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Newsletter for games through 8-16

QUICK BLAST TO THE PAST

Baseball during the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic — note the absence of dual-DH rules, 7-inning double-headers, or runners starting on 2d during extra innings…

DON’T PANIC: On Aug 16, San Diego and Arizona played 44 innings. Obvi, that can’t stand. I’ll get that sorted out and the stats reset for that game, so all those AB and IP won’t count against the players.

BIG EVENTS! Not sure if its the short season, the new code, a lot of karma, or what, but some big events seemed to pop up this week. I’ll dive through the box scores over the weekend and see what might be up. But for now, we can celebrate:

  • Lance Lynn (Texas) threw a no-hitter! (on 8/14/2020 against Colorado
  • Bryce Harper (Philadelphia) hit for the cycle! (on 8/16/2020 against New York (NYM))
  • Niko Goodrum (Detroit) hit for the cycle! (on 8/12/2020 against Chicago (CWS))
  • Charlie Blackmon (Colorado) hit for the cycle! (on 8/12/2020 against Arizona)
  • Willy Adames (Tampa Bay) hit for the cycle! (on 8/12/2020 against Boston)

COMMENTARY: The Reds went 6-0 which was totally awesome…they seem pretty healthy to me…and rode that week to the best record in the ASFBL…newcomer Gary Ruud had his Giants going 4-2 this week…and making that more impressive, did so while his kitchen was getting remodeled…he’s 2 games ahead of the actual club…4-2 was also the best record in the NL after the Cincinnati perfect showing…Tampa Bay really turned it around with a 6-1 run in the AL East…Chisox were 5-1 in the central…Hugh Brown’s Rockies and Rich Wynne’s Dodgers are slugging it out in the NL West…combined 27-17…Boston is a perfect 5-0 in 1-run games…Washington is 7-2…Charlie Blackmon is hitting .446 in the ASFBL, which would seem unreasonable except that he’s also hitting .446 for the actual Rockies…looks like there were 6 new trades this week, with Philadelphia leading the way…

FEATS AND FAILURES:

