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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.

  Please 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 else once.   Teams of similar abilities would be in a division together – i.e. upper division with 4 divisions would consist of Grizzlies, Mets, Haynes (MABL), Braves (MABL).  Prior seasons records would be a large determiner (but not only) of placings. 

  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!

Serving you,

Dean J. Galiano

MSBL President