Mavericks Rewrite History

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Mavericks Rewrite History

Postby Kevin » Thu Oct 07, 2004 11:31 pm

Marc's Mavericks: 2004 Dream Team Baseball League champions!

The Mavericks title may be the most historically significant championship in league history. They broke through some major barriers to win it all. It is almost hard to believe, but they are the first non-original DTBL member to win a championship. In the previous eleven seasons, only four franchises had claimed the top honor: the Cougars ('93, '94 and '96), the Gators ('95 and '98), the Thunder Choppers ('97 and '99) and the Kings ('00, '01, '02 and '03). While other teams have been in contention, the Mavericks are the first team to break that expansion jinx.

Perhaps a close observer could have seen this coming. Unlike every other expansion team, the Mavericks have never had an awful season. They came into the league in 2000 and immediately finished a respectable sixth. The next season, they turned in arguably the best non-championship performance in league history, finishing a close second behind the Kings in just their second season in the league. 2002 was a bit disappointing as they fell back down to seventh, but the Mavericks quickly responded with a fourth place finish in '03.

But enough about the past. This Mavericks team was simply awesome. Their ten point victory over Kevin's Kings was the fourth largest margin of victory in DTBL history. Last year, the Kings won by 11 points. The '94 Cougars and '00 Kings were the other teams to top that margin. The Mavericks coasted to victory, easily out dueling the four time defending champion Kings. The Mavericks and Kings shared the top two spots virtually the entire season. After an early summer run by the Kings, the Mavericks kicked it in gear after the All-Star break and never looked back. The only excitement in the final weeks was where the teams in the middle of the standings would wind up.

So how did the Mavericks do it? Look no further than their pitching staff. The crew earned 46 out of a possible 50 points, the most team pitching points in DTBL history. They led the league in WHIP, saves and strike outs. The star of the staff was clearly Johan Santana. Santana won 20 games with a 2.61 ERA and a 0.921 WHIP. He also struck out 265 batters. All four totals put him in the top three among league leaders, making him a very solid Cy Young candidate. The rest of the rotation was steady, but not spectacular. The bullpen was simply splendid, led by Armando Benitez and Keith Foulke.

The Mavericks offense ranked near the best teams in the league as well. No one player really stood out, but they got very solid years from almost everyone. Hideki Matsui, Jeff Bagwell, Hank Blalock, Mike Lowell and Jeromy Burnitz were just a few of the guys who had very good years. There are probably no real MVP candidates on this team, but just a bunch of guys who got the job done.

2004 will be remembered as a good season for a couple other teams as well. David's Darkhorses finished in third place, by far their best finish ever. Their previous high water mark was eighth place. This was coming off of a disastrous '03 campaign where they finished dead last. The Darkhorses have to be considered the best candidate in '05 among teams looking for their first title. The Cougars returned to the top half of the standings for the first time since 2000. A late season collapse cost them a couple spots, but they did finish a respectable fifth. The Demigods also had a pretty good season, finishing in fourth place.

On the flip side, some teams had a very rough year. Obviously, the Jackalope are disappointed about their last place finish, especially since they were 17 points behind their closest competitors. Former champions, the Choppers and Gators had to be disappointed by their seventh and eighth place finishes respectively. Both were in the top five a year ago. It was the worst finish ever for the Choppers.

Finally, this season marked an end to the longest "dynasty" the DTBL has seen. The Kings had another solid year, but simply were not deep enough to hang with the Mavericks. It seems unlikely that another team will match the Kings four consecutive championships, but the Mavericks will look to get half way there next season.

Once again, thanks to everyone for a great season. I am very proud of the history we have established in twelve years. I am also extremely happy that we have had the same ten members for three straight seasons. Hopefully we can make these the permanent DTBL franchises.
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