Steve Romer is both a sponsor and captain of the Westrock-Refuahs.org softball team and the recipient of the 2008 and 2010 Captain of the Year award. He was also instrumental in driving his team onward to win the 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2013 RJSL championship titles. A team captain since 2003, Romer has consistently led his team to the playoffs and continues to be a force to be reckoned with. At 58 years of age, he is certainly one of the "senior" league members and his love for both the game and the RJSL makes his blog one worth reading.
Romer is a real estate entrepreneur as both an investor and for 30 years, the president of Westrock Appraisal Services, Corp., a commercial real estate appraisal provider. He has earned both an MBA and the prestigious MAI designation. Married for 34 years, Steve has three children, all who are married and grand-children running into the double digits.
RJSL League Redistribution and League Predictions
September 4, 2011
In my last blog I addressed several future issues which require both discussion and debate. My intent in writing this piece was to strike a nerve...get people thinking...instigate discussion and ultimately, get players to express their opinions to their team captains so that when the meetings do begin after the holidays, team captains can best represent the sentiments of their teams. It appears that the issue which struck a raw nerve in many people was my opinion of operating an A league for the stronger talent and a B league for the weaker talent.
So, lets put a little perspective on this. If I were to render a guess, I would say that 85% of the league can play competitive softball. So, this season we had approximately 180 players in the league so lets say 30 players in the league (three players per team) are well below average in playing ability. That's the equivalent of two teams. Although I can't speak for the commissioners, it is highly unlikely that a B league would be set up for only two teams. So, how do we resolve this problem? It may be that this issue will resolve itself by means of the Shoe Tova team model.
Next season, I expect a majority of teams to exercise their right to establish their own team rosters by paying an established upfront league fee. This will allow team captains to consolidate their roster strengths and eliminate their weaknesses. There will always be a team or two similar in composition to Major Energy who will provide a guaranteed roster spot to any player who desires to play, regardless of their talent level (within reason). These teams will also be a respite for new players to the league who will be afforded the opportunity to display their talents during their first season in anticipation of being picked up by a stronger team the following season.
From my viewpoint, this is the perfect compromise: everyone gets to play in the same league while team captains have the free hand to construct their rosters without interference from the RJSL. The upside to this is obvious...eight out of the ten teams will be extremely competitive while one to two teams will be weak in the standings. Any player who inspires to play for a stronger team will have to work for it by enhancing his hitting and/or fielding ability.
And then there were four....
There have not been "many" surprises to date regarding the outcome of the playoffs...but there were a couple: Cross River and StubWorld. The outcome of my regular season analysis predicted the following rankings leading into the post-season: 1) Medicine Men; 2) WC; 3) StubWorld; 4) Bubbas; 5) Cross River; 6) Subaba. Thus, during the first round of the playoffs SubWorld was predicted to "take-out" Subaba and Bubbas would eliminate Cross River. However, we all know that Cross River has a mind of its own and not only did they defeat Bubbas during the regular season to claim 4th place in the standings but they also set in motion a collision course between StubWorld and Bubbas.
Either wittingly or unwittingly, Cross River set the stage to propel themselves into the second round of the playoffs. They positioned themselves to sweep a depleted Subaba team and Bubbas was able to muscle two difficult wins (and one loss) against 3rd place StubWorld. And herein lies the reversal of fortune...Cross River was in and StubWorld was out. The remaining characters in this drama (Medicine Men, WC and Bubbas) are positioned as predicted to come out of their corners with their nostrils flaring and their eyes fixated in determination to win.
2nd Round Playoff Predictions....
Commissioner Sam Wainhaus is predicting that WC will ultimately defeat Cross River and that Medicine Men will blow-out Bubbas. Although I concur with the former prediction, I remain unconvinced regarding a Bubbas blowout. As we witnessed during the 3rd inning of the final Bubbas vs. StubWorld game, Bubbas can be "extremely" explosive at the plate and they have younger legs than any team in the league. For Bubbas it is completely "emotional". If they can go out there and have fun, not let the pressure overtake them and play smart baseball, they can defeat the older, although more experienced 1st place team. However, if Bubbas loses it, THEY DON'T STAND A CHANCE! and Sam Wainhause's prediction will indeed come true.
If we take a look at the facts for this season, Bubbas "decimated" Medicine Men 10-2 the last time they played one another. StubWorld, who secured one of the best winning streaks in RJSL history, was edged out by the bagel men during the 1st round of the playoffs. Should Bubbas find the passion which got them over the top this season, I predict that Medicine Men better "Watch Out" because making the championship round may not be a giveaway.
My prediction: Medicine Men will make it to the championship round and face WC but they are going to have to work for it. However, I cannot stop myself from inserting a caveat here that if Bubbas did take Medicine Men out, it would "not" be a big surprise to me.
As far as my predictions for the championship round? I'm going to reserve my opinion for another week which gives me ammunition for one final blog: an analysis of the two best teams in the league for the 2011 season. I wonder, in the end, if there will be any surprises.
So, in the meantime, lets PLAY BALL!