Saturday, August 30, 2014

Stats n' Rants #2

"Juiced Rankings"

Ortiz - Chugging along the all-time rankings.

  • David Ortiz is 3rd all-time now among the Boston Red Sox' career HR leaders. He ranks just behind Ted Williams and Carl Yastremzki.  Now you all know that I will never put "Big Papi" in the same breath as "Teddy Ballgame" or "Yaz", I also feel that even though Ortiz will go down as one of the best post-season clutch-hitters of all-time (if not the best), and the fact that he's done a lot for the city of Boston in general -- But.. he will never go down as a Hall of Famer in my book, all because it's tainted, he's connected to PED's... Simple as that! It took David Ortiz (a younger, non-PED Ortiz) to reach 58 career HR's with Minnesota, in 1,477 at-bats -- he led the American League with 54 alone during the 2006 MLB Season in just 558 at-bats! People keep talking about Ortiz entering the hall as the first DH, let's stop you right there, why is Edgar Martinez and Harold Baines continuously ignored? Now Ortiz's numbers would be hall-worthy for sure, 461 HR's, a career batting average of .286, and 1,523 RBI's (not to mention .926 eye-popping OPS) -- but once again they are tainted. Now Edgar does not have the HR's (309) that Ortiz does, but at this point, he just edges Ortiz in hits (2,247 to 2,143), OPS (.933 to .927), while holding a bigger lead in Batting Average (.312) & On-Base Percentage (.418 to .380). Now let's go to Baines -- Baines fell 134 hits short of 3,000 (he was that close, people!), sporting a .289 career batting, 384 HR's & 1,628 RBI (more than Ortiz). Baines also has a respectable career On-Base Percentage of .356 & OPS (On-Base + Slugging Percentage, for the people that still might not know what OPS is) of .820 -- to put that in perspective, Andre Dawson, a Hall of Fame Inductee, has a lower career batting average (.279), a lower On-Base Percentage (.326, certainly low OBP for Hall standards), lower OPS (.806), and... oh yeah, Dawson fell 236 hits shorts of 3,000 compared to Baines' 134 short. I think a few things (a few too many) are held against Baines, in the end, he moved from OF to DH, and the fact he played for quite a few teams in the second half of his career (Texas, Baltimore, Oakland, Cleveland -- plus two more stints with the White Sox). Overall he was a White Sox player that I remember very well, whenever Chicago played my beloved Tigers, I hated watching Baines step up to the plate, he was a feared player, an excellent hitter -- very much, underrated. The teams he played with later, was during the free agent era kicking into high gear, plus a few of those he was acquired in trades (you can't hold trades against the guy) in Texas & Oakland acquiring him in mid-season deals. I think the playing for numerous teams has been a stigma of sorts on other great careers, one that comes straight to mind is Fred McGriff (who was also traded a lot). I guess we'll have to dive into the rest of this, in another Hall discussion, but for now, that's all got on Papi & his DH-rivals.
    Chapman set an interesting record streak.
  • Aroldis Chapman set an interesting record, a record streak of 49 straight saves with at least one strikeout, that streak came to an end (I believe he passed Bruce Sutter at 36 & Eric Gagne at 33), while Francisco Rodriguez "K-Rod" matched & passed Rollie Fingers' career Saves total of 341. The evolution of MLB relievers continues to take different shapes as time moves on, what we need to do is in many ways ignore the Saves total, and think how relievers are used today or at least how big those relievers were during their day. I have seen many people on the APBA Facebook Group and many MLB insiders, writers say that Bruce Sutter was one of the absolute best, when he was on top of the game. Plus if you made Sutter close games out like they do today, he would have certainly made that career total balloon. Rollie Fingers, same deal, a different style for sure, but once again definitely among the best. Now what Eric Gagne did during his dominant three-year stretch from 2002-2004, will never hold any admiration from me, I remember how dominant he was, just like anyone else does, but I also suspected him as a steroid boy long before his name came up. He was far skinnier as a former starting pitcher, a starting pitcher that also blew out his arm at one point -- suddenly he was racking up Saves totals of 52, 55 & 45 with his arm suddenly shooting off like a cannon? C'mon! But now looking at a PED-induced Gagne, and a dominant Sutter, and then you have Chapman passing Sutter by an extra 13-innings in the Saves streak with at least one K, that to me makes it a pretty impressive mark, then again dialing up a 102 mph fastball, you are certainly going to get your advantage of calls as well. Now going to "K-Rod", Francisco Rodriguez we will remember he was implemented in 2010 (suspended for PED-use), so once again like with Gagne, it's all tainted. Kind of wonder if we should look at the single-season Saves mark he set of 62, as 57 by Bobby Thigpen still. I look at the All-Time mark in HR's as Hank Aaron's record still, and Roger Maris still standing at 61.
  • Money not-so-well spent, as in the case for Ricky Nolasco & his $49 million contract. Nolasco allowed at least 5 earned runs in 8 starts this season (making it the 3rd most in the Majors) -- which is interesting, considering he also spent a significant time on the Disabled List as well. He currently has a record of 5-9, with a 5.62 ERA & 1.53 WHIP.
  • Yusmeiro Petit (S.F.) set an MLB record of retiring 46 batters in a row, breaking the record of 45 once held by Mark Buerhle (then with White Sox). The funny thing is the record stopped at 46, when Petit allowed a double to the Colorado Rockies' pitcher Jordan Lyles

Thursday, August 28, 2014

1903 World Series (Game 1)

Boston's Cy Young does his thing.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are coming off their most successful season of yet, by sweeping the Philadelphia Athletics in the 1902 World Series. In fact, if things have swung the Pirates way against the Chicago White Sox, during the 1901 World Series (in which Pittsburgh lost the series 4-3), the Pirates could be trying for a three-peat in the 1903 World Series edition of the World Series Replays project.

The 1903 Pittsburgh Pirates (91-49) will have to go to Boston to face Cy Young and the Boston Americans, who also won 91 games (91-47).

Cy Young is coming off a 28-9 season, with a 2.08 ERA & 176 K's (341.2 IP). Young will face off against 25-7 Sam Leever, who had a 2.06 ERA with 90 K's (284.1 innings).

Game 1 (at Boston (A))
1st inning, Fred Clarke hits a one-out single to right between the second & first. Honus Wagner fails to make contact with a hit & run put into motion while Clarke was a dead duck at second, on a great throw by Lou Criger. Young walks Wagner, Leach flies out to deep center for third out.

Lead-off double for Claude Ritchey, top of the second, for Pirates, but he's left stranded at third for Pittsburgh. Bottom of the inning, Boston's Buck Freeman hits a lead-off double into right-field corner. Chick Stahl bunts Freeman down to third, in a successful sacrifice bunt. Hobe Ferris pops out to short, as Sam Leever walks the next batter in George LaChance. Lou Criger smacks one into the left-field corner causing problems for left fielder Fred Clarke, Freeman scores easily, LaChance is going for third, he rounds third, the relay throw comes in amd LaChance scores, as Criger dives into third with a two-run triple for the Americans. Cy Young grounds it to the mound for the final out, but the Boston Americans strike first, 2-0.

Top of third, Ginger Beaumont hits one-out single to right. Fred Clarke hits into a fielder's choice, as Boston gets the lead runner at second. Honus Wagner powers into this one, it stays fair, but misses the wall and bounces in the corner, Buck Freeman is there, Beaumont is heading home, the quick relay from Freddy Parent, and they nail him! The Boston fans are loving it!

