Thursday, May 31, 2012

This week

Haven't had much time to look at anything this week.  The only match of consequence that I'm aware of is between Lakeside and the Mob Squad in 4.5.  I'm sure there are others...has that wild card situation been clarified yet?????

Friday, May 25, 2012

Things have heated up.

There was a lot going on last night. I was out at Sugar Creek to see the much-anticipated rematch between the Mob Squad and JAM. Sugar Creek took the Mob to the woodshed, winning 5-0. I've seen Sydney Jim play much better, but he was able to break through the rust/nerves against a tough opponent to win a first set tiebreaker and cruised in the second.

Sugar Creek has got to be in the discussion of teams with a legitimate chance to make it to Nationals. Mario Hornsby is allegedly their top doubles player, and he and Simon Jim looked dangerous last night when they got it rolling. Add in the always solid Burrmann/Day combo and you've got three legitimate Sectionals quality lines. The question marks will be that second singles line and the third doubles line. Tim Marco is playing with renewed vigor, and he and Stephen Coyle convincingly won a match where I thought they were slight underdogs last night. Kevin Lotz at line two singles doesn't appear as fit as last year. We'll see if eventually that costs them. They do have other options there (Baer, Cooney, Coyle et al.).

A couple of new players made their debuts last night in 4.5.  I'd heard good things about Robert Baker and wondered if he would be able to get the Good-er Guys over the hump against the Blast last night. He and Ward Jannuzzi were unable to take down Eric Kiser and Craig Richardson last night, falling in straight sets, despite Baker's huge serve. I was told before the season started that Kiser and Richardson would not lose this year. I was doubtful. Looks like I may have been wrong.

California import Cy MacKinnon was the other new face last night, putting a big scare into always solid Ryan Cooper before falling in the super breaker. The Blast appear to have added some firepower that will make them a player in citywides. I REALLY hope Houston gets a wild card in 4.5 this year. If you assume, as I do, that JAM will win in 4.5, that would leave a really exciting fight for a second spot. The Black Sheep, Copperfield, Blast and maybe the Hurricanes all appear to have really strong teams. And JAM is by no means a shoe-in to beat any of them.

The huge battle in 4.0 was not a disappointment last night. I had received some texts which seemed to indicate that the Warriors were cruising early against the Mob Squad. It looked like they had two lines in hand early. But things can change quickly, and the Mob came storming back to take a 3-2 win, with not too much drama, as all matches were straight setters. Nice to see Joseph Mai making a huge contribution in the victory. Cuong Truong absolutely destroyed Terry Hobbs, who had beaten him the first time the two teams met.

The only other 4.0 news I heard was that Andrew Nguyen had yet again put up another double bagel. Apparently the score managing memo never reached the Good Guys. More power to 'em. There was a lot of discussion years ago about whether 6-0, 6-0 matches are used in computer ratings calculations. The theory was that many captains inadvertently enter defaults as 6-0, 6-0, so the computer throws them out when it calculates its DNTRPs. Whether that's true or not is anybody's guess, but it's got to be the only thing that might save Nguyen from a DQ. The kid must be a damn good player.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Big Week

Some big matches this week, with the Mob Squad taking center stage. They have a crucial match against Sugar Creek in 4.5. The playing status of Sydney Jim has been much discussed and is the million dollar question. If you're the Mob Squad, do you try to anticipate where he'll play and adjust your lineup accordingly?

In 4.0, The Mob Squad looks to avenge their week one loss to Westside's Warriors. How crucial is this match? Who knows. We still have no idea of the Wild Card situation, so the match could be do-or-die. Or not. Unbelievable.

We will also see the 4.5 rematch of the Deucebags and Copperfield this week. There have been some roster changes since the week one Copperfield win. On paper, Copperfield looks too strong for the Bags. But they don't play the matches on paper...

Also in 4.5, the surprising Good-er Guys take on the JCC Blast. The Good-er guys have added a player, Robert Baker, who may make an impact. Will it be enough? I tend to say "No".

There are several matches in 4.0 with possible playoff implications. Or not. Who knows? Rolido Boys take on the Hurricanes, who beat them 3-2 in week one. RPM plays the Good Guys in another matchup of first and second place teams.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Changing Landscape

Obviously the Sugar Creek loss in 4.5 was the big news last night. What a three horse race it's shaping up to be in that division! Next week's battle between the Mob Squad and Sugar Creek will be a must-see for me.

I'm just looking at the scores now, but I've already noticed a HUGE development in 4.0, as Copperfield has added Cy-Falls star Zach Salinas and Langham Creek's Heath Bromley. One high school coach I spoke with absolutely raved about them. With Daniel Kallus and Mike Salinas manning the singles slot, they have three very good lines. If they add another junior or two, they will be a notch above anyone else in 4.0.

People are telling me that there will be only one Wild Card in 4.0? Is this confirmed? Incidentally, one of my biggest pet peeves is the fact that the number of Wild Cards is not announced before the season starts. Can you imagine if the NFL or MLB did something like that?

Rolido Boys won 4-1 last night and stayed in contention for the Wild Card(s?). Current second place teams with 4 matches recorded: Rolido Boys 14-6, Mob Squad 14-6, RPM 13-7, Sienna 14-6, Phoenix 15-5, Pin Oak 13-7. If there's only one spot, that's quite a dogfight.

