2020 Season

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2020 Bull League Season

April 1 to September 29, 2020

Number of games 162

Number of teams 20
Draft
Top draft pick Jonathan Davis

Selected by Dallas Deputies
Regular season
League postseason
ML Champions Nevada Speeders
Runner-up St. Petersburg Admirals

LL Champions Chicago Pit Bulls
Runner-up Toronto Nomads
Bull Cup Champions
Champions Chicago Pit Bulls (2nd)
Bull Cup MVP John Rambo (CHI)
Seasons
← 2019

2021 →


The 2020 season of the Bull Baseball League began on April 1, 2020 Game simulations began on April 9, 2019 and is scheduled to end on September 29, 2020. It is the is the 29th season in which the teams contested for the Bull Cup at the conclusion of the season, in 1991.

An All-Star Game was played on July 9, 2020, at The Burg home of the St. Petersburg Admirals. The Lake League won, 7-5, for the second year in a row.


Schedule

The 2020 season is the second since the introduction of the "full" 162 game length of schedule. Each team plays its division rivals a total of 23 times each, and plays opposing division teams six times each. In addition, for the first time ever, each team will play four games against all ten opposing league teams for a total of 40 interleague games. The schedule differs from the previous year, which saw more inter-division games and less interleague games. Prior to 2019, the Bull League used a 100-game schedule for two seasons, and prior to that, a "half length" schedule of either 80 or 82 games.[1]

Other events on the season schedule included the draft, which took place on June 8, 2020.

This season is expected to run from April 2019 to October 2019 in real life.

Managerial changes

General managers

Offseason

Team Former GM Reason for Leaving New GM Story/Accomplishments
Norfolk Sharks Lawrence Tabachnick Resigned Scott Elliott Tabachnick was the Norfolk GM and manager from 2017 to 2019, compiling a respectable win-loss record of 164-194 (.458), and generally ending each season with his team in the middle of the pack in the Metro League East division. Tabachnick was a dedicated and highly involved manager, but was generally not active in the trade market, instead turning his attention to the amateur draft and developing international talent. He was responsible for drafting reliever Daniel Abbate, a promising right-hander from Grenada, who was chosen in the 3rd round of the 2018 draft and has steadily demonstrated some successes moving up quickly through the Norfolk system. Tabachnick was replaced prior to the 2020 season by assistant GM Scott Elliott.
Washington Freedom Zach Kerr Demoted Alex Sanderson Former New York Dragons GM and manager Sanderson returned to the league and took the reins of the Philadelphia Liberty Warriors (formerly the Denver Danger), as part of the team's relocation to nearby Washington, D.C. as the Washington Freedom. In 2017, Sanderson led New York to a 53-47 3rd place finish. Sanderson took a step back during the 2018 season, and the team's performance showed, sliding to a 49-51 finish, before storming back last season under former Arizona Cowboys GM, Kevin Norris. Zach Kerr, who held the fort down for Philly last season, was bumped down to assistant to make room for Sanderson.

In-season

Team Former GM Reason for Leaving New GM Story/Accomplishments
Dallas Deputies Andrew Warren Resigned TBA Warren joined the Dallas organization as GM & manager shortly after the 2019 season began, and led the team over 121 games that year to a 59-103 (.364) finish, with the team going 43-78 (.355) while he was at the helm. The season ended with Dallas maintaining the best minor league system in the Bull League, featuring three prospects in the Top 20, all three of whom are power center fielders (John Heart, Georges Henri, Ricardo Rodriguez). In all, Dallas had 8 players in the Top 100 prospects as the 2020 season began. But due to personal commitments, Warren could no longer continue to manage the team. Despite some successes in drafting talented players, he leaves the team with one of the worst records in the Metro League, and many vacancies at front office positions throughout the entire organization.

Major events

Hall of Fame Inductions

This year, another two players were inducted into the Bull League Hall of Fame. On January 15, 2020, word came that Joe Balaski and Niek Rodriguez would be joining their fellow honored colleagues as members of this exclusive club.

