NCBL Commissioner Bill Beelen made it clear at the Spring Meeting that he better not see a “Secondhand Account of the Spring Meeting” pop up anywhere online. Unfortunately, Bill did not make a motion to block such a post, therefore it couldn’t be seconded, thus there was no vote – which means once again everyone gets a behind the scenes look at what the most powerful figures in the NCBL were up to several Sunday’s ago…according to my well placed sources.
The NCBL Spring Meeting usually the most interesting of the 3 annual meetings. It’s where prospective teams have to fight one another to get in the league, where established teams fight not to get voted out of their tier, and where Craig Cornell fights anyone he catches trying to lie on their resume.
Before we get to the main event fights, we had to get through the preliminary round, which featured 4 active umpires battling it out for the vacated Umpire Assignor title. Mark Keeping (The Rising Star), Maxime Leroux (The Multi-Sport Star), Sean Roche (The Former Title Holder), and Sean Wright (The Cuban Defector) each pleaded their case to the Managers of the NCBL. While each candidate had strong reasons why they should be elected, it was Mark Keeping playing the new baby card who walked away with a spot on the NCBL Executive.
Next we had 2 new teams fighting for 1.5 open spots in the league. Up first were the Bytowne Barons, represented by Evan Clark, who’s claim to fame was once playing on an imaginary coach-less Fredericton Monarchs baseball team. Their competition was the Beckwith Bandits, represented by the coaching offspring of Richard Dow and Patrick Lyons: Adam Lowry. In an effort to minimize debate and speed up the process, the league voted both teams in, with special conditions to the Bandits that they had to stay in Carleton Place for half the year.
The NCBL will be expanding with 2 new teams in 2016!
Welcome : Bytowne Barons and Beckwith Bandits#ncbl
— NCBL (@ncbl) March 6, 2016
The high point of any spring meeting is the tier structure pitches. This is where last place teams pinky promise they’ll be much better, and first place teams make up reasons for not wanting to move up a tier. The league then throws all those explanations & excuses out the window, and teams simply decide whether or not they like you, and then vote.
There were 4 pitches this year, and reading between the lines here’s what each team’s case was:
- The Outlaws pitch to stay in Tier 1 was based on this being their best chance to make the playoffs since moving up, now that the projected last place SweatSox are in the tier.
- The Sharks pitch to stay in Tier 3 was like every other pitch from every other team not wanting to move up a tier: piss your pants fear.
- The Bombers pitch to stay in Tier 3 was helped by a promise that they’d recruit at least 4 more former Athletics and Raiders.
- The Misfits had one of the rare NCBL “we didn’t finish 1st but still want to move up” pitches. Their pitch wasn’t based on the fact that they won a championship, but that they saw an opportunity to #winthehyjinx now that the SweatSox have left Tier 2 dry.
Misfits to play in Tier 2 next year. Thx to the league for supporting our move request.
— Beau's Misfits (@beausmisfits) March 6, 2016
All 4 pitches were successful, meaning this is your official 2016 NCBL Tier Structure:
The most controversial “topic du jour” was saved for the very end of the meeting, when managers were most fatigued and most susceptible to suggestion: The Social Media Committee. None of my sources knew what this would involve, all I know is I’m not on it, and I’m not going to like it; the Panthers probably won’t either.
Final NCBL Annual Spring Meeting Notes/Thoughts:
- Technically, the Capital City Cubs were the only team to “reply-all” to the meeting summons.
- The Acadiens were the only team to “reply-all” to the Capital City Cubs’ “reply-all”.
- There were 3 delinquent teams that did not initially reply to the Commissioner: the River Hawks, Expos, and Lumberjacks.
- Shit hits the fan between 3 and 6pm.
- There will be another umpire clinic this year, which is great news for the Cornwall umpires.
- Is Fall Ball Tier 5?
- There were 2 mentions of the SweatSox Hyjinx.
- Graeme Nichols has had enough of Tier 3, and has re-joined the Kanata Athletics.
- The league is committed to speeding up the pace of play of games, and may experiment with shortening late game time limits.
- The 2016 regular season will start the day AFTER Mothers Day.
- The Braves think the SweatSox could win 8 games in Tier 1 this year.
- The Braves are nuts.
SWEATSITE EXCLUSIVE: Incredibly, once again I’ve gotten my hands on a draft copy of the most recent NCBL Meeting Minutes. See how the NCBL Secretary recapped the meeting, but be warned it’s much more politically correct and far less stimulating than what you’ve just read here.