The Good-er guys are the surprise of the season in 4.5, and they kept rolling last night, with Jannuzzi's loss to young, talented JT Fischer being the only blemish.

The Blast kept rolling last night, with both singles guys putting up ridiculous double bagels. Don't think I've ever seen BOTH singles guys do that before. If the Jedi Knights ever disbanded, Tom Caine would get a big free agent contract offer.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

This Week's Ramblings

I haven't posted anything since last week. I'd say the biggest news of the week was the Copperfield tournament.The most interesting development, league-wise, was the performance of Greg Nitayamekin. His wins over John Patch and Pete Rios have stamped him as a powerhouse should he decide to qualify in 4.0. The kid plays a ton, and is a really good ball striker. Nice to see his improvement over the last year.

In 4.5 news, I noticed Hersh Pise straight-setted Anuj Singh, one of Copperfield's hot shot juniors. Maybe we SHOULDN'T be putting too much stock in those 3 kids... Matt Schlensker had an outstanding tournament, which should earn him some more playing time in a singles role for the Deucebags.

If I had to submit a ballot of my "top 10" every week, the Westside Black Sheep may have moved up without doing anything. I'm more skeptical about the Copperfield juniors, and with every passing week I get more doubtful that Sydney Jim will play 4.5. Without him, Sugar Creek is certainly beatable.

In 4.0 the team that intrigues me most is the Westside Warriors. They may have snuck up on the Mob Squad in week one, but they obviously have talent, and Etienne will be a tough out for anybody. I'd have to put him at the top of the 4.0 heap until someone knocks him off. I have no idea how good Andrew Nguyen is...but will be surprised if he remains eligible. He self-rated at 3.5...does this offer a little extra cushion for disqualification at the 4.0 level? I wouldn't think so...

I still think the Mob Squad and Hurricanes are the two best 4.0 teams, but Westside and Copperfield bear watching. There's been little news out of Lakeside because, frankly, their roster is not sexy and their division seems weak. Plus, their huge flame-out in the playoffs last year has left many people wondering if their time has passed.

Barring an upset, the 5.0 race may well have been decided last week.

As for this week's matches....yawn.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Week Four Results, please learn to park

So Week 4 got played somehow without issue.  The weather looked a bit-iffy at LLTC as did the parking tonight.  Who is this bendeho in the cheap Bemer?   Look folks, we all rush from work/school/home and fight traffic to get to limited parking only to find this asshat parked across two of the front spots.  Please.

Here are the results as the pour in ---
Good-er Guys squeaked by Hurricanes 4.5 in a tight one.
Lakeside rolled over Clambakes 4-1
Hurricanes 4.0 rolled 4-1

Any other drama tonight?  Rumor has it from high sources that the CuField Juniors are the real deal.  Let's see if they can nut up come July.

Happy trash talking.

Please also recall that this Sunday is mother's day. We all probably have someone to call/hug/whatever, so do it.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Week Four

Roster additions have certainly slowed down, although Odion Dibua joining the Copperfield team certainly made waves this week. How good are their juniors? I honestly thought Sugar Creek might end up with Odion and that their roster might end up being strong enough to make it to Nationals. That still may happen, of course, but now the big question is: just how good are those juniors that Copperfield added this year? Sugar Creek may have a legitimate hurdle in its quest for Dallas.

In other news, we already have our first DQ, as 4.0 player Vijaysimha Chitiyala from JCC was the victim. His team was not a legitimate threat, and his record (all playing #1 doubles) will not dazzle you.

Anybody know the story behind the dispute of Copperfield Shank and Whiff's (4.0) 3-2 win over Lost Forest last week?

On to this week's matchups: The biggies, as I see it, are: The two undefeated Copperfield 4.0 teams do battle. I wonder if Kallus will be in the lineup? LLTC Mob Squad 4.0 heads to West Side to take on the undefeated division leading Spin Doctors. I would expect the Squad to bring out all of their big guns with their backs to the wall.

The 4.5 schedule is fairly tame. Ward Jannuzzi, Chad Henagan and the Good-er Guys will face the 4.5 Canes. I haven't heard any news on when last week's Hurricane-Blast match will be completed, but these things usually drag on. Wow...that's it as far as remotely interesting matches (at least to me). I guess the surprising 2-1 Clambakes also deserve a mention as they face Lakeside Country Club. Lakeside looks like they may struggle to secure a playoff spot this year, so every line may be important.

Big matchup in 5.0 as prohibitive favorites Copperfield take on WillowFork-Hawaii 5.0, who are also undefeated.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Third Week

It looks like things are pretty uneventful this week. Hurricane 4.5 and JCC Blast is probably the feature attraction, while the Deucebags-Ssshhhwings match may also be interesting.

I took a quick glance at the rosters. A few interesting additions but nothing mind-blowing: The Clambakes have added Anthony Jones. Hurricane 4.5's added Hersch Pise. Jedi Knights added talented old-timer Steve Wedderburn. Mob Squad 4.0 added Edgar Dean, and Copperfield 4.0 added Daniel Kallus, who makes them very dangerous.