Ramadhan 2016 Preview and Predictions

A few days into the blessed month and now ready to kick off our 2016 Ramadhan tournament we wanted to bring you a little taste of what to expect as the teams spend the day napping and preparing for what should be a fun night under the lights. Before we get going though, a few things we need to want to remind everyone of

  • Games are 60 minutes in length, so although you may be playing 3 games tonight, the games are shorter
  • Games will have about 20 minutes in between to allow you to move to the other diamond (if needed) or get some food while you wait
  • It’s night, and it’s the summer, there will be mosquitoes – bring bug spray (and we don’t mean Imran Ebrahim)
  • The first two weeks are round robin, which will determine the placement for the final playoff round
  • Teams will be playing a minimum of 6 games to a maximum of 7 games together throughout the tournament (unless there’s rain and then all bets are off)
  • Ties will stand – only in the playoff rounds will we play to a winner, but for the round robin, a tie counts.

To the previews! We wanted to present these in the reverse order of how we thought the teams would finish after the round robin is concluded. We’ll do a playoff preview before the final round as well.

4th Place – Green Team

Average Age: 26.6
Average Rating: 4.6

The Green Team, or as they are fondly known – Team Nasser. Comes in with one thing that most other teams won’t have as strongly, chemistry. This team is essentially 8 members of the Nasser family and 4 other guys that are along for the ride. We have it on good authority that this team has already had a practice, multiple sessions in the batting cage and has a game plan that is already in place. Unfortunately for Team Nasser, that game plan is built upon snack assignments, shisha duty, and bringing of “haterade”. The one thing this team is lacking on is talent. A majority of these players have never stepped foot on the field except for that one practice, and will be struggling to find cleats, gloves, and pants that will make them look like a team.

Make no mistake though, we have them ranked this low in the round robin because we think it will take them time to get going. However, with Imran Nasser, Ali Nasser, Abbas Nasser, Miqdad Jaffer, and Ali Manek on this roster there is some experience that this team will be drawing upon. Your guess is as good as ours as to who will pitch for this team, but we think every position is up for grabs.

We expect this team to have some late competitive games in week 2 but come out of the round robin with a 1-4 record.

3rd Place – Blue Team

Average Age: 30.8
Average Rating: 4.9

The Blue Team is made up of mostly west side players so they’ll have the travel advantage going for them. Like Team Nasser this team is built upon some existing chemistry with family members (a likely theme across most of our teams). Additionally chemistry should be easy as most of this team either play together in our men’s league or have played together in the past.  Though there are some newcomers, this team is mostly comprised of players that have played with us in some capacity over the last few years.

The early downfall for this team is actually basketball, as a competing tournament will take 3 of their players in week one. The lack of attendance, especially by captain Maysum Jaffer, may make things difficult for this team in the early going as they struggle to get organized, but we’re hoping that either Maysum’s team gets eliminated from the basketball tournament early – or the veteran captain presence from Eagle’s captains Minhal Jaffer, Asif Ali Remtula, and Nadir Virjee is able to step up to the proverbial plate.

This team may have some trouble fielding a strong outfield core, and this will likely be their weakness going in. Expect this team to give up a lot of doubles and triples, as we feel that their infielders will be able to prevent a lot of the ground ball hits they get. Their offensive power with Kazim Merchant and Minhal Jaffer is more than sufficient to recover from some defensive lapses. A slow start, but a strong finish has us thinking this team will have a 2-3 record when the round robin is over.

2nd Place – Black Team

Average Age: 35.2
Average Rating: 6.2

The Black team comes in next, captained by Bobby Bharwani – this team has a lot of friend groups that will struggle for early chemistry. Like the Blue team, expect this team to have a weaker outfield presence, we’re not really sure who is going to play out there, but we can tell you this team might just have 3 outfielders and 6 first basemen when it’s all said and done.

Expect this team to have some big hits though, with power coming from Abbasali Kermalli and Mahmood Kara this team has two of the biggest bats in the tournament. An assured lock as the protected players, these two will be bringing in runs 2 and 3 at a time. We won’t say 4 simply because the dimensions of Powerade and coupled with the fact that if Kermalli is hitting an inside the park home run on you, then you must’ve stopped for a shisha break (looking at you Green team).

There’s a lot of veteran leadership on this team as witnessed by the average age of this club. We expect that this team will know how to play the game but may struggle to find the right bodies right away – needless to say their games will be high scoring and they will beat you with their bats and not their defense. Final record in the round robin – 3-2.

1st Place – Red Team

Average Age: 33.8
Average Rating: 5.8

Some last minute drop outs had us scrambling to find some replacements for this roster, but with the roster now all set, we think this team is the odds on favorite to take the round robin portion of the tournament. This team has one of the strongest outfields with Imran Virji, Ali Merali, and Hussein Allidina. This team has strong pitching with both Abbas Allidina and Mikael Ratansi able to come in and shut down offenses at any given point.

The struggle with this team will be the play from the right side of the infield – SS, 3B. We’re not sure who exactly is going to fill those roles and how well they will do, but unless teams start hitting a lot of ground balls and grinding out singles, this team will be shutting down most offenses with their defensive play. From a chemistry perspective, most of these guys know each other or have seen the others play, we expect that it won’t take long to get in the swing of things as all 12 players are eager and committed to showing up.

Offensively they may have some struggles, but this team is made of players that will hit singles and doubles not triples and home runs. Expect that they will lull teams to sleep with their steady offensive production. This team will have a lot of low scoring games, but will be victorious in most of them – final record in the round robin 4-1.

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