Skinny on each player! Positional Power Rankings Updated: August 29th

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Catcher:

1. Tanner Young-Schultz (Tor)

– Has plus power to all fields. Great RBI threat for player at a premium position.

2. Ryley Davenport (WLU)

– Had a standout freshman campaign. As soon as he got consistent playing time he performed. Look for more of that

3. Haydon Frieson (Wat)

– Known more for his defensive presence. Slows down the running game. Had a great offensive first half of the season last year.

4. Josh Wray (Bro)

– Very quick bat and looks to be in an every day role this season. Should have good offensive numbers

5.Andy Falcon-Gonzalez (Mac)

– Had some very good individual games last season. Can be a middle of the order hitter on the Marauders this year.

6.Troy LaCoste (Gue)

– It is yet to be determined how much playing time he will get this season. Another good offensive young catcher in this league.

7. Chris Aubin (Rye)

– Calls a good game and can contribute at the plate this year where the Rams need some help due to graduation.

8. Taylor Patterson (Wes)

– Big presence behind the dish.  Can run really well for a catcher.  A tough out.  Will have stiff competition for the starting job.

 

1st Base:

  1. Jeff Martin (Wes)

– Small sample size last year in the regular season. Showed off the full package in the playoffs though. He was the best hitter in the playoffs a season ago. Look for a high average.

  1. Jeff Hunt (WLU)

-Every year he becomes more of a complete player. One of only a few 5 tool players in the league. Look for Hunt to contribute in just about every offensive category.

  1. Kyle Bowers (Tor)

– 1 of 2 players with 2 OUA championships under his belt. Fits nicely in the middle of the order and comes up clutch with solid hits all over the field. Continue reading

Leafs 9th inning comeback stuns Majors

Baseball can be a cruel mistress sometimes and she loves to break people’s hearts.

Sunday night at Labatt Park in London, She ripped the heart out of the London Majors and left it torn in a crumpled mess.

The Majors were two outs away from advancing to the Intercounty Baseball League final leading 5-4 until  the Toronto  Maple Leafs pulled off another one of their trademark late inning comebacks to end the Majors season taking the seventh and deciding game of the semi-finals 10-6.

The Majors built up an early 5-1 lead in the contest in front of a pack house of their fans and had chased Leafs starter Brett van Pelt from the ball game early.  But couldn’t get any insurance runs off Justin Cicatello as he was in top form and held the Majors at bay as the Leafs began showing signs of life.

The Leafs made it 5-4 in the 8th but Ellis Jimenez worked his magic and got out of the jam in the inning to move the Majors to within three outs of advancing to the next round.

The packed house could feel the excitement building at the Leafs came to bat in the 9th inning.   Dan Marra lead of the top of the 9th with a single  off Jimenez who uncorked a wild pitch which allowed Marra to move up 90 feet but  then got Brendan Keys to pop-out to third for the first out of the inning and things where well in hand.

Or so the Labatt faithful thought.

Connor Lewis blasted a laser off Jimenez for a double into right field to tie the game 5-5 and that spelled the end for Jimenez’ night at 135 pitches and the go ahead run standing at second base.

In came Cory Hammond who to this point this season had ice water running through his veins when it came to big games and even bigger situations.

Grant Tamane un-phased by this,  took Hammond’s second offering deep off the light standard in left and the crowd in London went silently into shock as Tamane rounded the bases and was mobbed at home plate by his euphoric teammates and the handful of Leafs supporters cheering loudly in the stands.

“We waited a whole long year for a second chance at this” said Tamane who’s Maple Leafs lost a seventh game heart-breaker of their own in last year’s semi-finals to the Barrie Baycats.

The Leafs weren’t done either as they scored six in the fateful top of the ninth inning to make it 10-5  and pretty much left the Majors and the crowd a state of shock.

 This instantly brought back nightmares to this blogger of  the front  row seat I had from the third base dugout in Stratford’s infamous 9th inning comeback in game 7 of the 1994 finals.  