Balaski received 84% of the votes in his 3rd year on the ballot. The center fielder first appeared on the ballot in 2018, and garnered a respectable 61.8% of the votes. Throughout 18 seasons, he was a solid offensive player, first for the Chicoutimi Cinquantes (1998-2007), then later for the California Tidals (2008-2011), Calgary Inferno (2012-2014), and then briefly made one start as a Boston Brawler.

A two-time Bull Cup winner with the Cinquantes, he also took home six Gold Crown Awards and was named to an all-star team seven times. His career .292 batting average ranks 37th on the all-time list. He ended his playing career with a 30.9 WAR, which ranked 30th. In 2001, he set the LL extra-inning game record for runs, scoring 4 times back on August 18, a record that has since been tied by four other players.

Rodriguez had been a fixture for the Ohio Oxen from 2002-2012, where the right-handed starter accumulated a 72-42 win-loss record and a career 2.94 ERA. His wins, win-loss percentage, and ERA remain as franchise records, along with his career WAR of 36.1, career starts of 141 (tied with Bill Henson), his 32 complete games, 8 shutouts, 1,153.0 innings pitched, and 1,374 strikeouts. In 2008, he set the club single-game strikeout record at 16 K's, then tied it two more times. After setting these high bars, the 3-time Bull Cup champion and 9-time all-star signed on as a free agent with the expansion Battle Creek Attack in 2013, where he also set team career records in ERA (3.74), WAR (9.4), complete games (22), shutouts (3), strikeouts (550) and, until the 2019 when it was surpassed, innings pitched (570.1) — all in just five seasons at the end of his career. Rodrigues also holds that team's single-game record for K's at 15.

Though many of his team records with Battle Creek (now Milwaukee) will eventually be surpassed, Rodriguez left an indelible mark on the franchise. Even up to his last few seasons, he was routinely striking out 13, 14 or 15 batters a game, achieving 10 or more K's a game seven times in 2015.

A stellar career by any standard, Rodriguez He was a runner-up for the Sandy Koufax Award five times. He was inducted as an Oxen pitcher with 75.3% of the votes on his first time on the ballot.

Anniversaries and special events

Throughout the season, various events and anniversaries will be recognized.

Team Occasion
Calgary Inferno (Calgary Chinooks)
Miami Storm (Kingston Battlements)
Pittsburgh Iron Pigs (Hamilton Industrials)
Washington Freedom (Denver Danger)
25th Anniversary of the 1995 Expansion franchises (original names in parentheses)
Miami Storm 20th Anniversary of 2000 Bull Cup championship (as Kingston Industrials)
Minneapolis Ravens 25th Anniversary of 1995 Bull Cup championship (as Richmond Ravens)
St. Petersburg Admirals 2019 Bull Cup championship banner raising and ring ceremony (April 5)
2020 Bull League All-Star Game

Reorganization

There were several offseason changes following the 2019 and before the beginning of the 2020 campaign.

Contraction

Immediately following the playoffs, the league will contract by 4 teams. The players on those teams will be offered to the remaining 16 teams in a contraction draft, and the league will be reorganized as necessary in order to equalize the divisions.

The teams that will be folded are:

To rebalance the divisions, the Calgary Inferno will move to the ML East, and possibly relocate to a city closer in proximity to the remaining ML East teams (currently Washington, St. Petersburg and Miami). Unless a human GM is found, the likely candidates are Atlanta, Nashville, Houston, New York, or Philadelphia. A major city is preferred as the "Metropolitan" league is now intended for large population centers.

The contraction draft details will be released later, but the intention will not to be to redistribute all of the up to 160 major league rostered players being contracted, but instead to redistribute the best of those players to the worst of the remaining teams in a fair manner, and to release the rest to free agency. There may be a separate contraction draft for minor league players.

Summer College Tournament

    See article: 2020 Summer College Tournament

The Summer College Tournament plays each year after the draft, and allows some of the still-developing college and high school players to get more competitive playing time in an extended season, with a fun, international championship format involved. This year, the United States won the championship. They placed first overall after the tournament round-robin, and steamrolled over their opposition in the elimination round afterwards.

