Sunday, March 30, 2014

Deja Vu All Over Again... 40s Wrap Up and Spring Season to Start

40s finally wraps up as the beginning of 18s starts over the next two weeks.  No rest of the weary.  The DTA should consider the rapid turn around as these players need some time off.  It is the same reason the Combo event usually sucks.  Everyone is done with Cities, Sectionals and Combo is just at a time where players are tired.  This season needs to wrap up sooner.

Congratulations to all the winners.  Sweeney and Wiley defended their title.  Bender took the remnants of the 3.5 team that won it all last year and won it again this year.  Like Yogi Berra said, it is like deja vu all over again.

At 4.5, Mark Sweeney took home the prize.  Every match was close.  Bartzen stood tall but not quite enough to beat the Sweeney.  Mark appeared to call the lines correct every match and was able to get 3-2 wins all weekend.  Congratulations to Mark, he has a great team and Mark is a good guy.  Good luck at sectionals!  I thought TBar would be a little better.  All four teams were pretty similar and Mark's excellent captain's calls were the difference.  I hope he keeps it up. 

Here is a weekend picture of the 4.5 heavyweights between Sweeney and Fikes (could have been Wagner or Harlee as well)

At 4.0, Wiley dominated most of the weekend.  It looks like he had a semi-close call against surprising second place Greenhill.  Most everyone (including myself), picked them last.  Looks like Wiley put out a little softer lineup and had to ride his unstoppable singles guys.  Brian Wilson didn't play for TBar, I'll find out why as he would have been a difference maker for TBar.  Regardless, he can only play one line and they still beat a good TBar lineup 4-1.  The rumors he will play his spares were apparently just that... Best of luck to Wiley, his great team depth should serve him well in the sectionals heat.

This was Wiley versus Peterson.

At 3.5, Bender had a closer than expected final.  I am no 3.5 expert but I thought he would win 5-0.  He has a number of 4.0 bump downs.  Regardless, he still won and Bender adds another city championship to what must be the most overwhelmed trophy cabinet in Texas.  Best of luck in sectionals and I hope Bender does what he has done so many times before.  I hear he has a suite named after him at the various nationals locations.

Almost forgot the highlight clip of Bender and Gardner...

Best of luck to all!!!

Spring Season starts next week for 4.0.  Scheduling needs some serious rethinking.  40s wraps up; Mixed hasn't ended and Mixed playoffs are next week.  All at the same time, the spring season starts.  At least I am able to combine one post but I doubt the DTA was thinking about me when they did that.

Big matches for the opening week...
5.0+ Our own Rossouw and Noel start off against each other.  Since they have been in agreement a lot around here, they can get together complain about Kelly and play some tennis.  Rossouw will win  but that is a lot of Dallas tennis conscience in one place.

TBar has JCC and looks to be pretty competitive.  Oscar's team had to split up but that is not a big deal when you get to keep 3 and you only play five people each week.

Gleneagles shouldn't have much trouble with GH/Barnard's 4.5 heavy team.

Perkison and Wagner have a good match but Perkison has a lot of firepower.  I think Perkison is the favorite to win this flight and will win Saturday.

In 5.0, every week should have great matches.

4.5  Start April 12th.  Woohoo a whole week off for the geezers...

Flight A-- TBar starts with HP Somabut.  Somabut's has a number of 4.0s.  This should be easy sailing for Dick's team.  This flight just isn't that great.  I only gave TBar a nod this week because they are the probable flight winners.  There really isn't a match worth mentioning.

Flight B-- This flight isn't very good either.  The teams that matter are the Lakes, Rossouw and Brookhaven.  None of them play each other.  They all play average teams.  Not a week to get excited.

Flight C-- Fretz/Noel vs Garland Sisk is match of the week.  Sisk has Kelly so he must be the favorite... If only he had any depth to go with him.

Brookhaven and Village play in a few weeks to determine who will really win this flight.  There just isn't much to say about any of these flights.

