As we approach the end of the season, we check in with the commissioner of the EASL for a little Q&A. We find out what he enjoys about the league, doesn't, like to change and what he sees in the future.
Years being commissioner:
Hobbies outside being Commish?
Watching sports, traveling, coaching, writing and producing music.
Why did you decide to become commissioner?
Honestly, at first, I wasn’t sure If I wanted to but my teammates convinced me I would be good at it. At the end of the day, the Exeter league was the league that would keep my friends from high school and I seeing each other every Summer. I wanted to grow the league to keep it going. I believed I knew how to make it attractive for others to join.
Favorite thing about the Exeter softball league?
All our fields are within 10 minutes of one another. Lets us be able to have someone go around and drag and line the fields before games. We have a really nice field in Lorane Hollow. We have a bunch of not just great players but great individuals off the softball field in our league which makes it fun. I like to think we do a good job taking care of our coaches, players, and umps by offering awards etc.
Least favorite thing about being Commish?
You’re always wrong. When faced with tough decisions, no matter what you do some players and coaches are going to be upset. Lots of lose/lose situations. As a person who is naturally sensitive about what people think of him it can be tough, but I am getting used to it.
What do you think your strengths are?
I am good at marketing and growing a league. When I took over, we were at 4 teams, we are now up to 10. We now have a website, social media presence, awards, 2 new fields, an annual golf outing and a guy that drags and lines fields for us. We did not have any of that before I took over.
What are some things you need to improve on?
Communication when handling conflict or tough situations. Also, explaining league rules. I haven’t played in any other leagues besides Exeter. So, I do not always know if another rule or way might be better. I’m bringing on a couple guys soon with more softball experience who have played in multiple leagues to help me with this stuff in the future. Will announce that soon.
One rule you would change about league?
The playoff eligibility rule. Every year a team complains that some player on some team shouldn’t be eligible. I am sure I will hear it this year too. We have talked about tweaking or changing the rules the past two seasons at the beginning of the year coaches meeting but we can’t seem to come to an agreement on what the changes should be, so it just gets left as is.
What’s one thing you wish more people knew about being Commish? What’s hard about it?
I do not make the rules. It is my job to enforce them. 95% of the rules I inherited. The league has been around for 20 plus years. Every year we have a league coaches meeting before the season where I ask if anyone has any idea for rule changes. It is hard to know when to make an exception to a rule. Sometimes there are unique circumstances, where you feel an exception should be made. That is when I reach out for a coach’s vote. It is hard to know when to reach out for a vote on an exception and when not too. If you always make an exception what is the point of having rules. It’s a tough thing to balance.
One rule you really like about league.
While I am open-minded to expanding the limit, I like the home run rule. I do not want teams that can just bomb the ball to be rewarded. I want teams to be rewarded for playing great defense, pitching well, smart base running, situational awareness and playing the game the right way. I want a team that may not have as much power to feel like they always have a chance. The same thing with the transfer rule. While I am open minded to having the grace period extended, I like that a player can not transfer to another team whenever he feels like it. This prevents team stacking. The league is strong when all teams top to bottom feel like they have a chance at winning.
What’s one thing you wish more people knew about the league?
That each team has the ability to keep their own stats and have it uploaded to their own personal team website. Each team has access to their own website when joining the league. Also, we have the ability to have a league store where anyone can buy a player’s jersey from any team. This could be a way for players to make some money off their own name courtesy of the league. In order for this to happen all teams would have to get jerseys made by the same designer. It would be cool if our league could have stats for each team and every player as well as a league-wide store for jerseys. In order for this to happen I would need to get commitment from all the coaches.
What’s one thing you’re excited about for the future of the league?
I have a list of some goals that I would like to accomplish in the future.
-Adding board members to our structure. (Coming soon)
-Adding another field. I would like to get Englemens.
-Raising more money to have someone help out with the weeds in the infield, and take care of trash
-A nail drag to help with the fields
-Have an all-star game and home run derby
-Live stream games on a league wide channel
-More articles and league coverage
-Grow to 12 teams
Will you ever run any other softball leagues?
No, that would be too much. I am only interested in one league. I hope to make that league the premier league for weekday softball in berk’s county and nearby areas.
How big do you want to grow the league?
12 Teams but no more.
Will you be back in 2024?
Yes, with some help and I look forward to making the league stronger and better than ever!
Predictions for who wins the 2023 EASL championship?
Until someone knocks them off, I will go with Crushers
Any last things you would like to say?
Thank you to all the coaches, umps and players that show up and make this league great. Good luck this week!