With the 2017 MIAA baseball season coming to an end (with only the state championship games to be played) here are some thoughts to end the season.
- It was an up and down year for many of the state’s premiere baseball programs which led to a lot of conversations heading into the final decisions by the Super 8 committee. Although the committee took some heat, it seems as though they got it right by getting the best eight teams into the Super 8 field. Taconic is still making a case for itself by playing against Wellesley in the Division 1 state championship today but it is clear that a team’s strength of schedule plays a huge role in which teams ultimately make it to the Super 8.
- When will the MIAA finally reach out to the Boston Red Sox organization to see about the possibility of playing some or all of the Super 8 games at Fenway Park? There are plenty of open dates at Fenway to make this happen and this would be a huge win for both the kids playing and the fans that would have a better chance to attend these games.
- Super 8 final selections clearly show that to be considered for the field a school needs to challenge itself with a tough out of conference schedule while also taking care of business in conference. Teams in the Bay State and Catholic Conferences face brutal in conference schedules that better prepares them for playing in a tournament like the Super 8.
- A possible rule change that might keep games moving along at a better pace would be to eliminate substitute runners. Players should stay in the game and run for themselves or a substitute should have to stay in the game as a replacement player.
- Moving to wood bats would be a positive position for the MIAA to adopt as it would make games move along faster while also allowing for a more traditional style of play. To help pay for the cost differential the MIAA could divert money from tournament play to help offset the cost for teams having to purchase bats. If the games are played at Fenway there will be a lot more money to divide up!
- It is time for a pitch count in the MIAA. Baseball is much better without coaches getting caught up in the moment of a high school game and putting their pitchers’ arms at risk by pitching them too much or too soon after a previous outing. While most coaches respect their players’ arms others take advantage and it is needed to help protect an athlete’s future.
- Congratulations to St. John’s Shrewsbury on a terrific 2017 championship season!