S26 World Series Returns Burlington to the World Series, this time against New York

The S26 Mathewson World Series featured the Burlington Bison, returning to the World Series after a one year hiatus, facing off against the New York Funbags franchise, whose last World Series appearance was 6 seasons ago.

How they got here...
New York Fun Bags
In a tough American League East Division that saw three teams enter the postseason, the 95-76 New York entered the playoffs as a Wild Card team. The Fun Bags played the first round of the playoffs against the New Britain Bombers. In a tough series that went to a Game 5, New York advanced to face the Oakland Elephants.

As a team with 105 wins, the well rested Elephants came in as a heavy favorite, but New York dispatched them in 4 games. New York moved on to play Pittsburgh in a series that took 6 games before they advanced to the World Series.

Burlington Bison
The Bison, at 84-78 had the second worst record of the teams entering the postseason, edging only with only Wild Card team Helena (82-80) by two wins. The Burlington Bison did get the advantage of winning their division to earn a first round bye and were well rested when they faced Honolulu in the Division Championship Series. Defeating Honolulu in four games, the Bison advanced to the League Championship Series to play the Colorado Crush. After a six game series, the Bison advanced to the World Series

Game 1: Gerardo Cedeno (16-6, 3.22 ERA) vs Bob Willis (12-7, 3.51 ERA), in Burlington
Bison shortstop Gustavo Unamuno got two hits and drove in two runs while Pete DeJean broke a 2 run tie with a bloop single in the 6th inning. Willis pitched 5 solid innings before turning the game to the bullpen.

Player of the Game: Pete DeJean (drove game winning run)

Bob Willis -- 5 innings, 1 Earned Run
Gustavo Unamumo - 2 hits in 4 at bats, 2 runs batted in
Pete DeJean -- 1 hit in 4 at bats, drove in the game winning run

Final Score: New York 3, Burlington 4
Burlington took the series lead

Game 2: Kiko Simpson (14-11, 3.17 ERA)  vs Joaquin Gil (13-11, 3.80 ERA), in Burlington
Joe Strange smacked a 3-run homer in the third and the Fun Bags never looked back. Simpson struck out 10 Bison in 7 2/3 to earn the win. Rookie Burke Snyder homered for the Bison.

Player of the Game: Kiko Simpson
Joe Strange: 3 Run HR, 2 hits, 2 runs scored

Final Score: New York 5, Burlington 2
New York tied the series 1-1.

Game 3: Roosevelt Greene (11-8, 2.44 ERA) vs Jonathan Poole (3-3, 6.21 ERA), in New York
The 23 yr old Jonathan Poole, who was injured for most of the season, started for the Fun Bags as the series shifted to New York. Poole pitched six effective innings while Joe Strange, Jimmie Biddle and Clem Reese got two hits each and York McNamara drove in two runs. Greene got tagged for 4 earned runs in 3 2/3 innings. For the Bison, David Lee, Brian Ramirez and Adrian Beltre got two untimely hits each in the losing effort.

Player of the Game: Jonathan Poole
Notable: York McNamara, 2 RBI
Joe Strange, Jimmie Biddle and Clem Reese got two hits each

Final Score: Burlington 3, New York 5

New York leads the series 2-1.

Game 4: Gerardo Cedeno (16-6, 3.22 ERA) vs Christy Pearson (8-4, 2.94 ERA), in New York
In a controversial decision, the Bison started rookie Pearson in Game 4 instead of Bob Willis against perennial Cy Young candidate Cedeno. Pearson had been called up and used as a swing man spot starter and reliever during most of the season due to injuries to Bison pitching. Although Willis was the announced starter, Pearson was a game time decision as the pitching coach claimed Willis "wasn't at 100%". A Bison coach was quoted as saying "We had planned on Bob starting, but we also agreed that he'd only go at 100%. He may have been at 94-95%, but that's still not 100% and we chose to give the ball to Christy." Pearson pitched 7 2/3 solid innings to earn the win behind an offense powered by Brian Ramirez' 3 run homer in the 6th. Ramirez and Gustavo Unamuno got 2 hits each.

Player of the Game: Brian Ramirez (2 hits, 3 run HR)
Notable: Gustavo Unamuno, 2 hits, excellent defense
Christy Pearson - 7 2/3, win

Final Score: Burlington 4, New York 3
Burlington evened the series 2-2.

