Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Season 35 Wrap Up - Tacoma takes the crown!

Tacoma
Tacoma Jerry Gang (AL)
dwoolery
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Tacoma takes the title in Season 35!  

In one of the most exciting World Series in recent memory, Tacoma edged out Jacksonville with a 1-0 win to take the Season 35 crown in 7 games.   This is Tacoma's second championship, the previous coming in Season 21.  After finishing as the runner-up in Seasons 32 and 34, Tacoma was finally able to bring home another title in Season 35.   The World Series was a battle of the two number one seeds.  Tacoma swept Cleveland in the DCS and then topped Richmond in a hard fought 6-game series in the LCS.  Slugger Ozzie Simon led the offense, posting an OPS over 1.000 in the post season, not an easy feat when playing most of your games in an extreme pitchers' park.  Stud hurler Pat Nakajima led the pitching staff was a 4-1 mark in the playoffs, and Tacoma's bullpen was nearly flawless, helping the team to post an outstanding 2.94 ERA in the post-season.

Jacksonville had an outstanding season as well, coming out on top of a division that had 3 100-game winners, and then beating both of those squads in the playoffs.   They were both tough series that went the maximum number of games, defeating Atlanta in 5 in the DCS, and Chicago in 7 in LCS.  They just ran out of final game magic, and couldn't get the offense going in a tough game 7.  An outstanding season for them, nonetheless.

Let's look at who brought home the hardware this season for the major awards.  For the first time since Season 19, we have four first time winners!  Also interesting that the MVP and Cy Young winners came from the same team in both leagues!

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
American League - Humberto Mercado, Tacoma - .279 AVG 54 HR 138 RBI
The 24 year-old slugger for the World Champions took home the MVP trophy as well.  Perhaps the most powerful bat in the league and perhaps the best all-around player in Cobb, Mercado didn't have much difficulty still crushing home runs in an extremely difficult park to hit home runs in.   He is one of the truly elite power hitters in Cobb, and should contend for many more MVP's, although playing in such a pitcher-friendly park may be a hurdle for future wins.

National League - Jim Burnett, Chicago - .313 AVG 53 HR 123 RBI
In one of the most closely contested NL MVP races in recent memory, Burnett came out on top by a single vote.   Burnett has shown tremendous power at the plate since hitting the majors, topping the 50 HR mark for the second time in his career in Season 35.  He is also known for a keen batting eye.  At just age 26, there should be several more outstanding seasons ahead for Burnett.  Burnett is the Pitbulls' first MVP since Season 9!

CY YOUNG AWARD
American League - Wilmer Duran, Tacoma - 25-1 2.47 ERA 109 K
Duran, also a member of the World Champions, took home the Cy Young award, being one of the youngest ever to earn the honor at age 21.  His unique role as a tandem starter allowed him to notch an impressive 25-1 record.   His 25 wins ties for second all-time, and his winning percentage is 2nd all-time as well.   If we continues to accumulate wins as a tandem starter, he has a shot to maybe keep contending for future awards.

National League - Ryan Post, Chicago - 21-6 1.91 ERA 146 K
Post, unlikely to be thought of as the best starter on his team coming into the season, stepped his game with 20+ Wins, a sub-2.00 ERA and a sub-1.00 WHIP, which was good enough to take home the NL Cy Young Award.  Post has elite control and pitches and solid splits, and really came into his own in Season 35.   It will be interesting to see if he continues to be amongst the best in the league.

That concludes the Season 35 wrap-up.  See you soon for Season 36!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Season 34 Wrap Up - Atlanta wins again!

Atlanta
Atlanta Smackdown (NL)
Lightman
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Atlanta is your Season 34 champion!

Atlanta has done it again, winning another World Series crown in Season 34, making it 4 in 5 seasons.  In a rematch of the Season 32 World Series against Tacoma, Atlanta conquered the Jerry Gang once again in 5 games, after making it past Rochester and Chicago in the NL playoffs.  Atlanta's pitching led the way to another title, posting an impressive 2.93 playoff ERA with 4-time Cy Young winner Gill Cochrane shouldering the load making 6 of Atlanta's 13 playoff starts and posting a 4-1 record.  The offense was solid, led by youngster Miguel Infante who was clutch in the playoffs with a .500 AVG, 5 HR, 18 RBI and an OPS of 1.496.  Congratulations to Atlanta and Lightman on the World Series win.

