Monthly Archives: October 2020

World Series results: Braves are the champs!

The Chisox were on a white-hot tear and hadn’t lost a single playoff game going into the series…where they traded gut-punches for the first 3 games, losing in a game they allowed 10, winning while scoring 9, losing while giving up 8. In a decisive game 4, the Braves got 7 scoreless innings out of the bullpen combination of Minter, Dayton, and Webb, and in the final game of the series Fried out-dueled Keuchel 2-1…of owners with 1,000 games, Leo Leckie has the 3rd best winning percentage all-time, behind only Rick Wynne and Micahel Gortenburg…He’s been in the league since 1994, won it all in 2008, has been in the top 10 of either WOR or the playoffs for every year since 2004…turned in a +29 WOR in his second year in the league…he’s been a great friend for 3 decades and there is no way I could do this without him…great year for a great guy.

Danny Wildes is our new champ! He’s got 100 more wins than losses lifetime…this is is 14th season and he’s only getting better…after making the playoffs in 3 of his first 6 years he’s been in top-WOR spots or the playoffs for 7 of the past 8 seasons…after enduring through a truly wretched Atlanta team in 2016 (actual team had 69 wins) he turned the corner, posted 99 wins in 2018 and 2019 and won it all this year! His 42 wins gave him a stunning 70% win percentage this year and he made 2 early trades that netted him DJ LaMahieu who scored half the runs in the final game…great to have Danny in the league for so long, and great to see him do so well. Good luck defending your title next year, Danny!

That’s a wrap on the season…thanks to all of your for patience and energy during the strangest season this league or the real one has ever seen. I’m excited that the new system has made such progress and it will be awfully fun to play things out for an entire schedule next year. Thanks for helping me pass the time during the lockdown, and let’s enjoy the rest of the playoffs MLB has for us. See you all next spring!

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LCS results 2020

NL: PADRE MAGIC RUNS OUT

After dropping game one 2-1, the Padres exploded for 16 runs in game #2. But the Atlanta bats averaged better than 5 runs over the final 3 games and the bullpen tandem of Minter and Webb combined for 4 hitless innings in game five. Acuna Jr. knocked in 2 on a homer and DJ Mathieu had 3 hits in the leadoff spot to pace the Braves in the clincher. Al Benedek started the league in 2000 and promptly won division titles in 2 of his first 3 years. He took a 3 year hiatus between 2015-17, and just finished his 17th ASFBL season. Since returning to take the Padres in 2018 he’s finished in the top-10 WOR or made the playoffs for each of 3 years in a very tough division. It’s great to see such an ASFBL long-timer turn in one of his best seasons, notch an impressive series win against a historically good opponent, and push all the way to the final four. Glad you returned to the league, Al, and looking forward to seeing you next year!

AL: TWIN MAGIC RUNS OUT

With the actual Minnesota club facing epic playoff droughts, Tim got his team past two playoff rounds. The Twins scored in every game and never allowed more than 6 runs, but the Chisox juggernaut was too much; Yolmer Sanchez set the tone with 3 homers in the first game of the series and Leo’s crew never looked back. Tim Walsh is a true Minnesotan who’s been in the league since 1998 and but for a quick trip to San Diego in 1999 has skippered the hometown Twins for the duration. Over the years he’s added two division titles to this, his third League Championship appearance. A clever manager, he improved on his actual team 5 of his first 6 years in the league. He usually keeps the bulk of the Twin roster in tact and uses subtle lineup changes and pitching maneuvers to keep the group competitive. I still have fond memories of meeting Tim, his son, Leo and Rick at spring training in Phoenix. Thanks for representing your team so well for so long, Tim, and I’ve really enjoyed sharing some baseball with you!

WORLD SERIES PREVIEW

After tough seasons with Kansas City and Detroit, where he put up good WOR numbers but missed the playoffs, Leo is competing for what would be his second World Series championship after winning it all in 2008. Danny Wildes made the LCS in his second year in the league with the Padres in 2007 and after taking this Brave team to the playoffs for three years he’s ridden the success to his first World Series appearance. Enjoy this, guys, it’s been a nutso year but these World Series games are hard to come by — send me an email as soon as you have your lineups in. Home field advantage has been a bit of a beast to figure out this year, but the Braves have both the higher original seed and the better regular-season record, so they enjoy home field advantage. Good luck to both teams, and we’ll wrap this up no later than Wednesday!

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DCS results!

