“Can you believe it?” Tom asked during his locker room celebration, which included lots of craft brews that were not sprayed around but were instead carefully assessed personally by Tom for appearance, smell, taste, and mouthfeel. "As a White Sox fan, there’s nothing more I wanted than for the Cubs to lose in spectacular fashion in Game 7. But then they won, which was almost distressing to me."
In between sips of the bourbon barrel-aged Arrogant Bastard ale, Tom explained how he avoided a post-Cubs victory funk. “Eight-hundred clams, baby! I just had to remember that I won the Overall SLPL Championship, which netted me $800 plus next year’s ownership fees. That will buy me a lot of excellent beer. Plus, I’m thinking of commissioning a local brewer to run a personal batch for me, which I will name 'F.U. Cubs!' It will be a bitter ale."
“I hate to hand it to the Cubs, so I won’t,” Tom said. “I despise the northsiders with all my heart, but I do appreciate that Bryant, Rizzo, and Arrieta helped me maintain my lead during the playoffs to secure the Overall championship. Tip of the ballcap to those guys. There, I said something nice about the Cubs. Now I really hope they all go suck eggs.”
“Hey, where’s my Jim Cummings Cup? I earned it,” Tom said.
The Jim Cummings Cup was named after the 2005 Overall Champ, the late and much-beloved Jim Cummings, and is given each year in honor of winning the Overall SLPL Championship.
In addition to the Regular Season and Overall championships, Tom won the Hitting and División de Aguacate championships. He, along with 2nd place finisher for both the Regular Season and Overall, Deeger’s Dogs owner D. Jay Anderson, will only win monies for Overall and Regular Season, respectively, which means the next most-deserving teams will be awarded the monies for the other categories they each won. Tom and D. Jay are still the champs for those other categories, officially, but other folks will be happy money-collecting non-champs.
Here are all the official champs and final payouts for the 2016 season:
2016 SLPL CHAMPS
End-of-Season SLPL Champs
- Overall Champ - Tom Kinchus, Donde Esta Mi Cerveza
- Playoff Champ - Kathy Livernois, Dickey in a Box
- Regular Season Champ - Tom Kinchus, Donde Esta Mi Cerveza
- Hitting Champ - Tom Kinchus, Donde Esta Mi Cerveza
- Pitching Champ - Scott Allen, Scoots Bigelow
- All-Star Champ - Scott Allen, Scoots Bigelow
- División de Acelgas - Mike Skoien, Maddog's Maulers
- División de Achicoria - Joe Livernois, Pence Spake Zarathustra
- División de Aguacate - Tom Kinchus, Donde Esta Mi Cerveza
- División de la Endibia - Kevin Klinkhamer, Dongwhipped
- División de Espinacas - D. Jay Anderson, Deeger's Dogs
- División Mantecosa - Susie Rochellle, Santa Lechuga's Impotent Team (SLIT)
- $800 - Tom Kinchus, Donde Esta Mi Cerveza - Overall Champ
- $800 - D. Jay Anderson, Deeger's Dogs - 2nd place Overall + 2nd place Regular Season (replaces Tom Kinchus as money winner Regular Season)
- $400 - Scott Allen, Scoots Bigelow - Pitching Champ ($200) + All-Star Champ ($200)
- $375 - Alec Puente, Sun Devils - Hitting Champ ($200; replaces Tom Kinchus and D. Jay Anderson as money winner for 3rd place finish) + División de Espinacas Champ (replaces D. Jay Anderson as money winner for next most Division points scored)
- $200 - Kathy Livernois, Dickey in a Box - Playoff Champ
- $175 - Mike Skoien, Maddog's Maulers - División de Acelgas Champ
- $175 - Joe Livernois, Pence Spake Zarathustra - División de Achicoria Champ
- $175 - Kevin Klinkhamer, Dongwhipped - División de la Endibia Champ
- $175 - Tony Livernois, Los Monos de Pepino - División de Aguacate Champ ($175; replaces Tom Kinchus as money winner for next most Division points scored)
- $175 - Susie Rochellle, Santa Lechuga's Impotent Team (SLIT) - División Mantecosa Champ
Congratulations to Tom Kinchus and his Donde Esta Mi Cerveza! Congrats to all our champs and money winners! And thanks to all of you for joining us for a most-excellent season.
We look forward to seeing you all next year.
*P.S. IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO ALL MONEY-WINNERS: Use this form to give us your preferred snail mail address so Rube can send your check. Or, if you would like him to send you a PayPal transfer, let us know that instead by including your PayPal info. Finally, let us know if you would like any winnings applied to next year’s entry fees.
Congratulations to Tom and Kathy! Tom, that was one hell of a season.
In last night's action: The Cubs thrashed my Indians, which makes tonight's action, well, it's for all the marbles.
Meanwhile, here's where things stand in the SLPL:
Oh! And, hey! Look! A dinosaur riding a horse kicking a massive soccer ball! Nerves be reduced now.
In last night's action: My Indians put themselves within one win of the World Series. But before they start the backslapping and celebrating, they have to keep the following in mind, which comes courtesy of Cubs fan and Los Benditos Puercos owner Nate Meyers:
Exactly right … the Tribe will be facing no slouches the rest of the way. And if the Cubs can get it back to Cleveland, they'll have Schwarber in their lineup fulltime the rest of the way. This ain't over, not by a long shot.
Meanwhile, in the SLPL, here's where things stand:
In last night's action: Dayamn, that was a hell of a game; I was sitting on the edge of my seat the whole time. Of course, I'm jazzed the Indians won, but I would have considered it phenomenal either way. Man.
