Remember when emailing in your trades to me to provide both the first and last names of your players. Here are the preseason trades thus far, in order of confirmation:
1. San Francisco trades Hunter Pence and Jake Peavy to Pittsburgh for Andrew McCutcheon and A.J. Burnett
2. Boston trades Dustin Pedroia and Mike Napoli to Cleveland for Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana
3. Houston trades Chris Carter and Asher Wojciechowski to Cleveland for Mike Napoli and Carlos Carrasco
4. Cleveland trades Lonnie Chisenhall to Detroit for Nick Castellanos
5. San Diego trades Will Meyers, Derrick Norris and Dale Thayer to Houston for Evan Gattis, Colby Rasmus, and Samuel Deduno
PRESEASON TRADES BY TEAM – OWNER
Steve Skrovan’s Cleveland team is off to an early lead!
03 Cleveland – Steve Skrovan
02 Houston – Jim Casey
01 Boston – Tony Bernacchi
01 Detroit – Gordon Leckie
01 Pittsburgh – Steve Leslie
01 San Francisco – Rick Wynne
NATIONALS SWEEP IN 4: The Nationals opened with 10 runs, never scored fewer than 5, and held the Chisox to just 8 runs over 4 games to take the title. Brantley went 4-for-4 with a homer and a double in game 4 and Storen pitched 2 scoreless innings to seal the deal. Brantly hit .467 on the series and Desmond hit .438….the Nats only needed 4 innings out of the bullpen on the series….Aoki didn’t go quietly, hitting .438, and Phegley hit 2 HR from the leadoff spot…congrats to Steve Horak, who actually entered the league with Washington in 2004 and immediately posted a +10 WOR season…even his is worst year (’09 with KC) he posted a +4 WOR…he’s got a lifetime +20 WOR…and his decade in the league has been a blast…Andy Somers burst into the league in 2010 and had a +34 WOR season by 2011…and this year, he gets to say he’s the league champ in a league with some pretty heavy hitters. Great seasons to Steve and Andy!
Thanks to all of you for a really fun season! If you have rules tweaks to suggest, forward them to Leo and I and we’ll be compiling an offseason list. Otherwise, Leo will be posting a payoff list soon.
Thanks again, enjoy the actual playoffs, and see you in the spring!
NATIONAL LEAGUE: The Washington bats opened the series with a 13-6 explosion, but the Rockies took the next 2 games and held the Nationals to a total of 3 runs in the 2 games. Playing a more defensive game, Washington evened the series at 2 with a 3-1 victory and 3 and 2/3rds of an inning out of Matteus from the pen, Colorado jumped ahead again with a 5-1 victory in game 5, countering with 2 and 1/3 innings from Eveland. Washington won a nail-biting 4-3 victory to force a game 7…In that decisive game, the National bats woke up for the first time since the opening match to score 7 with 3 hits from Rendon and a 3-run HR shot from Yadir Molina…Fister got the win and Storen saved it. Leo had another masterful year, topping the entire ASFBL with 22 wins over reality and generally showing what you can do with a middling roster and a lot of effort. He’s been in the playoffs every year since 2004 and the last time he missed he still finished 2nd in WOR with Toronoto. His lowest WOR finish ever is -3, and since 1994 he’s been in positive WOR territory 17 times…just imagine what this guy could do with a faster internet connection. Great season, Leo!
AMERICAN LEAGUE: The AL central showdown that’s been brewing all year came to head in the last AL series of the season…the Chisox took the first 3 games in the series, holding the mighty Tiger bats to just 1 run in games 2 and 3…Detroit burst out with a 7-0 victory in game 4 and an 8-3 drubbing in game 5…the comeback ran out of steam in game 6, when Vogelsong pitched 8 innings and allowed only 1 run, and Phegley and Gillaspie each homered…4 Tigers had 2 hits each in that game, but they couldn’t clump them, and much like the actual Angels the Tigs had to settle for the best regular-season record. Gordon led the league in wins this year, has finished better than .500 every year since 2006, and won his 4th division title this year. Ironically, he was the league champ in 1995, when he won the series with this year’s nemesis, the White Sox. He’s a great all-around guy with a passion for ASFBL, and its fun to see him work with Ben. Congrats, Gordon!