PADRES NUDGE DODGERS

The Dodgers dropped the first game and then won 3 of the next 4 before the Wunderkid Padres snuck past in the last 2. Rick Wynne is a league fixture, the all-time winningest manager by about 500 games, highest lifetime winning percentage for anyone with more than one season, has made the playoffs for 23 straight seasons, six World Series appearances and three championships. There’s little doubt he’s the best manager in league history, and if there is ever an ASFBL Hall of Fame he’s entry #1. More than all that, he’s got a calm demeanor, a big heart, a great singing voice, and I genuinely believes he makes trades designed to make both teams better. It really seemed like he was destined to take it all this year, but sometimes the random numbers don’t come up in your favor. He’s made more sage and friendly suggestions to improve the game than anyone. Thanks for another great year, Rick!

BRAVES SWEEP

The mighty Atlanta pitching held the Cubbies to no more than a single run in any game, and the bats showed up enough to keep the leads comfortable. Gordon is part of the Leckie Family Dynasty and has 300 more wins than losses over 26 seasons. He won it all with the Chisox in 1995 and is a Chicago guy down to his bones. He’s made the playoffs 12 times including this year and has finished in plus-WOR ground 7 of the last 8 seasons. I’m just sayin’, 11 years before I had my son and 9 years before I got married I’ve known Gordie…the baseball ties that bind are strong. Looking forward to next year, Gordie!

ORIOLES PUSH THE TWINS TO 7!

Baltimore was the only non-MLB-playoff standing in the final 8, and they wouldn’t go without a fight. They made it to game 7 when the bats finally ran out of gas and they lost 3-0 when Buxton hit a 2-run homer and the Twins never relinquished the lead. Mark Chen has turned in 18 ASFBL seasons and over 2,700 games…he made the playoffs in 2 of his first 10 years but 6 of his last 8, including the World Series in 2017 and a WOR championship in 2018. This was an inspiring season as Mark got more out of less than any other owner. Thanks for your time in the league, Mark, and looking forward to another season with Orioles next year!

CHISOX SWEEP

The White Sox pitching core held the Jays to 3 runs in 4 games, including 3 straight shutouts. That ended a great season for John MacDonald, who finished his 16th ASFBL season. More than any other owner he’s been in and out of the league and skippered 8 different teams…while Mark Chen has been with Baltimore throughout, Johnny Mac is just a fan of the game…he won it all in 2006 and has been in the top-8 WOR spots four times…he’s getting better with time and has been in plus-WOR territory for 8 of the last 9 years. Don’t know what team will catch your fancy next year, John, but I’m glad you’ll be at their helm.

LCS is up next; Chisox at Twins, Braves at Padres (this year, the higher seed and not the better record determine home field). Owners, please get me your lineups by Friday night. Good luck to our final four!

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2020 playoffs: Wildcard results!

Before getting into the ASFBL results, let’s reflect on the craziness of actual MLB: The Twins have lost 18 consecutive playoff games, the Reds went 22 innings without scoring, and the mighty Miami Marlins have literally never lost a playoff series. Things I couldn’t simulate if I wanted to! Here’s how the ASFBL went:

MILWAUKEE TAKES THE DODGERS THE DISTANCE: No fun being the #8 seed and having to take on the team with the best record in the league, but Bret Anderson beat the playoff-snakebitten Clayton Kershaw 2-1 in game one and they took a 2-1 series lead by walking off in 11 innings in game 3. But the Dodgers put up 11 runs over the next 2 games and clinched at home 4-1. Chris Zewiske has a lifetime winning record and has made the playoffs 3 of the last 4 years…he’s finished in the top 3-WOR places 3 times and including a +14 in his second year in the league…and he’s been in the league since 2001. He’s finished better than the actual club three times as often as he’s fallen behind them…Chris is just a great ASFBLer with 19 seasons in the league; great work for a great guy!

PITTSBURGH PUSHES THE BRAVES: After taking a 6-5 loss in game 1 the Pirates shows some fight and beat the Braves 7-2, tying the series up and giving them a combined 12-8 scoring advantage over the first 2 games. The Braves pitching then clamped down and held the Bucs to 1 run over the next 18 innings, with 3 pitchers combining for a 5-hit shutout in the clincher. Mike Mendoza, in true Bull Durham fashion, announced is presence in the league with authority and had a heckuva run as a rookie owner, with his +WOR figure especially impressive. Here’s looking to a long and successful ASFBL run, Mike!

CUBS OUTLAST THE REDS: Neither team advanced in real life and something had to give; both ASFBL teams substantially out-performed their MLB counterparts. The Cubs took the first 2 games before the Reds shut them down for 2 runs over the next 2 games to even the series. The crucial final game was in Cincinnati, but an upward-adjusting Sonny Gray was out-dueled by Yu Darvis and by the time Wade Miley pitched 3 scoreless innings to close it out the damage was done and the Cubs advanced. Raph Malveaux has one of the highest scrabble-value last names in league history, had 6 top-8 WOR finishes in his first 16 seasons including first place with +30 in 2015, and is a Red guy to his core never having managed anyone else. He’s a frequent facebooker and, well, a guy with 16 seasons under his belt. Looking forward to having you back at the Cincinnati helm in 2021!