Christian Yelich (Milwaukee) struck out 4 times (on 8/10/2020 against Minnesota)
David Peralta (Arizona) had 5hits (on 8/10/2020 against Colorado)
Jake Lamb (Arizona) struck out 4 times (on 8/10/2020 against Colorado)
Christian Walker (Arizona) hit 6 RBI (on 8/10/2020 against Colorado)
Christian Walker (Arizona) had 5 hits (on 8/10/2020 against Colorado)
Kyle Lewis (Seattle) struck out 4 times (on 8/10/2020 against Texas)
Jeff Mathis (Texas) struck out 4 times (on 8/10/2020 against Seattle)
J.P. Crawford (Seattle) struck out 6 times (on 8/10/2020 against Texas)
Joey Gallo (Texas) struck out 5 times (on 8/10/2020 against Seattle)
Yusei Kikuchi (Seattle) struck out 19 batters (on 8/10/2020 against Texas)
Kyle Gibson (Texas) struck out 18 batters (on 8/10/2020 against Seattle)
Seattle and Texas played18.5 innings on8/10/2020
Sean Manaea (Oakland) struck out 12 batters (on 8/10/2020 against Anaheim)
Andrew Heaney (Anaheim) struck out 12 batters (on 8/10/2020 against Oakland)
Hyun Jin Ryu (Toronto) struck out 18 batters (on 8/11/2020 against Miami)
Logan Forsythe (Miami) struck out 4 times (on 8/11/2020 against Toronto)
Pablo Lopez (Miami) struck out 11 batters (on 8/11/2020 against Toronto)
Ryan Lavarnway (Miami) struck out 4 times (on 8/11/2020 against Toronto)
Trevor Bauer (Cincinnati) struck out 14 batters (on 8/11/2020 against Kansas City)
Alex Jackson (Atlanta) struck out 4 times (on 8/11/2020 against New York (NYY))
Jonathan Loaisiga (New York (NYY)) struck out 15 batters (on 8/11/2020 against Atlanta)
Clint Frazier (New York (NYY)) had 5hits (on 8/11/2020 against Atlanta)
Rio Ruiz (Baltimore) struck out 4 times (on 8/11/2020 against Philadelphia)
Chance Sisco (Baltimore) struck out 4 times (on 8/11/2020 against Philadelphia)
Luis Robert (Chicago (CWS)) struck out 4 times (on 8/11/2020 against Detroit)
Spencer Turnbull (Detroit) struck out 16 batters (on 8/11/2020 against Chicago (CWS))
Dylan Cease (Chicago (CWS)) struck out 11 batters (on 8/11/2020 against Detroit)
Carlos Carrasco (Cleveland) struck out 17 batters (on 8/11/2020 against Chicago (CC))
Asdrubal Cabrera (Washington) hit 3 homers (on 8/11/2020 against New York (NYM))
J.D. Davis (New York (NYM)) struck out 4 times (on 8/11/2020 against Washington)
Howie Kendrick (Washington) hit 6 RBI (on 8/11/2020 against New York (NYM))
Hunter Renfroe (Tampa Bay) struck out 4 times (on 8/11/2020 against Boston)
Yoshi Tsutsugo (Tampa Bay) hit 6 RBI (on 8/11/2020 against Boston)
Blake Snell (Tampa Bay) struck out 10 batters (on 8/11/2020 against Boston)
Ronald Guzman (Texas) struck out 4 times (on 8/11/2020 against Seattle)
Brian Goodwin (Anaheim) struck out 4 times (on 8/11/2020 against Oakland)
Wil Myers (San Diego) struck out 4 times (on 8/11/2020 against Los Angeles)
Cal Quantrill (San Diego) struck out 10 batters (on 8/11/2020 against Los Angeles)
Walker Buehler (Los Angeles) struck out 12 batters (on 8/11/2020 against San Diego)
Yasmani Grandal (Chicago (CWS)) struck out 4 times (on 8/12/2020 against Detroit)
David Peralta (Arizona) had 5hits (on 8/12/2020 against Colorado)
Ketel Marte (Arizona) had 5hits (on 8/12/2020 against Colorado)
Christian Walker (Arizona) hit 10 RBI (on 8/12/2020 against Colorado)
Jose Ramirez (Cleveland) hit 6 RBI (on 8/12/2020 against Chicago (CC))
Shane Bieber (Cleveland) struck out 16 batters (on 8/12/2020 against Chicago (CC))
Travis Shaw (Toronto) hit 3 homers (on 8/12/2020 against Miami)
Travis Shaw (Toronto) hit 7 RBI (on 8/12/2020 against Miami)
Teoscar Hernandez (Toronto) hit 4 homers (on 8/12/2020 against Miami)
Teoscar Hernandez (Toronto) hit 6 RBI (on 8/12/2020 against Miami)
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Toronto) hit 3 homers (on 8/12/2020 against Miami)
Jorge Soler (Kansas City) struck out 4 times (on 8/12/2020 against Cincinnati)
Co RBIn Burnes (Milwaukee) struck out 16 batters (on 8/12/2020 against Minnesota)
Alex Dickerson (San Francisco) hit 6 RBI (on 8/12/2020 against Houston)
Gerrit Cole (Washington) struck out 13 batters (on 8/12/2020 against New York (NYM))
Kevin Kiermaier (Tampa Bay) struck out 4 times (on 8/12/2020 against Boston)
Luis Guillorme (New York (NYM)) had 5hits (on 8/13/2020 against Washington)
Rio Ruiz (Baltimore) struck out 4 times (on 8/13/2020 against Philadelphia)
Freddy Peralta (Milwaukee) struck out 15 batters (on 8/13/2020 against Chicago (CC))
Jackie Bradley Jr. (Boston) struck out 4 times (on 8/13/2020 against Tampa Bay)
Jose Osuna (Pittsburgh) struck out 4 times (on 8/13/2020 against Cincinnati)
Sonny Gray (Cincinnati) struck out 10 batters (on 8/13/2020 against Pittsburgh)
Justin Turner (Los Angeles) had 5hits (on 8/13/2020 against San Diego)
Chris Taylor (Los Angeles) had 5hits (on 8/13/2020 against San Diego)
Michael Chavis (Los Angeles) had 6hits (on 8/13/2020 against San Diego)
