Friday, May 27, 2011

Playoff Picture.

It's dead at work today. Can you tell? There are still a few events which could dramatically change things, but here is how the playoff picture looks right now. I expect a little drama before all is said and done, however.

Obviously in 5.0 Willow Fork has become the favorite with Sugar Creek's win last night. They've got a big one with Lakeside next week, and rumor has it that Hasker may be out of town. Willow Fork is in the driver's seat. The interesting question is: will there be a second 5.0 team from Houston at Sectionals this year? In 2009 there were two 5.0 wild card teams at Sectionals, in 2008 there was one, and there were none last year. It's a longshot.

As you probably know, the 4.5 playoff qualifiers will be the five division winners and three wildcards. I think that Copperfield, the Hurricanes, the Deucebags and JCC-Blast are pretty much automatics at this point, leaving four spots. I expect Lakeside to win their division, so let's make it five. Can NWO or the Coaches put up a good enough record to get a bid? A similar situation exists with Taylor HS, Shwing, and the Black Sheep. There just aren't enough scrubs in those two divisions to ensure the second place team of a playoff berth. In fact, if Freddy's RPM squad turns out to be even remotely competent, they can fatten up on the dregs of that division to sneak into the postseason, perhaps at the expense of teams like Black Sheep or the Coaches. Chancellor's ugly loss last night makes it unlikely, but still possible, that a second team will come from the Blast's division. Sugar Creek or Chancellor's will probably have to beat the Blast to make it in.

In 4.0, there are still a few question marks, but much of the playoff picture is clear already. Similar to 4.5, the six division winners and 4 wildcards will qualify. For now, it looks like CR Comets, Lakeside, Unicorns, Hurricanes, Chancellors, The Good Guys, RPM and GTAC all have things almost locked down. Copperfield, Mason Creek, Sienna Aces and Westside Warrior appear to be fighting for the final two slots.

98 comments:

  1. never liked the titans 4.5, 5.0, but glad they woke up and make things interesting. every story needs a nemesis. great win for bharath, he's a beast, but really is a true 5.5 player and a super nice guy.

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  2. In 4.0, you mention CR Comets as a contender - did you mean CR Wranglers? They've been having their way with that division, pitching shutouts at 4 of their 6 opponents (including the Comets). A dark horse other teams might want to take notice of...

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  3. Excuse me, I meant the Wranglers. They certainly have an impressive record, but one has to question the level of competition...

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  4. Chancellors has a lot talent to go with way too many 4.0 bump ups, and then you throw in by far the most imcompetent captain across all of Houston league tennis equaling a big mess and a disgruntled team sitting it out for playoffs.

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  5. It's not the captains fault.

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  6. Chancellors has 7 real 4.5 players. Hung N, Huy N, James B, Charles N, Thai C, Lan N and Andy D.

    I don't know what their lineup was but if they don't use most of those guys they are in trouble.

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  7. It's always the captains fault - even if it's not.

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  8. It is the captains fault. It's all about the line up.

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  9. It's interesting to project seeds for 4.0 as well. Since there will be one juggernaut team amongst the lower seed (Chancellors or Hurricanes or Both) individual wins/losses could play a huge roll in playoff success. I wonder if top teams will purposely tank some matches once some of the big remaining matches take place. If hurricanes do beat Chancellors again they're probably looking at a 4 seed, do you think anyone really wants to be #1 in that case?

    Assuming past outcomes predict future ones (Hurricane's over Chancellors, etc) I think this is how the seeds would look. I also made a few predictions - Good Guys over RPM for example:

    Undefeated teams (Losses in parenthesis)
    1 - Lakeside (2)
    2 - Unicorns (3)
    3 - Cinco Ranch Wranglers (5)
    4 - Hurricanes (9)
    5 - Good Guys (12)
    6 - Slice & Dice (14)

    Two loss teams - 2nd placers
    7 - Chancellors (10)
    8 - RPM (15)
    9 - Sienna Aces (15)
    10 - Mason Creek/Copperfield (20)

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  10. chancellors can still win their division. they have to beat blast and smoke the other 2 scrub team. that leaves them 6-2. that means they need titans to beat blast as well. the final result will be 3 teams, chancellors, titans, blast all with 6-2 record. then it would narrow down to individual wins.

