June 15: Off Day
- Battle Cats 1 game, Lugnuts 0 games
- Lugnuts are 29-40 (.420)
- Fifth (and last) place, 9.5 games behind the Whitecaps.
Another sorry ballgame. Enough said.
The Midwest League plays a split schedule, and the first half of the season ended with Sunday’s games. West Michigan (Eastern Division), Wisconsin (Central), and Quad City (Western) are now guaranteed playoff slots in September’s championship series. A new half-season begins on Thursday, and divisional champions will be decided for that half around Labor Day. Those six teams will be joined by the two remaining teams with the best season-long records (typically about .500 ball will qualify them). There are tie-breaking schemes, but I’ve only got last year’s at hand and I’m sure the details have changed.
The playoff series will begin after Labor Day and will run for three rounds. The league’s champion will be crowned in mid-September. This is a modified “Shaughnessy Playoff,” named after long-time minor league player, manager, and executive Frank Shaughnessy.
I generally think this sort of playoff scheme abominable; it creates artificial championships and gives the first-half winners what amounts to a half-season bye. On the other hand, it gives talented teams afflicted with youth or bad luck (some local team comes to mind) a chance to start anew, from zero.