Game 5: Bob Willis (12-7, 3.51 ERA) vs Kiko Simpson (14-11, 3.17 ERA), in New York
Bison pitcher Bob Willis returned after 5 innings in Game 1, and threw 5 scoreless innings to get the win. Brian Ramirez was the offensive sparkplug, driving in 3 runs for the Bison and earning Player of the Game honors. The Bison took advantage of 3 errors by the Fun Bags.

Player of the Game: Brian Ramirez (2 runs, 3 RBI)

Notable: Bob Willis, 5 scoreless innings
Final Score: Burlington 5, New York 3
Burlington took the series lead 3-2.

Game 6: Mariano Gonzalez (12-7, 4.27 ERA) vs Joaquin Gil (13-11, 3.80 ERA), in Burlington
Right handed pitcher Mariano Gonzalez made the first start in the World Series, facing off against Burlington's pitching ace, Gil. Both starters pitched well, but New York edged the Bison 2-1. The winning run came in as part of a double play where the Bison conceded the run but could not subsequently catch up to the Fun Bags. Joe Biddle got two hits for Newe York

Final Score: New York 2, Burlington 1
New York tied the series 3-3.

Game 7: Gerardo Cedeno (16-6, 3.22 ERA) vs Roosevelt Greene (11-8, 2.44 ERA), in Burlington

Game 7 featured the third start by New York's ace, Cedeno, against the Bison's ERA leader. The Bison jumped to an early start with a solo HR by Pete DeJean in the 2nd, and added three more runs in the bottom of the 4th to chase Cedeno, and two more in the bottom of the 7th. Greene pitched 7 solid shutout innings before giving way to the bullpen. Greene also provided some offense with 2 hits and one RBI

Player of the Game: Roosevelt Greene, 7 shutout innings, win; At the plate: 2 hits and 1 RBI

Notable: Pete DeJean, 2 RBI, 1 HIT (HR)
Edgardo Polanco, 2 hits, 2 RBI
David Lee - 2 hits

Final Score: New York 2 , Burlington 6
Burlington Wins World Series 26

S25 World Series: New Britain Bombers face off against Tampa Bay Bandits

The New Britain Bombers, returning to the World Series after losing to Burlington in last year's series, face off against the Tampa Bay Bandits. The Bandits, who happened to knock off last year's champions, the Bison, entered the series for the second time in three seasons. The Bombers, arguably the most successful dynasty in world postseason history, entered as the early favorites after 102 regular game wins and 8 regular position players with 20 or more homeruns and 3 players with over 100 runs batted in.  The series was expected to be a throwdown between superb pitching and New Britain's power against Tampa Bay's speed and superb baserunning.

Game 1: Cozy Ponson vs George Crandall, at New Britain
In a pitching duel of veterans, Crandall pitched well enough to win and exited after 7 innings, giving way to a bullpen that allowed the game to be tied on a 3-run homer by Fernando Rodriguez. In the 12th inning, the Bandits' Rolando Cortez hit an infield hit, stole second and scored on a single by Denny Benson on a close call at the plate. JD Springer earned the save for the Bandits.

Notable Performances:
Fernando Rodriguez, 1-4, 3 RBI, HR (Player of the Game)
Denny Benson, 3-6, 2 RBI (Game-Winning RBI)
Rolando Cortez, 2-6, 2 RBI

Final Score: Tampa Bay Bandits 5, New Britain Bombers 4
Tampa Bay leads the series 1-0

Game 2: Fred Hughes vs Tom Snelling, at New Britain
Tampa Bay jumped to an early lead, with a shellacking of Snelling. Snelling recorded one out before being charged with 6 earned runs, but the relief corps did not fare much better, allowing the Bandits to score 13 runs for the 13-4 loss.

Notable Performances:
Cookie Long, 3-5, 2R, 2HR 3RBI (Player of the Game)
Rolando Cortez, 2-3 3 R, 1SB
Wayne Ellis, 3-4, 2 RBI, 2 R
King Ray, 3-5, 2 R, 3 RBI, 1SB
Collin Kendall, 3-4, 1 R
Bey Franco, 5 IP, 1 ER, W

Final Score: Tampa Bay Bandits 13, New Britain Bombers 4
Tampa Bay leads the series 2-0

Game 3: Ezdra Ramirez vs Sydney Ray, at Tampa Bay
With the series shifting down to Tampa Bay, the Bandits carried the momentum of game two into another offensive explosion in front of the home crowd. The Bandit's big power hitter, Wayne Ellis, pleased the fans driving in 5 runs and hitting a monster grandslam to cap an 8 run 4th inning.