Down by a lot and yet they found a way to turn the tides and won the championship stunning the Guelph Royals in their own park.  To cap off the nightmare there’s to this day nothing more demeaning than watching a grown man urinate all over home plate in celebration. 

The Majors to their credit regrouped the best they could and scored an unearned run in the bottom of the frame thanks to a pair of errors by the Leafs and could have had more if not for a heroic catch by Lewis in center-field to end the ball game and the Majors season.

The Majors who rattled off 14 wins in a row to finish at top of the IBL standings were left on the outside looking in as the Leafs congratulated each other before lining up to shake hands as is custom in after a long playoff series.

The shock apparently still hasn’t left the Majors social media as not a tweet had been sent or liked since the 8th inning of the ballgame.

The end of the season also marks the end of one of the classiest guys in the league’s careers and with that I pause the story to wish Cleveland Brownlee my congratulations and thanks for always having a smile or laughing on and off the field no matter what.   You’ll be missed you Gentle Giant.

The battle tested Maple Leafs have now played 14 games in the playoffs and will face the well rested two time defending champions the Barrie Baycats.  With so many Baycats calling Toronto home its certain to feel like a homecoming to them.

The Schedule is yet to be released but will be posted soon as its made public.

 

 

 

Leafs force Game Seven with Majors Blow Out 

In an Ironic twist Saturday night’s movie at the Christie Film Festival was the Hitchcock classic Psycho. 
The Maple Leafs on the other end of park were creating a massacre of their own as they pounded the London Majors 16-4 to force a seventh and deciding game in London Sunday night. 

The Majors struck first of a run in the top of the first inning before the Leafs answered back with an eight run bottom of the second inning ignited by a grand slam by Justin Marra. 

The Leafs scored all their runs in the multiples of fours, adding four in the fifth and rounded out their scoring with four more in the eighth capped by a three run homer by Grant Tamane. 

The Leafs pounded out 16 hits including four from Jon Waltenbury and three from Jonathan Solazzo who had a pair of doubles and drove in two RBIs

RJ Fuhr had a triple and a double, scoring twice and had an RBI to lead the Majors 

Mike Wagner got the win for the Leafs pitching six and two thirds allowing three runs (all earned) on 11 hits. He issued three walks and struck out seven

Owen Boon took the loss for the Majors he lasted just an inning and two thirds. He allowed eight runs (only two earned) on eight hits , a walk and had a strike out 

Game Seven goes Sunday night at Labatt Park in London at 7:00 p.m. The winner will face the Barrie Baycats for the championship

More Fallout from Game Four 

Last night in London according to several spectators in attendance, the Labatt Memorial Public Address Announcer did not refer to the Toronto Maple Leafs ball club by name at all through out the course of the ball game. 

He simply referred them the visiting team. 

No word from the IBL on this or if there is a fine pending to the Majors for doing so. 

Game Six goes this evening in Toronto at 7:30 p.m.  with the Majors holding a 3-2 series lead after last night’s 7-5 victory 

Majors take 3-2 Series Lead 

LONDON – The London Majors in front of an estimated crowd of over 2000 moved to within a game of advancing to the Intercounty Baseball League Championship series  with their 7-5 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs Friday night at Labatt Memorial Park

The Majors struck first with two runs in the bottom of the first inning before the Leafs struck back to tie the game in the top of the second frame  on a two run homer by Jonathan Solazzo. 

The Leafs had their chances throughout out the night but were left seeing red all night and it wasn’t just the Majors jerseys. 

A timely hit here or there and it could have been a completely different outcome not for Oscar Perez’s ability to work his way out of jams all night long. 

Perez pitched the complete game allowing five runs (four earned) on 13 hits, he issued a walk and struck out nine on the night. 

Marek Deska took the loss for the Leafs allowing five runs (all earned) on eight hits and a walk over 5.2 innings. He had three strikeouts. 

The birthday boy Cleveland Brownlee led his Majors at the plate collecting three hits on the night and had three RBIs.  Carlos Artega had a hit and drove home two. 