Lou Criger showing he can do it all, draws a walk during the bottom of the 5th. He made it over to third on a sacrifice bunt by Cy Young & a ground out by Pat Dougherty. With two outs, and Criger on third, the Pirates' catcher Ed Phelps is responsible for a passed ball, allowing Criger to score. Boston leads 3-0 after five innings.
Criger played a huge part in Game 1.

Lou Criger back at it again, hits a liner to left, Fred Clarke goes to dive for it, and it scoots by him, and is rolling to the wall, Clarke is chasing after it, Criger is around second, the throw, and Criger is going to make it to third, for his second triple of the day -- Great work today by the #8 hitter! Criger would score on a RBI double to right by Cy Young. Sam Leever walks Pat Dougherty, runners now on 1st & 2nd, two outs for Freddy Parent. Leever delivers the pitch, grounded down the line to Kitty Bransfield, who scoops it up, runs to first, tags the base, side retired. Boston pads it's lead to 4-0 now.

Cy Young strikes out the side in the top of the 8th, by striking out Jimmy Sebring, Ed Phelps and Bucs' starter Sam Leever. Young now has 7 K's for the night, and has not allowed a hit, since the third inning -- as the Pirates have only logged four hits. It's not like Boston is racking up the hits, but with their 5 hits, they have made them count.

Young would allow a 5th hit in the 9th, the second hit in the game by Fred Clarke, but the Pirates could do no more, as Young completes the Game 1 shutout in front of the home crowd

FINAL: Boston 4, Pittsburgh 0

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Transaction League Update

Carpenter & the Cards have the league seeing red.

Here is a breakdown of each of the MLB Divisions in my Transaction League. Once again, the Transaction League, is a 2013 Season Replay with real-life 2014 MLB Transactions.
  • The A.L. East: The Boston Red Sox have the best record in the entire league, with a 88-41 record -- They lead the division by 13 games over the current wildcard Tampa Bay Rays. Boston has gone 16-5 since the July 31st Trade Deadline. If the season ended today, Tampa Bay (73-52) would host the Detroit Tigers for a one-game wildcard playoff game. The Baltimore Orioles have descended since the deadline, going 8-11 during this stretch, and now find themselves 3 games behind Detroit for that second spot.
  • The A.L. Central: The Kansas City Royals have took first place, despite the fact that the Detroit Tigers landed David Price at the deadline. Tigers have gone 9-12, while K.C. has gone 14-8 during this stretch -- with the Royals leading the division with 70-55 record (1.5 games up) on 69-57 Detroit.
  • The A.L. West: The Texas Rangers (81-46) are running away with the division, 19.5 games over Oakland. The Oakland Athletics, at one point after the trade, won 7 straight games, but in the other games from their 10-9 period, makes them 3-9 in a 12-game stretch. The team is not completely out, but at 61-65, and 8 games behind the 2nd wildcard spot, the A's are running out of time.
  • The N.L. East: The Atlanta Braves (68-58) hold a slight 2 game edge over the Washington Nationals. Atlanta is idling at 10-9, while Washington (66-60) has done a little better at 12-7. The New York Mets have been hanging around at 62-63, only 5.5 games out of first -- but it's going to be tough for them to compete with both teams down the stretch. I think Washington has made the best deals to pull it off at the end, and I believe only one team will go to the playoffs from this division. Washington is currently 6 games behind the 2nd wildcard slot, that happens to be sliding Pittsburgh.
  • The N.L. Central: The St. Louis Cardinals were nipping at the Pittsburgh Pirates' heels right before the trade deadline -- since then, the Cards made some good moves & have now gone 15-6 in their last 21 games, all while the Pirates have gone 8-12 in that span. St. Louis now leads with a 78-48 record (6 games up).
  • The N.L. West: The Los Angeles Dodgers have the National League's best record at 82-44, and have also been red-hot (17-4) in their last 21 games. They have made some distance now (8 games) between the second-place Colorado Rockies (who have been playing .500 ball during the last 20 games). Colorado currently is in position to host the one-game wildcard playoff against the Pirates. The San Francisco Giants are starting to find themselves to be a long-shot with a 65-61 record, and is going to have a difficult time getting past Washington or Atlanta, Pittsburgh & Colorado to get into the playoffs -- especially if they keep losing, 9-12 in last 21 games.
The Tigers have depended a lot on Cabera.
  • Miguel Cabrera (DET) currently leads the league in batting average at .371 over Boston's Daniel Nava. Even though Cabrera's Runs (82) & RBI (86) numbers are a bit low, his total average of 1.233, Runs Created (127.3), Runs Contributed (67.2), On-Base Percentage (.456), Slugging (.652) & 161 hits, all lead the American League. The runs & RBI's might be down, due to the fact that the Tigers only average 4.4 runs per game, slightly below the mid-level mark in the A.L. They also have the 2nd lowest HR totals (96) to Kansas City's 95 HR's.
  • Despite K.C.'s lack of power, they do lead the league in batting average as a team (.272), Detroit ranks 6th at .261. The Tigers also don't have the bullpen that the Royals do. The team's lineup is lead by Eric Hosmer (.331 Avg/4th) with his 15 HR's & 84 RBI, he is 2nd with 160 hits.
  • Evan Longoria (TB) currently leads A.L. in Home Runs with 35. Jose Bautista trails with 33, Miggy has 32, and Chris Davis has 30. Despite Longoria's power, he has stranded a league's worst 225 men left on base.
  • Adrian Beltre (TEX) leads the A.L. in RBI with 102, with Longoria second at 99, Josh Donaldson of Oakland at 96, and David Ortiz (BOS) at 92.
  • Ortiz's former teammate Jacoby Ellsbury of the Yankees leads the A.L. in Stolen Bases with 56, while Texas has a pair of 40+ steals by Alex Rios (44) & Leonys Martin (41), while their teammate Elvis Andrus is 6th with 33 steals. Former Rangers player Craig Gentry is 4th with 37 steals. The Texas Rangers easily leads the league with 141 steals -- they also are 2nd in batting average, lead the league in scoring, and are 2nd in OBP.
  • The Detroit Tigers have the top 3 ranking pitching leaders in ERA with Anibal Sanchez (2.04), Max Scherzer (2.24) and newly-acquired David Price (2.40). Scherzer and Sanchez currently rank 1&2 in strikeouts with 244 & 219 K's -- while Scherzer and Price both have 15 victories a piece. Justin Verlander ranks 4th in K's with 187.
  • The Top 3 Saves Leaders are not your usual leaders: Neal Cotts (TEX) leads with 36, Alex Torres (TB) - 2nd with 34, and the computer went with Louis Coleman (KC) over his teammate Greg Holland to close out games with 33. Holland still has played his part with a league-leading 21 Holds, while Luke Hochevar (another Royal) is averaging 11.5 K's per 9 innings when he comes out of the pen. Cotts for the Rangers, also leads the league in ERA for relievers with a 0.63 mark.
All Smiles for Ryu, Kerhsaw & Dodger Blue.

