June, but if nothing else the next two weeks will tell us who we are as a team, and more importantly where we can improve. Knowing this before the playoffs might be the best thing we could have on our side.
Aside from a radio this season, a backstop on the grass fields, a booze cooler, and a bigger bar. But hey, who’s complaining?
Posted by Brow at Friday, May 20, 2011