4.0 Matches start this week.  Why is a mystery but not my actual problem so not sure why I care.

Flight A-- There are no big matches in week 1.  Somabut and Sisk are the probable favorites.  Yet, both of their rosters are players that just don't excite you.Somabut has fewer ho-hum players I don't know most.  I don't most of Sisk's either.

Flight B--In what most think is the most ridiculous flight, you would think there would be a few really tough matches every week.  This week there is only one that has any interest.  Eldorado vs Gleneagles.  Eldorado made the playoffs last year.  Glenegles has some players.  I predict in week 1, Eldorado loses.  No other match worth considering.

Flight C-- In a flight with near nothing, there is not a match to discuss.  TBar plays Oasis...  How do they even field a team?  I don't even recognize a player on Oasis team.. not even a name.  Either they are incredible or really bad.  I suspect really bad!

Flight D-- In a flight that is even worse than Flight C, Brookhaven plays the Village... And not a good Village team.  Fretz plays Huffhines in the only match of near intrigue.  Fretz shouldn't have trouble but it is not like they are world beaters.

Monday, March 24, 2014

40s Playoff 3/28 - 3/30

The moment of truth has arrived.   I’ve heard a lot of players say that the season really starts at playoffs.  I have to agree.  The regular season is interesting but playing for a championship gets your adrenaline flowing.  It is time for a quick recap and then my predictions and your criticism as well as the obligatory discussion of ‘he that I will no longer mention.’

I recall a post in a previous thread on 12/30 at 2:01 PM.  In 4.5, the guy predicted GH/Sweeney to win 4.5A and Lakes/Wagner as runner up.  He predicted T-Bar  to win flight B.  As for CC/Nolen finishing third…  He missed that.  His second place Flight B was off too but pretty good considering before the season.  Not sure how he missed Brookhaven but not bad

In 4.0, he predicted McKinney to win flight A in a runaway.  It wasn’t a runaway but they did win the flight.  In Flight B, he predicted CC with TBar and High Point probable third.  Close as it looks like all three teams were  close but HP wins and TBar handled the tiebreakers better.  Capt. Fantastic thought his picks were a bit off but can’t say that is too bad.

In 3.5, he picked Bender but the wrong Bender team.  I will try and determine this one as I know very little other than pick Bender to win.  It is usually a pretty good bet.

It took me a little while to find the schedule the DTA put the 4.5 tennislink playoffs in with the 4.0s.  The 4.0s are more excitable so maybe they thought it would be fun to play playoffs twice.  Actually, the DTA screws everything up and this is nothing different.   It will be interesting when they get the actual 4.5s up

4.5+:  All four teams are very strong.  They are all capable of making noise in 18s…  Especially if they brought their 5.0s with them.  Sweeney got his boys to sectionals last year but he is missing the ‘one that shall not be named.’  He would not be so automatic against those 5.0s but having him at line 2 singles would definitely be huge.

This is a very interesting grouping.  In the first match, you have…

(1)    GH/Sweeney vs  (4) Brookhaven/Harlee-Assuming, all players are available, I like GH in this match.  Rich and Correia are probably the strongest 5.0s in this matchup.  That is no knock on Mezzour.  He is definitely capable of knocking either off.  He better get his singles or doubles line because there is no other 5.0 for the other line.  BH has a lot of excellent 4.5s but so does GH.  I think in the end, GH is just a little too much.  Prediction: Greenhill 3-2.

(2)    TBar/Fikes vs (3) Lakes/Wagner-Once again, assuming all players are available.  TBar has best player in 40s.  Bartzen is a lock down to win.  I would probably put both my 5.0s in doubles and conceded that line.  Talbot all but locks down a doubles line.  TBar only needs to find one more line.  Prediction: TBar wins 3-2.