Mookie Betts (Los Angeles) hit 6 RBI (on 8/13/2020 against San Diego)
Austin Barnes (Los Angeles) had 5hits (on 8/13/2020 against San Diego)
Clayton Kershaw (Los Angeles) struck out 14 batters (on 8/13/2020 against San Diego)
Yoshi Tsutsugo (Tampa Bay) struck out 5 times (on 8/14/2020 against Toronto)
Travis Shaw (Toronto) struck out 4 times (on 8/14/2020 against Tampa Bay)
Mike Brosseau (Tampa Bay) struck out 4 times (on 8/14/2020 against Toronto)
Kevin Pillar (Boston) struck out 4 times (on 8/14/2020 against New York (NYY))
Michael Conforto (New York (NYM)) struck out 4 times (on 8/14/2020 against Philadelphia)
Andres Gimenez (New York (NYM)) struck out 4 times (on 8/14/2020 against Philadelphia)
Dwight Smith Jr. (Baltimore) struck out 4 times (on 8/14/2020 against Washington)
Max Scherzer (Washington) struck out 13 batters (on 8/14/2020 against Baltimore)
Jeimer Candelario (Detroit) struck out 4 times (on 8/14/2020 against Cleveland)
Aaron Civale (Cleveland) struck out 11 batters (on 8/14/2020 against Detroit)
Nick Senzel (Cincinnati) struck out 4 times (on 8/14/2020 against Pittsburgh)
Josh Bell (Pittsburgh) struck out 4 times (on 8/14/2020 against Cincinnati)
Trevor Williams (Pittsburgh) struck out 10 batters (on 8/14/2020 against Cincinnati)
Luis Castillo (Cincinnati) struck out 14 batters (on 8/14/2020 against Pittsburgh)
Joey Gallo (Texas) struck out 5 times (on 8/14/2020 against Colorado)
German Marquez (Colorado) struck out 13 batters (on 8/14/2020 against Texas)
Framber Valdez (Houston) struck out 10 batters (on 8/14/2020 against Seattle)
Edwin Rios (Los Angeles) struck out 4 times (on 8/14/2020 against Anaheim)
Dylan Bundy (Anaheim) struck out 14 batters (on 8/14/2020 against Los Angeles)
Dinelson Lamet (San Diego) struck out 12 batters (on 8/14/2020 against Arizona)
Kevin Gausman (San Francisco) struck out 10 batters (on 8/14/2020 against Oakland)
Luis Robert (Chicago (CWS)) struck out 4 times (on 8/15/2020 against St. Louis)
Yasmani Grandal (Chicago (CWS)) had 5 hits (on 8/15/2020 against St. Louis)
Ross Stripling (Chicago (CWS)) struck out 12 batters (on 8/15/2020 against St. Louis)
Aaron Nola (Philadelphia) struck out 12 batters (on 8/15/2020 against New York (NYM))
Max Fried (Atlanta) struck out 10 batters (on 8/15/2020 against Miami)
Tyler Alexander (Detroit) struck out 10 batters (on 8/15/2020 against Cleveland)
Chad Kuhl (Pittsburgh) struck out 14 batters (on 8/15/2020 against Cincinnati)
Tejay Antone (Cincinnati) struck out 11 batters (on 8/15/2020 against Pittsburgh)
Alex Cobb (Baltimore) struck out 10 batters (on 8/15/2020 against Washington)
Nelson Cruz (Minnesota) struck out 4 times (on 8/15/2020 against Kansas City)
Danny Duffy (Kansas City) struck out 17 batters (on 8/15/2020 against Minnesota)
Kansas City and Minnesota played 14.5 innings on 8/15/2020
Ramon Laureano (Oakland) struck out 4 times (on 8/15/2020 against San Francisco)
Greg Garcia (San Diego) struck out 4 times (on 8/15/2020 against Arizona)
Zac Gallen (Arizona) struck out 18 batters (on 8/15/2020 against San Diego)
Dominic Smith (New York (NYM)) struck out 5 times (on 8/16/2020 against Philadelphia)
Michael Conforto (New York (NYM)) struck out 5 times (on 8/16/2020 against Philadelphia)
Bryce Harper (Philadelphia) had 5hits (on 8/16/2020 against New York (NYM))
Phil Gosselin (Philadelphia) struck out 4 times (on 8/16/2020 against New York (NYM))
Zach Eflin (Philadelphia) struck out 12 batters (on 8/16/2020 against New York (NYM))
Pedro Severino (Baltimore) struck out 4 times (on 8/16/2020 against Washington)
Chance Sisco (Baltimore) struck out 4 times (on 8/16/2020 against Washington)
Anibal Sanchez (Washington) struck out 15 batters (on 8/16/2020 against Baltimore)
Alex Jackson (Atlanta) struck out 4 times (on 8/16/2020 against Miami)
Grant Dayton (Atlanta) struck out 11 batters (on 8/16/2020 against Miami)
Nick Markakis (Atlanta) struck out 4 times (on 8/16/2020 against Miami)
Humberto Mejia (Miami) struck out 26 batters (on 8/16/2020 against Atlanta)
Carlos Carrasco (Cleveland) struck out 11 batters (on 8/16/2020 against Detroit)
Nick Senzel (Cincinnati) struck out 4 times (on 8/16/2020 against Pittsburgh)
Ryan McBroom (Kansas City) struck out 4 times (on 8/16/2020 against Minnesota)
Devin Smeltzer (Minnesota) struck out 14 batters (on 8/16/2020 against Kansas City)
Steven Souza Jr. (Chicago (CC)) struck out 4 times (on 8/16/2020 against Milwaukee)
Josh Lindblom (Milwaukee) struck out 11 batters (on 8/16/2020 against Chicago (CC))
Ryan Castellani (Colorado) struck out 10 batters (on 8/16/2020 against Texas)
Edwin Rios (Los Angeles) struck out 4 times (on 8/16/2020 against Anaheim)
Griffin Canning (Anaheim) struck out 10 batters (on 8/16/2020 against Los Angeles)
Victor Robles (New York (NYY)) struck out 4 times (on 8/16/2020 against Boston)

