The 2015 KFL season officially came to a close on Thursday, November 19 with the final league meeting of the year.
Highlights included discussion of the pitching rule that was instituted at the beginning of the season and debate regarding the 10-run mercy rule. Both items will be revisited this spring, when they can be voted on if changes are desired. Players are encouraged to share their thoughts on these matters with their team representatives in the meantime.
There was also a lengthy discussion about a proposal floated by the Red Sox to create a season-long, second-tier B division. Many team reps had not yet seen the proposal, which will be forwarded to everyone shortly to facilitate a more informed discussion.
Most notably, KFL President Bryan Reeve stepped down after four years in the league’s top leadership position. Highlights of his tenure included organizing exhibition games between a KFL All Star Team and the national squads of Argentina (2014) and Australia (2015); working with Rogers TV to have occasional broadcasts of league play; and securing a spot for the KFL Champions as the second host team for the 2014 ISC World Championships, held in Kitchener. The league would like to thank Reeve for his leadership and long-time dedication to the KFL.
In advance of the meeting, Reeve had notified team reps of his intention to step down, and he had conversations with a couple people interested in the President role, though none ultimately decided to seek election.
At the meeting, it was agreed that Vice President Mike Brown, working in consultation with Reeve, would act as Interim President over the winter months, with a specific mandate to examine the current Executive structure and propose changes for an expanded Executive that more equitably distributes the workload. The hope is that this will lead more people to seek Executive positions going forward and make the league’s continued success less reliant on a single person’s efforts.
Anyone with thoughts on this matter is encouraged to speak with Brown. Proposals will be brought forth and voted on in the spring, at which point the league will elect new Executive members.
- Mike Brown
The 37s, 2015 Champions
The KFL season came to a close on Tuesday night, with the 37s joining the small fraternity of current KFL teams with a league championship to their credit, defeating the two-time defending champions, the Diamond Jaxx, 11-1 to secure a 3-1 series win. They took game one 3-2 before the Diamond Jaxx evened the series with a 6-4 game two win. The 37s then blanked the Jaxx 6-0 in game three to set up Tuesday night’s title-clinching rout.
The 37s had previously swept the Smoke in the quarterfinals and won a hard-fought semi-final over the regular season champions, the Bell Cartage Outlaws. The Jaxx cruised to their third Finals in as many years with sweeps over the Kings and Selects in the quarterfinals and semi-finals, respectively.
The 37s’ championship comes in just their second year in the league and, given their youth, they appear poised to be a force within the KFL for many years to come. Congratulations to both squads on successful seasons!
The Bulldogs, 2015 B-Side Champions
Congratulations are also in order for the Bulldogs, who secured their first-ever B-side crown, defeating the Predators 8-0 in the deciding game of the best-of-three Finals. The Bulldogs won game one 7-2, while the Predators took game two 5-4. Craig Miller received the MVP nod in both of the Bulldogs’ wins. Congrats to both squads on their strong finishes to the year.
- Mike Brown
The park has been closed for tonight due to rain. The KFL A-Finals will continue on Thursday night at 8pm, with the 37's holding a 1-0 lead in the Best of 5 Series
The KFL playoffs have narrowed the field to the final two – one quite familiar with this time of year, the other a fresh-faced newcomer. Will the 37s be able to topple the two-time defending champion Diamond Jaxx to attain KFL supremacy in just their second year in the league? A best-of-five Finals kicks off tonight to determine just that.
#2 Diamond Jaxx (23-4-1) vs. #6 37s (19-10)
The Diamond Jaxx punched their ticket to the Finals with little resistance, outscoring the Selects 21-2 in a brutally efficient semi-final sweep. Clearly, their offense is firing on all cylinders – though it didn’t really need to be given the dominant performances of pitchers Jeff Wise and Kevin Buckley. The Jaxx are playing with a comfort level befitting a team that’s been here before, as they look to replicate last season’s undefeated march through the playoffs. Their defense has been one of the KFL’s best for years, so if the 37s are hoping the Jaxx are going to beat themselves, they're in for a long series.
