Owners' League News

Published February 11, 2001

The most dramatic season ever
ends with a predictable result

Candies Win!

"Central Pride" reaffirmed with second straight title

Down-to-the-wire races in Central, East
Pachos, Flowers, Mikes, Bucks lose crucial games in final week
Sniffers earn first postseason berth through wild-card one-game playoff 
Mikes miss postseason for first time
East in, West out of Finals for second straight year
Bucks are last in West with 95 wins
Brokers again out Finals despite best regular-season record 
Christians win East with League's seventh-best record

 Boy, what a memorable season 2000 was! Never, in the seven-year life of this extraordinary game that Owners' League Fantasy Baseball is, the division races had been so tight. In the final week of the regular season, there were five teams (three in the Central division and two in the West) fighting for three playoff spots, with only two berths already secured. The way it all ended, it's summarized above, but there was a lot of drama that numbers just can't explain.

 Take the Central division, for instance. The Mirtilli Flowers had been in first place for a good part of the season, incessantly shifting the lead with the Reno Pachos, while the favored Azzarita Candies were lurking in the shadow of an unexpected elimination from the postseason. In the final week, the Flowers were swept in a crucial three-game series by the Hi-Fly Topos, thus relinquishing the lead and their hopes of October baseball. The Pachos, with a wild card berth virtually secured on September 27, lost their last two games to the Faccos (even with ace Mike Mussina on the mound for the final game), and were forced to a one-game playoff with the upstarts Fortitudo Sniffers, in contention for the first time in their history. That game itself was something. Leading 6-0 in the second inning (with a thre-run homer by Albert Belle off Sniffer starter Sean Bergman), the Pachos' Jeff Weaver surrendered a leadoff homer to Richie Sexson in the bottom of the second, followed by two singles, an error, and a three-run double by Gabe Kapler. In the fourth, a two-run single by Jose Canseco finished Weaver, and three batters later Tony Batista smacked a three-run home run off reliever Jason Grimsley, putting the Sniffers ahead for good. The 10-7 final score gave way to the most unexpected event of the whole season: the Sniffers in the playoffs. The Pachos were deeply hurt by another single game: on September 15, facing the Brokers in a high-tension game, there was a bench-clearing brawl that left Greg Vaughn (who was ejected) and Kip Wells injured for the rest of the season. That should have hurt their chances more than anything else.


Candies            104  58    .642    --
Pachos             100  63*   .613     4 1/2
Flowers             99  63    .611     5
Faccos              70  92    .432    34
Last Central        15 147    .093    89

* 63rd loss was playoff game

 In the West, the Guardian Angel Brokers coasted to their usual powerful regular season, out of reach from the beginning, and ending up with 110 wins. But behind them, there was wildness all along. The Pontevecchio Mikes, always in the playoffs for each and every of the previous six seasons, couldn't gain any ground on the Fortitudo Sniffers, fighting wire-to-wire from the start of the season. The Mikes were very strong in the end, going 16-4 with 6 games remaining, but lost four of them, and that was enough for the almost-collapsing Sniffers, who couldn't win a series in the whole final month. The Sniffers lost 3 of 4 to the Flowers, 5 of 7 to the Brokers, and split a 4-game series with the Mikes and a 2-game series with the Bucks, but that was enough for them to cling on to a one-game lead on the third-place Mikes, ending up with 100 wins, which was an astonishing result. The Arno Bucks were very good as well, but seven of their last nine games were with the Mikes, and they lost five of them, dilapidating their chances of their first postseason appearance ever. Winning 95 in the West can even leave you in the cellar, and that's what happened to the Bucks this year.

WEST DIVISION        W    L    .PCT    GBL

Brokers            110   52    .679    --
Sniffers           101*  62    .620     9 1/2
Mikes               99   63    .611    11
Bucks               95   67    .586    15

* 101st win was playoff game

 And the East? Well, the East was the usual display of democracy, giving a playoff spot to the North Park Christians, with their 97 wins. That record wouldn't have given them any more than fourth place in any other division. But, like the Topos last year, they legitimized their postseason by upsetting the Brokers in the playoffs, 4-2. The rest of the Division was lousy as usual, with only the Topos over the .500 mark.