(3)    Lakes/ Wagner vs (1) GH/Sweeney-Lakes matches up better with GH than they do against TBar.  They split regular season matches.  They can compete with either Rich or Correia in singles.  They may not win but it isn’t the humbling experience Bartzen will bring.  Prediction: Greenhill 3-2

(4)    Brookhaven/Harlee vs TBar/Fikes-This is a group that split matches in the regular season.  If TBar has Talbot and Bartzen available they win.  Only Mazzour can match up to either.  The first two matches were 4-1 each way.  Not this time… 3-2.  Prediction: T-Bar 3-2.

(3)    Lakes/Wagner vs (4) BH/Harlee-I am assuming not all the players will be available as it will be a fight for who stays out of the cellar.  Won’t analyze as who know who gets to play.  I will go with Lakes because BH can unload the bench much deeper than Lakes.

(1)    GH/Sweeney vs (2) TBar/Fikes-This is extremely interesting.  Bartzen and Talbot vs Correia and Rich is mighty fine tennis.  It is hard to pick.  I am going with TBar and a bunch of third set breakers.  GH must split the 5.0 lines to have a chance.  I think the TBar 5.0s are a little better.  I think Sweeney’s team is deeper.  It will all come down to who wins line 2 doubles.

4.0s—This appears to be a three way race between TBar, High Point and McKinney.  TBar is the unknown to most but I can assure you they belong.  I know most of these guys and it is a very good 4.0 team.  Nobody was really surprised that High Point fielded a good team.  McKinney was the previous year’s city runner up and added a couple of the High Point players that were nationals guys.  It is surprising for High Point to rebuild so quickly.

(1)    High Point/Wiley v (4) TBar/Beckner- HP won 5-0 in the regular season but this will not be the same team.  Wilson is automatic for TBar.  HP has Zackary which is pretty automatic.  TBar really needs to have Wilson draw him to take him out giving TBar a chance to win the other singles line.  Tbar can win 2 out of 3 doubles lines but so can HP.  HP has better depth; TBar has more experienced players.  Prediction: High Point 3-2 but don’t be surprised if TBar pulls the upset.

(2)    McKinney/Peterson v (3) GH/Kayser-GH won in week 1 but as the season went on, we see that was more overlooking a good team than indicative of what should happen.  It looks like GH has ridden their doubles all year with solid but not spectacular singles.  McKinney looks to have better singles with Schwartz and Hutchison.  I think McKinney gets revenge when it really matters.  Prediction: McKinney 4-1

(3)    GH/Kayser v HP/Wiley-I see HP sweeping singles and getting a couple of doubles lines.  GH doubles are too good to get swept.  Prediction: HP Wiley 4-1.

(4)    TBar/Beckner v (2) McKinney/Peterson-Wilson wins his singles line and 50/50 on the other line.  TBar has very strong doubles and gets 2 out of 3.  Prediction: TBar wins 3-2.

(3)    GH/Kayser v (4) TBar/Beckner-TBar sweeps singles and gets 2 out of 3 doubles lines.  Prediction: TBar 4-1.

(1)    HP/Wiley v (2) McKinney/Peterson-McKinney will need this to overthrow Wiley and all the TBar players will be rooting for McKinney too.  It looks like a probable split in singles.  Schwartz is really tough and so is Hutchison.  I think it will be a split but if it is a sweep, the chances are more likely to be McKinney.  HP’s doubles depth probably gets 2 lines.  HP’s depth will keep them from being as fatigued.  Prediction: HP wins 3-2.

3.5 is a mini-tournament with Stonebriar/Dickey playing High Point/Gardner.  The winner gets to place first place Fretz/Bender.  Since Bender already beat them both; I don’t see that changing this time around.  Prediction: Fretz wins.

Have fun and tell me why I am wrong.  The pay for writing on this blog makes all of the ridicule and abuse worth it.