Solazzo led the Leafs at the plate tallying three hits including the homer and had three RBIs while Sean Mattson had a pair of doubles and Grant Tamane added three hits including a double. 

Both teams played the contest without their managers on the bench as both were given one game vacations by league commissioner John Kastner for their ball clubs roles in Game Four’s alleged racial slur incident which led London to walk off the field.   

According  to sources outside the league , the Majors were also fined 0ne thousand dollars for leaving the field and not returning for over an hour.  

Game Six is scheduled for Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. in Toronto at Dominico Field 

League hands down supplemental discipline from Game Four

We have learned from sources not connected to either the Toronto Maple Leafs or the London Majors that Intercounty Baseball League Commissioner John Kastner has suspended both clubs managers for tonight’s pivotal  Game Five in London

As league policy no media release on the matter is forth coming as they do not  make league issued fines or suspensions public.

The Majors walked off the field after the third out of the top of the fourth inning in Game Four Wednesday night causing a 75 minute delay in the ball game

The Series is currently tied 2-2  Game time is 7:35 p.m. at Labatt Park

Game Six is scheduled for Saturday night in Toronto at 7:30 p.m. and is scheduled to be televised on Rogers TV.

Opinion – Blurred Lines, The Aftermath

Just over 12 hours have past since what I’d have to call the strangest ball game I’ve ever witnessed and I’m still trying to process in my head what is the right course of action that should have transpired last night.

I’d like to say that the alleged incident in the 4th inning hasn’t left me wanting answers for the past 12 hours, but then that  would be a lie.

If anything it’s caused me to re-evaluate my involvement in the league as a fan, a volunteer and a sometime reporter for both this blog and other avenues.

Between this and another incident last week which I had three separate accounts of  what transpired  to  pick from for a story  ( I chose not to mention it in a post at all.  I wrote 3 versions  of  piece but decided it was s not a topic that should be debated in a public forum)

Competition brings out the best and worst in people,  that’s our nature.  Playoff competition amps the intensity to 11.

We always react first on how we feel, then we actually think about it, then finally we take action.   Last night all that happened in a span of  eight minutes and roughly 10 seconds.

The fan is me is embarrassed to oh my goodness proportions ( I have kids so this post is rated PG).     it’s time the league needs to adopt a zero tolerance policy for its players, personnel and its fans.

The volunteer in me is honestly wishing it didn’t happen at all.  So someone didn’t  have to deal with the piles of tweets, facebook messages, or read through (at last count before they started disappearing)  200 plus messages on the Intercounty Fans Page in some manner or another condemning players, coaches, ownership or the umpires

People are entitled to not like everyone in the world,  and they are entitled to stand on their sandbox and voice their opinions  but do it respectfully.  

The people slinging the mud last night and this morning need to remember that for the most part players, owners and coaches are humans too and in most cases donate their time to running this league and can have bad days too or a brief laspe of sanity.

 The reporter in me  spent a lot of time talking to people on the field, involved the decision making process,  and i’ve  tried to remain as unbiased as possible.    There’s always two sides to every story

I try to present FACT as accurately as possible and avoid speculation or hearsay  .

The underlying FACT about last night is by the official rules of baseball, London should have had five minutes to return to the field not 65.    By the rule book the League should have awarded the victory to Toronto as Forfeit.  

I’m not privy to phone conversations between the league’s commish , the umpires,  and the two teams  so I won’t speculate on why the game continued.

Mr. Kastner did his duties as Commissioner  to encourage the Majors to finish the game so that a official final result was recorded in the record books not a 9-0 forfeit.  Did he over look the rule book in this case?  that’s a question that may or may not be answered when the league meets at the end of the year.

I will state that is my opinion that the IBL has some serious issues behind the scenes,  some ugly skeletons in the closet that honest to goodness it needs to stop sweeping under the rug and finally deal with.

My hope is that the rest of the series and the post-season gets settled between the lines,  not outside of them.