Hey everyone. I’m going to ignore this and basically just hope it goes away, permanently. (At least it’s too cold for snow?) There’s baseball being played somewhere, thankfully, so click on for a division-by-division rundown of the early days of 2016.
So, now that everything’s cooled off a bit, let’s take a look at the selection committees’ work before we start getting excited for these regionals to kick off. I’ll discuss the at-large decisions, travel arrangements, and tournament format as a Q&A. If there are any questions/issues I don’t address that you’d like me to, let me know, and I’ll add to the post. None of what I say is an endorsement of the committee’s decisions, I’m just trying to explain them.
Some conferences see the same one or two teams contending for the tournament title year after year. The MASCAC isn’t one of them. In 14 years of conference tournaments, only one program has managed to repeat. That was Bridgewater, who did the deed in both 2003-2004 and 2011-2012. It’s a testament to the league’s parity that the Bears didn’t even make this year’s tournament. We also saw a three-way tie for first and a race for the final playoff spot that came down to the final weekend. Add that to the storyline of Bob Corradi’s title-winning sendoff at Mass Maritime, and you’re looking at one of the most compelling conference tournaments in New England.
Just when we thought we were done with the snow, huh? Yet another weekend with a bunch of games cancelled, and these are conference games we’re talking about now. There was just enough turf and warmth for some teams to get outside up north, and a few were lucky enough to be playing down south. If you’re on grass, though, you better hope your facilities guys have an incentive-laden contract. They’ve got a busy week ahead if we don’t want to be canceling into the last weekend of March.
On the field, nobody really blew the doors off. None of the can’t-miss 4-0 and 5-0 weeks we’ve been seeing. Still, though, some good weeks, and plenty of exciting baseball. More after the jump.
If you’re in Florida this week, I’m jealous, and not just because of the weather. A good chunk of New England’s best start their spring trips this weekend, and they didn’t mess around with scheduling either. I usually do a Ranked Matchups section, but that’d be a post by itself this week. If you’re in Winter Haven, Auburndale, or Port Charlotte this weekend, you’re in for some great baseball.
Division III explodes onto the scene this weekend, with more than half of New England’s teams in action. It’s a deep region, with many of last year’s playoff teams returning talent and other teams waiting in the wings. Most of them have scheduled like they mean business, as you’ll see below, and it’ll prep them for what looks to be another year of tightly contested playoff chases and exciting conference tournaments. Here’s a conference-by-conference rundown of this weekend’s games.