Friday, March 21, 2014

A Tale of 4 Flights

It was the best of competition, it was the worst of competition, it was the age of putting the best teams in two flights, it was the age of putting the worst teams in two flights, it was the epoch of disbelief that our flight was so easy, it was the epoch of incredulity that the DTA would put the best teams together, it was the spring of hope, after it was the winter of despair, we had anew season before us, we had the geezer season behind us, we were all going direct to sectionals, we were all staying home claiming that the team going to sectionals were all cheaters..

While 4.0 is not my thing, Corey already did 4.5 and 5.0.  I will try to satisfy the 4.0 crowd and hopefully Captain Fantastic will satisfy the 3.5 crowd.  Since Kelly and Rossouw are neither 4.0 or below, they  should not dominate this conversation but I am sure they will.

First, I must commend the DTA in finally following through with giving more matches.  In the past, you would be LUCKY to get 7 matches.  This season, each team will be getting 9 matches.  This should help the uber-roster captains.

Now for the DTA status Quo… Per usual, the DTA managed to take flighting teams to a level badness that an accident seems unlikely.  I’ve always thought that by pure dumb luck, they would eventually get it right.  I stand corrected.  I can’t help but think of the great Bif Wellington Hitler video saying, what the hell does the DTA know, they always put the best teams in the same flight…  Yet, here we are and once again, the flights looks to be so bad, it is hard to imagine they are random.
Since it is only logical… We will start with Flight A

Flight A:

There are several of the city’s most successful 4.0 captains lumped together.  You have the reigning ity champion Bazan and he isn’t the usual one here we discuss.  We have Sisk and Somabut in this flight too.  I am unsure if the DTA seeds teams or not but if they do, this is pretty bad.  I believe you should seed based on actual known players as well as captain’s typical past success.  While it isn’t perfect, I am pretty sure Somabut, Bazan and Sisk will all put out quality squads.  With that…

The flight is top heavy.  It has the big three but it also has Oak Creek/Head.  They have a lot of players on one of the 40s playoff teams.  They won’t be a pushover.  Oak Creek looks to be light on singles players.
Bazan has a lot of guys on a different 40s playoff team.  It looks like Bazan raided McKinney/Peterson.  A solid crew.

Sisk has a lot of his usual guys.  It appears he added the remnants of Corey’s 4.0 playoff team.  He still has Flora.  This is another solid team.

Somabut has quite a few unknowns.  The unknowns are always scary but of his computer rates, few look like difference makers.  He has some good ones but not the numbers he is accustomed to having.  Carlquist, Hutchison and Bearden are good pieces.

I am going with

11)      Somabut… Based on his unknown players, Somabut’s best players are usually self rated or in this case fall rated at 4.5 on Hai’s team and struggled mightily.  Carlquist, Bearden and Hutchison are all very good computer rated 4.0s.  It is a mystery how they remain 4.0… Or is it a mystery???

22)      Sisk… He has Flora that is a very good singles option.  His regular guys are always solid and the Noel additions should make him very formidable in this flight.  Sisk has a history of picking up a guy along the way that is a real difference maker.

33)      Bazan..  This team could challenge for either of the first two spots.  There are a ton of doubles options and Rickman has won quite a few singles matches.

44)      Oak Creek/Head… They appear to have so very good doubles lines but no singles.  Sweeping doubles is a tough way to win a flight.

I don’t see much difference between the first three.  If Oak Creek can land a good singles guy, then they could make some noise.  Regardless, 4 quality teams in this flight seems like a lot when some of the flights are lighter.

Flight B:

This flight may actually be worse than flight A.  While playoff mainstays like Sisk, Somabut and Bazan may not be in the flight, there are a lot of other good teams.  This is probably the deepest flight.  You have Canyon Creek/McHugh, Greenhill/Ohl, Fretz/Clark, Eldorado/Browning and Gleneagles/Fults.
All of these teams above are good and can be very dangerous.  Ohl was in the finals of the Fall Playoffs and was close to winning.  McHugh has his very good 40s team.  Clark has a number of quality players and Browning’s team won their flight last year.  Fults has a ton of quality players.  Any of these teams can beat each other on any given week.  This is easily the toughest flight to pick.