Wayne Ellis, 2-6, 5 RBI, 2 R, grandslam (Player of the Game)
Denny Benson, 3-5, 2 R, 1RBI 
King Ray, 3-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR
Tyler Lemon, 2-4, 3R, 3 RBI, HR
Fernando Rodriguez, 2-6, 2R
Cookie Long, 2-6, 1R

Bey Franco, 4 IP, 1 ER

Final Score: New Britain Bombers 4, Tampa Bay Bandits 16
Tampa Bay leads the series 3-0

Game 4: George Crandall vs Sherman McGowan, at Tampa Bay
The Bombers' offense woke up and chased Tampa Bay's starter McGowan with 7 runs in the first inning. Playing behind a solid, quality start by Crandall, the Bombers took the lead and never looked back.

Notable Performances:
Trent Erickson, 3-5, 2 R, 3 RBI, HR (Player of the Game)
Cesar Rincon, 3-4, 2 R, 3 RBI
Don Hasegawa, 3-4, 1 R. 1 RBI
Alan Tillman, 2-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR
Chris Tobin, 1-4, 2 R, 3 RBI

Final Score: Tampa Bay Bandits 2, New Britain Bombers 11
Tampa Bay leads the series 3-1

Game 5: Tom Snelling vs Cozy Ponson, at Tampa Bay
The Bombers took off to an early 3-0 lead, but Ponson kept them from causing any more harm, allowing 3 runs over 7 innings. The Bandits chipped away and took the lead on a 2run homerun by Wayne Ellis in the bottom of the 7th off of reliever Julian Almanza. JD Springer got the save to clinch the Bandit's second World Series title in 3 years.

Notable Performances:
Wayne Ellis, 2-4, 1R, 2 RBI, HR
Cozy Ponson, 7 IP, 3 ER, W (Player of the Game)
Collin Kendall, 2-3, 2 R, 1BB
Denny Benson, 1-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB

Final Score: Tampa Bay Bandits 4, New Britain Bombers 3
Tampa Bay Wins the World Series

Revamped Bison make the playoffs but come up short

Tampa, FL - On a hot and muggy night, the S24 World Series champion Burlington Bison sqw their S25 postseason run come to an end. As the Tampa Bay Bandits celebrated in the field and advanced to the NL League Championship Series, the Bison watched in disappointment as their fans reflected on a solid season that saw them win 97 games and an improbably run to buy a first round bye into the playoffs. Ironically, it would be the team that they knocked out of the first round bye that send them packing into the playoffs.

This version of the Bison retained the core of players that won the World Series, with some notable changes in the offseason. First baseman Ivan Pescado, who stole over 100 bases in 3 seasons for the Bison and had some notable highlights in the World Series run, left as a free agent. To fill his spot in the lineup, starting pitcher Yovani Velazquez was traded away despite posting a career year for the Bison. The only Bison pitcher who won more games than Velazquez last season, Brooks Reames, was demoted to the bullpen after offseason surgery following an injury sustained just prior to the World Series. Closer Carlos Tavarez was traded away with pitching prospect Anthony Narveson early in the season in exchange for RJ Nunez.
In return for Velazquez, the Bison got 35yr old first baseman Andres Beltre. The starting rotation was rounded up through the signing of a pair of free agents: Joaquin Gil and Bob Willis.  The Bison took a chance on Gil, who despite coming off a 5-17 and a 7+ ERA season, was inserted into Reames' spot in the rotation. Willis, on the other hand, signed with the Bison for the chance to start after appearing in 58 games last season for Las Vegas, all in relief. Rookie of the year candidate Tyrone Fasano, who made a big splash in last year's World Series, was inserted into the leadoff spot. Utilityman Rodrigo Vargas was placed in an expanded role and made the everyday third baseman while David Lee was shifted to right field.

