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.
|Team||Real finish||ASFBL finish||Notes|
|Padres||no playoffs||wildcard||ASFBL improvement!|
|Oakland||no playoffs||wildcard||ASFBL improvement!|
|Brewers||lost in DCS||Still in LCS!||ASFBL improvement! (and still going)|
|Dodgers||tied 2-2 in DCS||DCS||We find out soon if actual club goes farther|
|Braves||Advanced to LCS||Advanced to LCS||Right on track…|
|Cubs||badly missed playoffs||DCS||ASFBL improvement!|
|Rays||DCS||DCS||Finished dead even|
|Chisox||DCS||LCS||ASFBL improvement! (and still going)|
|Astros||Advanced to LCS||Advanced to LCS||Right on track…|
|Jays||no playoffs||DCS||ASFBL improvement!|