Usually I love the idea of conference holding postseason tournaments to determine their overall champions. But they’re not THIS important, are they??
The FCIAC, in the interest of getting all of its playoff berths and seedings wrapped up by today, is having Ridgefield play two games, even though the Tigers are already out of the hunt.
The first is a home makeup game against Fairfield Warde in the afternoon, an important game for the Mustangs, who need to win for a shot to become one of the four teams to secure the eighth seed. Later on, the Tigers might (and we say, might) have to travel somewhere in Stamford for another makeup game with Westhill.
The problem is Westhill doesn’t have lights to accommodate a night game and, apparently, can’t find a field somewhere that does.
FCIAC, which has already pushed the start of its playoffs from Monday to Tuesday, is ready to just give up on trying to squeeze this game in since it only really matters for seeding. If Westhill can’t get a site, the FCIAC will allow it to skip the game, finish 12-5 and be the third seed all for just the sake of starting the league quarterfinals by Tuesday.
The SCC is just as much of a nightmare. They’re trying to squeeze in their quarterfinal round between Xavier and Hand, Sheehan and Branford to be played on Tuesday. Problem is, Sheehan still has a regular season game against East Haven left and can’t play until
Bleah. Only in baseball and softball do we see these kind of crazy manipulations to get the league playoffs in. Some leagues, like the CCC, have pretty much given up on the whole idea. I’m about ready to jump onto that bandwagon.
After all, the spring season is too short to begin with and doesn’t need to be made shorter. Rare are the years when rainouts don’t dramatically alter the schedule.
Besides, high school baseball isn’t a sport that can legitimately be played on consecutive days (mostly because the lack of quality pitchers. Yet that tends to happen when trying to get the league playoffs in before the state tournaments start.
And, especially in a year like this where the Class LL playoff field is stacked, a lot of teams might end up playing state tournament qualifying games on Saturday. So now it’s possible that a team that’s seeded seventh or eighth in its league playoff could play–what?–five, six or seven games in a week? By the way, three of which are meaningless.
Even the better teams with pitching depth (Norwalk for example) could end up playing four games in a week. If I’m Norwalk’s head coach, the only game my No. 1 pitcher is thowing is the state tournament opener. To heck with the league tournament.
And if that’s the thinking, we aren’t exactly getting the best efforts from some of these teams, which is why you have all kinds of crazy upsets during league playoff time. For the teams that do try to win the league tournament, I’d venture that they’re a bit worn out and ripe for the plucking come state tournament time.