  • When you think Jhonny Peralta, you don't usually think batting title, but in his first year in the N.L., he might get a chance to win one. He currently leads with a .342 average over teammate Yadier Molina, while fellow Card Matt Carpenter is 6th (batting .313). Peralta also leads the N.L. in RBI (80) & Slugging Percentage (.548).
  • Bryce Harper (WAS) leads the N.L. in Home Runs with 30, while Lucas Duda (NYM) has 23, Joey Votto (CIN) - 22, and Dominic Brown at 21. Votto currently has an edge on Carpenter (STL) in On-Base Percentage at .402 to .397.
  • Carpenter is putting together a solid all-around year with .313 BA, league-leading hits (157), Runs (93), doubles (45), Multi-Hit Games (50), Runs Created (104.6) & Runs Contributed (39.5).
  • San Diego's Everth Cabrera leads the league with 52 steals, over Milwaukee's duo of Jean Segura (48) and Carlos Gomez (36). In other areas of speed, Denard Span leads N.L. with 16 triples (24 steals).
  • Clayton Kershaw (LAD) is running away with the N.L. Cy Young with his ridiculous 1.25 ERA, going along nicely with his 17-5 record & 260 strikeouts. The combination of Kershaw & teammate Hyun-Jin Ryu, have a combined record of 34-9!
  • Mark Melancon (PIT) leads N.L. with 31 Saves, over the Giants' Javier Lopez (26) & the Brewers' Brandon Kintzler (25). Lopez owns a microscopic ERA of 0.19 in 47 innings. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Summer's Setting Sun (Part II)

The AMERICAN LEAGUE (Divisions in Review)

We start in the A.L. East with Bill Gillam's South Shore Fighting Imps. 17 games, everyone in the division was close, South Shore led with a 10-7 record, but started to gradually move apart from the herd -- by April 13th, the team was 24-12, 6 games up on it's closest division foe at the time. By April 18th, they finished with a 6-game winning streak, and was 29-12, the rest of the three teams were tied in last at 19-22 (10 games back) -- Imps went 19-5 since their 10-7 start to the season. There was only one other team that would make plenty of noise in the division and that would be Larry Waddell's Boston Bravos.

The Imps have fought back, each time challenged.

The Bravos would go on a seven-game winning streak between May 21st-29th, all good, that's if the Imps were losing, which they had a winning-streak of their own at 5 straight. Boston's seven-game streak was snapped on the 30th, as the Imps won again. Then starting May 31st, the Bravos would start an impressive streak just prior to the break. At the break, their new streak was 5 consecutive wins, while South Shore stumbled and lost 3 straight.

At the break, South Shore led the A.L. East at 53-28, 10 games up on Boston's 43-38 record. The Imps would win their first 4 after the break, but would then follow that with a 3-game skid. Boston, meanwhile, continued their streak started prior to the All-Star Game, and made it 12 wins straight on June 17th. The Bravos were now within 7 games of the Imps. South Shore was good at keeping a division lead, regardless how much more Boston won, Boston would end up setting a league-record 15 straight wins -- but their last 3 wins were zilch as South Shore won their last 3 as well.

Between May 20th - June 21st
  • The Bravos won a remarkable 22 of 23 games, climbing out of the cellar and hopping two teams in the process. The only problem is, during that span, they were only capable of shaving 6 games off of South Shore's division lead; The Imps went 16-7 during the span.

The South Shore Fights Back
  • Boston would be within 6.5 games on July 2nd (and as late as July 7th) at 60-40 (29-3 during their climb from the bottom) -- but South Shore would slowly pull away again. South Shore would have it's way in inter-league play with Traverse City & Holland, while Boston had the misfortune of having to face Urbana and Hannibal. South Shore's 10-game winning streak ended July 24th, with a 12-game cushion on Boston at 83-37 (.692 win pct) -- winning 23 of their last 29 games.
South Shore clinched the division last series (The Urbana Locomotives clinched the week before), while the Imps became the first team this season to reach the century mark in wins. They are currently 100-44, with Boston Bravos at 84-63 (16.5 GB), holding a 3.5 game lead over the A.L. wildcard spot.

The Bravos went on a scorching run of 29-3, to make the N.L. East race interesting.

The A.L. West for the most part has been a two-team race, Stray Corrado's Chicago Nine was in the midst at one point with a 38-34 record, 3 games out of first, and has faded after the break. Robert Mosher's Fairgrove Tigers have been holding off the Carolina Eagles for awhile now, but by only a few games. The margin has not been more than 5 games for some time, and should be interesting (just like the N.L. West when it comes down the stretch). Fairgrove is currently 84-62, with a 4 game lead on the Eagles. 

Both, South Shore & Fairgrove are built on starting pitching, the Tigers' rotation has descended from where they were earlier in the season, while the Imps have actually out-performed the Tigers' rotation, and has 3 guys in the top 6 in ERA with Scott Diamond (2.86, 4th), and with Tommy Milone & Jake Peavy tied for 6th, with a 3.01 ERA. The Imps also lead the league with a 3.19 ERA, while Fairgrove fell to 3.81 (4th). Madison Bumgarner (14-6 record, 3.61 ERA & 227 K's) and Ryan Vogelsong (17-7, 2.98 ERA & 167 K's) have lead the way for the Tigers.

At one point South Shore closer Fernando Rodney was on pace for 60 saves, he has slowed down a bit, but still leads the league with 41 Saves.

South Shore is tops in batting average (.273), HR (179) Runs Per Game (5.3), and have a .343 OBP (2nd place - Fairgrove, has a .317 mark). The team though has the least steals (68) and leads the league with 1,021 players Left on Base. If it comes down to the two teams in the American League Championship, one thing to keep in mind, South Shore won the season series 8-4.

The Buffalo Yankees' Miggy has his eyes on the crown.

Peter Wennin's Buffalo Yankees may not have had much to cheer about for his team, but certainly can be happy with their franchise's top pick in Miguel Cabrera (the 2nd Overall Pick in the Inaugural BoS Draft). Cabrera is currently leading all of the Triple Crown categories, but only by slivers in two of the three categories, this may go down to the final day.

  • Miguel Cabrera (BUF) - .318
  • Adrian Gonzalez (BUF) - .316
  • Joe Mauer (S.S.) - .305
  • Miguel Cabrera (BUF) - 42
  • Matt Holliday (S.S.) - 32
  • Carlos Beltran (WAS) - 31
  • Miguel Cabrera (BUF) - 106
  • Paul Goldschmidt (FAIR) - 100
  • Matt Holliday (S.S.) - 97
One of my favorite team names & team logo ( I made the logo).
Jeff Tritthart's Bronx Bombers are very likely to have a top 5 pick in this upcoming 2014 (2013 MLB Players) Draft. I met, Jeff in the U.S. Navy, and with every baseball project, he always goes by the Bronx Bombers team name. Frank Thomas joined us a few days after Frank "The Big Hurt" Thomas was elected to the Hall of Fame -- which made us scratch our heads at first, could it be?! The real Frank Thomas, already bored & missing baseball. Frank Thomas' Washington Filibusters had the chance to host the league's 1st All-Star Game, during the game, his player Carlos Beltran hit a Grand Slam and earned All-Star Game MVP. Thomas also came up with maybe (because it's really hard to choose from all these clever team names) my favorite name of the bunch -- The Filibusters!

It's going to be interesting to see who goes to the playoffs from each league, and who will be the first two teams competing for the league's first World Championship of the Boys of Summer APBA Baseball League.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Summer's Setting Sun (Part I)

The Boys of Summer APBA Baseball League's inaugural baseball season is coming to a close. There is 3 weekly series left for everyone to play.