We will start the World Series games as soon as I hear from both Andy and Steve and get confirmation that they have entered their lineups. In ASFBL time, the games start on Halloween, Friday the 31st of October…I anticipate we’ll have our results posted by next Monday at the latest.
Thanks to all for a great season! One series to go!
DETROIT OVER BALTIMORE IN 5: After swapping wins the first 2 games of the series, Tiger pitching held the Orioles to 3 runs in 3 games, behind Wada, Liriano, and Scherzer. The Orioles fought a game 3-2 deciding match, with deGrom matching Scherzer through 7, but the Cats found a way to get a run off of O’Day to clinch the series at home. Mark Chen has stuck with his Orioles through thick and thin since 2002 and this is his third trip to the playoffs. His 95 wins in 2004 are a personal best, he’s finished in WOR-money territory 5 times, and was the WOR champ in 2005. Mostly, he’s a great guy with a humorous look at the world of baseball, and I really enjoy having him in the league.
CHISOX TAKE SEATTLE IN 7: In the best series out there, Seattle took a 3-2 lead into the sixth game, when the Chisox won back-to-back, 1-run, 3-2 games. They scored in the bottom of the 9th to win game 6, and had Sale out-duel Walker in game 7. Petrika pitched 2 scoreless innings for the save. Adam Symonds had to juggle the playoff lineups will tabulating a massive college debate tournament in Utah and has a better handle on how this game works than I do. He’s been in the league since 2003 and has finished in plus-WOR territory 9 times, including a league-record +43 in 2004. He’s stuck with Seattle since 2006 and made them a permanent force in the AL West, and this finishes another great season for him.
WASHINGTON TAKES THE DODGERS IN 7: After falling behind in the series 3-2, the Dodgers got a complete-game shutout from Pineda in game 6 and beat Wainwright…Ellis had a double for the only XBH in the game. Washington went up 5-1 in game 7 and had to hold off a furious Dodger rally to hang on 6-5….Grienke took the damage before the LA bullpen shut down the Nats for the final 3 innings, but Storen logged a 2-inning save to seal the series. Chuck Ballingall is a true Dodger fan who as also served as the PA announcer at some of their games…he’s had them in the playoffs 7 times since 2006, and due to his dedication to sticking with the actual players is rarely more than 7 games plus or minus the real club, but still posts a liftetime positive WOR. If the Dodgers make it to the real World Series, its a safe bet that Chuck will find a way into the stadium.
COLORADO TAKES THE REDS IN 5: No team had scored fewer that 5 runs in the first 4 games, with the Reds winning a 7-5 slugfest in game 4. The deciding game was epic, with Johnny Cueto holding the Rocks to 1 run in 11 — yes, eleven — innings, before Colorado scraped a run off of LeCure in the 12th…McFarland held the bottom of the frame for a save…Ralph Malveaux has been in the league since 2005 and has had 82 wins or more 8 times…that’s a winner…his 98 wins in 2012 were truly impressive, and +1 WOR…he’s got a knack for quietly getting the most out of his teams…he picks his spots to make trades, and 2 of his 3 trades this year were with playoff teams…he’s a steady force in the NL central and has now finished a decade in the league.
PLAYOFF PERFORMANCES AND PITFALLS:
Mike Zunino of SEA struck out 4 times against CWS on 10/10/2014
Freddie Freeman of COL robbed 3 hits against CIN on 10/13/2014
LCS LINEUPS: Please submit them by Tuesday night (regular deadline) and we’ll run the games on Wednesday.