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  11. HTA is not stupid enough to seed just based on the record, are they? That Cinco Ranch division is a complete joke and so is the Unicorns and Lakesides. Everyone knows Spoor set up the divisions for his own benifit and will do the same in play-offs.

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  12. Look like the Asian made salami out of the sandwich blaster, or whatever his name is.

    Minh Hoang will be best 4.0 player in state by two more week. Chancellor has best team.

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  13. Ha Ha Ha! I'm having such a great day now! Looks like all the trash talking that you guys do finally did yall in. Serves you just about right.

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  14. Yes, HTA will seed by record. And, yes, the divisions were set up various people to benefit their teams. Nobody said that life was fair!

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  15. Unicorns (2) - losses not three.

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  16. edward kiss is the best player in the league that nobody knows about.

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  17. "Unicorns (2) - losses not three. "

    2 so far, but still have 1/3 of the season to go, had to do some projecting. Stands to reason their sandwich could get blasted with salami again, no?

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  18. The seeding in 4.5 could make for very interesting playoff brackets also. Looks like Hurricanes and Lakeside are locks for 1 and 2 seeds.

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  19. 'The HTA is not stupid enough'...that may be the dumbest post ever on this blog and that is really reaching into the bottom of the barrel!

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  20. have the good guys and the rpm made up their rain match? anyone know the outcome if freddy is not posting it ?

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  21. I think douds is the best player in the league 4.5 and 5.0, forget the asians

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  22. asians no good, too much rice

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  23. @4:50 I could answer, but Freddy said that if anyone on the team posts on this blog, he will kick us off the team. Am I in trouble already? He is VERY scary!

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  24. Shut your pie hole Robert, or Freddy will cut you off.

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  25. Honestly, why make up rain outs promptly? There is absolutely no incentive to make them up if you are in contention. Once your opponents are out of contention they will probably just default the lines to you and give you a giant advantage in any tiebreakers.

    Freddie's just being smart and working the rest of you fools that make up promptly. It's HTA that sucks because they know that captains like Freddie are doing this and do nothing.

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  26. If freddie defaults lines or matches, all of his matches and lines for the summer will have same results even those matches played.

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  27. Ok, so I know that Freddie is HTA President, but what the hell is going on with the Big Bangers?

    They got rained out on the 12th. No makeup. What about their match on the 19th? The rumor is that the lights got turned off on a match. How long does it take to make up the last 15 minutes of one match?

    HELLOOO, HTA! Tell Freddie to get his $#*! together. Screw this. I suggest to every captain that reads this blog, don't report any more scores on TennisLink until the Bangers start making up matches and reporting scores.

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  28. Freddie's not defaulting crap. I guarantee you that we'll make the playoffs with only one loss. Book it.

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  29. The whole 4.5 division structure is utterly craptastic. Teams like Sweetwater with three (3!) 4.5 players end up forcing a stupid 5 divisions of five team structure. Which of course leads to the, oh so easy to manipulate, 5 winners + 3 wildcard playoff qualification.

    Oh and I forgot to mention the stupid division composition. Weakass teams likes the Big Bangers and the Duecebags will make cities while good teams like Sugarcreek stuck in a tough division will sit at home. God, what a giant incompetent screwup!

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  30. HTA would need to really look at the divisions and also take a poll from everybody involve to see what is fair for the team, The division make up is not fair for other team, we want the best team to go to city playoff and It would look really bad during city playoff if the wrong team makes it and gets blown out in every match, so please who ever is involve with HTA look into this issue, My team might make it to the playoffs because we have a week division and I will be so embarrased because I know we are going to get blown out by the stronger teams.

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  31. The HTA doesn't give a crap about fair, or right, or what the members want. They did 1 poll over Cheryl's objections. She is still mad that it happened. It will never happen again. The divisions were set up to benefit certain captains. It always happens like that. The HTA is corrupt and incompetent. That is a big reason why the number of participants in leagues and tournaments is down.

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  32. there is nothing wrong with how the teams are divided. the teams are usually decided before the players sign up.

    4.5 div2 seems unfair for blacksheep, but not really. schwings were 2-5 and gypsies were 2-6.