My picks are…

11)      McHugh… He has great singles with Huff and himself.  He has several doubles and I think he would add a few more.  Dawson wins a lot of matches.  They’ve been together awhile.

22)      Fretz/Clark… This is a tough call.  He has Zackary who is a really good mixed player and per the previous thread’s comments.. “the best 4.0 singles player in Dallas.”  He has some good players.  Owen Wilson takes a break from Hollywood to return to Dallas for some tennis.  There are a number of singles options with Zackary, Pearson and Smithheisler.  I am just not sure how much he has in doubles.

33)      Greenhill/Ohl… Schwartz and Wettreich make an awful tough singles 1 & 2.  Burton, Schneider and Shanks are all good players that occasionally spend time at 4.5.  

44)      Gleneagles has McCullough and son.  These guys are very good players.  Moen and Fults are as good as any computer rated 4.0.  This is a very dangerous team that will beat at least one of the first 3 teams.

55)      Browning won their flight last year.  I’m not as familiar but they have a lot of the same players. 

This is a very tough flight.  I don’t see a team getting through this undefeated.  It is not impossible, but it will be very tough.  The great big Canyon Creek/DTA conspiracy theory doesn’t hold up here.  They would have moved Canyon Creek to another flight if there was a great big Canyon Creek conspiracy. 

Flight C

It gets easier because these next two flights are not nearly as loaded.  This is almost as easy to call as Flight D. 

11)      TBar/Snow… This is pretty cut and dried.  This is almost the same as the 40s team that I think will do very well at city playoffs.  I know a lot of these guys and they are strong.  They have Chapple, Chad, Lee, Walley, Perry, Snow and I know a few more will be signing up.  David has put together a good team.  His biggest problem is it is not a young team.

22)      The only possible dark horse is Springpark/Mauldin.  They have some pieces but little depth.

Most of this flight is pretty bad except TBar and Springpark.  Yet, this is not the worst flight.

Flight D

If there should be a DTA conspiracy, it may hold with Brookhaven.  Bartlett has the only team that would finish with a winning record in either flight A or B.

11)      Brookhaven/Bartlett… The rest of the flight is just plain bad.

22)      Fretz Jarayam… This team is the only other one that doesn’t just plain suck.

There you go… Feel free to disagree

With that, it is a far less important thing I do now than I have ever done before.  And I am going to a far better drunk now than I have ever known.Well not really, I have been much drunker.

Monday, March 17, 2014

4.5/5.0 Spring Season Preview

Since the blog has been clamoring for contributors I figured I would throw my two cents in for the league this season.  Making predictions before season begins is probably about as accurate as the preseason NCAA polls.  Very difficult to evaluate teams when rosters are often times less than half-filled so I would say these predictions, particularly with the playoff teams, are based on past history and reputation probably more than anything else.

I will start with 5.0 since that's the group I'm most knowledgeable about and there's only one flight so it's easy to evaluate.

Greenhill/Rossouw--Marc has really loaded up his team from last season.  Honestly there are a few players who I don't know but not really many weaknesses.  This team will certainly have the ability to compete with any team now but I wonder how available some of his players will be which is THE biggest factor in 5.0 with only three lines.
Cooper/Noel--My team is kind of in the same boat as previous seasons.  Good 5.0 players but no ringers and no 5.5 players to compete with the top teams' singles players. Looking forward to it though!
Greenhill/Barnard--This is Marc's "B Team" in 5.0.  A lot of quality players though that will give teams some trouble.  Majority of the players look to be just dipping their toe in the 5.0 water, or dare I say increasing their chances of staying or dropping to 4.5??
T Bar/Flores--Fresh off their second place finish at Nationals Oscar has some serious recruiting challenges but once again, the three lines makes it still achievable.  Biggest factor for this team will be if he can get a singles ringer which is a necessity to advance in this league.
Lakes/Wagner--Nobody on the roster (yet) that scares me but no easy wins for the opposition either.  This is the team that everybody hopes for a home match against because it usually means a weaker lineup.
Village/Perkison--A lot of the big names from his roster are missing but I expect that will change.  Assuming he has the players back from last season this is the frontrunner for the league.  Without Blake and Loren though this could make a very competitive league.
JCC/Reiman--Michael's first attempt at a 5.0 team looks to be just a chance for his 4.5 guys to get tough matches.  If he can sprinkle in another 5.5 and more 5.0s it could be a contender though.
Gleneagles/Gonzales--A lot of strong doubles players on this team as always.  I don't see a playoff-caliber singles player as of yet though so that could be an obstacle for them to advance.