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Opening day newsletter! Games through 8-9-20

Hey! ALL THIRTY teams submitted lineups this week! That’s AWESOME and I’m overwhelmed by the reaction to this short, strange season.

Jon Lester threw a perfect game for the Cubs against the Cardinals on 8-9-20!

NEWCOMERS!!!

We may ask Michael Mendoza to submit to a performance-enhancing drug test; his Pirates finished 4 games over the actual club and logged 7 wins overall. Steve Clemmons also had 7 wins and managed an unholy mess unprecedented in this league, so hanging tough in that situation is no small accomplishment. Pat Walsh’s Tigers and Gary Ruud’s Giants both did at least as well as my Mets, although that turned out to be a pretty low bar this week.

BIG STORIES

The Braves raced out the to best record in NL, with Washington right on their heels with a better WOR…Colorado is hot in real life and hot in the ASFBL…The Cubs are in first place even though they are 0-3 in 1-run games…Baltimore is killing it in the AL! +3 WOR and first place in the AL East…returning champ Steve Skrovan of Cleveland is 11-6 but a game behind Minnesota…Jim Casey has Houston being Houston and in first place…Leo’s Chisox are markedly good in 1-run games…the NL west has some crazy scheduling issues, so Colorado is in first but has played 8 games outside the division; the Padres are looking strong this year and have played every game in the division…Aaron Judge leads the ASFBL with 13 homers; Tatis Jr. has 12 in the NL…Mike Soroka leads the ASFBL with a 3-0 record, which makes it a bummer for the Braves that he’s out for the rest of the year…and that start-of-season DL-free scheme seems to have worked out well in this case…

TECHNICALITIES

The wild card standings are obviously off, but I’m not gonna re-code those for the 16-team playoff format experiment until that becomes permanent…We can’t re-run the games, but if you see something amiss in the boxscores let me know…the normal “feats and failures” section won’t be here this week because I can’t figure out where it got stored, but for week 1 those are largely similar to the seasonal totals.

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ASFBL newsletter for 7-26-20/Preseason for COVIDball

NEW BLOOD
Thanks to Leo for introducing Gary; this year we have four new owners!

  • Gary Ruud — Giants
  • Pat Walsh — Tigers
  • Steve Clemmons — Marlins
  • Michael Mendoza — Pirates

DRY RUN/SPRING TRAINING
As of now, the website has been updated with all 2020 owner information, the stats have been reset, and we are ready to replay the first week of 2019 season on the new sim engine (see below).  I hope that you can log in and enter a lineup/rotation by MONDAY NIGHT, and when I get up Tuesday I’ll run the games.  This is a dry run/spring training exercise.  It is to test the logins and basic functions.  Also, we want to test the new sim engine — it worked reasonably well last year but I rolled it out without time to debug it so we stuck with the old one for last year.  PLEASE review the box scores/play-by-play and let me know if you see anything amiss.   You don’t need to enter trades or worry about waivers; just take the lineup that’s in there for the end of 2019, get yourself up to speed, and make sure everything works.  This will use last year’s rules.

Pending that, we’ll run games on Friday using this year’s stats and this year’s rules. 

HOW TO PLAY FOR THE NEWCOMERS
IF YOU ARE NEW to the league: Go to the newsletter page (https://asfblblog.wordpress.com/) and the most important thing is to click on the “How to enter lineups — week 2” link on the right-hand side.  You can also click on the about/rules/technical info links if you want background reading.  If you don’t, the best advice is to just put together the best lineup/rotation/bullpen you can based on real stats, and the only trick to figure out is the “adjustments to reality,” which is in that documentation.
As soon as I send this I’ll send you your password, which is all you need to log in.  Also, I’ll post this on newsletter page, which is where most of the league announcements will show up.

RULES AND WHATNOT

We’ll use the DH in both leagues (to Adam Symonds’ delight and over my grevious objections), the extra-runner in extra-innings rule, and the 3-batter minimum rule. Obviously, we won’t use AAA players this year since there aren’t any, and I’m looking into how difficult it would be to change the roster sizes on the fly.  August 31 is the trade deadline. We will use the new 16-team playoff format.  As always, the stands will be packed with digital fans, and they look less cheesy than the greenscreened ones that show up on the Dodger broadcasts.  Those are just creepy.

Also the no arguing rule, so if anyone gets in Leo’s face without a mask you go on quarantine for 14 days 🙂  Shout out to OC resident Shohei Ohtani, who became the first player in major league history on second base to start the 10th and, 3 minutes later the first to get caught between second and third right before the next hitter nailed a single.

CONTACT INFO

Still updating the google list (we have to use that because some email sites block the email our site generates), so until then log in, click on “owners and emails,” and you can find the email of anyone you want.  To send a league-wide email, copy and paste the list from the box at the bottom.


SIM ENGINE INFO/TAKING THE PLUNGE
We had been running off of a Microsoft Access database with constant uploading and downloading from might laptop.  We switched to running of a mysql database that is updated and runs on the server, which was way better.  But, my laptop still ran the games and kept connecting back and forth with the server.  The new sim engine runs on the server so there’s no upload and downloading.  The main new features are play-by-play info and some more unusual but realistic events (runners getting picked off, etc.).  It should be more stable, automatically backed up, etc.  We can also now archive individual player stats to answer questions like “who has the most ASFBL HR in a season?,” etc.  The play-by-play will eventually be a button you can use to watch the games unfold without knowing the results, but for now it’s just a dump to review so you can see all the logic the computer is using.

But, the main thing was that last year if the new sim didn’t work we could just jump back to the old one.  This year there are a bunch of rules changes that I don’t think I can maintain in the offline software and the online software, so we are full-steam-ahead, don’t-look-back on the new sim engine.  I’m hoping the short season is the right time to do this, since everything is a little whacked anyway.

Think that’s it; looking forward to doing the short season with you!  It’s still weird, but I’m finding it comforting to have box scores to wake up to and games to watch on TV.