I have had a wonderful time this year with our new league. I never officially commissioned a league before, it's been trying at times (especially the league's rough start), but overall I feel everyone (the owners) for the most part have enjoyed it as well. I feel confident that the league will only get better & stronger in time, and I feel that I have learned from the seasons' mistakes, and how to go about things as the league moves on for future seasons. I don't like giving myself pats on my shoulders, maybe I'm being modest, I just can never take credit for this great experience.

A experience that I could have never done without all the owners involved. Well, I shouldn't say owners, I should say my new friends (and a few old ones as well) -- I've said this before, somewhere, and I'll say it again.. Seriously, I believe if we all lived a few miles apart, we would be rolling the dice or also doing the BBW still, and if we happened to all be of the same age, and if we were kids in the same neighborhood, we would be driving our parents bonkers right now-- They'll be wondering where one another was, while shouting for us to come home for dinner, LOL! I feel like we formed a band of brothers, and I feel that bond will only get stronger in time. We have men from all ages, in different regions of the country, playing make-believe General Manager, practicing our managing skills in the game we grew up to love. Honestly, is there anything better than Baseball? I refuse to believe there is, well.. okay for me, my wife Becky, family & God --- but after that really?!

So before I move on with the season to date... I just want to say thanks to the following in alphabetical order, because everyone has played a part of making -- what I feel, and hopefully what they feel, as a successful APBA BBW League. Here is to many more years...

Thank you..
  • John "Stray" Corrado
  • Charles Evans
  • Bill Gillam
  • Robert Mosher
  • Thomas Nelshoppen
  • Steve Ruder
  • Brad Stark
  • Frank Thomas
  • Jeff Tritthart
  • Larry Waddell
  • Merle Watkins
  • Peter Wennin
  • Randy Woolley

David Price of the Urbana Locomotives.
These 13 guys have made this season memorable for many reasons. Everybody joined at the right time, whenever doubt started to creep into my mind -- if running a league was going to even work out? We would certainly have our tests along the way. We survived a draft that the online site crashed on our 7th overall pick in Justin Verlander -- the joke between a few of us, was that J.V. brought to much heat with him. But we pulled together within that hour to run the draft through my Advanced Draft, overall we were mostly strangers as this chaos went down, but we pulled together, communicated with each other, and moved forward to at least log in 15 rounds that day. We had guys new to APBA BBW all together, and some that were used to BBW, but never played in a league with file sending, so it was something to get used to at first, but now they are all pros at it.

The NATIONAL LEAGUE (Divisions in Review)

Let's get to the season in review so far, the Urbana Locomotives (managed by Thomas Nelshoppen of The APBA Blog) jumped off to a 14-5 start in the National League East. When they lost their next two games, my Traverse City Panthers were just 3 games back at 11-10. We played the next series, where T.C. visited Urbana, and I got swept in all 6 games -- the rest of the division was going in the opposite direction as well, and Tom had his Locomotives up by 9 games, with a 20-7 record. In late April, Game #43 (would have been mid-May for us) -- I would once again, represent myself as a spring board for Randy Woolley's Hannibal Cavemen, I would once again get swept to a division rival, losing in all six. The Cavemen would win 9 straight at one point, and be within 8.5 games of Urbana at the Game #53 mark -- Hannibal was a even 26-26, where Urbana went 15-11 since their 20-7 start -- I remember Tom being a bit nervous thinking his team was going to start declining, personally I felt the division would be between Urbana and Hannibal all along, on the way they executed the Draft. I kept my own predictions to myself at the time, in old leagues we would do preview issues, but as a new commissioner and still feeling out things in the league, and not knowing how owners would take a predictions issue -- I felt it was best to stay quiet.

Beltre is on top of nearly every offensive category in the N.L.

Thomas & his Locomotives just clinched the division August 15th. He currently leads the division by 27.5 games, entering play yesterday, with a 96-51 record. His team has been outstanding, led by a heavy N.L.Cy Young favorite in David Price -- who has a 21-4 record (.840 win pct), while leading the league in wins, ERA (2.42), complete games (tied with 10), shutouts (6); he is 5th with 215 K's, but his 9.3 K's per 9 innings (ranks 3rd), and is ahead of strikeout leader Clayton Kershaw's 8.4 K's per 9 inning. On the offensive side of the ball, Urbana's slugger Adrian Beltre was in the Triple Crown hunt. Beltre is at the top of nearly every offensive category -- Batting Average (.351 over Erick Aybar's .324), Slugging (.613), On-Base Percentage (.389), Runs Created (132.8), Total Average (1.039), Runs Contributed (58.4), Runs (93), Runs Batted In (129), Hits (193), Doubles (37) & MultiHit Games (58) entering  August 20th. His 35 HR's are currently 10 HR's behind Edwin Encarnacion of the Sacramento 66'ers.

Harper & Holland looking to be Royal pains.

The cellar-dwellers in the N.L. East are Steve Ruder's Holland Hitchhikers and my own Traverse City Panthers, we drafted mainly for 2013 & present, I think both teams have bright futures, and will test their division mates in time. Holland has a lot of youth and is led by two young studs that play for the Nationals in Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg. The Hitchhikers should also think of changing their colors to Royal blue with all the Kansas City players on their roster in Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Greg Holland. Traverse City's Giancarlo Stanton is currently 3rd in HR's with 33. They also have guys who take big steps in 2013 with Josh Donaldson, Matt Carpenter, Brandon Belt & Brian Dozier -- along with bright starting pitching on the horizon, led by the franchise's top pick in Yu Darvish.

The National League West has been probably the closest division all year. For the first 21 games, the Brad Stark's Portland Microbrewers and Charles Evan's King Road Kings were neck-to-neck. On May 4th, Portland only led the division by two games over 2nd place Sacramento Kings, the last place team Seattle Rainiers were only 6 games out, at this point. The next day, the Portland would make a deal with Traverse City, bringing in a new acquisitions in starting pitchers Matt Harrison and Brandon Morrow, outfielder Austin Jackson & Traverse City's 3rd Round Draft Pick (2014 - 2013 MLB Season) in exchange for two young pitchers in Corey Kluber & Nathan Eovaldi, and veteran outfielder Ryan Raburn. Harrison pitched a solid 10.1 inning Portland debut, allowing 3 earned runs with 5 K's. Portland adds some starting pitching with their already effective rotation, to give them that extra push, plus a bat (in Jackson) to help with what was a struggling lineup at that point.

Kershaw leads possibly the best 1-2 punch in BoS (both southpaws).

The Kings have a scary one-two punch in their starting rotation with lefties Clayton Kershaw & Chris Sale. The only problem, the team doesn't get good run support (in bottom half of league), have left many men on base (2nd w/994), and have been punched out at the plate more than any other National League team, not named the Traverse City Panthers, with 1,181 K's. Kershaw has been on fire, particularly the second-half & finally started to accumulate some victories; Leads league with 232 K's, 3rd in victories (18), 2nd in ERA (2.53), while topping the league in Earned Runs Prevented (41.1), Innings Pitched (249.1), and possibly making a strong case with his 26 Quality Starts (1st) to David Price's 19, when it comes to the Cy Young conversation. Sale, on the other hand, has been punished with weak run support (tied with 3 starting pitcher for 1st) with 3.4 runs per outing, and is right there with Kershaw with a .198 Opponent's Batting Average against them, he has also compiled 200+ strikeouts with 219, making it 451 K's between the two of them -- making a legit case that there is no better 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation than Kershaw & Sale. Kershaw started getting more run support in the second half, and actually ranks 7th (tied) with 4.8 runs per game now.