Playoff Predictions (format is 2 vs. 3 and 1 vs winner for sectionals):

1st: Village
2nd:  TBar
3rd: Rossouw

Village vs T Bar rematch for Sectionals berth, won by the Village this time around.  Not enough depth for TBar to go back to back in one day in July and win two matches.

4.5 League--my knowledge of the 4.5 league isn't like it once was but a lot of the players are still the same.  Always interesting to see if any new teams can break through.

Flight A--Pretty rough group with JCC, T Bar, and Herget in one group

JCC/Reiman--To be honest this team has really come on since I've been out of 4.5 so I don't know all the players very well but I expect similar results from previous seasons with a Sectionals run as the goal.
McKinney/Rodriguez--Not seeing anyone on this roster who can do any damage against the top teams. But sometimes getting players to drive to McKinney is not so easy.
Eldorado/Browning--A mix of 4.0 and 4.5 players not looking for playoff matches.  A beer-drinking team (which we need more of in this league!)
High Point/Somabut--Another mix of 4.0 and 4.5 players, some of which may want to be back to 4.0.  I don't expect much here.
Brookhaven/Ware--Interesting that Pro Dave Ware has taken this team over (at least in name).  A lot of players with playoff experience so they could easily play spoiler if taken too lightly.
Stonebridge/Nix--More 4.5 players than years past for a Stonebridge team but still not the strength or depth to make a run at playoffs in my opinion.  Sidenote: third team from McKinney in this group which is a potential brutal travel schedule for Dallas teams.
T Bar/Fikes--A lot of doubles depth and experience as normal.  Missing the younger, dominant singles players they will need to go through DCC. But it's early.
Oak Creek/Loose-Herget--Very similar to TBar.  Doubles experience and skills but where are the singles players??
Royal Oaks/Charles--Rothwell is MIA and this is a very watered-down version of Royal Oaks teams from years past.  Still talent on the roster though so a few additions could make all the difference.

Flight B--Gleneagles, Rossouw, Goswami, and Lakes in this group.  Good thing Marc has some eggs in the FW basket.

Gleneagles/Juhn--Without the two Chris's this team is significantly weaker.  I like the doubles players but still a few players short of a serious playoff run at this point.
Greenhill/Rossouw--This team has been in the crosshairs of everybody for a while.  I see a ton of top-tier doubles players with playoff experience.  Not sure who can step up and play singles though.  Certainly the most impressive preseason roster though.
Collin County/Aud--A lot of 4.5 lifers here. Don't expect much resistance for the top teams from this group.
Brookhaven/Goswami--This roster really impresses me.  A lot of 5.0 bumpdowns with some strong 4.5 players.  And they actually have singles players!! If Tridib can fill in a few more players of similar level it could be very interesting!
Lakes/Way--Another very impressive roster with some returning bumpdowns.  This is the most balanced team I've seen with players who can win singles (Le and Whitaker) and high-level doubles players (Pollock, Jannasch, Oberg).  If those guys can play often I like their chances.
Oak Creek/Sands--A very big roster but not the necessary strength to vie for playoffs, especially in this group.
Springpark/Walters--A for-fun team with limited firepower.  A good opportunity for lower guys to get some 4.5 experience though.
Northwood/McDaniel--Nice to see a 4.5 team out of Northwood again!  A few players who could actually cause some problems but not enough 4.5 members for a playoff run.
T Bar/Essenburg--T Bar leftover team shouldn't provide much of a problem for the opposition.  A good way for the other teams to get their guys some matches.

