Rigged! Fixed! Unfair! Alright settle down, there’s no crying in baseball. As the murmurs grew louder and it seemed as though the draft lottery wasn’t fair, the captains crowded around their tables studiously looking over their notes in hopes that their team would take home the JMS cup. Nobody likes draft lottery’s even the Men’s league had issues with the way the order broke down. The thing about a snake draft is that it usually balances out as the best place to pick is usually in the last spot; regardless, fruit in hand the draft began.
It is a noteworthy mention that the ladies had just gone through a 2 hour clinic where they were taught the fundamentals from throwing and catching, along with being able to pitch and hit consistently; soaring high like a flyball was the ladies adrenaline. It was a good start to a day that would now conclude with a draft that had everyone, including the captains, nervous. Some of these captains had been planning all week, checking Facebook profiles for the hint of a baseball picture, or perhaps a relation to someone in the Men’s league that could help their progress. It was truly a stressful week with players seen biting their nails, and wandering aimlessly in the aisles of National Sports trying to figure out why there are so many gloves! In some cases, we even had players reaching out to captains
Can you pick me, I really want to play on your team. I’ll bring oranges to every game…and cake!
You should know that most of these requests fell on deaf ears, once the countdown of the timer started, the captains forgot about everything but the ratings they had been so diligently working on for the last 2 hours. First to pick was Azra Jessa, of the Baqi Eagles, she was the only captain left without her assistant and sister Ailya Jessa. However that didn’t seem to phase her as she called out all of her picks. The Eagles look to have built up a strong team with a good mix of some that have played before and others that had never even held a bat.
The Kufa Tigers, and their captains Kim Poole and Fatemah Janmohamed-Jaffer were up next and as they did, for what seemed like the whole draft, have their pick ready before the organizers could even ask for it. The captains seemed to have their strategy locked down from early on and built a team based on the same speed with which they picked, lightning fast. If we could give an award for fastest picks, the Tigers would definitely take that one away. This team has a lot of family members on it, specifically the Rashid crew, Fatema, Sakina and Zainab – who while they play well together – also leave and arrive together which could make the odd wedding appearance a major detriment to this team.
Sara Champsi and co-captain Fatema Nasser of the Jamkaran Wolves were next up, and even though this group had already spent time at the batting cages earlier this week, they were not ready for the draft format. The rush of having to make another pick so quickly due to the snake format, brought back their turn so fast that it left them caught in a rundown. In Sara‘s words,
Already our turn again?Oh my gosh who’s left?! I literally… just… can’t even.
Witnesses observed visible heart palpitations and a single bead of sweat as the captains handed in their picks. Though they were methodical in nature, you could see the tension of the draft getting to them. This team is built upon a heavy mix of new and first time players, the captains believe that a few sessions in the batting cage will have their team competing for the championship.
The final pick, and in our opinion the best spot in the draft, went to the Sahla Bucks and their captains Shazmin and Shairoz Manek. In preparation for the draft the sisters consulted with their brother (and 2nd Overall Pick in the mens draft) Ali Manek, who advised them that if they don’t pick their sister-in-law Nafisa Manek, they’re out of the family! As they were on the end of the snake, the first round threw them off on the snapback and they had to make a second selection before the timer ran out. Number 2 probably should have warned them about that. Future advice ladies, if you’re going to consult with #2, proceed with caution.
Though the constant pressure of having to make 2 picks in a row each time threw them off, they put together a solid group with a mixture of fun and competitive spirit. This team will be one to watch for this season.
So now the real test begins, with just about a month before the season kicks off, these teams will start creating whatsapp groups and bombarding each other with messages on strategy, lineups, arrival times and refreshment assignments. This season promises to be one where we’ll be able to see whether the careful planning of the captains translates to wins on the field. We hope you have as much fun on the field throughout the year as we all did last year.
See you on the field!