    4.5 div5 seems unfair for the titans, last years city champ, but last year jcc was 3-5, and chancellors was 2-6.

    records were taken from last year and the top teams get split to different div. however, some losing team get better and now they are competitive, so deal with it and stop whining

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  33. @9:57 Thanks for your input Freddy & Mike. You did a great job with the divisions. I am amazed that you posted together.

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  34. Why would you not take into affect the better rosters. That's the whole point. At the time of sign ups sugar creek had 2 players on their roster. They should get 0 credit whether city champs or not based on their roster. It was an awful job of dividing teams up. Simple as that

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  35. Unicorns for the win!!!

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  36. Here's an amazing simple concept for preseason seeding and division construction that is totally objective. REQUIRE captains to sign up the majority of their players before divisions are created. RANK the teams based on the TennisLink records of the players on the team from previous summers.

    If a team consists of self-rates or doesn't have anyone good signed up by the time divisions are created, they get an inferior seeding and don't get to feast on weak teams.

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  37. I personally think the HTA did a pretty good job with the divisions. Hindsight is always 20:20. Diana can't possibly know how every roster is going to fill out or can't be familiar with the strength of every player. They have to take into account geography and previous success/failure of teams in trying to equalize the divisions. It's very hard to project which new team will be horrendous and which will be mildly competitive. I tried my hand at creating the 4.5 divisions before the season started and I doubt I did any better than Diana, and I'm familiar with mostly all of the players. I assure you that Diana has no vested interest in how the divisions turn out. It will never turn out perfectly. It's possible that Freddy's team will be the beneficiary of divisional inequality this year, but let's see how things play out before we get up in arms, as they have a lot of matches yet to play and players capable of losing matches to marginal players.

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  38. I also personally think the HTA did about as good a job as they could with the information they had at the time. With so many bad teams and every team wanting to play more than 6 or 7 matches, there had to be 6 and 5 divisions. This watered everything down and made the regular season boring for the top teams. However, it will end up making the regular season a lot of fun in the last couple weeks for the teams fighting for the wild-card spots in the playoffs.

    The biggest issue is that the HTA allowed the members of the League Committee with vested interests in the outcome to have any input on the divisions. Freddy Soewito and Mike Spoor are the League Committee Chairmen and its hard to look at how the 4.0 and 4.5 divisions ended up being grouped and not see how each of their teams didn't benefit. I hear that Mike has one of the better 4.0 teams so it probably would not have made any difference which division his team ended up in. Freddy, on the other hand, has a very average 4.0 team and a bottom feeder 4.5 team; however, both his teams managed to end up in divisions where they have a strong chance of making the city playoffs.

    Even if they was nothing shady going on, it sure looks like it.

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  39. Freddy telling his teams that he took care of them with the divisions he set up doesn't help.

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  40. Hacker, you're being way too easy on HTA.

    Figuring out the bottom feeders is incredibly easy if HTA forced most of the team members to be signed up. Just look at the percentage of the team members that are at level (4.5) versus team size. It correlates to team performance very well. For example, here are at-level percentages versus current division standing

    Division 1

    LCC 83%
    Katy 100%
    NWO 100%
    LE 61%
    Dudes 67%

    Division 2

    Taylor 78%
    Schwng 100%
    BS 100%
    Slam 58%
    Phoenx 38%

    Division 3

    Hurric 94%
    GTAC 63%
    Clamb 57%
    BigBan 93% (No matches reported)
    Gossip 58%

    Division 4

    Copper 100%
    DeuceB 94%
    LostF 75%
    BallB 92%
    Jedi 100%

    Division 5

    Blast 86%
    Chanc 90%
    SugarC 100%
    Sienna 100%
    Sweetw 22%


    Looking at the numbers, a good criterion for being a "bottom feeder" would be if more than 25% of the team members are 4.0. The percentages make it obvious that Freddie (who put together the divisions) gave himself a fee ride to the playoffs in division 3 by including three bottom feeders in his division.

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  41. 10:38, the only problem with your numbers is a 4.5 team can sign up a numerous amount of 4.0 players on their team to get the percentage down and never have to play them.

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  42. LOL. Good job, Freddie. You managed to schedule your team's division with 3 crappy teams who have never even played summer 4.5 USTA. Of course, the problem is that your team sucks so bad it will probably lose anyways. But, I gotta admire you for trying.

