Monday, April 13, 2015

Season 26 Wrap-Up - Atlanta Takes the Title!

Atlanta is your Season 26 Champion!

After a string of hard luck playoff losses the past few seasons, Atlanta's talented squad finally brought home a World Series crown in Season 26.  After finishing #1 in the power rankings in Seasons 23, 24 and 25, Atlanta couldn't cash in on their regular season success in the playoffs.  Oddly enough, Texas passed Atlanta in the final regular season power rankings of Season 26, so perhaps the top spot holds a playoff curse.  Atlanta swept St. Louis, outlasted Texas in a tough six game series in the ALCS, and defeated Florida in the World Series in 5 games to win it all.  Their #2 ranked pitching staff in the regular season showed they are tops in the postseason, posting a phenomenal 2.02 ERA during their postseason run, to go with solid offense.  Congrats to ekoontz on his 2nd Cobbfather title, his Expos also took it all in Season 10.

Now let's take a look at this season's individual award winners!

Most Valuable Player
American League - Vic Crowe, Colorado Springs - .320 AVG 51 HR 133 RBI
Crowe certainly flourished in his return to Colorado Springs, taking home his 1st MVP award with career highs in multiple offensive categories.  Crowe also made his 3rd All-Star team and won his 2nd Silver Slugger award during his most impressive campaign.  He certainly earned ever dollar of his $20,000,001 salary this season, even that extra dollar!

National League - Ahmed Ratliff, Philadelphia - .326 AVG 62 HR 154 RBI
It's rare to see a rookie take the MVP trophy, but Ratliff did just that.  Putting up ridiculous numbers for the Philly squad, Ratliff was a landslide winner in the NL MVP Race.  Ratliff took home more hardware this season than most players earn their entire career.  In addition to winning the MVP, he was the NL Rookie of the Year, made the All-Star team, won the Home Run Derby and took home a Silver Slugger award.  At just 21 years old, it will be interesting to see what Ratliff does the rest of his career.

Cy Young Award
American League - Thomas Hutchinson, Atlanta - 22-3 2.35 ERA 181 K
Hutchinson won the battle of best Atlanta pitcher, also known as the AL Cy Young Award.  It was likely his microscopic ERA that gave him the edge.  Notching another tremendous season, Hutchinson takes home his 3rd Cy Young Award, also winning in Seasons 21 and 24.  He also made his 5th All-Star team this season.  At just 30 years old next season, and on a stacked Atlanta team, it will be exciting to see how he continues to build his Hall of Fame resume in the next phase of his career.

National League - Norman LaPorta, Houston - 18-7 2.61 ERA 230 K
The 37 year-old hurler has yet to lose a step as LaPorta took home the NL Cy Young by a significant margin this season.  He has reached rarefied air winning the Cy Young for an amazing 5th time, a feat that has only been done by one other player in Cobbfather history, James Haselman, who has won six Cy Youngs.  He also reached double digit All-Star appearances this season, making his 10th All-Star team.  LaPorta continues to build on an amazing Hall of Fame career.

That concludes this season's blog coverage, see you soon for Season 27!

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