Here's a look at Season 34's major award winners!

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
American League -  Santo Estrada, Montreal - .301 AVG 37 HR 115 RBI
In a tight AL MVP race, it was Estrada from Montreal who pulled out the win with an impressive stat line this past season.   The 30-year-old has put solid, consistent numbers throughout his career without many accolades before being awarded the AL MVP this season.  He also won his first Silver Slugger award and made his 3rd All-Star team in Season 34.

National League - Tony Koh, Omaha - .356 AVG 63 HR 169 RBI
Koh was the runaway winner of the NL MVP, and looking at his ridiculous stat line, it's easy to see why.  He not only won the NL triple crown, but led all of the Majors in Home Runs, RBI and Batting Average, a feat you don't see too often.  This is Koh's 3rd consecutive NL MVP win, further solidifying his place in Cobb history.  He also made his 10th All-Star team and won his 8th Silver Slugger award this season.  All we can say is, Wow!

CY YOUNG AWARD
American League - Pat Nakajima, Tacoma - 18-5 2.80 ERA 206 K
The staff ace of the AL Champion Tacoma Jerry Gang took home his 2nd AL Cy Young Award this past season, as he also won the trophy in Season 31.  In addition to the stat line noted above, he also posted a microscopic 0.96 WHIP.  Nakajima also made his 2nd All-Star team this season.  At just 25 years of age, Nakajima is sure to be a contender to keep racking up Cy Young awards for many seasons to come.

National League - Ivan Fernandez, Atlanta - 19-4 1.71 ERA 176 K
While not the dominant pitcher in Atlanta's latest World Series run, due to injury, Fernandez sure dominated the regular season in taking home his 1st Cy Young Award.  His 1.71 ERA is the 4th best in Cobb world history.  In a most epic season for Fernandez, he also made his 1st All-Star team, and perhaps more importantly, picked up his 2nd World Series ring.  Fernandez will be only 27 years old next season, so it will be interesting to see what else he will accomplish for a dominant Atlanta squad.

That concludes this season's wrap up!  Looking forward to a great Season 35 after a hopefully quick rollover!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Season 33 Wrap Up - Memphis claims the crown!

Memphis
Memphis Confederates (AL)
snides45
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Memphis takes the crown in Season 33!

Memphis is the Season 33 Champion in Cobb, but it wasn't an easy path.  The top seed in the AL had to battle through a 5 game series in the division round against Baltimore and a 7 game series in the ALCS against Tacoma to make the World Series.  From there, they kicked it into high gear taking the crown in 5 games against a tough San Francisco team.  Memphis made their run through the playoffs thanks to great pitching, posting a 2.97 team ERA against some of the world's top teams, while putting up consistently solid offensive numbers to back it up.  This is the first Cobb title for snides, his squad had made the World Series in Season 26, but came up short against Omaha.  Congrats to snides on taking home his first Cobb title! In addition, awards were handed out, so let's see who took home the major individual honors!

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
American League - Don Nation, Baltimore - .333 AVG 50 HR 159 RBI
Nation put forth another tremendous season for Baltimore, putting up impressive power numbers to go with a great batting average.  Nation claims his 3rd MVP trophy, also winning the honor in seasons 28 and 30.  He also made his 5th All-Star team and won his 6th Silver Slugger this season.  Seems like a Hall of Fame resume already, and at age 31 next season, he still has some very productive years ahead.  

National League - Tony Koh, Omaha - .339 AVG 65 HR 133 RBI
Given Koh's amazing offensive numbers, it's not much of a surprise that he walked away with the MVP award, his second consecutive win.  Koh has stepped it up the past two seasons with back-to-back 60 HR seasons.  He also made his 7th All-Star team and won his 5th Silver Slugger this season. Seems like another sure fire Hall of Famer, and he will also be just 31 at the start of next season, meaning more productive seasons to come.

CY YOUNG AWARD
American League - Eddie Blasingame, Memphis - 17-7 1.99 ERA 161 K
Blasingame stepped it up for World Champion Memphis this season leading them to the top seed in the AL and the World Series title.  With a microscopic ERA and WHIP, he seemed like an easy choice for AL Cy Young.  He also made his 2nd All-Star team this season.  He'll be 27 next season and looking to help Memphis repeat as champions, in addition to repeating his Cy Young performance.