Merle Watkins' Seattle Rainiers is an interesting bunch, I like the pieces he has, and I was a bit surprised that they came out of the gates a bit sluggish, they have played better of late. When I looked at the division as a whole, Portland out of the four stood out. I felt they had more impact pieces, and drafted pretty good around the board, plus you can never go wrong with Mike Trout as the top overall pick, but other picks like Jason Kipnis & Cliff Lee stand out. I think the rest of the division would be anywhere from 2-4, I think you could have many different scenarios when you look at this division, you can also draw up plenty of scenarios where Portland is not on top as well -- everything in this division is about a break here, and a break there. Seattle has Prince Fielder, Evan Longoria, and Max Scherzer, while drafting youngsters in Yoenis Cespedes and Michael Brantley.

-- to be continued....

Summer's Setting Sun (Part II) - The AMERICAN LEAGUE (Divisions in Review)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

1903 World Series Preview

Jesse Tannehill
The Pittsburgh Pirates were coming off their most successful season of yet, by sweeping the Philadelphia Athletics in the 1902 World Series. In fact, if things swung the Pirates way against the Chicago White Sox, during the 1901 World Series (in which Pittsburgh lost the series 4-3), the Pirates could be trying for a three-peat in the 1903 World Series edition of the World Series Replays project.

For the real-life Pirates, the 1903 Pittsburgh Pirates was the beginning of the end for this group. Until the 1902-1903 off-season came around, the Pirates were relatively lucky in being able to keep players from jumping ship and trying to sign with Ban Johnson's American League teams for greener pastures. The losses of catcher Jack O'Connor, outfielder Al "Lefty" Davis & Wid Conroy were not huge losses for the Bucs. Conroy's departure set up Honus Wagner's move from right field to short. The big losses would come in the form of losing two of their big four starting pitchers in Jack Chesbro and Jesse Tannehill -- signing with the A.L.'s New York Highlanders (now known as the Yankees). Back in these days, the teams & players knew of their signings & departures, before the previous season is over. In real-life, this may have been one of the contributing factors why the Athletics took the World Series in 1903, and not the favored Pirates. The Replay edition swept the A's with flying colors for the most part, despite two games going to extras, and a comeback from behind to win Game 2.
An idea of Cobb in Pittsburgh?

The departures of the two star pitchers happened for a few reasons. There was rumors circulating that Ban Johnson was going to move his league's Detroit franchise (the Detroit Tigers) to Pittsburgh -- in fact as time has gone on, there was many reports that came out that Detroit actually came pretty close to losing the Tigers. Rumor has it that Johnson, loved the idea of a city having the two biggest superstars at the time in Ty Cobb & Honus Wagner, and the fascination of fans arguing on who was the better ballplayer? So the owner at the time, Barney Dreyfuss (of the Pirates) feared about dealing with another team stealing a little bit of their fan-base by sharing their city. The Philadelphia Phillies experienced this in 1902, in which their home attendance dropped to 67,000 less fans the next season, when the Philadelphia Athletics joined the city. Eventually, this would be the reasons for the Athletics to move to Kansas City, the Boston Braves eventual move to Milwaukee, and the St.Louis Browns move to Baltimore.

But the moves of the Bucs to save some bucks, without a doubt cut this possible dynasty short, and made it easier for powerhouses such as John McGraw's New York Giants & the Chicago Cubs to arrive onto the scene midway through the decade.

Source: "Turmoil of the 1902-1903 Off-Season" by Pirates Prospects blog.

The Boston Americans (Red Sox) come in with 91-47 record, led by Cy Young and his 28 victories. Young also had a 2.08 ERA with 176 K's (only walking 37) in 341.2 innings. Buck Freeman is their slugger with 13 HR's and 104 RBI (batting .287).

In real life, the Red Sox took Pittsburgh 5-3 in a best-of-nine, thank god they trimmed it down to best-of-seven. The Pirates also had Ed Doheny quit on them prior to the series from a mental breakdown, while Sam Leever was playing hurt (losing his two games). The series overall was dubbed an upset.

Thursday, August 14, 2014


How will the real-life moves effect the Trans teams, here on out?
For those that may not know what my 2014 Transaction League is, well, it's simple really. It's a Baseball for Windows (BBW) League that is the 2013 MLB Players' stats while I update the replay to the real-life 2014 MLB Season moves.

We all know that all hell broke out on the July 31st MLB trading deadline. The Red Sox reshuffled a lot of players, Oakland and Detroit feel they landed big pieces in Jon Lester and David Price. How will this effect the Transaction League? We'll have to wait and see, the Boston Red Sox in the Transaction League, hold a strong 8.5 game lead in the A.L. East with a 72-36 (.667 pct - best in entire TL), compared to their last place (yet only 12.5 out of first) record of 48-60. The Red Sox in the MLB released A.J. Pierzynski, who was struggling, but not so in the 2013 replay of course, but we have to do what the real teams do, so the Red Sox release A.J., who was batting .315, 14 HR & 62 RBI in 311 at-bats, at the time of his release. He just got picked up by the St.Louis Cardinals, who also landed Justin Masterson (13-XW) and John Lackey (10-YZ) to bolster their already strong rotation. In the 2013 replay, the Cards have a healthy Yadier Molina, who also played some first, will play more first base with the addition of Pierzynski. Matt "Babe" Adams has tired down, and got sent to the farm to make some room, plus the fact that the Cards shipped Allen Craig to Boston.

Longoria is all smiles in Transaction League.

Boston will be a team of mystery from here on out, can they keep up their winning ways when they traded two strong starters? They also traded Stephen Drew to the Yankees, Drew signed late, but was a spark-plug in the Transaction League that turned the sluggish Red Sox around, to the best team in the league. They traded another good grade in relief pitcher Andrew Miller to Baltimore, a wild card contender in the TL -- A team that can potentially be a problem if they match-up in the playoffs, now that Boston has thinned their rotation. The Tampa Bay Rays currently own the first wildcard spot, while the Baltimore Orioles & Kansas City Royals are tied for the 2nd wildcard slot. We'll see if the Rays can keep it up, now that they traded Price to Detroit. The Rays have been led by possible A.L. MVP candidate Evan Longoria, who is just driving the ball out of the park right now, here's what he's doing below 

A Comparison between Longoria's 2013 MLB numbers & 2013 Replay/2014 Transaction numbers
  • Entire 2013 MLB: .269 BA, 32 HR, 88 RBI, 91 runs, 39 doubles, .842 OPS &.343 OBP.
  • 2014 TL (2013): .261 BA, 30 HR, 87 RBI, 70 runs, 26 doubles, .837 OPS & .305 OBP.
Lots more in the HR department, while sacrificing more walks & on-base percentage in the Transaction League, he has still 50+ games remaining in his season, so he's going to dwarf his power numbers for sure, while keeping on track with his real-life 2013 batting average & OPS (On-Base + Slugging).

Some of the divisions, you will see some similarities between real-life & the transaction.

