I have long wanted to share my thoughts on the issue of playoff draftees in Minnesota town team baseball, and I appreciate the forum to do so.
I strongly agree with the anonymous poster who began with “My town ball tenure began in 1993…” Simply put, a team should win (or lose) with their own players.
If it says “BELLE PLAINE” across the front of my jersey, that should mean something. It shouldn’t mean, “Well, 7 of the 9 players were from Belle Plaine, but thank goodness for the pitcher and catcher from (blank) and (blank)!”
Or when somebody looks in the back of a State Tournament program and sees who the champion was for a particular year, their first thought shouldn’t be, “I wonder who their draftees were that year?”
As Bill Nelson wrote in his blog post today (Nov. 12), dominant pitching is the #1 component of postseason success. Not too many people would argue with that. Who knows for sure, but some have estimated pitching (across baseball in general) is 70 or 80% of the game.
Yet year after year, after 30 or 40 games and three months of playing week-in and week-out with your teammates – often your friends, sometimes your relatives, but either way YOUR TEAM – you go and select supplements (and often, replacements) for the two most impactful positions on the field? To determine who the best TEAM is? It’s unnecessary, and it’s just not right.
Whether stud draftee pitchers put more butts in the seats or not, I don’t know and to be honest, I don’t care; the game itself, and the process of crowning the truest champion, should be most important.
I’ve also heard the argument that pitching can become depleted over the final Labor Day Weekend, and without question it can be a challenge. But to me, that’s just a great opportunity for less-heralded teammates to step up; the team with the greatest pitching depth will likely be rewarded, which is far better than the team with the greatest draftee being rewarded.
Let’s put “the town” back in “town team” baseball.
Belle Plaine Tigers