Jackson Purcell, of Arizona State was named tournament MVP after leading in runs.

Standings

Final regular season standings as of September 29, 2020. Playoff teams are in bold.

Lake League
LL East W L Pct GB
Boston Brawlers 96 66 .593
Toronto Nomads 87 75 .537 9
New York Dragons 84 78 .519 12
Pittsburgh Iron Pigs 74 88 .457 22
Montreal Metros 69 93 .426 27
Metropolitan League
ML East W L Pct GB
St. Petersburg Admirals 96 66 .593
Washington Freedom 81 81 .500 15
Miami Storm 78 84 .481 18
Norfolk Sharks 76 86 .469 20
Dallas Deputies 71 91 .438 25
LL West W L Pct GB
Minneapolis Ravens 95 67 .586
Chicago Pit Bulls 85 77 .525 10
Detroit Motorheads 82 80 .506 13
Ohio Oxen 72 90 .444 23
Milwaukee Hops 72 90 .444 23
LL West W L Pct GB
Arizona Cowboys 91 71 .562
Nevada Speeders 86 76 .531 5
California Tidals 84 78 .519 7
Calgary Inferno 73 89 .451 18
Seattle Salts 68 94 .420 23

Postseason

  Elimination Round League Championship Series
(MLCS), (LLCS)
Bull Cup Championship Series
                           
  1  St. Petersburg Admirals 3  
4  California Tidals 0    
  1  St. Petersburg Admirals 3  
Metropolitan League
  3  Nevada Speeders 4    
2  Arizona Cowboys 1
   
  3  Nevada Speeders 3  
    ML  Nevada Speeders 2
  LL  Chicago Pit Bulls 4
  1  Boston Brawlers 1    
4  Chicago Pit Bulls 3    
  4  Chicago Pit Bulls 4
Lake League
  3  Toronto Nomads 2  
2  Minneapolis Ravens 0
   
  3  Toronto Nomads 3  


Award winners

Players of the Month

Award Month Metropolitan League Lake League
Player Team Player Team
Batter of the Month April Tak-keung Yang Arizona Cowboys Angel Payan Boston Brawlers
May Jim Lahey California Tidals Mike Strang Chicago Pit Bulls
June Bill Covey Seattle Salts Evandro Cerigo Minneapolis Ravens
July Jorge Garzes Seattle Salts Payton Bint Detroit Motorheads
August Earl MacPherson Norfolk Sharks Chris Zahn Minneapolis Ravens
September Tak-keung Yang Arizona Cowboys Jon Guillot Chicago Pit Bulls
Pitcher of the Month April Al Mota Nevada Speeders Sincere Gilmore Boston Brawlers
May Al Mota Nevada Speeders Knuckles Malone Toronto Nomads
June Robby McWeeney Arizona Cowboys Takahide Higuchi Minneapolis Ravens
July Young-lau Weng St. Petersburg Admirals Ruben Medina Toronto Nomads
August Jerry Long St. Petersburg Admirals Lenny Brisco Boston Brawlers
September Harry Ferguson St. Petersburg Admirals Steve Rollins New York Dragons
Rookie of the Month April Jose Santos Dallas Deputies John Rambo Chicago Pit Bulls
May Roberto Gutierrez Washington Freedom John Rambo Chicago Pit Bulls
June Bill Mahoney Norfolk Sharks John Rambo Chicago Pit Bulls
July Hiromitsu Hattori California Tidals John Rambo Chicago Pit Bulls
August Jose Torres Calgary Inferno John Rambo Chicago Pit Bulls
September Nate Cavanaugh Norfolk Sharks John Rambo Chicago Pit Bulls