National League - Gill Cochrane, Atlanta - 25-7 1.87 ERA 280 K
What an incredible season for Cochrane!  He broke the single season strikeout record and put up the 2nd most wins in Cobb history, to go with a most impressive ERA and WHIP.  Winning his 4th Cy Young Award, this was likely his most impressive season yet.  He also made his 7th All-Star team this season.  Cochrane came just short of leading Atlanta to their 4th straight World Series title, but certainly earned his 4th Cy Young Award.

That concludes this season's wrap up!  See you back for next season after a hopefully quick rollover!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Season 32 Wrap Up - It's a Three-Peat for Atlanta!

Atlanta
Atlanta Smackdown (NL)
Lightman
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Atlanta takes it all once again in Season 32!

Atlanta has done it again, completing the three-peat by winning an intense battle in the World Series against Tacoma.  After years of futility in Wichita, a move to Atlanta has paid off big time for lightman, as they have now won three straight titles.  Oh yeah, I think the stellar roster has something to do with it too!  After sweeping Rochester in the Divisional Series and San Francisco in the NLCS, Atlanta faced a tough challenge in a revamped up-and-coming Tacoma squad.  It took 7 games, but they were able to claim the crown.  A 2.55 team ERA in the playoffs was a key to the win in the ATL, along with respectable offensive numbers to boot.  Congrats to lightman on an impressive accomplishment!

Now let's see who took home the major individual awards this season.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
American League  - Cody Bryant, Santa Fe - .334 AVG 36 HR 115 RBI
Cody Bryant took home his first MVP award, posting outstanding numbers for Santa Fe in Season 32.  In addition to the numbers listed above, his outstanding 1.102 OPS should be mentioned as well, one of the best in the modern Cobb era.  He also made the All-Star team and won a Silver Slugger award this season.  Even though he plays in hitter-friendly Santa Fe, it's hard to argue against Bryant taking home the hardware with such an impressive season.

National League - Tony Koh, Omaha -.327 AVG 61 HR 129 RBI
After many seasons of racking up All-Star appearances and Silver Slugger awards, Koh finally takes home his first MVP trophy in Season 32.  His numbers for Season 32 were out of this world.  Coincidentally, he also put up an 1.102 OPS in a park where it's much more difficult to hit.  He also won the Home Run derby, made the All-Star team, and took home another Silver Slugger.  It's difficult to come up with enough superlatives to describe Koh's season, the MVP was certainly well deserved.

CY YOUNG AWARD
American League - Alex Calderone, Santa Fe - 20-4 3.22 ERA 117 K
Well, winning a Cy Young award in Santa Fe is certainly impressive and that's exactly what Alex Calderone did.  Avoiding the dangers of pitching in Santa Fe, Calderone was a reliable starter who accumulated 20 wins and kept his ERA at 3.22 in leading Santa Fe to the best record in the AL.  Calderone also made the All-Star team this season.  He had never won any awards or made the All-Star team prior to this season.  Pretty impressive feat by the 33 year-old hurler indeed.

National League - Midre Diaz, Rochester - 20-2 1.17 ERA 166 K
No, that's not a typo, Midre Diaz finished with a new Cobb record low 1.17 ERA.  Diaz capped off his record breaking season with his 2nd Cy Young Award, he also won in Season 26.  Diaz was nearly unhittable this season and its hard to imagine the Cy Young award going to anyone else.  Diaz also made the All-Star team.  All of the accolades are well deserved in what was a season for the ages. 

That concludes our Season 32 Wrap Up, see you back for Season 33!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Season 31 Wrap Up - Atlanta goes back-to-back!

Atlanta
Atlanta Smackdown (NL)
Lightman
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Atlanta goes back-to-back with Season 31 title win!

