|No one….no one…no one!!!|
Okay, I ain’t Alicia Keys (but geez, do yourself a favor and check out Korean-American kid Ailee doing it better than A-Keys in my opinion: NO ONE).
Okay, my point was that no one – no one – can tell me that this AL season isn’t shaping up to be the best AL season the DL’s ever seen.
This is the 10th DL season since it’s inception in New York – but only it’s 4th AL season.
There have been some intriguing seasons. Who would have thought that a 7-5 And None team would win the crown in the first AL season ever? The season after that, there was plenty of stiff competition and it all ended with a nice heart-warming story with veteran Jae Ha Hwang’s A Ball winning it all. Last season, the SK War Dog showed us what was up with a dominant post-season run led by the awesome AK Tewary who is playing in 32 leagues right now.
It’s still early, but this season though?
I mean, are you serious?
As each season has progressed, all the teams have done is gotten better and better and so at this point next season, we’ll surely be sitting here saying the same thing.
After a season ends, teams go out, recruit like mad, come back, and feed the frenzy that is the AL like no other division.
See, in the NL, the talent may be better, the bodies are bigger, and the experience longer, but room for improving a team is marginal. Everyone is pretty much already maxed out in terms of rosters and getting all the good players floating about the Tri-State area.
In the AL, you can always cherry pick from NL rosters so long as you are within the rules, and as a result, the competition beefs up and we have what we have today – bigger, badder, better.
Before last night’s game between the top teams in both conferences – it was The Showdown on 75th Street – there were four undefeated teams at this roughly halfway point of the season.
Yaletown, Moneyball, Team Matrix, and yes, the 3-1 defending champs.
See, I’m throwing out the loss SK suffered to Yale back on Feb 7 because Andre Liu’s team was forced to play a doubleheader that night (bless their souls for doing so) and they had to face a fresh and ready Yale squad in the 2nd one after exhausting their legs and lungs in the opener against the Wildcats.
They also had to do it without the services of Tewary, so, please, yes, let’s throw an asterisk next to that L for SK. They’re still undefeated in my mind.
Today, after Yale pulled a rabbit out of a hat and miraculously came from 13 back in the 2nd half to hand Money their first loss, 57-55, there are only three undefeateds. Given that Money had every right to win that game however, they still rank right up there in terms of the class of the AL right now.
Money is the classic example of a team who has gotten stronger, deeper, and more championship ready with their makeovers in the off-season. This go around, Joe Liu is looking like the man frontin’ their plan as he’s already had two double doubles in as many games with one of them being of the rebound/assist variety (a real rarity).
The Matrix, the surprise of the AL thus far, went out and got Gao, Nick Gao, to relieve some burden off of Super Dave Wong and all it’s gotten them is a better record already than they had all of last season.
And what of last season’s finalists – SK and Yale?
SK didn’t really need to do anything to improve themselves and yet they did. They signed Mario Salazar - a versatile swingman who gives them another dimension. Then, they somehow grew their roster to 11 guys (what are you, a real NBA team?) and showcased it in Wednesday night’s win over MIA by shuffling groups of 5 in and out like a massive hockey line rotation. Comical. But effective.
Yale tweaked their roster around as well with the departures of some of the Ivy’s finest and in their places, they obtained an LA Tiger and depth at the guard spot, something that they needed desperately after predicating their attack primarily around the post for so long. They’re in the driver’s seat right now, but that could change in the blink of an eye. Especially should they face AK and company again down the line.
There’s no doubt about it though, the difference in the upper echelon of the AL today is small. Eden Chuang small.
And I ain’t even gotten into the rest of the teams yet!
The two winless teams – Wildcats and Bonzai?
The Wildcats have one of the NL’s former most formidable players in Young Yu who can still fill it up like a 20-piece Popeye’s bucket. Kevin Park, a former NL MVP, plays for Bonzai.
When you have players like that, your team is liable to go off at any second. How could it not? When KG was in Minny, the T-Wolves had their day every once in awhile.
MIA, HBI, Rage, and the Purple Cobras?
MIA just dipped into the NL pool this week and brought the Fury’s Chris Youn in for a try-out. He played in their game against SK and should he stay, will make an obvious difference for them once he gets comfortable in their system.
HBI is suddenly the darkhorse no one wants to play after they added Vladimir Kovin to their mix and he dropped 30 in his debut against the ‘Cats. (In case you’re wondering how VK can play, please read the article).
The Rage…I had them at the top in my pre-season picking and I still have hope that they’ll turn it around. They’re running out of time however. But with that front line? What is arguably the best frontcourt in the AL today? I don’t understand how they’re 1-3. As perplexing as Eden is small.
The Purple Cobras? They did the opposite of what you’re taught to and went to the AAA to recruit someone, but that someone is paying dividends nonetheless like an NL’er would otherwise. Kenneth Chan, the reigning AAA Rookie of the Season adds a bulky presence down low for what has long been a team built off of one guy – a guy who has openly admitted to being tired of losing and willing to sacrifice stats for some wins now. We’ll let you take a guess as to who that is. In the meantime, enjoy Nash Wennington. This clip should’ve been posted earlier this week as it refers to last week, eh? But what the eh, eh?
*If you think you’ve got an idea or what it takes to be a DL YouTube star, send us your clip! We’d love to post it! All skits, sketches, reports are welcome. One day, we may make a contest out of this yet.