The moves worked for the Bison, as Gil and Willis combined for 34 starts. Gil became a 17 game winner with a 2.60 ERA. 36 yr old veteran Bison OT Ferrara had a career season with a 19-9 record and a 3.16 ERA over 250 innings. RJ Nunez saved 36 games in 37 opportunities as a Bison. Beltre, Pete DeJean and Brian Ramirez had solid offensive seasons, and rookie Fasano swiped 79 bases for the new Bison single season record. Three Bison (David Lee, Brian Ramirez and Pete DeJean) got Gold gloves at their respective position, and DeJean was awarded with a silver slugger award. Vargas stole 43 bases and scored 81 runs.

The Bison won 8 of their last 10 games to match the record of the Tampa Bay Bandits and secure a first round bye in the playoffs by virtue of the two teams' head to head record during the regular season.  Tampa Bay would not be deterred, quickly getting past the Richmond Riot to face the Bison. Tampa Bay won the series 3-1 to advance in the playoffs.

Burlington is left pondering on the makeup for next year's team, with several players leaving as free agents and some veterans raising questions about their health to be relied on for a whole season.

SEASON 25 HOF - Season of the Starting Pitcher! (by 69cubs)

I was previewing this season's eligible Hall of Fame candidates.

I first looked at the position players (because the page defaults there). I saw some outstanding players, but none jumped off the page as a sure-fire HOFer.

Then I looked at the pitcher's section and was surprised to see that there are eight 200 game winners eligible this season!

Below is the list of the SP's, that are eligible for the HOF, with over 185 wins.I highlighted in green the category leader and yellow the other top of the group in the categories I put in.

I have 2 pitchers I want to mention, Jackie Little's stats, with exception of wins, are probably some of the best you have in the list. And, Banana Hawkins, how in the world did he win 200 games?

Looking at the stats, I determined that I probably will not vote for any position players this season and might give all 5 of my votes to pitchers. Based on what i see below, I rank the SPs eligible in this order:

  1. Jackie Little
  2. Giomar Diaz
  3. Terry Murphy
  4. Yogi Cooper, Ken Atkins tied
  5. Dustan Stoops
  6. Oscar Martin
  7. Torey Arnold

Player W PCT   IP/G   IP/HR   SO   K/9   OAV   WHIP   ERA   Awards
Terry Murphy 249   0.572   6.29   7.87   3463   7.60   0.258   1.31   3.90   6 AS,
1 ROY,
1 No-hitter
Yogi Cooper 245   0.640   6.22   7.77   2366   6.40   0.263   1.35   4.06   6 AS, 1 SS, 1 GG, 2 rings
Ken Atkins 241   0.646   6.04   7.95   2265   6.32   0.263   1.32   4.07   6 AS, 1 GG, 1 CY
Oscar Martin 234   0.636   5.89   7.98   2523   7.06   0.264   1.35   3.96   5 AS, 1 ring
Jackie Little 218   0.584   6.76   8.76   3041   7.52   0.250   1.25   3.52   4 AS, 4 GG, 1 SS, 2 CY, 1 ring
Ricky Snyder 213   0.508   5.78   8.19   2727   6.63   0.280   1.41   4.31   3 AS
Banana Hawkins 208   0.521   5.79   7.10   2422   6.47   0.275   1.44   4.60   2 AS, 2 GG, 1 ring
Torey Arnold 202   0.654   4.00   9.33   1802   6.12   0.259   1.35   3.82   5 AS, 3 rings
Dustan Stoops 195   0.613   4.82   9.81   1841   6.03   0.259   1.28   3.59   1 ROY,
1 ring
Stewart Pose 195   0.600   5.26   8.13   2198   7.14   0.252   1.30   3.87   2 AS, 1 SS, 1 ring
Giomar Diaz 189   0.656   5.48   7.50   2044   7.07   0.249   1.28   3.71   5 AS, 1 GG
1 ROY,
 2 CY

World Series S24: Burlington Bison face off against the New Britain Bombers

The New Britain Bombers, who finished the season with 104 wins, looked to set the world record with 5 World Series titles in a face off against the Burlington Bison. The Bison, who only won 91 games in the regular season, appeared in the series for the first time in franchise history.

