Yesterday was interesting, intense at moments, and frankly too hard to explain without starting from the top because it all turned into a domino effect. Let's begin...
In the morning yesterday league officials were randomly contracted by a person from Lacey (Olympia area), who explained that he and his twin brother (both 16 and in high school) had come across the JAL online, looked into it, and badly wanted to play. After a little more discussion it was discovered that the two boys - Riley & Jeter Larson - are regular wiffleball players, as well as baseball players, and are each supposedly "pretty good" (Riley the better hitter and Jeter the better pitcher).
Shortly after, JAL officials spread the word to owners and general managers across the league. Within less than an hour the Waves, Express, Rapids, Cobras, Mafia and underdogs had all contacted the Larson boys with offers. "They could be the next Colton & Erik Titus" was being whispered by many and no doubt is what sparked the frenzy. What made it even more interesting is that every team knew someone else was also talking to the Larson's at the same time. The recruitment battle was for these two rookies was about as dramatic of one as there's been in the JAL.
According to sources, the Larson's told teams that Jeter "wanted to go somewhere he would get to pitch a lot," that they "would be okay singing with separate teams, but playing together would be ideal," and that "they wanted to make the playoffs." Because of this, the Express and Mafia were apparently crossed off the list quickly. In the end, it was the Rapids who won out and signed them both.
Because the Rapids already had a full 5-man roster, they released rookies Evan Troy and Levi Poole in favor of the Larson twins. Within about an hour after this news spread around the league, the Bay Area Fog signed Troy and Poole to 1-season minimum deals. The Fog too, had a full 5-man roster, so they released veterans Aaron Gerhing and Tierney Uhlenkott in favor of Troy and Poole.
Troy and Poole were signed by the Rapids mid-season (3 weeks ago), so neither has played a single game in their career yet. On why Rapids General Manager Ty Johnson decided to make the "rookie swap" without having seen any of the 4 rookies even play a game yet, he simply says "it's just a feeling I have about these two brothers."
With the signing, the Rapids will now likely name Jeter Larson the team's ace pitcher, with Ty out for the season.
Both twins are in for quite a "welcome to the JAL" tomorrow night considering that their 1st career game will be a huge one vs the undefeated Cobras and is set to be broadcast live across Facebook.