Monday, August 21, 2006

Alberta Baseball Confederacy: Week 21

I last posted an ABC update at the end of Week 11 in late June. I noted that 10 of the 12 teams in our baseball league were still in the playoff hunt. Well, as Garrett said to the Kid, times have changed. There are now 7 contenders for the 6 playoff positions, plus one extremely dark horse possibility.

In the Northern Eskimo Union Division (top chart), however, the same three teams are in playoff contention. After swooning in the July heat, my own Northern Miners have climbed to the top in August with four straight winning weeks, and are the first team in the league to have clinched a playoff berth (there are 12 games left in the regular season). They're being challenged for the division lead by the Royal Rooters. Managed by fellow Sportsmatters host Andy Grabia, the Rooters have climbed from a .500 position seven weeks ago to a solid 10-games over.

Early-season division leaders On Top haven't been so lucky. After reaching a remarkable 17-games over .500 at just week six, and holding or sharing the division lead for sixteen weeks running, the squad has suffered a precipitous fall and now is just a game to the good. Only the inadequacy of the division's also-ran teams, including those run by Sportsmatters' Alex Abboud and international-media hound Colby Cosh, have kept them in playoff position (the top three teams in each division go through).

In the Greater Western Trapper Alliance Division (bottom chart), the past nine weeks have seen considerable change. Of the three teams then bunched at the top of the division one has gone on to a breakout performance (Tyler Dellow's Doctrine have vaulted from 8 to 26 games over .500, and have a magic number of 1), another (Murphy's St. Pats) has fallen 17 games in the standings and has since engaged in a fire sale seeking draft picks, and the third (the Roughnecks) is now fighting for the last playoff spot against a team co-managed by an itinerant Jekyll-and-Hyde tandem currently stationed in New York (the Zingari Italiani).

The only certainty in the GWTA is that having claimed the cellar in week one, the Battle of Alberta's Matt Fenwick is not about to surrender the coveted first pick in the 2007 draft. Look for his Willie McGee Helmet to break new ground as the season draws to a close.

16 Comments:

At 2:55 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

That Lidle win makes me feel dirty.

 
At 3:55 PM, Blogger Matt said...

Nice charts, Avi. I guess since the records are plotted against .500, there's not really a need to make specific mention of the NL-like ineptitude of the NEU.

But to my own placing, you pretty much nailed it. I had two more pitchers hit the injured list yesterday, and I probably can't count on any more 60-point weeks from Johnny Damon, so a rally seems, uh, unlikely.

 
At 4:10 PM, Blogger Avi Schaumberg said...

Yeah, I was struck by the fact that the NLFC just needed the smallest of upticks to catch the third playoff position in the NEU -- very much an NL West '05 position. And surprised that none of the three lower-placed teams in the NEU managed to break out of their doldrums, whether through injury recoveries, waiver pick-ups or trades.

The charts also emphasize the St Pats' long slide -- from a Week 8 peak at 12 games over to sitting 11 games under. Ugly. On the other hand, the Doctrine have the look of a thinly-traded mining stock where speculation has gotten out of hand. Will the bubble burst?

The real prize is first place in each division, which comes with a bye in the opening round of the playoffs. The Doctrine haven't technically clinched that, but with three weeks left they'll be tough to catch. And there's absolutely no guarantee that I'll hang-on to top spot. Fingers are crossed.

 
At 8:58 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

I'd be interested to see an interleague play graph. Is the NEU mediocre, or do they face tougher opposition within the division that results in alot of .500-ish teams? How do we fare as a group against the GWTAD, and vice-versa? And what about Pythagorean predictions? We haven't even looked at Points For/Against yet.

 
At 10:26 PM, Blogger mudcrutch79 said...

A 50 point day...and one of my starters not only got bombed but also apparently punched his manager in the face. I wonder if he'll get that second start this week...

 
At 11:43 PM, Blogger Avi Schaumberg said...

Lilly not giving up the ball is absolutely wrong, but the incident, combined with the earlier challenge to Hillenbrand, gives me more doubts about Gibbons than the pitcher.

 
At 11:44 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

I got a win out of Haren in that game, despite the fact that he gave up 9 Earned Runs.

And how the hell is Hillenbrand still whining about Gibbons? He must be taking martyr lessons fron Bonds.

 
At 1:20 AM, Blogger Avi Schaumberg said...

I think Hillenbrand was asked by the media to comment on the blow-up, in the hope he'd say something interesting. So naturally he obliged.

And as for inter-division play, the NEU squads were 83-97 against the GWTA after Sunday.

However the NEU's top two teams both fared well in inter-division play. The Miners were 16-14 and Andy's Rooters cleaned up, going 19-11. (Not quite the A's vs the Mariners but still impressive.)

Interestingly, the no longer On Top are 13-17 against the GWTA. Cosh and Abboud are collectively 21-39.

Thanks to those lop-sided performances, all but one of the GWTA teams have winning inter-division records. The Doctrine's 19-11 record mirrors the Rooters.

 
At 2:33 AM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Very cool, Avi. Thanx.

I should be ahead of Tyler in the interleague. Damn you, Papelbon!

Any chance of getting some Pythagorean Standings for next week's thread?

 
At 3:30 AM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Good to see I've got two more pitchers now injured (Beckett and Hernandez). I shouldn't complain, as I've been relatively healthy all year, but this couldn't be happening at a worse time.

 
At 11:21 AM, Anonymous Colby Cosh said...

Your staff seems to have plenty of starts left this weekend, considering... it's frustrating to finally have my whole team pulling together (except for Matsui pathetically doinking fungoes off a tee), to get beaten on start total alone despite the efficient offence, and then to hear the one guy who's whaling on you complain about pitching injuries.

I'm starting to think I should just have dropped Matsui when he broke the wrist. Is this something that just seems obvious to everyone else in retrospect? I kept this son of a bitch in a velvet-lined case all year like he was the Koh-i-Noor Diamond and now he looks to me like maybe no better than a #4 or #5 keeper.

 
At 6:29 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

I think it was wise to keep him. It doesn't cost you anything to keep him on your injured list. There was no one better to keep on it, was there? As for next year, tough call. Depends on what else you have, I guess.

 
At 7:19 PM, Anonymous Colby Cosh said...

Well, it also depends on whether the S.O.B. can hit, and that decision is slightly more complicated because he pretty much stunk (in a small sample) before he got hurt. The point is that I never even considered dropping him, and I probably should have.

 
At 8:37 PM, Blogger mudcrutch79 said...

Doctrine Win!!! Thuuuuhhhhh Doctrine Win!!!!

2006 Great Western Trapper Alliance Division Champs! I'd just like to say that NYU must pump out retards if a Canadian hockey fan educated in public schools can school a pair of Americans who presumably grow up bathing in baseball.

Also, Mitzel losing with Pujols is like the Red Sox never winning a World Series with Ted Williams. A sad waste of a great man's talents.

 
At 9:01 PM, Anonymous Colby Cosh said...

I'm pretty bitter about that Oakland-Texas game. I had three wins in the can and was all but tied with Grabia going in, but Haren rang up 12 strikeouts for him in the loss and my A's guys did fat fuck-all. Ever since Avi put up his humiliating charts I've been pulling for my boys to make up some ground--4-0 would have been nice.

 
At 9:20 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

I was sweating bullets watching Cain fire off inning after inning of shutout ball. But Haren and Otsuka worked out a perfect system for me. Whew.

 

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