OLD-SCHOOL SERIES GOES TO THE PADRES: In the only real offensive display of the series Adam’s Phils scored 8 runs in the first game. Neither team scores more than 3 in any other game but the Padres had the small ball game down in the closest-seeded series in the NL. Adam Symonds took a team from a city he hasn’t lived in for the first time this year…he’s ahd more double-digit positive WOR seasons (7) than total negative WORs (3)…he won his division in his first season (2003) and never looked back and capped a 3-season playoff run between 2013 and 2015 with a series championship. A good guy having a tough health run, the posts of he and his daughter are a constant bright spot. He didn’t advance this week, but he was able to use the phrase “Ellie, can you get me another beer?” for the first time. We should all be so lucky as we age. Adam is a great baseball fan and a better friend.

NLDS: Dodgers host Padres, Braves host Cubs.

JAYS UPSET REIGNING CHAMPS! Having won one more playoff game than the actual Indians, the Indian hitters slammed into a Ryu-shaped wall in game 4 after getting taking a 1-0 loss in game 3. One pitch decided game 3 as the only run scored was a solo shot by Alejandro Kirk. Steven Skrovan is an A+ guy who has had an enviable media career in that most all of his work has had both integrity and success — a professional comedy writer, his daily facebook recaps of lockdown days (we’re on 200, I think) are worth the effort. A native Clevelander, he can also tell you the off days and travel schedule of the Indians at any point in the season. And as a testament to his generosity, he usually shares a seat in the Cleveland owner’s box with me every time the club rolls through Anaheim. This is his 9th year in the league and after 5 campaigns with little success he’s made the playoffs for 5 straight years. Another great one, Steve!

TWINS BREAK THE CURSE: Tim Walsh did what the actual club hasn’t been able to do in 18 tries and not only won a game but the series. The Astros took a 1-game lead before the Twin Hitters took over, and they broke through in a big way for a 14-3 game 4 win that had 5 different players homer. Jim Casey literally saved this league from extinction in the early 2000s by pushing me forward when I was ready to throw in the towel, and materially contributing to making the league happen. He’s been in the league since 1995 — that’s 25 seasons — and in the playoffs for each of the last 4. He’s been in the world series twice and won the WOR championship with the Cubs and passed 100 wins on three occasions. Jim is they kind of guy that forms the backbone of the ASFBL, and it’s been great having him, his good nature, and his sense of humor this season. Congrats on a great year, Jim!

BALTIMORE BESTS ANAHEIM IN A SERIES OF OVERACHIEVERS: Winning the first game was a curves in the ALWS, and the Angels rode Jacob deGrom’s afrm to a 4-2 game 1 win on the road. The Baltimore bullpen out-did Andrew Haney in game 4 as the top seed advanced. I have seen more baseball games in person with Greg Acthen than any other person on the planet, he sends me books about baseball out of the blue that shape my thinking about life, and we can share 1-word jokes about something that happened 10 years ago without missing a beat. He is the only league owner who has twice faced the question: Can you use a pitcher who is still under his real IP but is now deceased? Life demands and hobby interest wax and wane, but Greg has been a fixture in the league since 1999 and was the 2012 league champ. I’m really glad he came back for another year.

CHISOX ADVANCE IN 4-5 MATCHUP: The Yankees became the 4th of 4 AL playoff teams to win game 1 and lose the series…after winning game one 7-6 they didn’t get their bats working until game 4, and in that contest the Chisox got to Chad Green for 4 tuns in 5 hits. Codi Heuer got a 2-inning close-out that didn’t register as a save. Mark Yee ranks 5th in all-time ASFBL wins with 2,034 and he only trails me, Leo, and Rick Wynne. One of the very first to sign up for the league, I can still remember his envelope arriving with the registration info back in 1992; by 1996 he was the league champ. He’s made the playoffs with 6 different teams, and has managed over 4,000 ASFBL games. Literally the only bowling results I follow at all are Mark’s posts on facebook, and I’ll take him over Jesus Quintana any time. He’s been in the league for more years than the combined ages of my children. He’s a fixture in the league, and it was great to have him back for a 28th year.

WRAPPING UP

ALDS: Toronto steals the top seed and hosts the Chisox; The Twins host Baltimore. Only one upset in the NL but with the top 2 seeds gone the AL is wide open! Next set of series are 7 games. I’ll get the schedule entered by tomorrow and ask the owners to submit lineups by Tuesday…next series is 7 games, and by this time next week we should be crowning a new league champ.

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