Game 1: O.T. Ferrara vs George Crandall, at New Britain
A game that looked like a pitching duel through the first six innings would quickly shift into a high scoring affair from which the Bombers would emerge with the win. In a 3-3 game, Burlington would bring in their regular closer, All-star pitcher Fernando Baez, in the 7th inning to try to stop the Bomber's offense. However, the move backfired and Baez would give up back to back homers to Vin Mondesi and Trent Erickson, the first one a 3 run blast.  The Bison's shortstop Bronson Murata provided the bulk of the offense for the losing team with a 2 run homerun.

Notable Performances:
Vin Mondesi, DH, 2-4, 2 R, 2HR, 4 RBI (Player of the Game)
Trent Erickson, RF, 2-4, 1 R, 1HR, 1 RBI
Rob Cox, CF, 2-3, 1 R, 1 BB
John Yashian, 3B, 1-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1BB, 1 RBI

Final Score: Burlington Bison 4, New Britain Bombers 8
New Britain leads the series 1-0

Game 2: Scott Hellickson vs Ezdra Ramirez, at New Britain
New Britain jumped to an early lead on a leadoff homerun by CF Rob Cox. After Brian Ramirez tied it with a solo shot in the 2nd, a 2 Run HR by John Yashian  and an RBI single by Cox made it 4-1 New Britain. The Bison once again tied it, this time on a 2-R inside the park homerun by SS Bronson Murata. The game entered the 9th inning with the Bison leading 6-4. A homerun by Cesar Rincon chased  Brent Duncan , who had entered the game in relief. Closer Fernando Baez once again faltered, and was unable to hold the 1 run lead, giving up a walk to  Rob Cox  and a 2 Run walk-off homerun to Chris Tobin . For the Bison,  Brian Ramirez  hit 2 home runs.

Notable Performances:
Chris Tobin, 1-3, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 RBI ; walkoff game winning 2 R HR (Player of the Game)
Rob Cox, CF, 2-3, 2 R, 2H, 1BB, 1HR, 2 RBI
John Yashian,  3B, 1-4, 1R, 2 RBI

Final Score: Burlington Bison 6, New Britain Bombers 7
New Britain leads the series 2-0

Game 3: Tom Snelling vs Mike Sexton, at Burlington
New Britain assertively showed their offensive superiority, bombing their way throughout the game and starting with a first inning pummeling of Burlington starting pitcher Mike Sexton. Sexton gave up 6 earned runs and did not record a single out. New Britain's Snelling pitched effectively to earn the win.

The Bison's Brent Duncan, making his second consecutive relief appearance, pitched 9 innings in the blowout game, David Lee and Tyrone Fasano got 2 hits each and Fasano stole a base.

Notable Performances:
Rob Bailes, SS, 2-4, 1 R, 3 RBI (Player of the Game)
John Yashian, 3B, 1-4, 1R, 3 RBI
Trent Erickson, RF, 2-4, 1R, 1 RBI

Final Score: New Britain Bombers 10, Burlington Bison 2
New Britain leads the series 3-0

Game 4: George Crandall vs Fernando Baez, at Burlington
In a controversial move after a depleted pitching staff that got pummeled by the Bombers, Burlington started Fernando Baez.  Baez had made three spot starts early in the season, but was the team's primary closer and the only All-Star pitcher for the Bison. Despite blowing the save on a 2-run homerun in game 2 and pitching horribly in game 1 (4 runs, 2 homeruns in 1 1/3 innings), the move to start worked out well for the Bison. Baez pitched 6 shutout innings before handing it over to the bullpen for the 1-0 win. Burlington's only run came in an unusual way. Catcher  Matty Sosa, who has 2 career stolen bases in 5 ML seasons, stole second base and scored from second on a single by shortstop Bronson Murata. The game was an old fashion pitching duel to the end, with only 3 hits by each team.

New Britain's biggest threat came in the 6th inning, but silver slugger RF Trent Erickson hit into a double play to end the inning. Lefty Carlos Tavarez earned the save for Burlington.

Notable Performances:
Fernando Baez, SP, 6IP, (W), 0R, 0ER, 2H, 4BB (Player of the Game)

Final Score: New Britain Bombers 0, Burlington Bison 1
New Britain leads the series 3-1

Game 5: Ezdra Ramirez vs Scott Hellickson, at Burlington
Still playing for their lives with the series trailing 3-1 and facing All-Star Ezdra Ramirez, the Bison took an early 2-0 lead behind Scott Hellickson's 5 scoreless innings. However, the Bison bullpen gave up the lead. Burlington veteran starter OT Ferrara appeared in relief in a 3-3 game and gave up a run on a single by Don Hasegawa, and the game entered the bottom of the 9th with the Bison trailing 4-3.

