Early Season Parity in the Carolina League
It is only 14 games into the season, but we in the sports media like to prognosticate and over-analyze all the time. The 2012 NCAA basketball tournament was over for all of 12 hours before a thorough prediction of the entire 2013 tournament field appeared on ESPN’s website. Oh, did I mention the article has 5,000+ comments for something that won’t occur for more than 300 days.
So what’s the point you ask? Well, right now a dominant team has yet to emerge in the Southern Division. Since Monday night the entire division has been tied on two separate occasions. After the games on that Monday, April 16th, each club in the Southern Division was 5-5. The Carolina League has tiebreaker procedures established for two teams that are tied, but what about three…or all four?!?!
The same scenario unraveled two nights later after the Dash beat Myrtle Beach. Everyone was 6-6 and we started to wonder if Carolina League Commissioner John Hopkins was locked in a room trying to devise a formula to break a four way tie to decide the division.
This post was actually conceived with the notion that all four teams in the division would be tied again this morning at 7-7. At the time our broadcast signed off, it certainly looked to be the case. However, Myrtle Beach ruined that novel idea with a comeback win in the ninth inning.
(A side note on Myrtle Beach; their PA announcer had a flair for accentuating the names of Hispanic players on the Pelicans. So the hero of last night’s game, Odubel Herrera, actually sounded like Odubel ERR-ERRRRRRRRRRR-AAAA…That description does not do it justice, but I got great joy out of hearing the overly dramatic flair and I now walk around screeching ERR-ERRRRRRRRR-AAA whenever I see his name in print).
Yes, it is quite early in the season but it is fun to pull out your jump to conclusions mat and wonder what will happen should the first half of the regular season end with a four-way tie. To put into perspective how close the Southern Division is, consider the fact that, in all of minor league baseball, no other division has more than two teams tied for the lead.
With 56 games left in the season, there is still plenty of time for teams to shift their way through the clutter. But if the past two weeks are any indication, we should be in for an exciting divisional race in the first half of the season.