In the A.L. East, the last place teams have similar records of 46-60 & 48-60, while Baltimore has a similar record with a 58-49 (3rd place) compared to it's division-leading counterpart 60-47 in the MLB for 2014. The A.L. Central has Detroit on top in both, both with similar leads 3 games up (Trans) & 4 games up (MLB), both over the Kansas City Royals nipping at their heels. Minnesota is similar in both with 46-57 record (Trans) & 48-59 record in MLB -- while Chicago is only 5 games difference between their two versions. Cleveland is a joke compared to their MLB counterpart with only a 40-65 record, which is only going to get worse with them trading off Asdrubal Cabrera & Justin Masterson. The A.L. West for the American League is the only division with really no similarities, it does make Texas Rangers fans wonder, what if? though. Texas with the addition of Prince Fielder & Shin-Soo Choo is running away with the division in the Transaction League, while in real-life Texas has been marred with injuries, including Fielder for pretty-much the entire season. Oakland for some odd reason is off it's MLB mark by a good 15 games, they were doing well earlier in the Transaction League, we'll see if they make a run at that wild card slot at least with all the new additions.

Fielder & Texas are doing great in their alternate world.

The National League side of things, goes like this... in the N.L. East, both versions of the division leaders have similar record's in Atlanta 58-49 (Trans) & Washington 58-48 (MLB) -- the two franchises are flip-flopped for second place with Washington 4 GB (Trans) with a 54-43 record, while Atlanta trails by a much closer distance of only 1.5 games at 58-51 in the Majors. New York & Philadelphia are closely the same in record for both leagues, while Miami simply sucks in the Transaction League at 39-66 (18 GB), while they are only 6 games out --despite losing Jose Fernandez for the season. For the N.L. Central, the 64-42 Pittsburgh Pirates (Trans) are on top, by slight 1/2 game over suddenly hot St.Louis Cardinals, who also made some upgrades to their rotation -- making them a sudden favorite in the N.L. Cincinnati has slipped from the top of the standings to third at 58-50, and are starting to reflect their MLB counterparts (who are 54-54, in 4th). The surprise team in the N.L. Central/MLB has been the Milwaukee Brewers, while in the Transaction League, they are playing the way most magazines & sports outlets have predicted for the Brewers in 2014, and that was no better than 4th (and even last), as they dwell in 4th at 45-62. Then there is the Cubs, no surprise, in the bottom of both. The N.L. West is headed by both versions of the Los Angeles Dodgers at 65-40 & 62-47 records. Even though the San Francisco Giants have nearly identical records at 56-49 (.533) & 58-50 (.537), they find themselves behind the surprising Colorado Rockie in the Transaction League -- Rockies are 65-43, if you recall their MLB version had a pretty good April, until they fell back to earth. San Diego is the one in the cellar for Trans, at 39-69, 17 games behind 4th place Arizona (4th in both leagues). The wild card race in the N.L. is real close in the MLB, while St.Louis is looking solid in the 2nd slot for Transaction league, and tied for second spot in majors.

These are just a few of the things that have made the Transaction League, a lot of fun!
Here is the League Standings below, with the real-life standings on July 31st.

Boston 72 36 0.667 0 Balt 60 47 0.561 0
Tampa 63 44 0.589 8.5 Toronto 60 50 0.545 1.5
Balt 58 49 0.542 13.5 N.Y. 55 52 0.514 5
Toronto 50 56 0.472 21 Tampa 53 55 0.491 7.5
N.Y. 46 60 0.434 25 Boston 48 60 0.444 12.5
Detroit 60 45 0.571 0 Detroit 58 47 0.552 0
K.C. 56 47 0.544 3 K.C. 55 52 0.514 4
Chicago 48 56 0.462 11.5 Cleve 53 55 0.491 6.5
Minn 46 57 0.447 13 Chicago 53 56 0.486 7
Cleve 40 65 0.381 20 Minn 48 59 0.449 11
Texas 68 39 0.636 0 Oakland 66 41 0.617 0
L.A. 51 54 0.486 16 L.A. 64 43 0.598 2
Oakland 51 56 0.477 17 Seattle 56 52 0.519 10.5
Seattle 45 60 0.429 22 Houston 44 65 0.404 23
Houston 33 72 0.314 34 Texas 43 65 0.398 23.5
Atlanta 58 49 0.549 0 Wash 58 48 0.547 0
Wash 54 53 0.505 4 Atlanta 58 51 0.532 1.5
N.Y. 52 52 0.500 4.5 Miami 53 55 0.491 6
Phila 50 56 0.472 7.5 N.Y. 52 56 0.481 7
Miami 39 66 0.371 18 Phila 48 61 0.440 11.5
Pitts 64 42 0.604 0 Milw 60 49 0.550 0
St.Louis 63 42 0.600 0.5 St. Louis 57 50 0.533 2
Cinn 58 50 0.537 7 Pitts 57 51 0.528 2.5
Milw 45 62 0.421 19.5 Cinn 54 54 0.500 5.5
Chicago 38 68 0.358 26 Chicago 45 62 0.421 14
L.A. 65 40 0.619 0 L.A. 62 47 0.569 0
Colorado 65 43 0.602 1.5 San Fran 58 50 0.537 3.5
San Fran 56 49 0.533 9 San Diego 48 60 0.444 13.5
Arizona 55 51 0.519 10.5 Arizona 48 61 0.440 14
San Diego 39 69 0.361 27.5 Colorado 44 64 0.407 17.5
Colorado 65 43 0.602 0 San Fran 58 50 0.537 0
St. Louis 63 42 0.600 0.5 St. Louis 57 50 0.533 0.5
Cinn 58 50 0.537 7 Atlanta 58 51 0.532 0.5
San Fran 56 49 0.533 9 Pitts 57 51 0.528 1

1902 World Series (Game 4)

Game 4 (at Philadelphia)

Jack Chesbro takes the mound for the Buccos after a couple days off, we have not seen him since his relief appearance in Game 2. Rube Waddell has been on time & is looking forward to even having a bigger game (than Game 1) to keep Philadelphia's hopes alive. The Athletics have their backs against the wall, and are down 0-3 in this best-of-seven. The A's shortstop Monte Cross has been taken out in favor of Frank Bonner's bat (which is not much better), while Danny Murphy never playing short all season, will start there tonight (the APBA gods gave him a fielding 8). Lave Cross (Monte's brother), despite his excellent Game 2, has been hitless in the other two games. After the top 4 spots in the lineup, the production really drops off, so there has been a little reshuffling with the lineup as well -- Cross has been in the #5 (twice) and #1 slots this series, he will bat #2 after Topsy Hartsel in this one.

We'll see if the Athletics can pull it all together, there is a reason why the Pirates are the overwhelming favorites in this series -- they are simply better.

Bottom of the 1st -- Topsy Hartsel smacks one over Honus Wagner's head in center, Hartsel thinks about stretching this double into a triple, but wisely holds at second --Wagner does have a cannon of an arm.
Lave Cross draws a walk, first & second, no outs, the Pirates will be looking for a double-play. Socks Seybold surprises an unsuspecting infield with a sacrifice bunt, third baseman Tommy Leach nearly throws it over the Pirates' first baseman Kitty Bransfield's head, but Bransfield brings it down, and swipes a tag on Seybold in time -- one out, runners move up. Just early on and you get a sense that the Athletics are not going to go down quietly in this one. Chesbro with the delivery, Harry Davis smacks one down the line to the right, Bransfield dives at first, he's got it, gets up, flips it to Jack Chesbro covering first, two outs, but a run scores as Hartsel crosses the plate for the A's, Cross moves down to third, while Dave Fultz comes to the plate. Fultz batted .302 during the season, with an on-base percentage of .381 -- but he's been quiet with a .250 batting average & OBP this series. Chesbro with the pitch, Fultz grounds it up the middle, the second baseman Claude Ritchey is there, throws it to first, and that's three down. Philadelphia strikes first, 1-0.

