Friday, March 26, 2010

Down the Stretch

Here are some things to watch in the 20+ HBD days left in the Fingers League's 14th regular season.


Four of the divison leaders have leads of seven games or more. So the Wild Card race will be a dog fight between the left over teams. The NL has three teams within four games of each other fighting for the final spot.

The AL side has four teams in the same situation. And it's very interesting over there. The Charlotte Wyverns are rolling with a rookie owner, the Syracuse Hop Hounds and Dover Dozers have one playoff appearance combined and the Boise Ice Breakers haven't made it since Season 9.

The three NL teams have had their own futilities. The Iowa City Corn Kings have missed the playoffs every season since Season 5. The Colorado Cougars have knocked on the door of the World Series twice in three seasons only to lose in the NLCS each time. And the Pittsburgh PooHoles have made it past the second round once in nine playoff appearances.

Rivera is currently hitting .379. Two points above the league record. He has 13 games at his heavy hitters home ballpark and four series at ballbarks that are at least slighty hitters. He is also within 25 hits of the league record of 233.

Burlington MAPS (AL)
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The most decorated franchise in Fingers history will hit 110 wins for the 8th straight season. I really have no clue what team could knock them off come playoff time. But I hope to see ex-MAPS and current Santa Cruz Spartans pitchers Tomas Armas and Nick Ransom get their chance at some point.

Speaking of Armas, he and teammate Donatello Davey are tied for most career wins at 218. Armas will without a doubt take hold of this record and not hand it over for quite some time. He should have two more seasons at his current ratings. But when he turns 37 he will start to lose one rating point in major pitching categories per rating cycle. I'm hoping this great pitcher will have enough left in the tank to win 300 games.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010



National League 7, American League 6
WP: Jarrod Diaz
LP: Nick Ransom
Save: Michael Monroe

If only the National League could be so lucky in the World Series. The NL won the All-Star Game 7-6 for their third consecutive victory over the American League. Unlike last season's pitcher duel, this All-Star Game featured 13 runs, 24 hits and 4 errors.

The player of the game was Sante Fe's Davey West. He had a pinch hit RBI single in the 3rd inning that gave the NL a lead it wouldn't lose. Although the box score says he drove in the game-winning that just isn't true. His hit gave the NL a 5-4 lead. The eventual game winning run happened the next inning when Jay Worrell stole 2nd base and the throw sailed into CF allowing Rick Wakeland to skirt home and make the score 7-4.

Game Notes:
- The host New Orleans Flashers sent a National League-best five players to the All-Star Game, including rookie catcher Rick Wakeland, who got the start. Burlington MAPS led the AL with 7 participants.
- Tomas Armas was the American League's starting pitcher for the 3rd straight All-Star Game. He started despite only being at 49%. Leonardo Walker was the NL's starter. More on him below.
- The American League pounded three home runs. The National League hit none. Horacio Martin, Russ Bale and Brian Kim each hit one out. Martin led off the game with a HR.

Dominican Republic 8
Cuba 2
Venezuela 1
Mexico 1
Vietnam 1
Japan 1
Nicaragua 1
USA 45

Top States:

California 6
New York 5
Illinois, New Jersey, Missouri 4

Sante Fe power hitter Cristobal Johnson defeated defending Home Run Derby Champion Sam Sobkowiak in the finals of the 14th annual Fingers League Home Run Derby. Johnson outslugged Richmond's Sobkowiak 8 to 7. In the three round competition Johnson totaled 30 HRs, 5 more than Sobkowiak hit.

Highlights include:
- MAPS second baseman Santos Lopez hit four HRs, each over 495 feet long, in a five pitch span. The longest traveled 528 feet before planting itself in the left field seats.
- Sobkowiak hit 8 home runs in a row during the first round.


- The Season of Hitting Streaks -
Five players in the first half had hitting streaks of 20 games or more. Cincinnati's Danny Stone had the longest streak when he hit safely in 28 straight games. The foure others were: Sante Fe's Pat Rivera (25), Washington's Hugh McNeil (22), Colorado's Kip Plant (20) and Kansas City's Woodie Swann (20). McNeil's streak is still in progress since he was placed on the disabled with a herniated disk in his neck mid-streak.

- Look of Greatness -
Leonardo Walker is putting up one of the great pitching seasons in Fingers League history. He is on pace to finish the season with a record of 23-5 with 9 CGs and 253 K. His potential strikeout total this season would be the highest in league history. He is also on pace to finish Top 5 in the single season record books in: K/BB ratio, batting average against, opponents' on-base percentage, opponents' slugging percentage, WHIP and ERA.