DODGERS SWEEP IN 3: The Dodgers got 8 innings out of Kershaw in game 1 (no 7-run meltdown), a complete game shutout from Gonzalez in game 2, and 7 innings out of Grienke to clinch. Van Slyke hit .636 with a homer; Uribe and Ramirez hit better than .360 each. He’d have liked a deeper playoff run, but Ben Leckie had one of the best rookie seasons in recent memory with a +10 WOR and a spot in the playoffs. Great season, Ben!
CHISOX IN 4: Anaheim took the first game 3-1 behind Manny Delcarmen and with a HR from Josh Hamilton, but Strasburg gave up 5 in game 2 and Josh Phegley had 3 RBI to tie the series. Sale pitched a complete game shutout in game 3, and Delcarmen couldn’t repeat in game 3 and got beat up. Greg had another great season, was the ASFBL champ in 2012, and has put up 86 wins or more in 6 of the past 7 years. And, what wouldn’t Mike Scioscia do to have Eric Hosmer on his roster right now? Greg managed to land him last May.
END OF SEASON TRIBUTES: I know Johnny Mac posted this to everyone’s email, but I wanted to put it in our newsletter so it stays in our archive:
“It was another great ASBL season. Congrats to all playoff teams. There’s so many great owners in this league. I’ve started in the league back in 1999 and its been a blast. Unfortunately, there comes a time when you have to say goodbye and that time is now for me. I guess you can say I’m retiring from the league due to health reasons. As many of you know already, I’ve suffered with numerous health issues over my years in the year and it seems like it all is catching up to me now. I need to concentrate on me for the time being. I think there’s about 140 some days to the start of the 2015 season. If any of you plan to be traveling thru Philly next season, I would love to go to a game with you health permitting. I appreciate all the friendships we developed over the years with many of the owners. You guys are the best!!!”
Thanks also to Rick Wynne and Scott Treffer for the classy comments they posted last week. And, if you have a spare moment this week, please give a thought to Jean Leckie, a former ASFBLer and matron to Leo, Gordie, and Ben, who’s spending some time in the hospital.
DCS LINEUPS: If you’re in the DCS, please submit your lineup by noon tomorrow. We’ll follow the practice of not running the games until all owners have entered a lineup or we have checked with them, but please don’t be the guy who’s holding up the rest. If the lineups make it in tomorrow we’ll post the results on Monday, at which point I dearly hope the actual Angels are still playing baseball.
Washington swept their way in the NL east title, taking down Miami and the Mets to go 6-0 and clinch the division…Miami took 2 of 3 from Philly but the 3 losses to the Nats were too much to overcome…Andy can thank the Pirates for taking 3 of 4 from the Braves, and Philly for taking 2 of 3…although, even a perfect week wouldn’t have gained ground for the Bravos.
Pittsburgh made a game run of it to make a pennant chase in the central, but the Reds cruised to a 4-2 record by sweeping the Pirates and taking 1 from Milwaukee to cinch the division…
Colorado held off the Dodgers in the west, sweeping San Diego and taking 1 of 2 from the Dodgers….a sweep would have given the Dodgers the division…
Special congrats to the Cubs, who went 4-2 and finished +4 WOR…Arizona couldn’t climb out of the bottom of the west but was a very impressive +9 WOR….Philly finished +6 over a disappointing actual club…and you’ve gotta feel for Rick Wynne, who has made the playoffs every year since 2000, and couldn’t sneak in this year despite his +5 WOR….great season to all!
Next up: Miami hosts the Dodgers in the wild card round! Details below….and that’s 3 Leckie’s in the playoffs, if you’re scoring at home…
Boston was the only AL East team with a winning record, and by taking 2 of 3 from the Yankees they solidified the Baltimore hold on the division lead…the Yanks picked up a game but fell 2 short…congrats to Mark Chen, who’s back in the playoffs for the first time since 2008, and has stuck with his Orioles through thick and thin….and great runs by Blue Jays and Yankees to make it a very entertaining race.
