Monthly Archives: October 2021

2021 — World Series results

The series

This was a reply of last year’s series, and both owners asked me if that was an ASFBL first…the answer is that I’d have to comb over some old paper records, but it almost surely is…and a rematch isn’t a bad follow-up to a 60-game season…After scoring only a single run to lose game 1, the Braves won game two 6-5 to earn a split coming back to Atlanta. The road cooking didn’t bother the Chisox at all, who unleashed their bats to score 9 runs in game three and take a 2-1 advantage, which is larger than it feels like in a 7-game series. Inspired by the result, they went on to score 15 runs to take command, and after all that offense the final game was a 2-1 defensive duel…Rondon pitched 7 and 1/3rd scoreless innings before giving way to Liam Hendriks, and Jose Abreu provided all the offense with a 2-run homer in the second…after knocking in Ozzie Albies and advancing Jorge Soler to third the Braves had runners on second and third with one out…and Henriks struck out Contreras and Adrianza to seal the series…Chisox took the series in five, but three games were 2 runs or closer for a more competitive series than appeared in the final count.

The guys

Danny Wildes was our returning champion and has been in the league since 2006 and after three campaigns in San Diego, Four in Philadelphia, and two in Pittsburgh, he’s been the Atlanta showrunner since 2015. In that time he’s finished in the top-10 WOR spots or the playoffs in 6 of 7 seasons and in the playoffs for 4 straight years with the last two inthe world series…he’s won playoff spots with all four teams he’s managed and got to the LCS in only his second season with a middling San Diego club that he improved by 4 games….he had back-to-back 99 win seasons in 2018 and 2019 and then, of course, back-to-back World Series appearances the next two years…I’d say he has this game figured out…he shook the roster up with 10 trades this year with seven different teams, and it was his last trade on August 3rd that got him Jorge Soler from the Phillies, and it was Soler who managed to get to 3rd base in the 9th inning of the last game…great to have you around for these last 15 years, Danny, and here’s hoping you’re in a different division next year 🙂

Leo’s lifetime win percentage is a staggering 57%….out time knowing each other dates back to 1992 when we were both living in apartments in Salt Lake City…strange that we’ve both gravitated to the west coast…in 1994 he took over a sub-.500 Toronto club and was just learning about detailed baseball stats…but 1995 he was the league WOR champion and won his division in 1996 with the Padres…in 2003 he had a winning record but didn’t make the playoffs, and that was the last time he didn’t finish in the top-10 WOR or the make the playoffs…that’s a 22-year streak of finishing in the top of something…this is his second league championship with his firt coming in 2008 with the Blue Jays…he also finished with the best record in the league that year…his 103 wins this year are actually his second-best after the 106 he managed with Arizona in 2001…mostly, though, he’s the heart and soul of the ASFBL and does all the things I’m bad at, running drafts, recruiting owners, and keeping everything on track…for those of you who don’t know, Leo is also deeply committed to the wolf population in Yellowstone and has truly dedicated himself to preserving that part of our natural world…you’re a great guy to be around, Leo, and I can’t wait till we can find a way to catch our next game together.

That’s a season wrap, the 29th consecutive ASFBL season, which is older than both my kids if you add their ages together. Thanks to all of you for joining in my brain games and making this league happen. Enjoy the actual playoffs, and we’ll see you in spring training!

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LCS 2021

Braves sweep

The Atlanta pitching was absolutely phenomenal and kept the Brewer bats from ever really getting it going…the Braves used 7 pitchers to throw 18 scoreless innings over the final two games to get the shutout…Chris Zewiske has a lifetime winning record in the ASFBL in a career that spans 20 seasons…after a single year with the Padres in 2001 he has been an NL Central mainstay with the Brewers for balance of the time…and by all accounts he’s getting better, having made the playoffs 4 of the past 5 years, and this is his second LCS appearance since 2018…he finished 15 games ahead of the actual Brewers in 2015, which put him in the top-5 WOR finishers league-wide, something he’s accomplished three times, including his second season all the way back in 2002…what I find amazing is that Chris entered law school in 2000 and joined ASFBL in 2001, so if my math is correct he was eyeballs-deep in the second year of law school when he joined, and no accolade I can heap on him here will exceed his designation as “Super Lawyer” that he received in 2020…this year he pulled off 4 different trades with 4 different teams, and the players included Phil Bickford (my wife’s former student) and Brandon Workman (the brother of my former student)….what are the odds of that?….it’s been a great couple of decades, Chris, and I hope some day you’ll be able to slide into the giant beer stein in the suit of Bernie Brewer!

