AUSTRALIAN LEAGUE (ABL) PLAYOFFS

MELBOURNE ACES 19, CANBERRA CAVALRY 4 (SEMI-FINAL 2)

Samad Taylor (RF, Canberra Cavalry): 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K – Taylor was feast or famine on day one of the ABL postseason on Thursday, but the feast accounted for half of the Cavalry offense in terms of both runs scored and runs driven in. Surprisingly, this was the more competitive of the ABL semi-finals (the league consistently uses the hyphen, so i do as well in my reporting of the games) as the Perth Heat clobbered the Adelaide Giants 26-6 in a game that broke or tied so many records that I lost count.

CANBERRA CAVALRY 3, ADELAIDE GIANTS 2 (ELIMINATION FINAL)

Samad Taylor (2B, Canberra Cavalry): 0-4, 2 K – Friday’s contest could not have been any more different than Thursday’s for Taylor. On the plus side, his team won and stayed alive in the chase for the Claxton Shield (at the time – see “What’s Next” below). On the negative side of the ledger, he went hitless, which is not surprising as this was a much lower-scoring game. The one constant was that he struck out twice.

WHAT’S NEXT

The game that was to be the Qualifying Final between the Aces and Heat has not yet started as of deadline, but will likely be complete before you read this (watch on-demand FREE here). I say “game that was scheduled to be the Qualifying Final” as, while I was typing this, word came from the ABL that, rather than finish the playoffs in an empty ballpark, this game will now be the Championship Game in order to beat a lockdown of the State of Victoria (which Melbourne is located in) starting at Midnight Saturday (8 AM Cleveland time). Therefore, the Cavalry’s season is over, and with it, the winter ball edition of ATF. With that said, it’s time to tie up a few loose ends…

OTHER LEAGUES’ CHAMPIONS

Four winter leagues have played this offseason with no current or former Indians. The Cuban Serie Nacional is still in the process of finishing up their quarterfinals and there was an instructional league in Mexico (likely the Academia LMB’s Liga Rookie) that I have been unable to find statistics for. The other two leagues completed their seasons a while back and I now take a moment to congratulate their champions:

Nicaraguan League (LBPN) – Gigantes De Rivas
Guatemalan League (BIG) – Lobos

I am also checking in with the various independent baseball tryout leagues to see if any current or former Indians played there.

FINAL THOUGHTS

A big thanks to my colleagues Justin Lada and Daniel Sherriff for their work on both the writing and editing fronts during this crazy winter ball campaign (Yes, I know it’s summer in Australia.). IBI truly has no offseason.

Finally, thanks to all of you for reading. Knowing that someone out there is enjoying this makes a lot of the work that goes into this (late nights, frantically contacting team and league media relations people, late nights frantically trying to contact media relations people who are likely asleep) a lot easier to handle.

Our attention now turns to the 2021 major league season. Pitchers and Catchers Report Day is only five days away. Until then, this is Arthur Kinney signing off another season of Around The Farm: Winter Ball Edition.

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