After a wild, back and forth World Series in Season 31, Atlanta managed to come out on top, making them the back-to-back World Champions.  It was not an easy road, however, as they had a tough 5-game series in the Divisional Series Round against Charleston.  After a sweep of San Francisco in the NLCS, they headed to the World Series against fellow top seed, Santa Fe.  After Atlanta took game 1 by a 13-4 margin, Santa Fe stuck back in Game 2 with an 18-7 shellacking of their own.  Atlanta took 2 out of 3 on their home field to go up 3-2 and took a 5-run lead into the 9th inning of game 6, only to see it evaporate with a 6-run rally from Santa Fe to take the series to a Game 7.  In Game 7, the lead changed hands several time throughout the game, with Santa Fe leading 9-7 after 7 innings, only to surrender 2 in the 8th and 1 in the 9th without any answer from their own squad, giving Atlanta the 4-3 series win.  What an incredible series it was, congratulations to both teams on great seasons, it's shame either team had to lose.

Here's a quick run down of this season's award winners:

Most Valuable Player
American League - Randy Adams, San Juan -.313 AVG 60 HR 179 RBI
Adams took home the AL MVP by a fairly wide margin by putting up amazing power numbers and driving in an insane amount of runs.   This is his 1st MVP win, and he also took home his first Silver Slugger award this season as well.  It's a surprise he hasn't won more awards with his elite bat, although being a DH may have hurt him there.  Nonetheless, the award is well deserved for putting up one of the best offensive seasons in recent Cobb World history. 

National League - Hank Sherman, Columbus -.340 AVG 37 HR 88 RBI 28 SB
The former #1 overall pick of the Season 26 draft has lived up to the expectations involved with being the top choice, by delivering with an MVP award in his first full season in the majors.  He has elite hitting skills, which should keep him in the running for many more awards for seasons to come, especially since he is only 23 years old. 

Cy Young Award
American League - Pat Nakajima, Tacoma -19-9 3.05 ERA 183 K
The 22 year-old Japanese hurler took the AL Cy Young by taking the mound for 42 starts this season, and putting up quality numbers.  This is also Nakajima's first full season in the Majors after an early call-up last season, and his 1st Cy Young win.  Nakajima was signed for a whopping $40.1 million bonus in Season 27, and has shown that he was worth the large investment. 

National League -  Gill Cochrane, Atlanta - 23-8 2.71 ERA 266 K
Cochrane took home the Cy Young award by a sizable margin in the NL, and looking at his numbers it's not hard to see why.  Putting up 23 wins for the World Champions will usually get you some votes.  Cochrane signed a 5 year, $110 million contract with Atlanta this past offseason and it was obviously well worth it.  Winning the Cy Young is an every 4 seasons ordeal for Cochrane, as he took home a pair of AL Cy Youngs in Seasons 23 and 27, making this his 3rd win.  I'm sure Atlanta is hoping for another win before Season 35 though!

Congrats to all the owners with award winners, and again to Atlanta and Santa Fe for putting on a great show in the World Series.  Thanks to everyone for making Season 31 great, see you back for Season 32 after a hopefully very quick rollover!  Don't forget to renew if you haven't already!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Season 30 Wrap Up - Atlanta is the Champion!

Atlanta
Atlanta Smackdown (NL)
Lightman
View Hardball Dynasty Profile
Atlanta wins it all in Season 30! 

28 seasons, 4 NL pennants, but no World Series titles.   That was the history of Lightman's Cobb journey headed into Season 30, the season in which it all paid off with the franchise's first World Series title.  Lightman finally found a formula that worked, defeating the Durham Bulls in a tough seven game series to win the crown.   Atlanta came into the playoffs as the #5 seed in the NL, unable to pass Rochester for the NL East title.  After taking down sub .500 Charleston in the opening round, they had the daunting task of facing 7-time champion and #1 seed Omaha.  Edging out Omaha 3-2 seemed to seal their destiny, but it wouldn't be easy, winning a tough NLCS against Burlington in 6, and then Durham in the World Series in 7.  Congrats to Lightman on the title, it's good to see an owner who has put in so many seasons into the world without winning one, finally take it home!

Here were season 30's award winners:
Most Valuable Player
American League -  Don Nation, Baltimore - .327 AVG 49 HR 133 RBI
Another amazing season at the plate earns Nation his 2nd MVP award in 3 seasons.  Arguably the premiere hitter in Cobb right now, he made his 2nd All-Star team and won his 3rd Silver Slugger award this season as well.  At just 28 going into Season 31, he could have a couple of more trophies by the end of his run. 