Chisox in 4

Jim Casey had the absolutely best line of the post-season, pointing out that Ryan Tepera would not accuse the ASFBL Astros of sign stealing…since Jim had traded for Tepera back on July 31…”Trader Jim” pulled off 10 trades this year with 7 different teams involving 30 different players, or at least one complete major league roster, and he worked with long-timers Adam Symonds and Rick Wynne as well as newcomers in their first few seasons and even divisional rivals…Jim had an 8-year run with the Cubs from 1995-2002, took a sabbatical until 2007, and after some filler years with the Jays and Indians settled into a tour with the Giants 2009-2014 and has been with the Astros ever since…ever since he settled in with the Giants he’s made the playoffs 10 of 13 seasons and finished in the top-6 WOR spots four times…he made it to the World Series in 2010 and was the league champ in 2011, and had three consecutive 100-win seasons between 2009 and 2011…this is his third LCS appearance in the last six years…Jim joined in 1995 which looks like it was the last year of his MBA, which both means that he found time for baseball fandom in the midst of some serious coursework and that his time in the league spans to the last century…Jim’s been around fo4 26 years, and I”m already planning my writeup for your entry in the 2047 ASFBL World Series, Jim, which will be 26 years from now…

We’ll have some World Series results as soon as Leo and Danny get their lineups in…good luck to both of our World Series contenders!

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ASFBL — DCS results

Just the facts

Quick series recaps: The Braves overtook the upstart Cubs in 5 games…although were outscored 7-5 over the span the Bravos took 2 of the last 3 in a series that was closer than the final game count appeared…the Chisox took down the Rays 4-3, scoring 5, 6, 8 and 9 in the victories….the Rays actually had a 2-1 series lead before the White Sox bats took off…After falling behind 2 games to 1 the Brewers held the mighty Dodgers to 4 runs in 3 games to win a 4-2, come-from-behind series…in the only series to go all 7 games, the Astros outlasted the Jays…the decisive game was a 4-3 affair with the Jays scoring last but Blake Treinen pitching 2 scoreless innings to seal the series…Jays had 4 on base over the last 2 innings.

Alan Minsky adds: “we did have a four run lead in the bottom of the eighth of game six, with two outs and nobody on… in other words, we should’ve knocked out the Sox – and given how thoroughly they crushed the ‘Stros and Braves, me and my beloved ASFBL Rays are going to spend the off-season haunted by what could’ve, and should’ve, been.”

Hail to the playoff owners

In any year I type this about Rick Wynne I always feel guilty since it seems like if he didn’t win it all there’s probably something wrong with my code and not his choices…leads ASFBL all time in wins…a staggering 2,860…Leo is second, and if he had two seasons where he went 162-0 and Rick went 0-162 Leo still wouldn’t have caught up…best all-time winning percentage for any owner with more than 1 season…he has more ASFBL wins than Tony LaRussa has MLB wins…the only actual MLB owner ever with more wins was Connie Mack…Rick has a better winning percentage than Connie…the best all-time MLB win percentage is Joe MCarthy at .615 (and a paltry 2,125 career wins)…Rick sits at .625…this is his 7th straight playoff appearance…he can still say he has never had a negative WOR, and this year it took more than 106 wins to do that…not a lot of guys could take a historically good team and rise to the challenge of making them better, but Rick did…it seems like if playoffs weren’t played in 7-game chunks he’d win every year…and above all, he is a truly, truly wonderful man and the most scrupulous trade partner you will ever deal with…you make the league better by being you, Rick, and I really appreciate all you contribute.

Gordon Leckie has a lifetime win percentage about .540, and he started his ASFBL career in 1994 with a 61-101 mark….and won the league the very next year…this is his 3rd straight year in the playoffs and — get this — his 16th winning season, dating back to 2006…all of those were with Detroit and the Cubbies, so he didn’t always have much to work with…the +19 WOR this season was a personal best, and the 7th positive-WOR finish of the last 10…he’s got a fastidious attention to detail, and we’ve had conversations about the disabled list that involved what time on Monday someone got placed on the DL…he’s always quick to say something when he sees something and always quick to see when his first impression wasn’t right, which doesn’t happen nearly as often as when his first impression is spot on…it’s been a great 27 years, my friend, and I hope we have many more.