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WORLD SERIES 2019

It looked like a sweep…Cleveland took the first 3 games and beat up Washington pitching, scoring 6 or more in each game.  But the Nationals still had fight in them, and with their backs to the wall overcame a 3-1 first-inning deficit in game 4 to win 5-4 on an unearned run off of Oliver Perez.  Patrick Corbin shut down the Indian bats in game 5 and beat Gerrit Cole 4-1.  The series was decided in an epic pitcher’s duel, with Strasberg and Clevinger each pitching 9 shutout innings.  Jordan Luplow tripled in Carlos Santana in the top of the 11th and Brad Hand pitched a perfect bottom of the inning to seal the series for the Tribe.

Congratulations to new champion Steve Skrovan!  Steve is in his 9th season and its obvious he’s getting the hang of it, having made the playoffs each of the past 4 years.  There’s no doubt he just straight up made a very good team better this year, and this season is proof that the 162-game schedule is a marathon and not a sprint, since many of his early trades seemed like they would really pay off but it wasn’t until the last week of the season that he finally hit positive WOR territory and then he was perfectly positioned for the postseason.  In an era of openers Steve just put together a really good starting rotation.  My only regret about Steve’s season is not calling his team the Unreasonable Men on player’s weekend.  It’s been great having you in the league, Steve, and it’s a comfort that there are guys like you out there trying to make the world a better place.  Congratulations, champ!

Andy Somers has been a joy to have in the league since he joined in 2010.  He has a record Billy Bean or Theo Epstein would envy; he’s never missed the playoffs, he’s won the World Series 3 times, he took the top WOR spot in his second season, he’s never had a losing record, he’s had 90+ wins seven times.  He’s always open to a good trade, he’s always got a quick joke and upbeat demeanor, he asks the right questions and is one of the most collaboratively-minded guys you could want.  Congrats on another fantastic season, Andy, and I can’t wait to see the team you pull together next year.

That’s a wrap on the season, and thanks to all the ASFBLers who make this endeavor one of the highlights of my week every week!

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2019 LCS results are in!

CLEVELAND ADVANCES IN FIVE

Gerrit Cole beat Randy Dobnak in game 5, and nobody chanted anything about a ride sharing service…six starters had multiple-hit games for the Tribe, and Steve Skrovan’s revamped roster came through to get him to his first ASFBL World Series appearance.

Tim Walsh is finishing his 21st ASFBL season and other than a single season has made the entire run with the Twins….this campaign marked his third divisional title and second LCS appearance…his 96 wins this season were just one shy of his all-time mark in 2002…sometimes content to watch his favorite team unfold, Tim was an active trader this year and pulled off 9 different trades with 5 different clubs…a quintessential nice guy and midwestern Dad, Tim brings an affability to the table that makes him a pleasure to have in the league…congrats on two decades of fun capped off with a terrific season!

WASHINGTON ADVANCES IN EPIC 7-GAME CAMPAIGN

Having gone down 3-1 in the series, the Cubs fought heroically to even the series when Hendricks beat Strasburg 2-1 on a Mike Trout RBI…the decisive 7th game took 11 innings to decide, when the Nats finally took a lead on their second solo shot of the game and Keone Kela worked a hitless inning for the save…

Gordon has been in the league since 1994 and this is his 11th playoff appearance….he’s finished in the top-10 WOR 5 times, and has won over 1,800 ASFBL games…after running the Tigers for a decade this is his third campaign with the Cubs, all three have been winning seasons, and this is the second time he’s skippered them to the playoffs.  Part of the Leckie Dynasty and Ben’s Dad, he always strikes the right balance between doing well and having fun.  Here’s looking forward to next year with you, Gordon!

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Newsletter for 2019 DCS

WASHINGTON IN 5

The mighty Dodgers hit a rough spot at the wrong time.  After James Paxton out-dueled, ironically, Kenda Maeda for a slim 2-0 win in game 4, Patrick Corbin pitched better in real life and out of the rotation for the Nationals.  Juan Soto had 6 RBI in the decisive game.

There aren’t enough accolades for Rick Wynne…lifetime 60%+ win percent…all-time ASFBL leader in wins (300 ahead of Leo)…in the playoffs every year since 2001…three time series champ…fifteen 100-win seasons, including each of the last 5…there’s no doubt he knows this game better than I do without the benefit of having written the code…and more than that, he’s a class act all around, gracious in victory and in tough times, and always quick with an encouraging word or hearty congratulations.  You are the ASFBL, Rick, and it’s always an honor to play with you.

CUBS SWEEP

After taking the first 3 games in the series by a total of 4 runs, and having both teams score at least 5 runs in what looked like a slugfest, Cole Hamels and Rowan Wick combined on a 1-run gem in the final game to seal out the series.

Danny has been in the league since 2006 and this is his sixth playoff appearance…tack on to that three top-10 WOR performances….this year marked his third NL East divisional title and his third with the Braves after taking the Phillies to the playoffs in 2009 and 2011…he pulled off 10 trades this year, and it’s notable that he was making moves with other teams that made the playoffs , and his May 7th acquisition of Will Smith really seems prescient…Danny always quietly goes about his business, stays active, puts a great team on the field, and is nothing but pleasant to work and interact with…it’s been a great decade and change with you around, Danny, and here’s hoping it will be at least 10 years more!

