By all accounts, despite the fact the Valley really had no impact in it, the inaugural “Baseball Super 8” looks to have surpassed all initial expectations. You’d have to say it is here to stay, or at least for the foreseeable future.
That said, the No. 1 tweak has to be a return to three divisions, plus the Super 8. The goal should always be at least 16 teams qualifying per sectional so every champ would have to win four games to get out of the district.
This is in the MIAA’s hands, and we all know what that means, right?
SOME HINDSIGHTIS IN ORDER
Hindsight is not only 20/20, it offers undisputable evidence in certain cases.
Masconomet’s run to the Division 2 state championship was a strong statement that the Chieftains, at 18-2, deserved a shot at the Super 8.
Masco never received a nomination, partly because folks believed the Chieftains’ schedule was weak.
Hamstrung by an 18-game Cape Ann League schedule, Masco coach T.J. Baril looked to his Northeast Conference roots, adding Beverly and Swampscott to round out his 20.
That was not looked upon favorably. Baril will have a chance to toughen up the non-league slate next year as Saugus leaves the CAL and returns to the NEC. That will open up two non-league dates.
The coach’s first call would likely be to St. John’s Prep, right? There is also a tradition of home-and-home series’ with Andover in the past.
CAL FLEXES MUSCLE
Back to the Cape Ann League for a minute. Imagine, Masco was punished, or at least downgraded, for going 16-2 in the CAL.
Talk about a league whose reputation is misunderstood.
The CAL placed four teams in sectional title games – Masco, Hamilton-Wenham, North Reading and Georgetown.
In all, seven of the 16 league teams made the playoffs. The CAL rolled to an overall 19-6 mark in the postseason, with three of the losses coming at the hands of another CAL team – North Reading ousted Hamilton; Hamilton eliminated Pentucket; Pentucket knocked off Lynnfield.