Topsy Hartsel goes 3-for-4, 2 doubles.

A little scare happens during the top of the second, as Rube Waddell walks off the mound shaking his arm, the trainers are out, they are in heavy discussion with MGR Connie Mack on the mound as well, it looks like he'll stay in the game, we'll see how this all plays out. There is always rumors that go around about this guy (Waddell), but one thing is for sure, when he's on top of his game -- Watch out! There is almost no equal. Socks Seybold on Waddell's often-eccentric behavior "That's just Rube being Rube"! 

Waddell ends up walking lead-off batter Claude RitcheyKitty Bransfield pops up for first out.  Jack O'Connor is up, Waddell throws it pass the catcher Ossie Schrecongost, and Ritchey is digging, he's trying for third, the throw from Schrec and Ritchey is safe; Waddell charged with the wild pitch. O'Connor hits a shallow fly to center, Seybold catches it, and Ritchey tags up, the throw, and he's safe-- just under the tag! Ritchey is not the fastest, nor does Socks Seybold have the strongest arm. Wid Conroy flies out to left-center to Seybold for the final out, but not before this one gets knotted up at one a piece.

Top of the third, Waddell has been a bit erratic, after striking out Pirates' pitcher Jack Chesbro, he plunks Fred Clarke in the ribs, Clarke was down for a minute, as the trainer checked him out -- but he'll be okay to stay in; Clarke didn't look happy as he gives Waddell a glare. Clarke ends up trying to test Ossie Schrecongost's arm behind the plate by stealing second with two outs, and gets thrown out. I guess the ribs are not that bad.

Bottom of the third, Topsy Hartsel smacks a single to right for his second safety. Jack Chesbro strikes out Lave Cross, by catching the corner. Chesbro to face Socks Seybold, this one is pulled left, it's fair, and this one is good for extra bases, Hartsel is around third... but puts on the breaks -- Seybold pulls into second with a double. Runners on 2nd & 3rd, with one out, as Harry Davis steps into the box to face Chesbro. Davis is only batting .083 in 12 at-bats this series, as Chesbro has a 0.68 ERA this series in 13.1 innings. The Pirates suddenly pull their infield in, for a possible play around the plate, the pitch comes in, Davis grounds it to short, Conroy looks Hartsel back to third, over to first with the throw, two down. Dave Fultz ends up grounding a one-hopper to the mound, Chesbro to first, and the A's come up empty.

The Bucs' Bransfield.

Honus Wagner having a much-better series than in 1901 against the White Sox, draws a walk to lead-off the top of the 4th; Wagner is batting .333 in 12 at-bats, despite all being singles with just one ribbie. Rube Waddell catches Tommy Leach napping at the plate, for his 3rd strike out. Claude Ritchey matches Leach's output by striking out as well, a pair of K's here for Waddell in the fourth. Here is Kitty Bransfield, who is putting together an excellent World Series career in two seasons; Bransfield batted .363 in 30 at-bats in 1901, while he is currently batting .462 (6-for-13) in this one -- a grand total of 17 hits (43 at-bats) for a .395 batting average! Waddell comes with the pitch, and Bransfield pops it up behind the plate. Nothing for the Jolly Rogers!

Lead-off single for Ossie Schrecongost in the bottom of 4th off Chesbro. The Pirates drop their guard, as Danny Murphy bunts one past Kitty BransfieldClaude Ritchey (the second baseman) with the throw to second in an attempt to get Ossie, and he's safe! Both runners are safe, with no outs -- the Pirates knew Schrecongost was slow, so you would think they might have suspected a bunt coming. Jack Chesbro to face Frank Bonner, the pitch, it's grounded to Conroy at short, no play at second, the throw to first, out -- the runners advance. Chesbro now to face Philadelphia's ace Rube Waddell, and Waddell goes down swinging -- Chesbro is pumped, getting a big K when it was needed most. Topsy Hartsel comes to the plate, who already has two hits, Chesbro delivers, and it's grounded to short for a routine out at first, three down. The A's have now left six men on, early in this one -- you really don't want to waste any opportunities against these Pirates.

A quick 5th inning for both Jack Chesbro (Pirates) and Rube Waddell (A's).

The top of the 6th, after two quick outs, Honus Wagner hits it deep in the shortstop pocket, and Danny Murphy (playing short) throws it in the dirt for 1B-Harry Davis, Wagner is safe! They score this one as a single, but we'll see how this plays out -- remember Murphy is playing out of position, normally playing at second. Waddell to face Tommy Leach, and it's strike three! Leach is hopping mad, no wait! He was hit by the pitch, a second opinion from the first base ump, he was hit by the pitch! Waddell shakes his head in disbelief, the ump verifies that Leach has indeed been hit on his right forearm during the swing, with the evidence of a red welt. Nothing comes of all of it, as Claude Ritchey follows by flying out to center. A bit of drama, going on with this 1-1 game, playing out like a good chess match.

Bottom of the 6th, Ginger Beaumont robs a HR attempt by the A's Ossie Schrecongost at the right field wall. During the top of the 7th, Dave Fultz does the same (by robbing) Jack O'Connor in the very same spot in right. That fan in right is hoping to get a HR ball at some point in this game -- good luck! There has only been one HR in the history of the World Series at this point, Tommy Leach's Game 7 HR in a losing effort to the Chicago White Sox.

Two-out double for Topsy Hartsel in the bottom of the 7th, a gapper that fell between Honus Wagner and Ginger Beaumont in right-center. Lave Cross fails to get him in, as he is caught looking for Jack Chesbro's 4th K of the night. Chesbro and his opponent Rube Waddell are putting together microscopic ERA's in this 1902 World Series.

Enter: Honus Wagner (Pirates).
Rube Waddell strikes out Jack Chesbro for his 6th strikeout of the afternoon. Fred Clarke beats out infield single to second, as Ginger Beaumont steps up to the plate. Beaumont must have missed a sign, as Clarke is caught stealing second (again), in what appeared to be a hit & run opportunity that failed. Ginger Beaumont ends up hitting a two-out double into the right-center gap... oh, how that run opportunity looks huge, right now. That brings up, Honus Wagner, a big moment for Wagner -- Waddell delivers, this one is smashed to left-center, it's good for extra bases, finally the gridlock is broke as the Bucs take the lead, 2-1, with Wagner reaching second. Waddell intentionally walks Tommy Leach, who led the National League with 6 HR's this season. Waddell will face Claude Ritchey, the pitch comes in, as he lines out to second.

The bottom of the 8th, Fred Clarke tries to dive for a line drive hit by Harry Davis, and comes up short as the ball skips by him in left, Honus Wagner gives chase to it, coming in from center, as Davis rounds second, and he's going to reach third, on a one-out triple. Dave Fultz comes to the plate, he squares, Davis is coming in full steam for home plate, and it hits him, Fultz is in pain, and the umpire quickly throws out Jack Chesbro! What in the world?! Fred Clarke comes running in, to argue with the umps, I believe the home plate ump now understands he may have over-reacted, but no over-turning the decision, as he lets Clarke scream his case. Clarke has now settled down, and normally would have been thrown out for an explosion in behavior, I think that alone, is the ump admitting to his mistake. Davis has to go back to third, Fultz is now on first, runners on the corners -- one out. This game is turning into a strange one, and the Bucs will have to go to the pen, who will it be? It appears to be Deacon Phillippe, the right-hander to face the right-handed heavy A's lineup; Phillippe enters with 10 scoreless innings, 2 hits allowed with a win & save for this World Series -- Chesbro & Phillippe have been excellent, Chesbro exited with a 0.49 ERA, and is responsible for the runners. Ossie Schrecongost hits a deep fly to right, it's caught by Beaumont out in right, Davis tags up & scores, as Fultz retreats back to first -- tie game! Phillippe to face Danny Murphy (batting .143), the pitch, and Fultz is off & running, strike, the throw from catcher Jack O'Connor & he's out -- they nail him, for the third out!