CLEVELAND ROARS BACK

After dropping 2 of the first 3 in the series, the Tribe showed they meant business by taking game 4 by a 9-1 count…the next two games were both offensive-heavy and 1-run affairs, with Boston scoring the decisive run in the 9th inning of game 5 and surviving Garret Cole giving up 10 runs to win game 6 by a narrow 11-10 count…without the 1 bad loss the total series score was 29-30.

Tony was our defending champ and coming off a second straight great season…he’d been to the World Series twice before winning it all last year and this is his 9th playoff appearance overall…he’s managed Boston, Oakland, and Los Angeles and had 10 straight even-or-better WOR years between 2007 and 2016, including a +28 in 2012…he is one of the truly funny human beings on this planet, and in the midst of some tough health issues this year he’s spread his wit and wisdom throughout the league.  Great season, Tony, and there are 29 of us cheering for your health to turn around.

TWINS AND ASTROS GO THE DISTANCE

The Twins took a commanding 3-1 series lead before the Astros found themselves to even the series at 3 apiece…a 7-run second inning and 3.67 shutout bullpen innings from Alcala won the series for the Twinkies….and you gotta cheer for Tim Walsh, who is in the playoffs for the first time since 2010 and in the LCS for the first time since 2008.

Jim Casey has a run that goes back to 1995, back-to-back World Series appearance in 2010 and 2011, and a World Championship in that latter year…he had two top-2 WOR finishes between 2000 and 2002, and is in his third consecutive year of the playoffs…always a mover-and-shaker and active trader, you can count on Jim to be among the league leaders in total trades and impactful ones…you bring a lot to table every year, Jim, and it’s been a great two decades with you!

UP NEXT

We’ll replay the NL East and the AL Central during the League Championship Series…down to the final four!  Danny has put together back-to-back 99 win seasons and challenges former champ Andy as the higher seed…the AL will have a newcomer to the World Series, as neither Steve nor Tim has been to the fall classic before…good luck, guys!

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Wild card series

ASFBL wildcard series go 5 games, not 1.  Here are the results:

CLEVELAND vs. TAMPA BAY

Game #1 went to Cleveland on the road, 6-5.  Beiber beat Glasnow, with each starter charged with all the runs.  Hand got a 2-inning save, and Blackmon had a homer and 3 RBI.  Tampa took game #2 9-8, with nobody pitching very well until Pagan pitched a scoreless 9th for the save.  Adames and Choi each homered and had 3 RBI.  Game #3 was in Cleveland and decisive; an 8-8 tie made it until the 15th inning when Cleveland won on a 2-run homer.  Aging Oliver Perez turned in 5 innings in relief.  With every game a 1-run nail biter or extra-innings, the floodgates finally broke open in game 4 with Cleveland scoring 11 and Clevinger going the distance and only allowing one run.  Going into game 4, 2 runs separated the teams over 33 innings.

Alan Minsky finishes his second year with his second playoff appearance and his second winning season.  He’s finished in positive WOR territory both times, and he seems to relish the role of the small-market underdog team.  He spends his daytime hours keeping a public radio station afloat in LA, which is truly David throwing stones at the media Goliaths out west, and keeps his head up doing work that I find inspirational.  It’s been a great 2 years for him and I hope he has many more to come.

WASHINGTON vs. ARIZONA

Washington took advantage of the home field and put up 14 runs in game 1 to overcome a shaky start by Corbin; 4 hitters pitched in home runs to drive up the tally.  Game 2 was, in sharp contrast, a pitching duel, and Strasberg out-did Grienke.  Dozier powered the offense with a homer and Kela logged a 2-inning save.  The DBacks wouldn’t go quietly and chased Scherzer after 3 innings with 6 runs, with Wilmer Flores going 4-4 and Christian Walker tacking on a home run.  Washington got to Robbie Ray in game #4, and Jimmy Cordero pitched 3 perfect innings to seal the series.

Ben is the youngest a member of the Leckie Dynasty that includes his uncle, Dad, and in the distant past, Grandmother Jean.  He’s never had a losing season (wow) and is finishing his 5th consecutive year in the playoffs…he was the 2017 WOR league-wide champion and is in his 4th wildcard series.  All that is a darned impressive performance in a league populated by media success stories, lawyers, and professors.  Great having you in the ASFBL family, Ben!

We’ll ask for the DCS lineups tomorrow, and hopefully have them run by Monday.

Good luck to the final 8!

 

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Playoffs — AL wild-card run-offs

The set up: There are 2 sudden-death games, and the winner advances to the wildcard round to take on the Rays.  Unlike MLB, the wildcard round is a 5-game series.
As the team ahead in the tiebreakers, Steve Skrovan of Cleveland has selected “C” and will sit out the first game and visit the winner of A/B.  Mark Yee of the Yanks has selected “A” and will host John Weerts’ Oakland squad in game #1.
PLAYOFF RULES REMINDERS:
  • 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 (except for the crazy wildcard runoff, which will follow MLB rules).
  • 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.

GAME #1: Yankees 4, Oakland 1.

