The two highest averages in the league go toe to toe in a game where they are forced to disagree…
1) Pj and the Ladies is the most surprising number one seed ever.
Mac’s Point: I’d sure like to be able to check the website for previous years (thanks Ben Smith), but I’m pretty sure I can say with certainty that they are. They needed the bye to the finals more than anyone and you have to like their chances now that it’s only two wins away.
Ben's Counterpoint: The past number one seeds (since the current playoff format began in 2004) include the Serbian Jew Double Bluffs in 04 (almost a forgone conclusion before the start of the year), PJ & the Ladies in 05 (not surprising), Wet Dream Team in 06 (not surprising) and the Laser Cats last year (almost a forgone conclusion before the start of the year). That leaves us with Hot Fuzz in 07. Why were they more surprising? Because they are the only top seed other than the Wet Dream Team with only one hall of famer on its roster and unlike Wet Dream, Hot Fuzz didn't feature 3 .600 hitters.
2) We will see the same style of play next year, solo homers first and anything else only when necessary.
Ben's Point: Unfortunately, this will be the case next year. The new blood seems content to take homers and make 35% of their shots rather than move inside and make 50%. As someone who used to shoot a lot of solo dingers himself, I will admit that the coolness is past its expiration date. It's gotten so stale that I can't even shoot solo homers anymore.
Mac’s Counterpoint: ***shakes head*** yeah I have no counterpoint. Where is Pat Lackey when we need him?!
3) Queenie Mentrek is the hottest team in the league right now and has to
be considered the favorite going in to the playoffs.
Mac’s Point: I think they have to be after what they did in their
final couple of weeks. Nate and Ben are probably the two hottest
players in the game right now. You have to like their chances.
Ben's Counterpoint: As much as I hate to go against my own team, you can't consider Queenie Mentrek the favorites when: A. They lost to Opie and the E Street Band two out of three times in the regular season and B. Ben Smith will be in South Caorlina August 8. That's not to say Nate, Katie and Jeanne can't win four games without him, but they will miss him in the lineup. And if Nate can't be there either for some reason, this team is toast.
4) Terry Shernisky will win POTY.
Ben's Point: While he won't win by a landslide as we would have thought a month ago, he still wins. It's hard to ignore the 88 homers even in a year where it seems as if homers are all that anybody shoots.
Mac’s Counterpoint: Hmmm, this is sort of a no brainer, but there is an argument to be made that if Terry hadn’t gone MIA for a couple weeks midseason, that his team would be downing beers until the finals. You also have to consider that homers to Terry are like singles to Ben Smith. If you’re looking for a darkhorse, you need look no further than Billy Weisburg.
5) Opie and the E-Street Band and star Terry Shernisky choked in the
final game of the regular season.
Mac’s Point: There’s no doubt that Opie and company didn’t do
themselves any favors the first 7 innings of the game, but you have to
give the ladies their props. They shat the bed in their first two
games yet somehow got the job done when they had to. They shot the
daylights out of the ball and seemed to make a double play every
inning. They won the game as much as the Estreets lost it.
Ben's Counterpoint: They most certainly did choke. While some credit should be given to PJ & the Ladies, the top seed was Opie's to lose. Mac, Terry and Opie played like studs in previous games Sunday afternoon and then played like duds against the Ladies.
6) The league should go with only 6 teams next year.
Ben's Point: With dwindling attendence, it should be considered. There has been at least one team who had to forfeit its games almost every week because of only one person showing up. There are still enough people to have a league and downsizing the number of teams is the best way to handle the flaky attendence. If, by some random act of God, a team has more than 4 people show up, there 's always Jukebox.
Mac’s Counterpoint: I actually like it with seven teams. You have to think that somebody else is going to be running the show next year. With younger leadership, my guess is that that person will want to bring in a few more of their friends as well. Of course, if nobody wants to take over, I can see a one weekend summer tournament in place of a full season. If that is the case, attendance will be through the roof.
7) With Nate Tomko announcing that he can’t see himself running the
league next year, the SBL is history after this summer.
Mac’s Point: Sadly, it wouldn’t surprise me at all. Frankly I thought
it was all over after the dismal turnout for last year’s final week.
I’ve had a lot of fun this year, so here’s hoping that one of the
younger folks can step up and put their own spin on the league.
Ben's Counterpoint: Let's be positive, Mac. Isn't the future of the league always in question at this time every year? This league has come too far to not continue for at least 3 or 4 more years. We have a new website coming that will not only look nicer but will make updating it a breeze. We have a younger cast of characters who seem to actually care about the league and should be able to step up when and if they're needed. The SBL doesn't necessarily need one person to do everything like Nate has done for years. If multiple people can handle doing one job each and we lower our expectations just a little, there is no reason why the league can't carry on.
8) Honest Abe's Truth Brigade stands the best chance of any of the lower seeded teams to make a deep playoff run.
Ben's Point: The Millivanillisecods made a case for themselves, but Honest Abe has the potential to be a scary team. PJ O'Connor has put up huge numbers despite playing most games with only one free hand. Billy D is a streaky shooter, but if he's on, this team can give anyone fits. With that said, watch them get 15-runned twice this week.
Mac’s Counterpoint: Not as long as Walker Told Me I have Aids is actually getting into the playoffs. Rumor has it that we’re playing at Frankoviches and that it will be the entire playoffs. Bfrank is definitely going to be there and they have what some might call an easier route to get there. This team is one Terry Hall or Mike Frankovich sighting away from making some serious noise.
9) All-Star voting is all but unanimous on facebook. The biggest snub so far is…
Mac’s Point: Actually now that I look at the stats really closely, a
lot of people (myself included) have little basis on the Spohn over
Billy Deforest vote. Deforest is ahead of Bob in almost every category
that isn’t double play related…and Billy always fields a team. Sorry
Ben's Counterpoint: Since I can't go with Billy D, I have to go with Opie. He shows up every week, puts up decent numbers, is entertaining to watch and doesn't take the game too seriously. What more could you want? (Note from Mac: I’d want him to be a Steelers fan)
10) Neither Bryan Frankovich nor Mikeey Moroco, both fixtures in the all-star game for years, will represent the World.
Ben's Point: Looking at the numbers, neither have shown up as much or played as well as we've been accustomed to. Based on the voting so far, it looks like only one will get in. I do think that will be the case, and it will almost certainly be Frankovich. Bill Deforest will take the other reserve spot leaving Mike on the outside looking in.
Mac’s Counterpoint: Sorry, Ben, but you’ve missed the mark on this one. I’m with you that Mikey wont be making it, but I don’t think Bryan has much of an argument either. Chris Errett is ahead of or right there with him in all the major categories…and you think the league brass will give Bryan Frankovich the benefit of the doubt. HAHAHAHA.