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  43. 10:57 - Why would I sign up a bunch of 4.0s so I can get my team labeled as sucking and end up in a division with decent teams?

    If I want to manipulate things in my favor, I'd have only my 4.5s sign up first. Of course, some teams don't have any 4.5s (cough, cough, ... SWEETWATER).

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  44. Maybe I'm being too easy, but I just know that when I was trying to separate the 4.5 teams into divisions, I was concerned primarily with separating what I thought were the "top" teams somewhat equally, and then trying to ensure that teams wouldn't have to drive halfway across the city for their matches. I must admit I didn't pay much attention to making any distinction between a team like Sweetwater and the Clambakes.

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  45. The fundamental screwup was HTA not enforcing it's own rules, at least four 4.5s on a 4.5 team. One player (the 4.5 captain of Sweetwater) fubared the whole season so he could captain his own mostly 4.0 team.

    With four six team divisions, we could have played a 10 match season with no byes and taken the top two in each division instead of this stupid wildcard structure. The bitching is going to be mega-intense when the Big Bangers report all of their scores on July 1st and mysteriously squeak into the playoffs as a wildcard.

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  46. Seems like a clean fix would be for folks with a vested interest to recuse (as the lawyers would say) themselves from the conversation/decisions. Women on the committee would help draw the mens' divisions, and guys could could help with stuff on that side. Keep it transparent, obvious, and above board. It is not that complicated if the folks in charge would quit being stupidly selfish and short sighted.

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  47. Great discussion gentleman some valid points all around with some thought behind them but have any of you discussed this with Pete Rios? I'm sure his opinion is necessary to capture any goodwill the HTA might have and his law degree in tanking matches might help. He is an expert is some things...

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  48. I think they need a committee of 4.0 teaching pros to really have the right weight to the decisions. add Alex Montes another Hurricane 4.0 pro. Do we have any other candidates?

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  49. Phew! It had been almost two days without a mention of Pete. I was getting worried that this blog had drifted into apathy.

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  50. Pete Rios of course is a 4.0 teaching pro, Pete is not 4.0 this guy is at least 5.5 he can play back to back matches with no effort, yes he lost in mix at mason creek, but he had already play way too many matches that day, I think he is one of the best players in houston and should be rewarded with a city play off in all leagues, Oh my bad he earns it cause he can win it.

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  51. Pete Rios is my HERO!

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  52. Babu for President. Why didn't Sienna play him last Thursday vs the Unicorns?

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  53. who babu? monkey?

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  54. Pete Rios is definitely not a 5.5. He is an average 4.5 at best. He would have a hard time with Schmucker or Goldberg. He currently lacks the consistancy to be an upper tier 4.5.

    Furthermore he seems to be a nice guy, most of what is said about him on this website is simply made up.

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  55. Hey Htown, I need some lessons. Who is the best 4.0 tennis pro on your team?

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  56. Gotta love taking lessons from someone whose NTPR is less than mine!

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  57. Most really good teaching pros, especially those with a few years of teaching experience under their belts, have very little time to maintain their competitive game because they're spending all their court time teaching others. How many of you would want to spend your "time off" on the court after putting in 50-60 hours of teaching time each week?

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  58. And you don't need to be a top rated player to be a great coach. It's equally if not more important that you be a good student of the game, creative in how you teach, with the ability to adapt according to the needs of your students, and passionate about what you do.

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  59. True statement look at Bolletteiri he is probably the most famous non playing coach. Some of the worst coaches I've ever worked with have been the most talented players. More importantly what the freaking hell is going on was watching an unbelievable match between Ferrer and Monfils and they cut away for senior fucking golf? Maybe if Tiger ever gets to the senior division I might watch. On the bright side at least they didn't cut away to mixed doubles, don't know of any sports worse than that.

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  60. OK, maybe, but the crappist real tennis teaching pros can do better than 4.0 NTPR; unless they are actively cheating by managing their NTPR. What does it say about the clubs that they can't hire anyone who can play better than 4.0? What does it say about Rios or Montes that they don't have any more pride or respect for their profession? I wonder if Freeman is paying for their services?

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  61. I hope Freddy gets arrogant enough to actually play on any of his teams. That will make his cheating irrelevant. His play can drag the team down worse than his crummy job as a captain.