The Yankees went into this series the hottest ASFBL team, kind of by a lot..the A’s lamented needing to go to their fifth starter…Brett Anderson gutted out 6 innings but gave up 4 runs, with Urshela and LeMahieu each knocking in a pair…the Yanks took a page from the Rays playbook and mixed up the bullpen, with Chapman coming in early and Severino coming in to close.

No matter how you slice it, John Weerts had a great year…he’s now got a lifetime above-.500 winning percentage in nine ASFBL seasons, and has finished in top-10 WOR every year between 2015-2018…this season marks his first playoff appearance, which is an important milestone in a really competitive division…he’s been inthe league since 2010, and I have yet to hear his first complaint…he brings a lot to the league with his attentiveness and saavy moves, and his 13 or so trades really revamped his roster in a way that way fun to follow…looking forward to seeing you next year, John!

GAME #2: Cleveland 5, New York 1

The game was scoreless through 7 when Cleveland led 1-0 going into the 9th, with Clevinger and King locked up for a pitcher’s duel.  The Tribe erupted for 4 runs in the top of the 9th off of Zach Britton; Santana and Bogaerts each had a 2-run shot.  Clevinger came out for the bottom of the 9th but gave way after 127 pitches to Wittgren who sealed the deal.  The Yankees incredible run has finally come to an end, but Mark Yee has nothing to hang his head about.  The torrid 24-6 run was huge and after a season of struggling they turned it on when it really mattered.  This year marked Yee’s 4th playoff appearance in 5 years, and 9th playoff apppearance overall.  He has a lifetime +.500 record after almost 4,000 games, and has a penchant for wildcard appearances which account for 5 of the 9 playoff showings.  One of the original members of the league since 1992, Mark has an incredible 27 years in the league.  It’s been another great one, Mark, and it’s always great to have you playing with us!

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Newsletter for games through 9-29 — end of the regular season!

Twenty-six lineups submitted this week, which is great for the last week of the season!  And although I forgot to mention it last time around, there were like 40 players waived the first week of league-wide free waivers, so it looks like a lot of us had some player moves we’d saved up.

WINS OVER REALITY

The top spots for the non-playoff qualifying teams are:

  • San Diego +16
  • Miami +14
  • Texas +10
  • Kansas City, Seattle +9
  • Colorado +5
  • Baltimore +4
  • Cincinnati +1

More on the Padres below, but these are great seasons for Rob Perkins, Ben Brockreide, Leo Leckie, and Adam Symonds.  Hugh Brown, Mark Chen, and Raphael Malveaux can be proud of playing a weak hand better than the actual clubs could.  Great season, guys!

NATIONAL LEAGUE

The Dodgers finished in historic territory with 113 wins, the 3rd-best finish in ASFBL history.  #1 is the 1998 Yankees (124 wins) and #2 is the 2001 Blue Jays (116 wins), so this might be one of the better “modern” ASFBL records.  Rick eeked past the 2005 Yankees and 2015 Giants (his own team), each of which has 112 wins.

Wildcard:  The Padres needed a big week and for the DBacks to stumble; the DBacks needed a big week and the Nationals to stumble.  Everyone finished around .500, and so the Nationals will host the DBacks in the NLWCS.  There’s no doubt that Al Benedek had a great season, finishing +16 WOR (tops in the NL) and getting a mid-range team to within a week of the playoffs.  The Padres dropped 2 of 3 to the Dodgers, a tough draw on the last week of the season, and actually took 2 of 3 from the Diamondbacks in the last week to go down fighting.  Big congrats to Al on a great season.  Washington hosts Arizona in the wildcard.  In ASFBL time, those games will start on 10/2 and we’ll ask the teams to submit lineups by Saturday (10/5); it may take us a day or two for the AL parallax to sort itself out.  I will email updates as the wildcard results trickle in.

The Braves and Cubs ended in a dead tie with 99 wins each; Atlanta hosts Chicago on the strength of the head-to-head tiebreaker.  Will email an update on lineup deadlines.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Boston cruised to the best record and finished strong at 5-2…which they needed, since the Rays finished with the second-best record in the league and were 4-2…The Bosox also had the league-best WOR at +18…The Yankees wouldn’t go away and finished with 94 wins and won 24 of their last 30…Minnesota took matters into their own hands and took the AL central on the strength of a 4-2 week…which they also needed, since Cleveland roared across the finish line a 5-1…that 4-2 week also put them a game upon Houston and made them the hosts of the ALDS…Houston limped in at 2-4 as Oakland picked up 3.5 games on the week at 5-1, but came 1 game short of the Astros…Houston can thank the Mariners, who handed the Athletics their sole loss on the week and hence sealed the division for Houston…that game was a bullpen effort with the Mariners getting 5 innings of 1-run ball out of their bullpen.  Boston hosts the wildcard and Minnesota hosts Houston when the DCS starts (lineup deadlines TBD).

There is wildcard chaos.  The Rays took the top spot with 97 wins, and there is a 3-way tie between the Yankees, Indians, and Athletics with 94 wins.

Now this happens:

“Tied teams are designated as A, B, C, and D. Choice for one of these designations is first given to the team winning the tie-breakers (listed below).”