Alan Minsky is a baby in ASFBL terms, but he’s got a lifetime .562 win percentage and has made the playoffs in every non-strike shortened year…he’s eclipsed 90 wins in three years and bested the actual Rays in two of four tries…which is something, since even the Yankees couldn’t do that and they have a much larger budget…no matter how busy you think you are Alan has a little more on his plate than you do, what with a democracy to save and all…and my enduring image of Alan was sitting next to him at an Angels game as he was zooming in to a high-powered political meeting going on in Arizona…and did the thing where you video and audio mute so it looks like you’re paying attention but nobody can really tell what you’re doing…he wasn’t going to let a little thing like a political power shift interfere with a good baseball game…I hope I’m remembering this story right, but I also think that Alan once got into Fenway on an off day and took some phantom swings at home plate, standing on the same spot Babe Ruth had once swung an actual bat…Alan has a great baseball mind and is an accomplished author, thinker, and activist, and one of the guys I truly value this league for because it lets me spend more time with him.

Ok, if your email handle is “jmaclives4sports” you know where priorities lie for John MacDonald, or “Johnny Mac” in ASFBL parlance…his first season was 1999 with the Phillies, and he’s logged a total of 17 ASFBL season with the occasional break…I can only imagine what his fantasy seasons are like, but I’m glad he keeps returning, and we’ve had him in the ASFBL fold every year since 2017…he’s take the Jays to the playoffs both times he’s had them and was a back-to-back league champ in 2001…and again in 2006…eight of his last 10 seasons have had finishes in positive WOR territory, including two top-eight finishes in 2014 and 2017…this year’s win total of 98 is a personal best, higher than the 93 from 2006 when he won it all with the Rockies while finishing +17 WOR, and I think you’d have to say this has been his best season since then…so, congrats on your best season in a decade-and-a-half, enjoy the rest of the playoff games I know you’ll be watching, and let’s see you again next year!

How they match up to reality

I thought it might be fun to compare how the playoff teams did against the actual teams, so here’s the chart. The results are impressive…four ASFBL owners did better than the actual team although the season is now over…two ASFBL owners have ASFBL and MLB teams that are both still alive…one finished dead even (and maybe two, depending on the Dodger series outcome)…and two ASFBLers have already improved on the actual club and are still alive.

TeamReal finishASFBL finishNotes
Padresno playoffswildcardASFBL improvement!
Oaklandno playoffswildcardASFBL improvement!
Brewerslost in DCSStill in LCS!ASFBL improvement! (and still going)
Dodgerstied 2-2 in DCSDCSWe find out soon if actual club goes farther
BravesAdvanced to LCSAdvanced to LCSRight on track…
Cubsbadly missed playoffsDCSASFBL improvement!
RaysDCSDCSFinished dead even
ChisoxDCSLCSASFBL improvement! (and still going)
AstrosAdvanced to LCSAdvanced to LCSRight on track…
Jaysno playoffsDCSASFBL improvement!

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Newsletter for wildcard games, 2021

NL RESULTS

The Padre won the first game in a tight 2-1 battle, and that woke up the Milwaukee bats and they scored 18 runs in 3 games while never allowing more than 3…in the decisive game the Padres got the Brewer middle relief to tie the game at 3 before the Brewers scored a run and turned the game over to Josh Hader who pitched a scoreless inning for his second save of the series…Al Benedek has been in the league since the 2000 season and has a record notable for two gaps, both of which he’s come back from…the Padres are actually the 9th team he’s managed in that time…this is his second straight year in the playoffs and the fourth straight year he’s finished in the top-10 or WOR or in the playoffs…all of those were with the Padres…his +10 is his third-highest ever, behind the 16 games two years ago and +13 in 2010 with Washington…his 89 wins this year are his most since 2002….Al pulled off 4 trades this year, adding Grienke and Gurriel at the trade deadline…I can honestly say that although he’s been in the league for 21 years on and off I’ve never heard him send a negative message of pass a cross word…another great year from a really great guy, and we look forward to seeing you next year!