The AL central has been a war all year, but the Tigers pulled away with a 3-game sweep of the Chisox in the last week…Gordon finishes with the best record in the ASFBL….Cleveland really finished hot and tied for the best record in the league…and, ahem, the Indians have dusted my Mets since I stated my seasonal goal was to crawl out of dead last and pass Skrovan….Minnesota finished with an impressive 5-2 record, and split with the Tigers
Seattle couldn’t be caught in the west, and took 2 of 3 from the Angels in the last series of the year…you gotta feel for Oakland; Weerts finished +4 WOR but couldn’t push into the playoffs in a brutal division….his 92 wins would have been enough to win any division in the NL….
Special congrats to Scott Treffer, who turned a miserable Texas season into a +6 WOR, and who’s split with Oakland the last week made a difference in a very competitive wildcard race…Tony Bernacchi took a lousy Boston club and finished in plus-WOR territory…
Anaheim hosts the Chisox in the wildcard round.
PLAYOFF RULES AND NOTES
The playoff schedule is posted, and is most easily viewable from the “change rotation” link; if you are in the wildcard round, please enter your lineups by noon on Friday and we’ll announce the results on Saturday.
The playoff rules are posted under rules tab, but I’m re-pasting them here just to be sure:
“Real-life playoff stats do not count.
ASFBL statistics will continue to accumulate through the playoffs. There will be a 2-day break between the last game of the regular season and the start of the playoffs.
There will be 2 wildcard spots in each league. The wildcard round will be 5 games and follow a 2-2-1 format with off days in between. All other rounds are 7 games following a 2-2-1-1-1 format with off days in between.
Regular season statistics will NOT be cleared and will continue to accumulate, with the exception of the over-use factors, which will be frozen at their final regular season figures. For example, a pitcher over-used at 145% on the last day of the regular season will have an over-use factor of 145% for all of the playoff games, but all other statistics will continue to accumulate.
A three man rotation may be used in the playoffs. There will be a fatigue adjustment for playing on three days’ rest.
For the World Series (and Interleague Play), the real life home and away designated hitter rule will apply. Owners whose teams are in the World Series will call in two lineups: one with and one without a designated hitter.”
Do note that pitcher fatigue will face a running calendar, so your rotation will need to account for the end of the season, and teams clinching early will have extra days to rest.
FEATS AND FAILURES:
Felix Hernandez of SEA had 12 strikeouts against TOR on 9/23/2014
Brad Miller of SEA struck out 4 times against TOR on 9/23/2014
Matt Kemp of WAS had 6 RBI against NYM on 9/23/2014
Drew Pomeranz of OAK had 10 strikeouts against LAA on 9/23/2014
J.A. Happ of NYY had 10 strikeouts against BAL on 9/23/2014
Marcus Stroman of TOR had 11 strikeouts against SEA on 9/24/2014
Starling Marte of PIT struck out 4 times against ATL on 9/24/2014
Alex Cobb of TBR had 11 strikeouts against BOS on 9/25/2014
Whit Merrifield of KCR had 5 hits against CWS on 9/26/2014
Kris Bryant of SFG struck out 4 times against SDP on 9/26/2014
Jose Reyes of SFG struck out 4 times against SDP on 9/26/2014
Jhonny Peralta of STL struck out 4 times against ARI on 9/27/2014
Carlos Carrasco of CLE had 10 strikeouts against TBR on 9/27/2014
Cory Rasmus of LAA had 11 strikeouts against SEA on 9/28/2014
Dallas Keuchel of HOU had 13 strikeouts against NYM on 9/28/2014
Drew Stubbs of COL struck out 4 times against LAD on 9/28/2014
Salvador Perez of KCR had 6 hits against CWS on 9/28/2014
Brandon McCarthy of ARI had 10 strikeouts against STL on 9/28/2014
Jake Arrieta of CHC had 11 strikeouts against MIL on 9/28/2014