Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Season 24 Wrap Up

Buffalo Bisons (NL)
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Buffalo takes it all in Season 24!

A new entry has been made into the Hall of Champions as Season 24 came to an end.  The Buffalo Bisons were crowned World Series champs after edging out AL pennant winner Pawtucket in a tough six game series.  Although not the favorite, Buffalo finished #6 in the final power rankings, indicating that they were a strong team capable of a nice playoff run after playing great down the stretch.   Cy Young winner Douglas Banks was a major driving force for Buffalo in the playoffs going 5-0 in six starts with a 2.03 ERA, while Magglio Johnson crushed 8 post season homers after a mediocre regular season.  This is the Bisons' first Cobbfather championship, as they lost their last World Series appearance in Season 17.

Pawtucket had an excellent regular season and post-season run led by record breaking slugger and 3-time MVP Albert Cruz.  The 25 year-old slugger will be back and better than ever next season looking to take that next step.

Thanks for a great season everyone, hopefully we'll be rolling on to Season 25 soon, see you then!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Season 24 Awards Recap

As Pawtucket and Buffalo start to battle it out in the World Series, the regular season awards were announced. Let's see who took home this season's hardware!

Most Valuable Player
American League - Albert Cruz, Pawtucket - .330 AVG 61 HR 148 RBI
No player in Cobbfather history has ever won 3 MVP awards, until now, as Cruz has amazingly managed to accomplish the feat in his first three full seasons in the majors.  There's not enough superlatives to describe Cruz's hitting ability, and he's most certainly a candidate to keep the MVP streak going next year. 

National League - Ray Rudolph, Ottawa - .298 AVG 60 HR 133 RBI
The streak of 17 consecutive different NL MVP winners is over, as Rudolph picks up his 2nd MVP trophy with an outstanding season.   Rudolph also won the NL MVP award in Season 19.  His Home Run and RBI totals are higher than his previous MVP campaign and are career highs.  The 31 year-old slugger obviously still is getting done, and his 2nd MVP trophy is well deserved. 

Cy Young Award
American League - Thomas Hutchinson, Atlanta - 18-3 2.70 ERA 174 K
Hutchinson remained the leader of a most impressive Atlanta pitching staff that dominated the regular season, enabling him to claim his 2nd Cy Young Award.   Hutchinson also won the Cy Young in Season 21.  The crafty 27 year-old righty looks to be a perennial Cy Young contender and is sure to come back strong for seasons to come.  His biggest competition for future awards may come from his teammates.

National League - Douglas Banks, Buffalo - 20-3 2.25 ERA 207 K
It's repeat winners all around this year, as Banks claimed his 2nd Cy Young award this season.  He also won in Season 19.  After missing most of the previous season due to shoulder surgery, Banks was back and better than ever this season.  That's an amazing medical team they have there in Buffalo!  Banks has led his team to the World Series this season, on top of taking home the Cy Young.

Rookie of the Year
American League - Dorssys Tatis, Colorado Springs - .313 AVG 35 HR 97 RBI
Tatis was a runaway winner of the AL Rookie of the Year Award.  He was a key part of the offense that led a second half surge for Colorado Springs and an outstanding playoff run that saw them take out the top two regular season teams in the AL.   At just 21 years old, Tatis has tremendous power, a great batting eye and excellent contact hitting skills that should make him a top slugger for years to come.

National League -  Juan Saenz, Houston - 14-2 2.83 ERA 109 K
Saenz was also a decisive winner in the NL Rookie of the Year race.  An early season call-up, Saenz posted a near flawless record, along with very nice peripherals.  We're not sure Saenz will win a boatload of Cy Youngs, but he's a high quality starter that will be an asset to any pitching staff for many seasons to come.

Fireman of the Year
American League - Gus Masaoka, Atlanta - 2.94 ERA, 43 SV, 2nd win
National League - Rodrigo Ontiveros, Las Vegas - 3.35 ERA, 40 SV, 1st win

That concludes the Awards recap, good luck to the World Series teams, and don't forget to renew your teams for next season!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Season 24 Final Regular Season Power Rankings

As the playoffs get under way, it's time to take a look at the final regular season power rankings.  Atlanta was a clear and dominant #1 all season.  Behind them is a glut of teams that could have been ranked a number of ways, as they were all very close.  It will be interesting to see how the playoffs go, if anyone can dethrone Atlanta and who will emerge in a very tight NL picture.  Good luck to all in the playoffs, here are the complete final rankings!

Team  W L PREV    Comments
1 Atlanta  115 47 1 Simply dominant, one of the best season in world history
2 Boston  97 65 4 Playing well, and actually finished with the top offense
3 Pittsburgh  97 65 5 Tremendous second half of the season, looking real good
4 Houston 98 64 2 Mediocre down the stretch, but still a high quality squad
5 Salt Lake City 101 61 3 Excellent season for sure with the NL's best record
6 Buffalo  96 66 8 Great stretch run, but offense is a bit of a question mark
7 Pawtucket 91 71 10 Made a run to claim division title, and could make waves
8 Arizona 89 73 9 Solid team by the numbers, great offense for this team
9 Colorado Springs 82 80 18 Huge run down the stretch earned them the division title
10 Los Angeles 88 74 7 Improved during the 2nd half, could be a threat in the NL
11 Charlotte  86 76 21 Major run the last 40 to get division title, hot right now
12 Jacksonville 82 80 19 Well balanced team but couldn't grab a playoff spot 
13 Cincinnati 88 74 6 Struggled down the stretch, but they're in as a wildcard
14 St. Louis 79 83 16 Very good, but may need a little more offense to contend
15 San Juan 84 78 12 Getting there, but pitching is not yet playoff caliber 
16 New York  87 75 14 Just missed the playoffs, but a nice record this season 
17 Austin  82 80 20 Middle of the road by the numbers, seem on the cusp 
18 Tampa Bay  77 85 11 Down season, good numbers, so a bit of tough luck here
19 Salem 80 82 17 Good 2nd half shows they look to be on the rise
20 Dover 77 85 15 Poor stretch run expected, as they look to be in rebuild
21 Las Vegas 76 86 25 Solid pitching, but offense was lacking this season 
22 Texas 75 87 24 Offense wasn't there, but the pitching was pretty good
23 Seattle  74 88 29 Nice stretch run shows they may be putting it together
24 Trenton 77 85 22 Fell off down the stretch, as pitching was an issue
25 Ottawa 75 87 13 It really all came apart the last 40, as pitching got rocked
26 Florida 73 89 28 Over .500 the last 40, so they have some promise here
27 Durham  74 88 23 Pitching rough down the stretch, and in a tough division
28 Louisville 62 100 27 They're ptiching staff got rocked pretty hard this season
29 Syracuse  64 98 26 Pitching isn't quite there yet, so they struggled some
30 Albuquerque 62 100 31 They're pitching hasn't adjusted to this park yet it seems
31 San Francisco 54 108 32 Down season as pitching was a major issue again
32 Philadelphia 50 112 30 Bad luck down the stretch, could improve next season