The Series MVP

Twenty five year old Geoff Boyd was the GLBL’s MVP for the 2021 post-season.  Boyd collectively batted .319 with 15 hits and swiping 7 bases in as many attempts. But of the two series he saved his best for Chicago as the final 7 games he collected hits in each contest 3,1,2,1,2, and 1 for a total 10 hits.  He batted in 5 and scored 6.  An avid fisherman in his spare time he plans to just ‘chill out’ over the coming months.

Up Against it? Or, Right where they want them?

The Chicago Architects are trying to win their 3rd title but are down 0-2.  History tells us being down in the playoffs means very little to this team.  They have rallied from 0-3 deficits before so 0-2 probably seems inconsequential, or at least it does not evoke the feeling of doom that some GM’s might feel in this position.

Chi GM Al Borie had this to say this morning, “Oh, they’re off to a decent start. In their case they won’t have a chance to lose one at home until Game Six, and they may have wrapped it up by then. You gotta like their chances.
But I like mine too. I have no idea who the better team is, but mine has always had a tendency to fall behind and come back.”  The small sampling of 4-0 in the regular season points toward Hamilton as the favorite, especially up by two games.


But, the Hamilton Mounties are all too familiar with being the last minute bridesmaid and not the bride as they, more than any other ball club, have come the closest to winning a championship only to fall just short.  Witness last year as they took a 2 run lead into the bottom of the 9th only to see the game tied before losing in extra innings to the Duluth Sea Gulls.  Hamilton has never had a losing season and this is their 4th trip to the post-season with many wondering, if not speculating, that maybe it just might be their year.  The unlikely hero of game two was light hitting George Huffman batting .143 for the post season but it was the two singles in the 2nd and 4th that accounted for two runs batted in and the difference in the 3-2 win.  He was but 1 for 21 heading into yesterday’s contest.

The series heads to the Windy City where Arvin Northeast will take the hill while being opposed by Roosevelt Gilbert, coming off a stunning 8.1 IP shutout of Toronto.  At the same time it was Arvin Northeast who slammed the door on Toledo with his 8.0 IP/ 0 Runs effort that punched the Architects ticket to the Championship Round.

“Read the highlights and thought HAM was off to a decent start, but you’re never in trouble til you lose at home – so they say!”, were the comments of Owen Sound GM David Jones, but in the case of Chicago they not only can’t risk a loss at home but they have to win on the road.  Using the above logic the Mounties simply need to take care of business in Hamilton to earn the status GLBL Champions for the first time in their history.  The roadblock?  Chicago loves to come from behind and is famous for crushing the dreams of their opponents.

 

Showdown Time

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The Toronto Maples seemingly own the Hamilton Mounties by virtue of their 14-8 edge over the season.  The last time the Maples visited Hamilton they dropped the first two games of the series but somehow pulled out a 3-2 win in the finale managing but 2 hits as the Mounties wasted a fine performance by Tate Crosby (8 IP/2 hits/1 BB/8 K’s….but 2 HR’s).   Prior to that contest Hamilton had a 5 game lead over the 37-39 Toronto club.  But, things have flipped since that June afternoon.

Hamilton will have to do without their big bat and 4 time All Star Dave Teague for this series.  Meanwhile, the Maples will do without a bevy of players and not the least their big first baseman Stephen Gilbert (22 HR’s in 116 games).

How close are these teams?  Toronto has a season run differential of +17 while Hamilton one of +19.  The Maples are 28-20 post all star while the Mounties have struggled with a 22-25 record.  The teams are separated by 2.5 games so clearly Hamilton must win at least 2 of 3.

The Mounties have been averaging +37,000 crowds during their 30-24 home season and tickets will be scarce for this set.  The Maples actually play better on the road at 35-29.  Should be a good one!

The curious case of Kevin Boivins ‘D’

hamilton_mounties           Kevin Boivin, Hamilton Mounties…could it be???    mini_gold_glove_out_of_box_1_0

Some of you may remember our discussion in 2017 that revolved around the defense, or lack thereof, of the Milwaukee Eagles.  Kevin Boivin, acquired early in the season from the Traverse City Bears was playing 1B for the Eagles.  Or, trying to play might be a better description.  Boivin committed a whopping 23 errors in 123 games at first for Milwaukee and even added a single error in 3 innings of play in RF.

Well, Milwaukee sought another direction in the off-season and on Oct. 16 Kevin found himself a free agent and he stayed that way until March 9 when the Hamilton Mounties inked him to a one year deal ($8M).

Boivin has given the Mounties the offense they were seeking when they signed him (.264/.384/.488), pretty much his career average from the dish.

What is a bit surprising is that while playing three positions (mostly 1B) he has not committed a single error all year long.  Twenty six games at first and a total of nine games in the OF and Kevin is flawless.

Maybe it was the change of scenery, or could it be he is happier in Canada???; it’s hard to say but he clearly is a player worthy of the ‘past results do not guarantee future performance’.  Could this man actually win a gold glove in what can only be termed a defensive renaissance year for him?  A long way to go but you can’t count him out.

 

The 2016 Champs

eagles_0060B6_FF0000_FFFFFF_0060B6_0060B6_FFFFFF_0060B6_FF0000 shrunk  The Milwaukee Eagles, all time Wins leader in the GLBL, have won the 2016 Championship in a closely fought series with the Hamilton Mounties.  Game 7 Box Score:

mil ham

Henri Francois was the Series MVP as his 1.26 ERA in handcuffing Mountie bats in most situations.  As a matter of fact July 23, 2016,  is the date that he last took an L in a game he pitched notching 9 Wins in a row.

Congrats to Mike T. for his championship season.  Also, to Alex W., who got about as close as you can get to winning it all.

 

The League Championship Series

USA      eagles_0060B6_FF0000_FFFFFF_0060B6_0060B6_FFFFFF_0060B6_FF0000 shrunk   VS   chi logo shrunk

The Stats:

  • Eagles led the league in Slugging
  • Architects led the league in Homers and Runs
  • Architects steal almost 2x more bases than the Eagles
  • Eagle Catchers are more than 3% more efficient in throwing runners out
  • Eagle pitching yields the least amount of HR’s and total Runs
  • The teams committed an identical amount of errors, 63 to lead their league
  • Team vs Team….Architects hold the  edge 18-10

CAN   hamilton_mounties shrunk  VS   thunder_bay_caribou shrunk

  • Mounties led the league in Runs Scored
  • Caribou led the league in Homers
  • Caribou led the league in Walks
  • Mounties led the league in Runs surrendered (fewest)
  • Caribou led the league in ERA
  • Mounties led the league in fewest errors and largest ZR
  • Caribou Catchers throw out 10% more base runners
  • Team vs Team….Mounties have the 16-12 edge