The managers of the 18 official teams met via conference call Thursday night to finalize the details of the Spring Season.
This is the first season with 18 teams, which has led to some changes in the normal operating structure.
There will be six divisions of three teams each to create balanced divisions. The division champion of each division, as well as two wild card teams will advance to the playoffs. A proposal to reduce the number of teams to six failed on a 4-14 vote. Two teams, Torn Labrums and Sacbunt were not present for the call.
Managers also had two schedule options to choose from. One option for a balanced schedule had each team playing their divisional rivals four times, and then playing six other teams outside of their division once. That proposal was rejected in favor of a more traditional schedule, where divisional rivals were played twice, and the balance of the games were against non-divisional teams. Of the ten non-division games, nine of them will be against the same opponents that your division plays. However, each team will have one random, non-balanced game against an opponent. The vote was initially tied on which schedule to go with before the Master Batters changed their vote to break the tie.
The biannual grumbling about the pick order for schedule spots which allows the worst teams to pick first resulted in two votes to change the policy. Proposals from the Barnburners to change the order for this season failed 5-11, and a subsequent proposal to change the rules for future seasons also failed 8-8. No other rules changes or proposals were considered.
The new divisional alignments were also approved for returning teams. The divisions are rebalanced based on previous season record each year. With six divisions for the first time, the league is looking at options for naming the divisions. In the past we’ve used directions, North, South East, West and Central. If you have good ideas, send them to the Commissioner.
The first pitch of the Spring Season will be at 10:30 AM on Sunday, April 13th as the DC Twits host the Garbage Plates and rookie Torn Labrums host a Thaman-less three time World Champion Superman’s Wheelchair. The first week will conclude with a 4:30 PM contest between the reigning World Champion Canvassers and the Spring 2013 World Champion Blandsford Barnburners. Between the two franchises they’ve won 11 of the 17 World Series in league history.
An optional spring training is set for this Sunday, April 6th from 1 PM to 4 PM at Gravelly Point. The event is not an official league activity, and Felix Fernandez will be coordinating it for us again this year.
However, the National Park Service has notified us that due to the recent snow and rain, and the expected rain this weekend, they may not allow permitted sports activity at Gravelly Point this week.
We expect to get a decision by the end of the day Friday and will update everyone.
Please RSVP for the event so we can keep you updated: RSVP on Facebook
NOTE – If the event is officially cancelled, you cannot use Gravelly Point for wiffleball related activities, even on your own. Our permit to play at the Point depends on your cooperation.