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  62. At the end of the day, the only way you are going to improve your NTPR rating (and your tennis) is to play competitively on a regular basis and I think that's difficult for a teaching pro to do - especially a busy one. And if they're out of the loop for a while, their rating will drop. And for me personally, I'd rather work with a great teacher any day over a great player.

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  63. I love the idea of taking lessons from cheaters. After all, cheating really is the best way to improve your NTPR. @4:41 The 'R' in 'NTPR' is for Rating.

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  64. Very true, A lot of good teachers don't have time to play or practice themselves, there are a lot of them out there does not mean they are weak if they lose to some good players, they don't play as much as league guys, and there are also a lot of very very good players that can't teach the game and they too don't stop to teach because they don't know how. Kudos to those teachers that are still great at their respectable level, Tim, Red, Ford, Straley, Bobo etc. and that's including Rios to be able to play different levels of tennis. Now that talent and love for the game. Keep going Pete

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  65. I heard Titans just recruited a very good singles player, This player can beat Jim with no effort. Look out league here comes the CLASH WITH THE TITANS

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  66. In a mid-season move, the Titans have traded future late round draft picks for.... PETE RIOS! They are the clear favotites to win it all!

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  67. The Titans just added Babu... go Babu!

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  68. titans have a mountain to climb. the best record they can be is 6-2. blast only need to beat titans or chancellors one more time to clinch the division. being 6-2 and hunting for 1 of 3 playoffs spots is going to tough with 4 other divisions and there will be a but load of of 6-2 teams. probably 2 from each division

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  69. Freddy for President and Pete for vice

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  70. An amusing thing about the HTA 4.5 league is that those players that are winning are generally not really 4.5 players. We've had guys play 4.5 that won matches at Wimbledon, members of NCAA championship teams, lots of guys that played for serious college teams, as well as a bunch that had national rankings as juniors.

    Personally I like it. If you have to play one of these guys, think about it as a cheap lesson.

    I very much appreciate those teaching pros that consent to play in our league. They're great fun to watch. Yeah, a lot of them aren't match tough and they come out on the court after a whole day of teaching out in the sun. But some of those ol' boys are really good.

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  71. What's all this hating on Rios?

    I saw him play just once, but he wasn't particularly full of himself and he's quite good.

    He may not be the best player in the league, but I bet he'd beat most of the idiots hating on him. And, let's face it, he's a legit 5.0. Which means that he fits right in the 4.5 league.

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  72. I agree with 7:48 100 percent. I know Pete and he came back a year ago after dropping the rackets for 7 yrs and probably gaining 70 or 80 lbs. If he gets his game half as good as it used to be he would be a dominant 5.0. Right now he is probably a higher tier 4.5 doubles player and avg 4.5 singles player. All he is doing is getting better and props to him for picking the sticks back up and trying to compete. Anybody who thinks he is full of himself is out of their mind. He is one of the most likeable guys on the tennis scene and there is a lot of made up bs about him on here. Good luck Pete

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  73. hey 9:02, that is sweet of you

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  74. rios suck, period. not a top 4.5 summer league caliber and it shows. who cares if he is out of shape, it's about your game. go dominate 4.0, before you start riding your own jock in 4.5. being a legit 5.0? you cant even win a local 4.5 tournament. if the blast makes it to city playoffs, you will not win one singles match.

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  75. So I am confused. Aren't you supposed to play as good as you can in every match? If Pete is a nice guy, then why is he playing 4.0 tennis where he will never lose a match? That seems like cheating to me.

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  76. Is there anyone else who is a teaching pro full time that plays 4.0 tennis?

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  77. The whole Hurricanes 4.0 team except Freeman.

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  78. BS just Alex Montes...he works as a Pro for Huber Ranch and plays 4.0.

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  79. @7:48 You are correct. I am a decent player who got kicked by Rios @ 4.0. I have a job to earn a living. I don't play tennis all day. I would stop by JCC and pay if I wanted a lesson from Pete. I am looking for honest competition in league with guys at my level. What kind of pussy is trying to get his jollies pounding guys in league?