Milestones

Batters

  • Justin Good (NEW)
    • Hit his 200th home run on June 23, in the third inning of a game against the Pittsburgh Iron Pigs. He becomes just the 28th player to join the 200 home run club.
  • Jim Lahey (NEV)
    • Recorded his 200th home run on July 18, a 3rd inning 2-run shot against the Ohio Oxen. Lahey becomes the 29th player to join the 200 home run club, and the third to reach the milestone in 2020.
  • Roberto Lozano (CAL)
    • Hit his 200th home run on May 29, in the top of the 6th inning against the New York Dragons. Lozano is the 27th player to achieve this milestone.
  • Carlos Mendoza (NEW)
    • Became the first player in Bull League history to hit for the cycle for a second time in his career, going 4-for-4 on August 1 against the Pittsburgh Iron Pigs, with Robby Andrade serving up all of Mendoza's hits. Mendoza is the 17th and the 24th player to hit for the cycle in the Bull League.
  • Miguel Ortega (CAL)
    • Ended a 28-game hitting streak on May 9, tied for the 7th longest with former Tidals Ben Day, who accomplished his streak in 2000.
  • John Rambo (CHI)
    • Oct. 1. Became the first rookie in history to be named Rookie of the Month each month of a 162-game season, after being named for all six months of the year.
  • Julio Rangel (STP)
    • On June 25, became just the 23rd player to hit for the cycle, in a game against the Chicago Pit Bulls. It was the second time a player from the organization hit a cycle, the first was Adam Gordon in 1998, when the club was called the San Diego Seagulls.
  • Gabel Reyes (MIN)
    • Became the 22nd player, and the second Ravens player ever, to hit for the cycle in a game against the Milwaukee Hops.
  • Danny Sanchez (NOR)
    • Achieved his 1,500th hit.
  • Mike Strang (CHI)
    • On May 16, tied the LL single-game record for runs scored, crossing the plate six times in a high-scoring 21-12 win over the Nevada Speeders. He reached base and scored in every plate appearance, going 4-for-4 at the plate, and walking twice.
  • Alex Viramontes (STP)
    • Achieved his 1,500th hit.

Pitchers

Minor leagues

Heifer League

The AA-level Heifer League champions were the Spokane North Stars.

  • MVP
    • Josh Anderson, 3B (RIV) (Barn League)
    • Alan Harrison, CF (MAD) (Pasture League)
  • Pitcher of the Year
    • Murray Terry (SPO) (Barn League)
    • Chad Dawson (ANC) (Pasture League)

Calf League

The A-level Calf League champions were the Winnipeg Gophers.

College and High School Leagues

Pacific Rim College League

The Pacific Rim College League (PRCL) season ran for 54 games from January to March. The season was followed by a two round playoff. The Manila U Aztecs won the PRCL World Series, defeating the Osaka U Masons in a 3-game sweep. It was the first championship for Manila U.

NCAA Division I

The NCAA Division I season began on February 11 and ended on April 14, lasting 56 games. The Arkansas Razorbacks won the 2020 College World Series title, after defeating the Michigan Wolverines in a two-game sweep in the best-of-three final round. Michigan had been undefeated through the first two rounds, eliminating Miami in one game in the Elite Eight, then sweeping Rutgers in the Final Four's best-of-three, 2-0.

CANAM College League

The Can-Am College League season began on February 28 and ended on April 24, lasting 50 games. The Maine Oceanographic School Seahawks will take on the Everglades University Swampmen for the Can-Am championships.

Canadian Interuniversity Sports

The Canadian Interuniversity Sports (CIS) season runs in the fall, from early September until mid-October.

The Ontario University Athletics conference won the 2020 CIS All Star game by a score of 9-1. The game was played on September 8th at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Park. Ed Richard, third baseman for the Queens Gaels, was named MVP.

Nor-Am High School

The Nor-Am High School League season ran from March 1 to April 1, lasting 30 games. The Independent Conference's Great Lakes HS Warlords, based in Rochester, New York, won the High School World Series after defeating the Louisiana College Red Wolves in a best-of-three series, 2-1. It was Great Lakes High's first season playing in the playoff-eligible Division 1 level, and they ended the season in a 3-way tie for the division pennant with a 17-13 record.

References

  1. List of Bull League baseball seasons