The #1 tiebreaker is head-to-head competition.  Those series played out like this: Cleveland beats the Yankees 5-2, the Yankees beat Oakland 4-2, Oakland ties Cleveland 3-3.  Thus, the series records are #1 Cleveland (1-0-1, 8-5 overall), #2 New York (1-1-0, 6-7 overall), #3 Oakland (0-1-1, 5-7 overall).

In our scenario: “After Clubs have been assigned their A, B and C designations, Club A would host Club B. The winner of the game would then host Club C to determine the Wild Card Club.”

That means Steve Skrovan will get to select whether he wants to be “A” or “C.”  If he’s “C” then the other two play game 1 and Cleveland is the visitor on day 2.  If he takes “A” then he has home field on game 1 and, if he wins, he hosts game 2.  If he takes “B” we declare him legally insane and give his wife power of attorney and let her decide.

Mark Yee then chooses whether to be team “B” (the visitor on game 1 but the host on game 2 if he wins) or team “C” (the visiting team on game 2 and a bye on day 1).

I’ll ask Steve and Mark to get me their selections by tomorrow night (10/3) and we can set the lineups and play the games on Friday (10/4).  If we can all stay in touch, that will let the regular 5-game wildcard series lineups to come in Saturday (10/5).

In ASFBL time, those games will be played on 9/30 and 10/1; then starting on 10/2 the Rays will host the winner of the 3-team playoff for the second wild card.

 

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Newsletter for games through 9-22-19

On the second-to-last week of the season, 25 of 30 owners still submitted lineups!  I truly love the enthusiasm of this league…one week to go…

PENNANT RACES!

Atlanta, the Cubs, and the Dodgers are coasting to divisional titles…but Atlanta and the Cubs are only 1 game apart and that might matter since the division winner with the 3rd-best record draws the mighty Dodgers, who I think just clinched the best record in all of the ASFBL…note to self: check on the best record in AL history before next week…but the NL wildcard has Washington with 88 wins, Arizona with 85, and the Padres with 83…which is big news for Arizona, since they finished the week 6-0 to surge in front of the Padres…that surge included a crucial 3-game head-to-head with the Padres…Al has nothing to hang his head about since he’s +13 WOR, behind only to the Cubs and Marlins in the NL…but does it get any crazier than gaining 5.5 games in a single week with that week being the second-to-last of the season?

In the AL, Mark Yee’s Yankees have a scarier surge than a coastal hurricane…6-0 on the week, 16-4 over the last 20, and 22-8 over the last 30…that final number is best in the AL…probably too late to catch Boston, but they moved half a game in front of Oakland and Cleveland for the last AL wildcard spot…the Rangers lurk with 87 wins and were 4-1 this week…the 4 contenders for the last wildcard spot were a combined 17-6 last week…the best friend of the Athletics was that Royals, who surrendered all of a 3-game series, and the key Ranger victory was a 3-game sweep head-to-head with Oakland…don’t know if this is lucky or unlucky, but 13 series last week ended in sweeps…Boston has a solid shot at 100 wins but can no longer match last year’s win total of 108…

FEATS AND FAILURES

Shane Bieber of CLE had 10 strikeouts against DET on 9/17/2019
Matt Szczur of ARI robbed 3 hits against MIA on 9/17/2019
Justin Verlander of BOS had 11 strikeouts against SFG on 9/17/2019
Aaron Civale of LAD had 11 strikeouts against TBR on 9/17/2019
TBR and LAD played 14.5 innings on 9/17/2019
Marcus Stroman of TOR had 10 strikeouts against BAL on 9/17/2019
Gerrit Cole of CLE had 13 strikeouts against DET on 9/18/2019
Eduardo Escobar of ARI hit 3 home runs against MIA on 9/18/2019
Matthew Boyd of HOU had 10 strikeouts against TEX on 9/18/2019
J.D. Martinez of TEX struck out 5 times against HOU on 9/18/2019
LAA and NYY played 15.5 innings on 9/19/2019
Omar Narvaez of BAL struck out 4 times against TOR on 9/19/2019
Alec Mills of DET had 13 strikeouts against CWS on 9/20/2019
Luis Robert of CWS struck out 4 times against DET on 9/20/2019
Andrew Stevenson of PIT struck out 4 times against MIL on 9/20/2019
Homer Bailey of SEA had 12 strikeouts against BAL on 9/20/2019
Yuli Gurriel of HOU hit 3 home runs against LAA on 9/21/2019
Yuli Gurriel of HOU had 7 RBI against LAA on 9/21/2019
Mitch Garver of MIN had 6 RBI against KCR on 9/21/2019
Matt Chapman of OAK struck out 4 times against TEX on 9/21/2019
Danny Duffy of KCR had 10 strikeouts against MIN on 9/22/2019
Austin Nola of SEA struck out 4 times against BAL on 9/22/2019
Sonny Gray of CHC had 11 strikeouts against STL on 9/22/2019
Zack Wheeler of TEX had 10 strikeouts against OAK on 9/22/2019
Nicky Lopez of TEX struck out 4 times against OAK on 9/22/2019
TEX and OAK played 14.5 innings on 9/22/2019

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