I'll be the first to say it: we flat out weren't good at this year's NWLA Tournament. Prior to this year, we'd never finished worse than 4th. Now we have to go to Regionals next year just to qualify. Makes you wonder: what happened?
There's not really an excuse for our case of suck, we had a tough pool, a tough DE draw, and were bitten by the injury bug. It was really a perfect storm of things that kept us from making a run, but this perfect storm really uncovered our fatal flaw and shoved it down our throats.
We won this tournament last year riding three guys through double elimination. That's just not a sustainable way to do things. So, for 2018, we're blowing up the roster. Just completely starting from scratch. As of today, 0/8 rosters spots are full. They'll be open to anyone who plays OCWA over the next year. The better you do, the better your chances.
Why do this when you can win two titles anyway? Because we can't continue to rely on two or three guys. Because every other team brings their best eight guys. Because we need to get with the times. Because we need to open spots up for our other guys who want to come. And finally, because everyone that was on the team before has an equal opportunity as guys who have never been. NWLA experience will factor into some of the roster decisions, but how much remains to be seen.
We can't let two pitchers just shoulder the whole load anymore, because as we saw this year, when one goes down so does the team. The idea is to bring guys who can help in multiple ways. You need to hit well, be able to pitch in certain situations, and be able to field a bit. We're using OCWA events and any other outside things you play in as tryouts. Play well, and you'll get a spot.
The other idea is to put guys on the team who are committed and know their role. In essence, you having a spot on the 8 man doesn't mean you'll be playing in DE. We, like every other team out there, shrink to four for DE games. If you can settle in to your role, you'll be a good addition.
I'll take this opportunity to say that Ryan and I will be acting as the General Managers of the team. Roster decisions will go through both of us, but this leaves a role open. The Manager spot, as well as all coaching positions, will be open to who wants them. If I make the team based on my merits, somebody else will step into the Manager spot. If not, I'll retain Manager, and fill my other spots with key guys.
We have some really cool incentives for both our players and our coaches that we can run down later, but for now just keep battling for those spots. Scouting starts this weekend. Every at bat, pitch, and fielding chance matters.
I'll leave you with this: