It wasn’t the way the postseason was scripted. But postseasons rarely follow the plans laid out before they get underway.
The most dominant team in the United Rotisserie League’s short history had home field advantage and faced a team that finished under .500 for the season. The Texas Outlaws were supposed to quickly dispose of the Atkins Alley Cats and move on to face either Wendy’s Peffercorns or perhaps Brewville Style.
Instead, Atkins won the key saves category–the only pitching category they claimed–and posted an 8-6 victory over the Outlaws. Atkins won every hitting category, while the Outlaws claimed all pitching categories save, well, saves.
“It’s frustrating,” owner Robert Arnwine said after the final game on Sunday. “To know that we were that close to playing for a title that, honestly, we feel we deserve, it cuts at you. Our offense just didn’t show up this week. We take one more category, we get the win due to the tiebreaker. You have to give credit to the Cats, though. They showed up to play.”
Drenched from a champagne shower, Cats owner Charles Rector was noticeably exuberant.
“That’s the way we roll!” he bellowed in the clubhouse, surrounded by hitting stars Ryan Howard and David Wright. “We punished the ball this week. Too bad our pitchers didn’t do much for themselves, but Frankie (Francisco Rodriguez) bailed them out. We’re going to the Series, baby!”
The other series, while tight, went more true to form as the Peffercorns dispatched the Style 8-6.
“I didn’t expect it to be that close, honestly,” Style owner Steve Egge said in the post-series press conference. “We’ve dealt with a lot of injuries and off-the-field stuff, so to battle one of the cream of the crop teams to the very end, that makes me proud of what we’ve accomplished.”
When it was noted that three runs and a slightly better WHIP might have the Style moving on, Egge shrugged.
“We didn’t get them. They did. End of story.”
Mike Salony, owner of the Peffercorns, extended respect toward the Style for a great series.
“They came to play, and they really made us extend ourselves. I wasn’t sure we’d be able to do it, but it’ll was good for the team. They won’t be overlooking the Cats next week, trust me.”
After a long, tough season, the excitement of playoff baseball has come to the United Rotisserie League. Four teams battle it out to see who will be the inaugural United Champion.
In the first matchup, the Texas Outlaws (230-106), owners of the best record in the URL, host the fourth-place Atkins Alley Cats (161-175). The Alley Cats are the only team under .500 to make the playoffs, but owner Charles Rector is unconcerned.
“The records aren’t cumulative,” he said. “It’s who plays the best this week. I think this team can put together a magical postseason run and be a team talked about for years to come.”
Robert Arnwine, Texas Outlaws owner, is confident his regular-season success will carry over to end of September baseball.
Talking to the press on Monday, he said, “We’ve got a lot of solid, producing guys and they’ve been doing it all year. I don’t see any reason for them to stop now. Not having [Eric] Bedard will hurt, sure, but I think we can work around that. Having the series at home is key, as well. Our fans are going to be loud and proud. I think our home-field advantage is second to none.”
The other matchup has the Brewville Style (178-158) traveling to Wendy’s Peffercorns (206-130).
“It’s been a rough year on us,” Style owner Steve Egge said, “and I feel like we were fortunate to finish over .500. That said, we plan on putting up a tough fight for the Peffercorns. They may want us to wave the white flag, but we’re coming with guns ablazin'”
The Peffercorns were very excited about playoff baseball in Florida, according to owner Mike Salony.
“We really wanted to pass the Outlaws for the top spot, but having home field in at least one round was the top priority. The Style have played well, but we plan on ending their season after Sunday.”
Both series will wrap up on Sunday, with the winners playing a week-long series at the home of the best record remaining. Continue reading