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.
The 2012 RJSL Finishing Line Is In Sight & Food for Thought
July 9, 2012
When I was a replacement player, writing these blogs was so much easier. Playing for virtually every team in the league afforded me the opportunity to have revealing conversations with a large cross section of players and captains. By games end, I would leave the field with a wealth of information just waiting to be discussed in my next blog. This season, however, that “intimacy” is gone because I simply don’t have the time and opportunity to sit with teams in their “dugout” and discuss RJSL business. All my time is now spent either managing Westrock or honing my skills at third base for Lucky-Chai.
So, despite a very rainy 2012 season, we are virtually ¾ done with the finishing line in sight. There has been a “lot” of excitement over the past couple of weeks in regards to competitive clashes, team melt-downs, the throwing of punches, profound vulgarity and rampant disrespect. However, the league took, in their opinion, appropriate measures, Midah k'neged Midah, which were followed by sincere apologies by most of those involved. These apologies were readily accepted and sincerely appreciated.
So, what’s going on in the league? It’s a real horse race for the 1st and 2nd place bye between Westrock, Medicine Men and Major Energy. Merockdim may still be in the running but a loss to Respond Power did not help matters. But let me not get ahead of myself….
As of this writing, Westrock has fought its way to 1st place, defeating Medicine Men and Major Energy along the way. WR’s next three games will be very telling since they face 6th place Papas boys next Tuesday, 4th Place Merockdim on Wednesday and 5th place Subaba next Sunday. Each of these teams have the capacity to break-out so Westrock needs to continue their hitting spree and strong defensive posture. Most importantly, Captain Romer needs to rally his players so that “ten” strong players show up for each and every game. According to Romer: “With ten strong players, everything is achievable”.
Major Energy is still holding its own but a devastating loss to Medicine Men last Sunday 17 – 7 amounts to three losses this season and reveals an Achilles heel. This team may be “too” dependent on various star players who simply cannot make every game. Couple this with team injuries and cracks in the Major Energy foundation are starting to show. Captain Greenbaum has been increasingly frustrated with his teams’ performance and three out of their next four games are against Merockdim, Medicine Men and Papa’s Boys. To say the least, Captain Greenbaum will require all of his teams’ “Energy” to persevere over the next two weeks of play.
Medicine Men has continued a strong showing this season with only two losses and one tie out of 14 games. Although this team has very limited roster depth, their core players “always show up” and this continuity helps them win ball games. MM’s devastating defeat of Major Energy reflects a serious and talented team that can go the distance.
The Campers have really held their own this season. However, a 4 – 0 loss to Respond Power on June 24th and a 12 – 7 loss to Papa’s Boys on July 1st did not help matters, Merockdim came right back to defeat last place Lucky-Chai 12 - 6 on July 2nd and are securely in 4th place. Although virtually guaranteed a playoff spot, the Campers’ next four games are against 1st Place Westrock on Wednesday July 11, 2nd place Major Energy on Sunday July 15th, 3rd place Medicine Men on July 16th and 6th place Papas Boys on July 18th. To say the least, the Campers have their work cut out for them and they must bring to the plate the best the team has to offer in order to hold their own over the next nine days. Should Merockdim rise to the occasion in order to divide and conquer, they could potentially enter the playoffs as the team to beat. Contrarily, a worst case scenario of four consecutive losses could cripple the morale of Merockdim coming into the playoffs. This is the time for the Campers to make it happen. I wish them well.
Subaba/Papas Boys/Wesley Eye Care
Although it is unusual for me to cluster teams together, in this case all three of these teams share too many similarities to discuss separately. Each team has a group of great core players with real talent. However, additional “dependable” talent is required to plug certain “holes” on each of these teams so that they can achieve their maximum potential and rank high in the league standings. In order for this to be realized, the team captains “during the off-season “MUST” recruit the necessary players to give them the edge they require. Depending on Sam or Marv to provide this talent is a mistake. Personally, I believe each of the team captains should take a good hard look at players on Bubbas, Respond Power and Lucky-Chai to fills their gaps for next season. My sense is that the good players on Bubbas, Respond Power and Lucky-Chai are tired of losing game after game and would welcome the opportunity to be placed on a rising star team. In terms of the remainder of this season, Papas Boys has surged in the rankings lately and stand a very strong chance to qualify for the playoffs. Subaba and Wesley Eye Care are going to have to get their collective acts together to achieve that same opportunity.
Although Bubbas has a wealth of talent, that talent would be best served by joining forces with either Subaba, Papas Boys or Wesley Eye Care. A combination of experience and raw talent is required to have a winning team. Bubbas has the raw talent, but lack the experience and the leadership to make it happen. Bubbas is now stuck in the mud and I just don’t see them having the traction that is required to get them free of their encumbrances. I have waited for years for this team to prove me wrong…but with no correction in sight, I wish them well in their future endeavors.
My sentiments regarding both of these teams remain unchanged since my last blog. Both teams require comprehensive talent to lift them out of the league’s basement. However, these teams do serve a strong purpose in the RJSL by providing a repository for players who enter the league with unknown talent or for those individuals that simply want to play for the fun of it without the competitive stresses that come with playing for a top team. I expect that many of the stronger players on Respond Power and Lucky-Chai will find inviting captains from Subaba, Papas Boys and Wesley Eye Care next season. But until then, just keep playing your hearts out and good things will come to pass.
So, in the meantime, lets PLAY BALL!