Flight C--Probably the weakest flight overall but sometimes those are the most interesting to see who can sneak into playoffs.

Garland/Sisk--Not a bad team but not enough top 4.5 talent thus far to get to the next level.  Strong depth as usual for Sisk though.
High Point/Le--A roster full of new 4.5s so far.  Not seeing where the wins come from though.
Fretz/Noel--Poorly-captained team with great guys!!  Seriously pretty good depth on the team but not enough firepower for deep run.
Lakes/Wise--Second Lakes team?!?!  A possible Brookhaven situation brewing. Unfortunately I think that hurts the chances for both teams but this team is certainly the weaker one.
Oak Creek/Pribadi--A team of mostly low 4.5s.  Without serious additions not much of a chance to contend even in this flight.
Village/Warren--Jason takes over captainship of this team with Lynn moving to Canyon Creek.  Will be interesting to see if he can get the same players/level of commitment.  Stephan/Shawn are as good as it gets in 4.5 but it takes more than that to win matches.  Jason can win singles but missing more than one of those guys in a match would make it very difficult.
Brookhaven/Harllee--Interesting how this team has turned younger over the years.  Not seeing a number one singles player but plenty of players who can win in dubs.
Canyon Creek/Khaing--Of course this team ends up in the same group as Lynn's old Village team.  Unfortunately I don't see the players on this team to compete with the old one.  But can't wait to see if/who Lynn plays.
LB Houston/Moore--Actually a better team than expected.  Kind of an amalgamation of several different teams on one roster.  I think in this group they can get some wins.

Playoffs (assuming 1st goes to DCC automatically and 2nd goes to QT)

Flight A

2nd--T Bar

Flight B (extremely tough)

1st--Rossouw (only because I think he will find the singles players needed, and also based on this flight can we stop the DTA-Rossouw talk)

Flight C

3rd--Noel (why not)

JCC, Rossouw, and Brookhaven advance to DCC.  I will take Goswami to come out of QT.

I will take Rossouw's team to win but a lot will depend on what happens in FW too I would assume.

Criticize away!!!


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

40+ Geezer Playoffs looming and the slots are set… At least mostly…. Please Sir, Can I have some playing time?

Playoffs are approaching.  It is time for captains to begin to plan their playoff lineups.  As I was once told, the good captains are separated from the bad ones based on if they are cold blooded.  Captains almost always have a guy that is the 14th best player on the roster but that player is convinced he is deserving of playing time.  The better captains can borrow a line from Nancy Reagan and “Just Say No!!!” to their playing time begging players.

The question looms, who are the lesser captains? 

As the season really winds down, we can go through the likely playoff  teams and try to decide who the sucker captains will be.  Please comment on who you think and why they will be the sucker captains of the playoffs.

I will be making my never too early playoff predictions here.  These might change.  After all, leagues are on a spring break hiatus.  Some take a week and others two weeks off.  I have no idea why the various layoffs.

The Heavyweights

4.5+ - I really don’t have a lot to add in the way of current updates because of weather and DTA lack of scheduling.  The playoff schedule is the top 2 teams from each flight advance to a round-robin.

Flight A – It is still a two team race.  Lakes/Wagner and Greenhill/Sweeney.  They are both undefeated and must play each other twice.  All this will be irrelevant if Greenhill beats Gleneagles/Juhn this week.  That will take them to 7-0 (taking their unreported match default from Canyon Creek).  That is 4 losses for Juhn and gameover.  Lakes has their two matches against Greenhill left and two matches against bottom feeders.  For all intents and purposes, they should clear their calendar.

