With L&D Amsterdam Pirates on the brink of elimination, HCAW from Bussum needs only one win in the semi-finals to advance to the Holland Series for the first time in seventeen years. If HCAW advances, there will be an odd situation.
In the last couple of years, the KNBSB (Royal Dutch Baseball and Softball Federation) thought it would be a good plan to award a ticket to the European Champions Cup to the winner of the regular season. For many years this was Curaçao Neptunus from Rotterdam, but this year it was a bit different. L&D Amsterdam Pirates that clinched the first spot in the standings but not of the regular season but in the follow up competition. .
IF L&D Amsterdam Pirates will be eliminated, the Netherlands will be represented by a team that has not made it to the Holland Series, a rather odd situation. No matter who will win the Holland Series, one of both teams (Curaçao Neptunus or HCAW) will remain empty-handed, both by not winning the championship and by not advancing to Europe’s main baseball championship.
One of the hoofdklasse coaches once said that by fighting for that first spot at the end of the regular season, the teams are playing for something. In a certain way he is right. But on the other hand, in plenty of other baseball leagues, most teams that end in first place after the regular season haven’t played for any European ticket. Look at Germany; only the two teams that will make the championship series will earn a passage to the ECC. In France the French champion and the winner of the Challenge de France (French Cup) will earn a ticket for European baseball tournaments. Even in Italy, the regular season is rather meaningless. Only the winner of the Italian championship wins a ticket to the ECC directly. The other ticket can be earned by winning a separate tournament that was created for this purpose. In a certain way, the situations in France and Italy can be compared with the one in the Netherlands. But in those countries, separate tournaments are played for that second European ticket. The teams are not depending on the regular season.
Wouldn’t it be better to have the Netherlands being represented by the two teams that made it into the Holland Series, in other words, the two best teams? I think it would.