Thursday, July 3, 2008
The San Francisco Gothams have established their dynasty...barely. After losing two games at home to start the World Series, San Francisco climbed back to even the series with an exciting 10-inning 7-6 victory with a solo homerun by Joe Gordon. However, the New York Hokies were ready to assert themselves as more than just underdogs with a stellar outing by Albert Sardinha who went 6.2 innings allowing only one run for a Game Five victory. This led to a crucial Game 6 ninth inning one-out single that scored Albert Chavez who had just stolen second base. The climatic Game 7 displayed a full team effort by the Gothams highlighted by a Gordon solo shot and 6.1 innings and 6 strikeouts by Sterling Darwin. Dale Glass finished the ninth with his fourth save of the post-season, finishing with a 1.80 ERA and 1.20 WHIP.
The regular season and the playoffs went as predicted in the National League minus the sudden drop off of the New York Highlanders. St. Louis, Little Rock and San Francisco all clinched their second consecutive division titles while first-season wildcards Dover and Buffalo battled for first place in the NL East, separated by only 4 games. Significant teams who stepped up their level of competition from the year prior were Austin, Toronto, Arizona, and Iowa City. All four teams are looking to continue their good fortune into the third season. The post-season in the National League also saw an absence of upsets for the second straight year. Only two series resulted in upsets but the seed deferential for both was only a difference of one.
The American League saw the emergence of the Madison Mud Holes whose "win-now" attitude transformed the AL North into a season-long war. The flurry of trades and moves made throughout this season including the acquisition of Jason Van Hatten will change the AL for years to come. Notable declines are the franchises of Syracuse and Anaheim who won 118 and 98 games respectively last season but only 92 and 70 this year. This bodes well for Indianapolis and Charlotte who are nudging closer and closer to a division title. This is also exciting news for the Las Vegas Viagras who not only won the most games in the AL this season but have a winning record for every single minor league team including a AAA championship. This season also featured four division winners who played better on the road then at home. This "road-warrior" mentality carried over into the post-season where the away team won 11 out of 19 times. Only one favorite won a series in the entire AL post-season.
All of this culminated in the second showing of a New York-San Francisco World Series which became a ratings hit. As fans begin to gravitate toward these two teams, the other organizations are scrambling to maintain their fan base, create promotional opportunities and excitement while providing competitive teams. Good luck and we'll see you next year!