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  80. hmmm, looks to me that rios only has two 4.0 wins in summer league and it's been in doubles, both third set tie-breakers. if you're a teaching "pro" and rated 4.0, then that's all you are is a ball feeder. here's some advice, if you're a 4.0 player, you should take lessons from someone who's 4.5 and above. never take lessons from someone you can beat. if he's giving you lessons, then maybe he needs lessons on how to beat you. THINK!

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  81. What is a teaching pro? Someone who is paid to hit tennis balls. Period. That's it, they're not a touring pro.

    Most teaching pros spend 6-8 hours a day hitting baskets of balls to 8 years old wannabe juniors and 52 year old ladies who want to improve their day tennis. Most teaching pro's games are terrible because they never have time to play competitively. They also avoid playing good players because they don't want their clients to see them lose.

    There's a reason that USTA only mandates that teaching pros self-rate at 4.0 or above. Most of them suck. Now, quit your whining and go kick their ass. It's not that hard. If you can't, then it's probably because you suck too.

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  82. Freemen's players are always going to get criticized. It is mostly jealousy because Freeman wins so much. I will say that there are plenty of 4.0 players in the city who can beat Rios, but he seems like a nice guy to me.

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  83. 12:18, amen brotha

    if you spend 8 hours on the courts everyday and cant beat someone that plays once a week, then you really SUCK

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  84. we often forget its the freeman/greg (htwnhacker) hurricanes. They are all legit 4.5 players that are playing down. often the problem they run into is that they tend to try and manage scores (tanking or loose) and told to do so by their captain/co-captain. Although it sucks for us average 4.0s out there, the real truth is that this is what it takes to get to nationals and a shot to win nationals. All the other teams at nationals do play at this level and there are only two opens for us. either we just play for the fun/exercise of the sport or strive to improve our game and hope to catch these 4.0 wannabes off guard as they tank.

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  85. Freeman made it to Nationals in 4.0 only one I think. If he is cheating he is not very good at it. There team is not even as good as Lakeside or Chancellors this year probably. Montes and Rios both suck for being pros.

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  86. At last, 10:24, someone who understands why these guys do what they do. It is NOT about winning matches at the local league level. But one word of advice, you don't want to beat a guy who's tanking against you, unless you want an unwarranted bump to 4.5.

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  87. I tried to out tank a Freeman disciple during a match b/c I didn't want a win that way.

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  88. 4.5 early results and predictions
    div1-
    lakeside stays undefeated and wins div.
    coaches have 2 loses and need to win next 3, but one against lakeside, coaches out
    nwo has one lost and will meet coaches this week. biggest match in nwo history, a win should secure them with a 6-2 record, cuz their next lost will be in the hands of lakeside again.
    - lakeside in playoffs, the rest of teams will have at least 3 loses

    div2
    gypsies have one lost, and will have to play schwwings twice. i think they will split one win each and end up 6-2
    schwings are undefeated, but have to play gypsies and bs twice. i can see them splitting as well and end up 6-2
    bs has one lost and have to play schwings twice. i can see them splitting as well and end up 6-2
    - gypsies, schwinggs, bs all end up 6-2

    div3
    canes stay undefeated and wins div
    gtac has one lost, but no results from playing against big bangers. if the beat big bangers twice, then overall will be 6-2
    big bangers has nothing posted, but they will have to beat gtac twice and be 6-2
    - canes in playoffs, gtac or big bangers 6-2

    div4
    copperfield stays undefeated and wins div
    dbags overall will be 6-2, unless they beat copperfield and both will be 7-1
    - copperfield in playoffs, dbags 6-2

    div5
    blast still have to play chancellors and titans one more time. overall will be 7-1 and wins div
    titans have 2 loses will have to beat blast and end up 6-2
    chancellors have 2 loses and will have to beat blast to be 6-2
    -blast wins div, titans 6-2

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  89. Knobody kan out-tank Knutson. He has Kno shame.

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  90. Most years you would figure there might be an upset, but all those teams probably WILL finish 6-2 since the low-end teams are just SOOOOOO bad this year.

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  91. You heard it here first. The Blast will miss the playoffs.

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  92. Babu... be afraid, very afraid.

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  93. Come on... be serious. For being a team their first year they are doing extremely well. Give captain Joe credit. Team Blast will not miss the playoff.

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  94. Good job & keep it up Joe...Go get'em Pete!

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  95. Go Pete! Sorry you did not get that Opthalmology residency.

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