The playoffs are here.
September is the dominant month for Independent Baseball playoffs, but the calendar is going to get stretched just a bit with the American Association and United League starting their postseason competition Tuesday (August 31). The Atlantic League, which does not close out its regular season until September 19, will spill over on the other end into the early days of October.
This is what we know for now, with much more in this week's Independent Baseball Insider which will go out to subscribers on Thursday:
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION--Defending champion Lincoln, NE squeezed its way into the postseason on the final day of the regular season, and now faces the rugged task of taking on Sioux Falls, SD, on the Pheasants' home diamond starting Tuesday. Shreveport-Bossier, LA and Pensacola, FL both won a division title in the South Division, and the first two games in that best-of-five set will be played in Pensacola.
UNITED LEAGUE--With four Texas-based teams involved, regular-season champ Amarillo visits Harlingen to take on Rio Grande Valley in the start of best-of-three series play Tuesday. Laredo hosts Edinburg in Game 1 of the other semifinal series.
CANSECO STAYS HOT: Former American League MVP and Rookie of the Year Jose Canseco, who originally signed with Laredo only to play in home games, decided to join the Broncos for much of their season-ending road trip against Edinburg and Rio Grande Valley. Canseco, 46, posted numbers much like the six-time All-Star of old. In 10 games, he hit .400 (14-for-35), with three doubles, four home runs, 13 RBI and a similar number of runs. He went 3-for-4 but also walked six times in the last two games against the Coastal Bend Thunder. Canseco also pitched twice in free-swinging affairs for first time since 2006. Canseco entered the first game in the midst of a 17-4 blowout at the hands of the White Wings (Rio Grande) and effectively silenced bats for one inning, giving up only one hit and striking out a batter with a steady diet of knuckleballs. It was not so easy the next time out when he walked five, gave up two hits and four runs in another inning of work.
Monday, August 30, 2010
IT IS PLAYOFF TIME FOR THE INDEPENDENTS PLUS A NOTE ABOUT CANSECO'S HITTING PROWESS AT AGE 46
Former chief spokesman for Major League Baseball Commissioners Bowie Kuhn and Peter Ueberroth. Six years as publicity director for the Kansas City Royals, and a background in newspaper, radio and television. Started Wirz & Associates, a sports PR and consulting firm, in 1985. Has written extensively on Independent Baseball since 2003.