National League -  Harry Tracy, Atlanta - .321 AVG 62 HR 148 RBI
In addition to a World Series ring, Tracy took home the NL MVP award as well, his first.  Looking at his stat line, it's not hard to figure out why.  The young slugger also made the All-Star team in Season 30, and looks to have many more tremendous seasons ahead of him. 

Cy Young Award
American League -  Juan Romano, Durham - 19-8 3.71 ERA 162 K
The 36 year-old hurler showed in Season 30 that he's still got something left, taking home the AL Cy Young Award while helping Durham make it to the World Series.  Pretty unusual to see a player take home their first Cy Young at age 36, but his incredibly solid numbers in a hitter's heaven ballpark got the job done.  He also made his 4th All-Star team in Season 30.  

National League -  Harvey Diaz, Omaha - 19-8 2.53 ERA 166 K
Diaz took home his 3rd Cy Young award in Season 30 for the top regular season team, Omaha.  Yet another impressive season for Diaz saw him make his 4th All-Star team.  At age 32 going into Season 31, he certainly has a chance to enter the elite group of 4-time Cy Young winners, but the question is will it be with Omaha or another team?  

That does it for Season 30, looking forward to another great season for #31 after a hopefully quick rollover!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Season 29 Wrapup - Montreal takes the title!

Montreal
Montreal Lanterne Rouge (AL)
sneekes
View Hardball Dynasty Profile
Montreal is your Season 29 Cobb Champion!

Season 29 saw two first time World Series participants go head to head for the Cobb World Series title, which would give us our first new champion since season 22.  In the end, it was Montreal who erased an early 2-0 deficit by winning the next 4 to take a tight World Series victory.  Montreal battled through the playoffs playing 22 games out of a maximum of 24 as the #3 seed in the AL.  Every series was close, but in the end they came through, thanks in large part to an offense that crushed 59 homers during the post season, and a pitching staff that held its own throughout.  Fresno has a nice run as the #2 seed in the NL, winning a tight divisional series and then cruising through the NLCS.  They gave Montreal a good battle, but in the end couldn't stop the powerful Montreal bats.

In other news, the Season 29 award winners were crowned and they are:

Most Valuable Player
American League -  Orlando Gabriel, Durham - .353 AVG 24 HR 102 RBI 22 SB
At age 30, Gabriel had his best season yet and was rewarded with the Most Valuable Player award and his first Silver Slugger award.  Gabriel sported a stellar .443 OBP to go along with his .353 AVG and slugged an impressive .578.  He topped his career best OPS by 168 points.  If only he had been playing in Durham sooner, who knows what his career numbers would look like.

National League - Keith Wilkins, Omaha -.337 AVG 36 HR 104 RBI 25 SB
Although Wilkins could not lead Omaha to a repeat championship, he gets the NL MVP as a consolation prize.  He flat out crushed the ball this season in a pitcher's park, no less.  Now if this guy was in Durham, the numbers would be down right scary.   He still managed ridiculous numbers like .430 OBP and .658 SLG to take home his first MVP trophy.   At age 27, it would be a surprise if Wilkins didn't rack up a few more MVPs before his career is done.

Cy Young Award
American League - Jamie Hayashi, Memphis - 2.18 ERA 17-4 146 K
Hayashi showed this season that he is an ageless wonder, taking home the Cy Young Award at age 37 with a stellar season for Memphis.  This is his first AL Cy Young Award, however, it should be mentioned that he took home 4 Cy Young Awards in the NL, now putting him amongst Cobb's all time greats with 5 Cy Young Awards.  Hayashi is surely Hall of Fame bounds, although it looks like he still has a couple of good seasons left in the tank, and who knows, maybe a 6th Cy Young?

National League - Gil Elster, Charleston - 2.36 ERA 18-5 147 K
Elster took home the NL Cy Young Award, his first, in an extremely close race.  It's hard to argue that he wasn't deserving though, with his microscopic ERA and WHIP and a great win-loss record.  Elster is a crafty lefty who is only 26 years old, and looks to be a sure fire stud pitcher for the next several seasons.  Certainly, he should contend for the Cy Young regularly for the foreseeable future.

That's a wrap on Season 29!  Don't forget to renew your teams for next season to make it a quick rollover!   Thanks to all the owners for another great season.