Wednesday, April 18, 2007

2007 Preview: 5.0 Division

Well, the season starts tomorrow, and as usual the 5.0 rosters are still fairly empty. However, I will do my best to preview the division based on limited information.

Ken Sjoberg's Forest Oaks team has pulled out (mercifully for them, as Bickmore was their lone legitimate player) and Lost Forest has made a nice pickup in Robert Bickmore. Bickmore beat Eliot Lopez twice last season, so Lost Forest will have two strong singles guys to use. How much the "leftover" will help the doubles lineup is certainly a big question.

As usual, Allen Teague has his troops wait until the last minute to sign up. He's an old captain who's seen the wars and hates to give out any information about his team. Suffice it to say that he will have a strong singles player, probably a new guy, as Lawrence Sambito seems to have lost a bit off his old game. The team's success will depend in great part on how much Teague and Deluca play. They're no longer much of a factor on the 5.0 level and indeed were very average last year in 4.5.

The sleeper team may be the Met. They have some unknown commodities, but suffice it to say that Danny Weingeist, Craig Hiddleston and John Sullivan are very solid 5.0 players (Hiddleston has moved down from 5.5). I expect them not to be an easy out, but Bickmore's addition to Lost Forest may have tipped the scales in their direction.

Jochen Moser's Memorial Park squad is clearly over their heads and playing 5.0 for practice. The Rice team will be dangerous, as Arun Nanjappa appears to be the best player in the league. He crushed Bickmore in a tournament just a month or two ago. Ira Jamshidi is probably a strong player as well, but it will be interesting to see how much damage they can do in doubles. Li and Regent can hang in 5.0, but will probably be spending most of their time in 4.5. The rest of the doubles guys are very poor players for this level. Jorge Cuesta is an unknown.

My picks: Lost Forest in a close race over the Met. (I'll waffle and say this is subject to change when the rosters are in.)

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