Following a walk, an infield hit by Tyrone Fasano and a short bloop single by David Lee, New Britain's Julian Almanza got two quick outs against the heart of the lineup. Pete DeJean struck out swinging and Brian Ramirez popped out to left without allowing the runner to advance. With two outs,  Ivan Pescado hit a bloop single to center field, and Fasano  scored from second on a close play at the plate for the walk-off win at home.  Don Hasegawa got two hits and homered for the Bombers.

Notable Performances:
Ivan Pescado, 1B, 4-5, 2 RBI, 1R walkoff game winning RBI (Player of the Game)
Brian Ramirez, 2B, 2-5, 2RBI, 1 R, 1HR
Tyrone Fasano, CF, 1-3, 2R, 2BB, 2SB
Scott Hellickson, SP, 5IP, (ND), 0R, 0ER, 2H, 1BB, 7K

Final Score: New Britain Bombers 4, Burlington Bison 5
New Britain leads the series 3-2

Game 6: Mike Sexton vs Tom Snelling, at New Britain
Trying to ride the momentum of the Game 5 win at home, the Burlington Bison started off strong with consecutive doubles by  David Lee and  Pete DeJean  to get the 1-0 lead.

After a shelling in the previous start, Mike Sexton gave up the lead on a Don Hasegawa  home run in the first inning, but settled down and allowed no more runs over six innings. Matty Sosa, serving as the Bison's DH, hit a solo homerun in the 4th and a double by DeJean in the 5th drove in Rodrigo Vargas  to give the Bison a 3-1 lead. New Britain scored again in the 7th, but the Burlington bullpen held off to win the game 3-2. John Yashian got two hits for the Bombers and Hasegawa homered.

Notable performances:
Mike Sexton, SP, 6 IP, (W), 1 R, 1ER, 3 H, 2BB, 5K (Player of the Game)
Pete DeJean, LF, 2-4, 2 RBI
Rodrigo Vargas, RF, 2-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 SB

Final Score: Burlington Bison 3, New Britain 2
Burlington ties the series at 3-3.

Game 7: O.T. Ferrara vs George Crandall, at New Britain
Rookie speedster CF Tyrone Fasano led off the game with a single, stole second base, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a groundball to third in a close play at the plate for Burlington's first run. Brian Ramirez hit a solo homerun to give the Bison a 2-0 lead, but New Britain tied it in the 7th with a homerun by Chris Tobin. In the 8th, with one out and runners on first and third, Tyrone Fasano hit a groundball to first. 1B Chris Tobin turned to short for the doubleplay, getting the first out, but Fasano beat the throw and allowed the runner at third to score on the fielder's choice, which would prove to be the winning run of the game.  Brent Duncan pitched two scoreless innings in relief to give the Bison their first World Series title.
Trent Erickson and Chris Tobin had two hits each for the Bombers.

Notable performances:
OT Ferrara, SP, 7 IP, (W), 2 R, 2ER, 6H, 1BB, 8K (Player of the Game)
Tyrone Fasano, CF, 2-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 RBI, 1 SB
Brian Ramirez, 2B, 1-3,1 R, 2BB, 1 RBI, 1 HR

Final Score: Burlington Bison 3, New Britain 2
Burlington wins the World Series.

After the series win, Burlington manager made a few comments. "We knew that the Bombers were the superior team. After the 3-0 series lead, we didn't put much hope in winning, but Baez' start was a turning point for us. He struggled in the first two appearances in relief, but we knew he has the stuff to pitch. David Lee had a tough series against his former team, but he contributed in key spots. We also knew that the performance of our left handed pitching - Ferrara, Duncan, Tavarez and Webb - would be key to the outcome of the series after losing Reames and Velazquez to injuries".

