At the beginning of the season there was a vigorous debate as to which baseball league was the toughest in the area.
California High right fielder George Malhiot watches in disbelief as Bell Gardens beat host California, 12-8, in last Thursday’s CIF-SS Division 3 first-round playoff game. (Staff Photo by Keith Birmingham)
While I will refrain from giving my opinion until the end of the season, it looks like the Del Rio League has disappointed for a second straight year.
In fact, while bloggers from other leagues (Almont, Del Rey, etc.) took shots at the DRL last year, it can be argued this year was even more of a downer.
Last season, the league was 2-3 in the postseason and advanced one team out of the first round of the playoffs.
This year, the league was 1-4 and failed to survive past the first round.
In fact, the Del Rio League was the only league in Division 3 that didn’t advance past the first round and the only league in the division that’s league champion, California, didn’t win its first-round game.
It was only two years ago that the league had two teams advance to the quarters. Remember that La Serna upset of Crespi? It seems like a decade ago now.
So, what’s happened the last two years? Is this a trend or just a two-year trough?
One DRL coach said the league deserved its “lower billing” because “it hasn’t proven itself to be a contender.”
Another coach said “someone in the league is going to have to make a deep run if the league’s ever going to get respect.”
So, now I pose the question to you bloggers. What is the Del Rio League (as a whole) going to have to do to be more competitive, especially in the postseason?