AL RESULTS

After dropping game one 12-4, Oakland bucked up and took a 3-2 win to even the series…the Ray bats just became overwhelming and they scored an identical 12 runs in the last two games to advance to the DCS…John Weerts is a lifetime 76 games over .500 and has been at it continuously since 2010, marking more than a decade of participation…he’s been skippering the A’s the entire time, and cleared the 90-win mark twice…he finished in the top-10 WOR every year between 2015-2017…he made me the best trade offer I had all year and I turned it down, so he’s smarter than I am…and one of my deepest regrets is that when he dropped by my office while on a business trip I missed him by 15 minutes…great having you in the league, John, and your loyalty to Oakland is recognized!

Up next

Brewers at LAD

Atlanta at Cubs

Tampa Bay at Chisox

Houston at Toronto

Owners…please get us your lineups by MONDAY NIGHT…schedule should be set and ready to go…

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Newsletter for games through 10-3-21 — Final week of the season!

Final Finish!

For reference I’ve put our rules below…basically the same as MLB except the series are longer…Braves win the NL East…Washington had an outside shot if they could have run the table while the Braves went winless, but with deference to Vin Scully the impossible did not happen…still a great year for Andy Somers and his +17 WOR is proof of that…Colorado played spoiler by taking 2 of 3 from the Nats, sealing the division for the Braves…the BIG NEWS for the league is that the impossilbe did happen in the NL central where Gordon Leckie had a 6-0 week, the Brewers stumbled, and the Cubs won the central! This would have been completely impossible had not the Pirates and the Cardinals swept the division leaders, and a real hats-off to those teams who didn’t have a lot of other things to play for, but made sure their lineups were competitive and made a difference in the division…the Dodgers finished first in the NL West…his 112 wins ties Rick Wynne for 4th all-time in the ASFBL, put him 1 short of his own personal best in 2019, and that is probably second overall in the “modern” ASFBL era of post-2001, when all the spots were filled every year and all expansion was done…and the best all-time (and probably never to be broken) is 124 wins by the Yankees in 1998…thus, the NL wildcard series goes to the Brewers and the Padres…both come in off of rough patches, but in the ASFBL that keeps your players adjusting the right direction in the playoffs…congrats to Chris Zewiske and Al Benedek for terrific seasons…there are 36 ASFBL seasons between those guys…shout out to Jeremy Moore and the Giants, who were going to have a hard time matching the real team, as the most unkind cut is always the last team out…Toronto and the Chisox each finished as division leaders in cruise control and took their divisions…Leo Leckie lead the AL in wins at 103 and was the only non-Dodger team to finish with triple-digit win totals…John Weerts made a game push in the AL west, finishing 5-1 and picking up 3 games on Houston…but needed 3 more to catch Jim Casey and the Astros, who had just enough to hold of Oakland…but if you don’t win the division, it’s always good to catch a wildcard spot, which John did…and joins Alan Minsky of the Rays in the wildcard round…Alan needed a strong-ish finish to seal the spot which he had with a 4-2 week…Anaheim, the Yankees, and Kansas City were all dark horses but none could crack .500…last-out award goes to Greg Achten of the Angels, and the +8 WOR feat was an accomplishment, especially considering that the starting outfield over the last month included two guys who weren’t even in the AAA outfield at the start of the year…and Gordie really distinguished himself in the WOR standings…as the actual Cubs went from possible contenders to rebuilders he kept the team competitive and finished tied with Hugh Brown of the Dbacks and Ben Brockreide of the Rangers at 19 wins…Washington had 7, followed by Mark Chen and the Orioles at +16 and Steve Clemmons at +13…all other double-digit leaders made the playoffs…also worthy of mention are the Royals (Mike Mendoza), Twins (Tim Walsh), and Rockies (Hugh Brown) who inherited middling teams and made them considerably better…

Playoff seeding

Brewers and Padres tie on record and the first tiebreaker is head-to-head, which goes to the Padres who won the season series 5-2…which might not matter a lot, considering they haven’t played since May 27. Here are the final WCS/DCS matchups:

Wildcard winner (MIL/SD) at LAD

Atlanta at Cubs

Wildcard winner (Oakland at Tampa Bay) at Chisox

Houston at Toronto

Lineup note: Please submit your playoff lineups by Friday Night and we’ll run the games Saturday morning. Give me until tomorrow mid-day to get the games set up.

Rules Review

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 have two lineups: one with and one without a designated hitter.

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