To this point in the postseason, though, the 37s have looked more than capable of giving the reigning champs all they can handle. After all, they just knocked off the top-seeded Bell Cartage Outlaws on the heels of sweeping the third-seeded Smoke. And they did so despite the adversity of falling behind 1-0 in a best-of-three series, edging the Outlaws 6-5 to even the series before exploding for a 9-5 win in the clincher. Ryan Mann went deep twice in the deciding game and, if youngsters like him and Ted Sebben can make major contributions on offense, the Jaxx pitchers will have their hands full. Mix in the masterful Dan Martin on the mound and all the elements for a potential upset are in place. If you’ve got the time, making the trip to Budd Park for this series will likely be well worth your while.
Season series: The 37s took the first meeting 14-1 and the Diamond Jaxx won 14-3 in the second.
- Mike Brown
The regular season champs, the two-time defending champs, last year’s runner-up, and a rising KFL power – these are the four teams still vying for the 2015 KFL title in what should be two very entertaining semi-final series.
#1 Bell Cartage Outlaws (24-1-2) vs. #6 37s (17-9)
The Bell Cartage Outlaws picked a very bad time to lose their first game of the season, falling 6-4 to the underdog Jays in a stunning game one of their quarterfinal match-up. But their reaction spoke volumes, as they won the next two games by a ridiculous 25-3 margin, decisively earning their place in the KFL semi-finals. They survived the series – and did so with Mel Ross, their primary inning-eater this season, missing for two of the three games. This remains a team with depth and immense talent, as shown by their lopsided win-loss record. As they seek to advance to their third KFL Finals in four years, the Outlaws remain favourites until proven otherwise.
That said, the 37s present an intriguing match-up. In their 2014 KFL debut, they made the playoffs before suffering a quarterfinal sweep at the hands of Bell Cartage. Bolstered by a few offseason additions, they’ve taken the next step in just their second season. Dan Martin, widely viewed as the league’s top pitcher, was one of those additions – and this semi-final pits him against his former squad. But let’s be clear: This is not a one-dimensional team. Young lefty Tim Wright kept the Smoke bats in check as they took game one of their quarterfinal series, 4-1. Travis Martin launched his fifth home run of the season in their 10-0 game two blowout, placing him among the league leaders despite playing in only 10 games. This was the league’s second-best offense in 2015, and they’ve won 15 of 20 since June 1. The Outlaws are the favourites, yes, but they’re in for a fight.
Season series: The Outlaws swept the season series, winning 8-3 and 3-1.
#2 Diamond Jaxx (21-4-1) vs. #5 Selects (17-10)
September’s been very, very good to the Diamond Jaxx. The two-time defending KFL champs continued their postseason dominance with a quarterfinal sweep of a talented Kings squad, winning 4-1 and 7-6. That sets up a rematch of last year’s Finals with the Selects, which likely suits the Jaxx just fine, given that they swept that best-of-five, took both meetings with the Selects this season, and are 6-2 overall in playoff meetings between the two teams. Their confidence entering this series should be soaring – and that’s a dangerous thing with a lineup this potent.
For their part, the Selects had to scratch and claw just to get to this point, coming from behind in their quarterfinal’s deciding game to edge the Classics 5-4, thanks to a game-winning, seventh-inning, RBI triple from Tom Allan. Selects’ ace Shayne Riepert delivered a gutsy relief effort, playing through a knee injury sustained the night before. But such drama is typical for the Selects – few teams have won as many postseason nailbiters as these guys. And if they're looking for inspiration, they need look no further than veteran catcher Kevin Ryrie. He played only a few innings in last year’s Finals before a collision at the plate ended his year, but enters this series healthy and hitting, going 6-11 in the Classics series. The Selects will need him to keep it up if they hope to dethrone the champs.
Season series: The Jaxx won both meetings this year, 4-1 and 4-0.
- Mike Brown
|Bell Cartage Outlaws||24||22||0||2||46||0.917|
|Ryan Ferber||Diamond Jaxx||8|
|Chris Balsdon||Red Sox||6|
|Vice President||Mike Brown|