Friday, April 3, 2015
League and Flight Breakdown... The Age of Mediocrity
40s is over and the real season is about to begin. After a long off season of recruiting the latest 5 Star prospect to get the teams over the hump into QT, many hopeful captains are once again certain they will finally make that elusive trip to the Qualifying Tourney.
As I look through the league, for the most part I see a lot of ho-hum mediocrity. While there are few (very few) good teams, for the most part, the league appears fairly mediocre. Recruiting and self rated ringers are missing.
I heard one captain boast that his latest crop of new players were a good mix of mediocre players and underachievers. He said one of his new ringers was a High School ZAT that is slow and averaged 33 double faults in his matches. It was a State High School record and to have a Texas state record holder has to mean something. He also had a new guy that was quick to panic when serving at break point; he should be a good fit into our program. His all star new recruit was one he said that "He was a little concerned when nobody was pursuing him but when he beat Mike Kelly 1&1 in the fall, he knew he was a star. He wasn't concerned about that was his only win and managed to beat Mike Kelly and remain 3.5. This was a guy that knew how to play the system. This is the type of player I can build the franchise around."
The season is ready to begin and I think most of us are ready for it to start...unless you are over 40 and the season just ended. So, here is my highly paid analysis of the coming season...
5.0+: This league is finally starting to grow. As the USTA has pushed people up, there are now enough 5.0s to field a good competitive league. This league is no longer about just trying to get back down to 4.5.
TBarM won the fall and has the automatic bid to the spring QT. I was unaware 5.0 had a QT but maybe that starts this year. Does this mean they get an automatic bid to cities? Regardless, this team has 1 5.5 in Paul Chappell. He is a top notch 5.5 considering he played for TCU just a couple of years ago. Bartzen is always extremely strong. Brett Ryan and Byron Talbot are back from a good 5.0 Nationals runner up a couple of years ago. Oscar the Pimp from that 5.0 season is also here. I like this team to win.
Village is my pick for second. Perkison and a good team is synonymous. There are no 5.5s on the roster but it is loaded with good 5.0s. Perkison, McCoy and Carona and countless others are all very strong players. They will be a tough out for anyone.
Brookhaven is my pick for third they have a 55 in Anderson and Braga as a 5.0. Braga gives them a second 5.5 that can play anywhere. Since you only have to win 2 lines, they will be tough to take out. I still expect TBar to win it all but any of these three are capable.
Greenhill has the wildcard into QT and Rossouw has not disappointed with another very large roster. With the season still a week away, he has 23 highly rated journeymen on his roster. This is a good team and has a chance to win the flight.
JCC has another large and deep roster. Stitt's kid is on this roster and he is very good. Reiman has put a good team together with Feldman, Pollard, Cambron, Williams and Sumrow.
In the end, JCC wins this flight. Greenhill goes directly to QT regardless but likely finishes second.
Flight B: This flight just isn't very good.
Lakes are the favorite to win this flight. They have a good roster but they are no better than a QT team. Due to a weak flight, they make city playoffs.
Oak Creek has a small roster at this time. They are largely past their prime and wouldn't get a mention if the flight was any good. They will be in the mix.
TBar is not that great either but gets a mention as a possible player because the flight is that bad.
In the end, I expect the Lakes to win and not win any matches at city playoffs.
Flight C: This flight isn't any better than Flight B.
Brookhaven should have about as hard a time with this flight as it did in its 40s flight. A lot of good journeymen on this roster. I think they finish third in flight A but they aren't there.
Village is probably second but they definitely need more bodies. They have Ipson and Castro but no depth.
Oak Creek is probably next but nothing excites me there.
Bold way too early prediction: I pick JCC to win and go to sectionals.
That is all for today. When I feel more motivated, I will break down 4.0.