I still think Greenhill is a little stronger but not by a great amount.  Rich and Correia are some very good 5.0s. 

Flight B This is a three team race.  Greehill/Rossouw has a very good team on life support.  I know his real team is in Fort Worth but in Dallas, he is in a must win situation this week against first place TBar/Fikes.  Not only must he win this, he must win convincingly.  Before the season started, I thought Dick’s team was the best in this flight and I still think so.  I see a very good Greenhill team being eliminated.  To make matters worse for Greenhill, Brookhaven/Harllee looms the following week.  Brookhaven sits with the same record as Dick’s team.  Brookhaven has a bottom feeder this week.

In the end, I think TBar edges Brookhaven on lines.  While not as confident on this flight as I am on Flight A, it is pretty much decided.  Greenhill would have to have two extraordinary weeks.  They have a good roster but that is asking a lot from two other very good rosters.

4.5+ Playoffs – The teams I expect to advance are (1) Greenhill/Sweeney, (2) Lakes/Wagner, (3) TBar/Fikes and (4) Brookhaven/Harllee.  Your projected order of finish is…  Please comment with your thought…

The Middleweights

4.0 – This one appears to be done.  While it appears TBar/Beckner still has a score to post to edge Canyon Creek/McHugh.  I know a number of those TBar guys and they aren’t losing to a bottom feeder team.  The top 2 teams from each flight advance to a round-robin playoff.
This makes the four teams (1) McKinney/Peterson, (2) Greenhill/Kayser, (3) High Point/Wiley and (4) TBar/Beckner.

Flight A – Almost every person had McKinney/Peterson in the playoffs before the season started.  The question was who would be the other team…  In week 1, that question was answered with a monumental upset of McKinney/Peterson.  Greenhill/Kayser knocks them off and takes a meaningless loss in the last match of the season which was a makeup from weeks earlier.

McKinney is still the better team.  They have better depth but Greenhill has some very good doubles lines.  Both teams will be tough outs.

Flight B – This was suppose to be the epic battle between Titans Canyon Creek/McHugh and High Point/Wiley.  High Point held up their end but Canyon Creek slipped against the party crasher TBar/Beckner.  I know a lot of those TBar guys and I think they shocked everybody except myself. 

Canyon Creek has to be wondering what happened.  They had a great roster.  In the two matches they lost, every line lost was a third set tiebreaker.  That has to be a heart breaker.  That is a very solid team that sits home watching teams that they had chances to beat.   

The question is how would they have done in Flight A?  Before the season started, I was in the camp that Wiley couldn’t retool High Point so quickly.  In the end, he put together a better team than last year. 

4.0 Playoffs – It will be tough.  High Point has to be the early favorite.  They ended undefeated in a tough flight.  TBar is the wildcard of these four.  If you look at the lineups TBar played High Point and the one Canyon Creek played, they are noticeably different.  High Point definitely drew a more favorable opponent.  McKinney has great singles with Schwartz and Hutchison.  Their doubles are also good.  They are another tough out.  Finally, Greenhill has three rock solid doubles lines but they have little depth.

My early prediction that is subject to change—(1) High Point (2) TBar (3) McKinney (4) Greenhill.  All of these teams can beat each other.  Should be a very competitive playoff but High Point’s depth wins out. 
I look at the High Point lineup with players like Smithheisler & Zackary in singles, those are tough outs.  Long time 4.0/4.5 bump up/bump downs like Bearden, Corcoran, Sampson, Wiley, Clark, Campos, Shanks, Pearson and Wayles; he may just have too many options. 

3.5 – I am really stepping out my element here but will give it a stab.  Fretz 2/Bender is undefeated but must hold of High Point/Gardner.  Third place is Stonebriar/Dickey.  My guess is Fretz 2/Bender wins this.

Feel free to tell me why I am right or wrong