Injuries to the top winning starter pitchers for the Bison (Brooks Reames, 13-3, 2.98 ERA and Yovani Velazquez, 12-7, 3.36 ERA) kept them both off the roster for the World Series, and rookie pitchers Anthony Narveson and Rick Giles took their spots but did not appear in the World Series. "The off days gave us some flexibility in who we threw out there, but after the shellacking in Game 3 and the high scoring first two games, it was looking pretty ugly and the bullpen just looked... tired. Brent Duncan ate a lot of innings to spare the short relief guys and do the matchups in key situations."

"Fasano was a key addition late in the season. He was doing really well in AAA, and it was only when Gant went down with an injury that we called him up, stuck him as our leadoff man and immediately improved our offense, defense and sped up our game. The whole team contributed to win this series - Matty stealing second, Ramirez had a big bat, Fasano brought the energy, and few of our guys gave us some quality starts. Brent (Duncan) was sort of the glue that kept us in games, coming out of the bullpen every time we needed him. This was a team effort".

"I tip my hat to the Bombers for a great series as they are a great, classy organization".

Offseason of questions for Endy Horton (by 69cubs)

  Now that Tampa Bay has been eliminated in their quest to repeat as champions of Mathewson, one big question concerns the status of 37 year old veteran superstar Endy Horton.

  Endy, who will turn 38 next season will be on the final season of a 5 year, 83.5 million dollar contract that will pay him $20 mil in season 25. The one note on this is that the final season is a mutual option where Tampa can pay $5 mil to decline the option.

  Stat wise, his AB's HR's and RBI's are at career lows as his playing time has been cut, but with 418 ABs last season, he had 19 HRs, 77 RBIs, batting .275 and OBA of .345.

  If his option is declined, Tampa could choose to try and resign him at a lower cost, Horton could retire, or he could catch on with another team. My opinion is that he can be useful in a role for whatever team he is with.

  If he plays for Tampa next season, he has the chance, with 130 games played, to have more games played for Tampa Bay than any other franchise. This might affect which hat he wears IF he makes it to the HOF.

 If, at 38, he does retire, this brings up the question of "Is he worthy of the Hall of Fame?"

  Let's look back at his career stats below:
NB 725 2916 564 802 122 30 202 620 273 343 138 31 81.66% 0.275 0.339 0.545
ELP 696 2494 494 706 116 25 194 534 260 309 143 36 79.89% 0.283 0.353 0.583
TB 596 1999 348 561 92 16 115 373 184 243 49 23 68.06% 0.281 0.343 0.515
SEA 375 1491 279 420 78 14 104 273 128 213 77 23 77.00% 0.282 0.340 0.562
VC 161 613 104 179 29 6 37 129 73 72 45 8 84.91% 0.292 0.369 0.540
Totals 2553 9513 1789 2668 437 91 652 1929 918 1180 452 121 78.88% 0.280 0.346 0.551

ELP 43 174 39 50 7 3 14 34 12 17 7 2 77.78% 0.287 0.335 0.603
NB 52 205 37 52 10 3 13 48 20 28 9 0 100.00% 0.254 0.322 0.522
TB 27 93 18 27 4 0 5 14 6 15 1 2 33.33% 0.290 0.335 0.495
Totals 122 472 94 129 21 6 32 96 38 60 17 4 80.95% 0.273 0.329 0.547
Above are his stats broken up by franchise for regular season and playoffs with career stats included. You can see he has been a consistent performer throughout his career and in different cities.

 Only 4 times in his career, did a team he was on not reach .500 winning percentage, they include his first 2 big league seasons in Seattle and his only season in Vancouver (my franchise) and no seasons in his last 10 under .500 for the team he has been on

 And his accomplishments and awards:
  • 4th all-time in games played by a position player.
  • 652 HRs (11 shy of top 5 all time)
  • 1929 RBI's (63 short of top 5 all time)
  • 1789 Runs (68 short of top 5 all time)
  • 1 K per 9 plate appearances (compare that to this season league average of 1 per 5.5 PA)
  • 32 playoff HRs
  • 8 all star appearances
  • 4 Gold Gloves at 3B
  • 8 Silver Sluggers (3 at 2B, 5 at 3B)
  • 1 Most Valuable Player award (El Paso)
  • 2 World Series Rings (New Britain and Tampa Bay)
With some of the numbers and the amount of accomplishments, I believe he will get in to the HOF within the first few seasons of his eligibility.

 Either way, he has had a great career and there are not many players that are this consistent for the length of their careers as Endy Horton has been!