Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Playoffs?!? Playoffs!!!

For those of you who haven't turned into football zombies, this is a magical time of the year. Playoffs are starting in all the leagues outside of the MLB (which has chosen to move its playoffs further and further and further back until they are far too late and draw only the eyes of the rabid true believers for each team).

Okay, so we are now faced with an abundance of riches. My local league (the Appalachian Rookie League) has already had its divisional playoffs with the Elizabethton Twins losing the best two out of three to the Johnson City Cardinals (BOO!!!) and the Burlington Royals prevailing in their three game playoff with the Princeton Rays (YAY!!!). I'm saddened by the Elizabethton loss at least in part because unless Elizabethton's city council gets its head out of where the sun don't shine it looks like there may be no Twins in Elizabethton and maybe no Appy League team. My favorite park in the Western Division may find itself empty when the 2017 season rolls around.

Anyway, if you're looking for playoff baseball, at least one game will be played in Burlington, NC tmorrow and one in Johnson City, Tennessee the next day with a rubber match in Johnson City if a third game is needed. The games are live via Tunein.

INDEPENDENT BALL

The Frontier League starts today and you should at least be able to watch the game at Evansville because the awesome Otters stream their home games.

The CanAm League is starting its playoffs on Wednesday the 7th with New Jersey at Ottowa and Rockland at Quebec. The CanAm streams all its games free of charge so about 7 pm tomorrow you can tune them in (warning: some will be in French).

The American Association starts on Wednesday as well. It begins with St. Paul at Winnipeg and Wichita at Sioux City. The American Association also streams its games free of charge.

AFFILIATED BASEBALL

The lower level affiliated leagues start off a little different with the Appalachian League having started on the 3rd and the Pioneer League not starting until the 9th. However, the higher ranked leagues all start on Wednesday the 7th. Personally, I plan to try to keep an eye on the Billings Mustangs (Pioneer League) and Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Southern League) because they are Reds' affiliates. Others that I'll probably try to look in on are the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Midwest League) and the Carolina League in general. Of course, all of these will be on MiLB.tv (if you pay a one time $20 for all minor league games).

Perhaps the most interesting playoff in the minor leagues this year will be the California League where Bakersfield, a long standing team, is being shut down so that a team can be started in the Carolina League.This very same Bakersfield Blaze team is heading into the playoffs with a good chance at making it into the championship series and all the incentive any team can have to win. The Blaze can be listened to on Tunein.

And of course: THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

The AAA single-game National Championship will be played on 20 September 2016 in Memphis. It will also be on MiLB.tv. It's a great park and should be a great game. I'd probably go out to watch it except it's on a Tuesday night and I suspect my boss probably expects me to actually be at work if I want to get paid (bosses are strange like that).