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!