Let the madness begin!

Top of the ninth, Rube Waddell still on the mound, as the speedy Kitty Bransfield leads off with a single to right. Jack O'Connor squares and drops a successful bunt towards third, Lave Cross has only one play, and that's at first, one out -- the go-ahead run Bransfield is now on second. Fred Clarke goes to his bench, and sends out Jimmy Burke to hit for Wid Conroy, who is 2-for-4 this series with 2 RBI. Burke hits one deep to right, this one will be caught, Bransfield tags up, Fultz has a weak arm, the throw, and Bransfield is safe in-standing. Two outs, and the batter is Deacon Phillippe, Clarke will wave Phillippe back to the dugout, he will send up former pitcher George Merritt -- Merritt, if you recall has been used before by Clarke, in a clutch situation in the 1901 World Series, which paid off, Merritt of course was a reliever for Clarke, that had a great bat. He only batted 3 times this season, going 1-for-3. This will take Phillippe off the mound for the Bucs, which could help the A's chances if they get out unscathed here in the ninth. Merritt hits a routine grounder to short, and that makes it the third out.

2-2, entering the bottom of the ninth -- The Pirates will send out the right-handed Sam Leever, the hero from Game 2 that helped keep the Pirates in the game, after a disaster of a start by Jesse Tannehill. The Pirates are showing they have a lot of faith in Leever, who is more than capable. Jimmy Burke stays in and plays shortstop, lacking a little glove. Leever with the pitch, and this one is popped up behind the plate, one out. Frank Bonner sends a liner out to center, Honus Wagner on the run, he reaches up and catches it, two away -- bringing up Rube Waddell, the A's starting pitcher, who batted .286 in 112 at-bats. Waddell hits a pop-fly to Fred Clarke in left, he has it, and oh! It pops out of his glove, Clarke looks around, retrieves it, as Waddell will reach second on a error by Clarke in left. Leever will now have to face lefty Topsy Hartsel (.283, 5, 58 for the season), who is only batting .188 for the A's. Leever will intentionally walk him, to face righty Lave Cross. The strategy pays off as Cross pops up in foul territory to Tommy Leach at third.

We go to extras, just like last time for Rube Waddell, who was out on the mound in Game 1, during the 1-0 loss on the sacrifice fly RBI by Al Davis. Top of the order, Fred Clarke gets his second safety, a single to right -- I don't think we will see him stealing since Oz behind the plate for Philly has picked him off twice now. Ginger Beaumont squares, and he gets hit -- and what's this?! Rube Waddell has been thrown out of the game by the home late umpire, Connie Mack comes running out, and jaws with the umpire, and he's been thrown out of here as well. Are you kidding me? The Philadelphia fans are in a ruckus, bad time for the ump to make things even, did he forget where he was? Mack and Waddell, are heading off to the locker room. There will have to be a delay, as the fans are littering the field, even the players had to come off the field for a good solid five minutes in this one. This game keeps getting stranger by the minute.

Mack's face after, ejections & all hell broke loose in the 10th.

Okay, order has been restored (somewhat), we have runners on 1st & 2nd for the Pirates, no outs -- with the dangerous Honus Wagner up at the plate, facing Fred Mitchell (who replaced the ejected Waddell). I'm sure this was going through Mack's head -- You throw out my best pitcher, while they got Honus coming up?! A player considered by some to be the Majors' first superstar. Mitchell sets, delivers, and it nails him! Mitchell is now ejected! Bases loaded, and some of these fans are heading out of the stadium to the parking lot in disgust, some officers have waived one of the umps over, probably telling them to tell the home ump, to not throw any more players out -- 3 players & one manager ejected overall, but three being from the home team, in a crowd that's invested many emotions into this long game. One thing is for sure, the commissioner's office is going to be getting a lot of angry mail from the city of Philadelphia, and the home umpire is going to have to answer many questions to the press.

The righty Bert Husting has got his warm-ups done, and he will face Tommy Leach. Leach hits a grounder to Frank Bonner at second, he bobbles it, throws quickly to home and they get the force at home, go to town locals! Now Husting will have to pray for a double-play here, he will face the switch-hitting Claude Ritchey. Husting with the pitch, Ritchey piles into this pitch, it could be trouble, Dave Fultz catches it at the wall, Ginger Beaumont is tagging up, the throw comes into the cut-off man at second, they cut it to third, Beaumont scores, Wagner is... safe under the tag! Runners on the corners, with two outs, as the Pirates take a 3-2 lead. Kitty Bransfield steps up to the plate to face Husting -- the delivery, and this one is looped over the shortstop Danny Murphy's head, Wagner scores, Leach holds as second, as Socks Seybold's strong throw comes into third. Husting sets up to face Jack O'Connor, the runners take their lead, cranks & fires, this one is hit past a diving Murphy at short, Topsy Hartsel is running in from left, Leach is heading for home, the throw comes in, Bransfield is heading for third, the throw is cut off, Leach scores, the throw to third, and Bransfield is out by inches, they trade a run for an out. The nightmare of a half-inning is over, but not before the Pirates can tack on three runs, for a 5-2 lead.

Chesbro named World Series MVP.
Sam Leever comes out to pitch again for the Pirates, after sitting on his butt for what must have felt like ages. Socks Seybold lines one at him, to make sure he's awake -- he's awake, as he catches it, for the first out. We almost forgot that the Pirates are trying to win a World Championship here, with all the chaos going on in this one. Leever to face Harry Davis, the pitch, and this one is hit to Jimmy Burke at short, he takes it on the quick hop, the throw to first, and he's out -- two down, as cheers from the Pirates fans (and there is plenty of them here) in the stands are starting to cheer. Dave Fultz is the Athletics' last hope, two outs, down 5-2 -- the pitch comes in from Leever, it's grounded to the second baseman Claude Ritchey, he fields it cleanly, flips to the first baseman Kitty Bransfield, as he leaps in the air! The PITTSBURGH PIRATES HAVE THEIR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP! Some A's fans start to throw trash back onto the field again, as Pirates fans celebrate in the stands, the policemen are in high alert to make sure that fans are not fighting with each other, after this battle between interstate rivals.

What a great feeling for the Pirates after coming so close to sealing the deal last season, winning the 1902 World Series with a sweep of the Philadelphia Athletics. Jack Chesbro wins the World Series MVP, pitching 18.2 innings, with a 1-0 record, shutout, 2 quality starts, with a sparkling 0.98 ERA, with 12 K's. The pitching in general for the Bucs was terrific, Deacon Phillippe was 1-0, with a Save (10.2 scoreless innings, allowing only 2 hits), and Sam Leever won two games in 4.2 innings of scoreless relief, allowing only one hit. The Pirates' World Series team ERA was 2.13!

The team's lineup batted .290, led by Kitty Bransfield (.471 in 18 AB's), Honus Wagner (.467 in 15 AB's) & MGR Fred Clarke (.400 in 15 AB's).

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