EAST DIVISION        W    L    .PCT    GBL

Christians          97   65    .599    --
Topos               83   79    .512    14
Fatties             77   85    .475    20
Burberries          70   92    .432    27
Last East           15  147    .093    82

 The Candies were the early favorites, along with the Brokers, but had a difficult time to even reach the playoffs. They were victimized by a terrible record in 1-run games (14-21, worst in the League), by an unexpected overall poor performance by closer Derek Lowe (14 blown saves) and lost season series 8-5 with division rivals Flowers and Pachos. In the final weeks, however, they played 19 of their last 21 games against teams with losing records, winning 15 of them to secure their fourth division title in seven years. In the postseason, they swept the Sniffers, who couldn't count on their best offensive weapon, injured slugger Juan Gonzalez. Pedro Martinez beat Eric Milton 4-1 in game one, and Kenny Rogers, picked as the game 2 starter because of the great statistics of the Sniffers against right handers, pitched brilliantly and beat Makoto Suzuki, 6-1. In game 3, Sidney Ponson was the winner over Brian Moehler, with a save by Derek Lowe, while game 4 was won 8-4 by Gil Heredia, lost by Ramon Ortiz, and saved by Chad Bradford.

 The other playoff series was more dramatic, as the powerful Brokers failed again to execute when most needed, and exactly like last year, they were eliminated by the Eastern Champions. The Christians had won 13 less games in the regular season, but won that series 4-2. Frank Castillo beat Jim Parque 6-0 in game one for the Brokers' early lead, but Roger Clemens and Chuck Finley lost the next two games to Mike Sirotka (5-3) and Esteban Loaiza (9-7) respectively. David Wells tied the series at two with a 8-3 win over Hideo Nomo, but Parque got his revenge over Castillo in game five (5-0), and Sirotka outpitched Clemens again (3-1) in the decisive sixth game.

 The Finals started with a bang. Facing Candies' ace Pedro Martinez, the Christians got a first-inning homer by David Segui, a run-scoring single by Gerald Williams in the fifth and a RBI double by Darin Erstad in the sixth. In the meantime, the Candies had to face Jim Parque at the top of his game: he scattered just five hits  through seven scoreless innings. In the eighth, down 3-0 with one out and the bases empty, a single by Travis Fryman and a hit-by-pitch for Jason Giambi set the stage for the most important at-bat of the year for Manny Ramirez. The Candies' cleanup hitter delivered in great style, smashing a three-run homer to finish Parque and tie the game at 3. In the bottom of the ninth, with Pedro still the pitcher of record, the Candies got back to back singles by Garrett Anderson and Shannon Stewart with no out. Pinch hitter Russ Branyan moved Anderson to third with a flyout, and after pinch hitter A.J. Pierzynski struck out, Travis Fryman (4 for 5) hit a walk-off three-run homer that left the audience speechless. Losing such a great chance to beat the Candies' ace in his own ballpark was bad omen for the Christians, who lost the next two games 7-3 (Ponson over Buddy Groom) and 7-4 (Heredia over Loaiza, second postseason save by Bradford). Albie Lopez, the Candies' game 4 starter (no lefty started a game for them against the Christians, who are loaded with right-handed power), lost to Hideo Nomo 7-2, but in game five it was Pedro's turn again, and the 2000 title was his with a 12-4 triumph. The Candies won their second League's title (tying the Pachos and the Mikes as the only two-time Champions), and with their fourth Division title they are now in a tie with the Mikes for the winningest team of the League (but the Mikes still have the best winnng percentage and six postseason appearance versus the Candies' four). See the Teams Page for year-by-year and total details

The Ghiotto meeting: Candies spend!
(with trade rules)
Flowers: The Mob Visited My House!
(in Italian)
The Loan Auction
The Trades Deadline
Brokers Are 1996 Champions
Freeze Time Coming
Keepers Submitted
Draft Time!
Realignment, expansion and predictions
Mikes latest Championship Team
1998 Keepers and Draft
1998 Season starts
The new freezing rules
A Mikes Dynasty ?
Newest League Rules
The 1999 Draft
Central Pride: Pachos Win
The 2000 Draft

The best hitters in the postseason were Brokers' Dean Palmer with a .391 batting average, Candies' Jason Giambi with a .488 on-base percentage, Brokers' Carlos Delgado with a 1.048 slugging percentage, David Justice with 10 RBI for the Candies (but Delgado knocked in 9 in just six games), and Magglio Ordonez of the Christians, who hit 6 homers and closed the season with a 9-game hitting streak. Among the pitchers, Pedro Martinez was the only 3-game winner (no losses), with 27 strikeouts and a 1.69 ERA. Two games were won by Candies' Gil Heredia (2-0) and Christians' Mike Sirotka (2-1).

