State of the League
by Dean Galiano, League President, MSBL-SoCo
The 2000 season was a very successful one, in a broad sense.
In the MSBL, all but two teams were in the running for the playoffs into
the final few games! On any given day, any team could beat any other team (with
the exception of a few excellent teams), and we saw it happen time and time
again. The last few weeks of the
season had some struggles including teams not having enough players to field a
‘legal’ team and players/teams
not being notified by their manager/contact what the schedule was.
The feeling I got (as President) was that there were just a few too many
teams in the league for the player pool we had. A strong manager was a very difficult find for some teams,
especially the struggling teams. The
MABL season was just as successful, but again, managerial leadership hurt.
Going into 2001, my/the Board’s main focus has been, “How do we
strengthen the League?” (i.e. keep it a viable thing in the future). Early indications have been that a number of teams in the
MSBL won’t be back (though the final word is not in yet): Yankees, Rockies,
Cardinals, Tigers (possibly), and Cubs (possibly).
That would drop us down to near 10 teams from the 14 we had last year.
These ‘bubble’ teams have players that want to play, but not enough
to field a team week after week. The
MABL is losing at least two teams, to drop them to four, and possibly three.
In an effort to bolster team rosters, and help the ‘weaker’ teams strengthen
up, the suggestion was made to merge the two leagues and drop the age limit.
Without a merger, the MABL probably would fold.
The message this sends is not one we think is best for baseball in
Southern Colorado. Though a major
change of direction, it is not something unique across the country – many
leagues are doing similar things.
read the merger proposal on the website.
A key ingredient will be the sorting of teams into various competition
levels. With 15 teams we’d look
at three division – upper, middle and lower.
With 16 teams, we’d look at 4 four-team divisions – upper, mid-upper,
mid-lower and lower. Each breakdown
allows for an 18 game schedule, playing teams in your division twice, everyone
Teams will still be predominantly OVER 30, and it’s the older guys who not
only will set the tone for their teams, but will help in maturing any of the
‘bucks’ their team picks up. Older
players (and I’m in the lot at 43 this year!) really shouldn’t have much to
fear. Sure there will be that
‘blazer’ who will make things tough – but how many of them really are out
there? – And, more than likely they’re in a different division than you are
anyway! We also know that ‘one
pitcher does not a team make’.
Fine-tuning is still being done, and mistakes are going to be made, but we’re
trying to think through as much as we can ahead of time.
At the end of the year, this might be a unanimous failure, and we can
then switch back to the way things were. Come
with constructive ideas - it won’t help anyone involved to just slam what you
don’t like. The Board and I want
our league (and our teams) to have a very successful 2001, and know it can/will
happen! We appreciate any feedback,
and really do listen to all that is being said.
The amount of time needed to run a league probably will surprise you.
Think of manager times four, per board member.
We hope we’re being productive, and not just wasting our time and yours
- we don't have much to waste!