  As for the players' performances in the regular season, the batting title was won by Nomar Garciaparra of the Pachos, who hit .395. He had the best batting average for the second straight year. David Segui of the Christians was a distant second with .374. The best hitter, anyway, was Brokers' Carlos Delgado, who was first in OBA (.523), SLG (.738) RBI (167) and home runs (52, to Topos' Carl Everett's 51). The Total Average standings see Delgado first with 1.625 (he was second last year in that category), followed by Jason Giambi (Candies, 1.411), Garciaparra (Pachos, 1.386), Alex Rodriguez (Mikes, 1.267), Manny Ramirez (Candies, 1.229), Frank Thomas (Topos, 1.202), Will Clark (Burberries, 1.141), Edgar Martinez (Bucks, 1.137), Tim Salmon (Bucks, 1.106) and Jay Buhner (Topos), 10th with 1.103.

 Among the pitchers, Pedro Martinez of the Candies was, again, the clear superstar. He was the leader in the following categories: ERA (1.61), Strikeouts (280), Winning Percentage (22-1, .957), Shutouts (7), Complete Games (13), Quality Starts (25), Runners per 9 innings (7.77), Strikeouts per nine innings (10.99) and the opposing hitters had the lowest BA, OBP and SLG against him. The best after him were: Brokers' Roger Clemens (2.86 ERA), Pachos' Mike Mussina (244 strikeouts with 23 quality starts, 13 complete games and a 24-6 record), Bucks' Andy Pettitte (5 shutouts), Mikes' Orlando Hernandez (10.01 runners per nine innings), Bucks' Bartolo Colon (9.96 strikeouts per nine innings). Mariano Rivera of the Brokers repeated as the best closer with 37 saves (same as last year, but he was playing for the Bucks then), followed by Keith Foulke of the Mikes, who had 35, and Roberto Hernandez of the Pachos, with 32.

 Best fielders, by position:
Catcher -- Ivan Rodriguez (Sni), Brook Fordyce (Top) and Gabe Molina (Can), all with a .997 defensive average.
First base -- Brian Daubach (Pac), .998 and David Segui (Chr), .996.
Second base -- Ray Durham (Bro), .987 and Delino DeShields (Chr), .987.
Third base -- Herbert Perry (Mik), .976 and Travis Fryman (Can), .970.
Shortstop -- Omar Vizquel (Bur), .996 and Alex Rodriguez (Mik), .981.
Left field -- Darin Erstad (Chr), Jacque Jones (Sni), Shannon Stewart (Can) and Greg Vaughn (Pac), 1.000.
Center Field -- Jose Cruz (Sni), Bernie Williams (Pac) and Brady Anderson (Mik), 1.000.
Right Field -- Trot Nixon (Flo) and Jay Buhner (Top), 1.000.

 The best teams' global batting statistics:

TEAM        .AVG    .OBP    .SPC    Runs     HR    SB    TAVG
Christians  .326    .405    .500    1101    183   151    .934 
Candies     .312    .388    .532    1142    294    60    .937 
Mikes       .305    .392    .506    1103    249    81    .922
Brokers     .305    .386    .524    1100    291   122    .937 
Bucks       .297    .386    .491    1040    230   116    .905 
Flowers     .294    .381    .467    1044    193    82    .850
Sniffers    .290    .359    .503    1043    287    76    .849
Pachos      .289    .367    .479     992    231    82    .843

 The best teams' global pitching statistics:

TEAM         ERA     BB      K      HR    BR/9    QS     Sv    BSv
3.59    514    1167    142    11.9    90     44     15
Candies     4.18    521    1134    147    12.6    88     29     23
Flowers     4.21    593     995    169    13.0    81     42     17
Bucks       4.32    542    1016    175    12.9    75     29     25
Mikes       4.36    631    1057    186    13.0    91     42     13
Sniffers    4.44    603    1010    200    12.9    73     41     13
Christians  4.55    575    1052    173    13.6    69     37     18
Pachos      4.56    579    1129    197    13.3    80     40     22

 The Mikes were the best fielding team (.987 defensive average), followed by the Burberries, Sniffers, Topos and Candies (all at .985), Pachos (.984), Fatties (.983), Flowers and Christians (.982).

  All the stats can be found in an appropriate page. More comments on each team cand be found in the Teams page.

Other pages for our friends online:

All the statistics of the 2000 DiamondMind Baseball season are provided, as usual, by courtesy of Mr. Massimo Ortensi, the Flowers' owner.

Check the League's Coming Events . Stay in touch!

 For a complete recap of all the year's trades, see the Trades List Page.

Comments and suggestions are welcome.
Mail me at r.caramelli@tin.it.
Thank you.