Meanwhile, in the SLPL, here's where things stand:
In last night's action: There was no action, but we came across this Cubs video, which is quite fun. Having a teenager in the house who is in competitive show choir likely primes us to enjoy this more than we normally would, but it's worthy goofiness for everyone.
In last night's action: Arrieta muted the Indians' bats in a masterful performance. Funny, you're not hearing Cubs fans whine about the exact same strike zone we saw the night before. I wonder why that is? Hmm.
In last night's action: Corey Kluber held the Cubs' bats in check and — according to callers into sports talk radio in Chicago after the game — the only reason the Indians won was because the home plate umpire was told by MLB to make sure Kluber won by making a few questionable strike calls for Kluber and a few questionable ball calls for Lester.
Sure, that's the only reason the Indians won. Because Major League Baseball wants the Cleveland Indians to win. Yeah. Right. Okay. Alrighty then. When they aren't calling in to Chicago sports radio, these guys are apparently listening to Alex Jones.
Meanwhile, a quick note about points in the World Series, which we failed to mention yesterday. Here’s how things are scored during this last round of the playoffs:
- Hitters earn 100 points for every home run hit
- Hitters lose 10 points for every K
- Pitchers earn 10 points for every K
- Pitchers lose 50 points for every homer surrendered
Good luck the rest of the way!
Dear Cubs-Loving Friends and Family:
I grew up despising the Chicago Cubs. I had no reason to care one way or another about them, but they took up fully one-twelfth of all available channels on my childhood television. While I was looking for something good to watch in the afternoons as I folded my newspapers for the Imperial Valley Press -- Route 216 -- the Cubs had an afternoon monopoly on channel 9, blocking otherwise worthy shows like Get Smart or Gilligan's Island or H.R. Pufnstuf or even Match Game 70-whatever. Folding papers when the Cubs were on TV was infinitely more boring than when they weren't. What the hell was WGN doing, anyway, spreading their lackluster Illinois baseball all the way to El Centro, California? That was reason enough to hate the Cubs.
Then 1984 happened, which added more fuel to my Cubs hate. While the Indians have always been my team, through and through, without question, no doubt about it, I also rooted for the San Diego Padres, who were just two hours away from my hometown, which meant two hours away from cheap seats and the chance to hear Danny Topaz on keys and the Marines yelling their chants in between innings. When the Padres went to the playoffs that season, I was happy to have a team to root for in the postseason. When the Cubs beat them in the playoffs, I had yet another reason to hate the Cubs.
I carried that hate with me all the way to Chicago, where I moved in 1988. After going to Wrigley Field the first time, though, I began to understand the Cubs' appeal. Okay, so Wrigley had a psuedo-nostalgia quality to it, and it had none the amenities of even the crappiest Independent League ballclub, but Harry Caray was a lovable, cuddly, mascot of an announcer, mega-fan Bill Murray gave the Cubs a certain hipster cool before hipster cool was cool, and the bleachers were easily the best place to get drunk this side of Chico, CA.
Wrigley wasn't enough to convert me, though; I still hated the Cubs. So I followed the White Sox in the local media. Since I had no lifelong reason to hate the Sox -- as a kid I watched them maybe twice on NBC's Game of the Week -- and old Comiskey Park had a nostalgic quality to it, too (especially when compared to San Diego's Jack Murphy Stadium), the White Sox were plenty okay to follow and root for as long as they weren't playing my Indians.
And then MLB realigned the divisions, which meant the White Sox ended up in the same division as my Indians. Instant rivals. Instant. To be loyal to my Tribe, I could no longer follow or root for the White Sox. The (newly) hated Sox. That was 1994.
The Cubs became my defacto local team to follow. They still had Wrigley, they still had Harry Caray, and they still had the bleachers. I found myself rooting for them. Soon I perfected the lousiness of my lousy Harry Caray impersonation. I bleacher-bummed. I roof-topped. I saw Sammy Sosa hit a home run at Wrigley during his home run duel with Mark McGwire in 1998. I witnessed Kerry Wood and Mark Prior both get wins at Wrigley in 2003. When that magical 2003 season turned horror show during the NLCS, I was bummed, especially so for my friends and family who were real Cub fans, with whom I shared so many of my Cubs experiences.
If you haven't caught it, I make a distinction between being a real fan and rooting for a team. I am a real fan of the Indians, which means I have all the loyalties and quiet thrills and low-level grumblings and gut-punching pains and uncontrollable joys and everything else that come with that. It's a lot like family. Being a real fan comes with a "you live and you die" mentality that you don't have if you are merely rooting for a team. My "root for" allegiances have shifted over time from the Padres to (when I was in Chico) the Giants to the White Sox … to the Cubs. As a fan of the Indians, there is no shifting allegiances. (If you're not following what I am saying, maybe this will help: You are a real Cubs fan. You root for whoever plays the White Sox. See what I mean?)
And now here we are. Your Cubs are playing my Indians in the World Series. I seriously can't believe this is actually happening. And, I … well … I am, weirdly, strangely, confoundingly, bizarrely happy. There's a part of me that says I am selling myself out for not reverting to my previous Must-Hate-Cubs mode, but as much as I try I just can't stoke the hate. I have been to too many Cubs games. I have seen too much of their recent history. I felt bad when they lost in 2003. I was excited when they hired Theo Epstien. I genuinely like this current team. Don't get me wrong, I will be crushed if my Indians lose, but I can't help but to admit that it will also be a lot of fun to be able to witness so much joy in so many people I care about. Which is to say: If my Indians have to lose to anyone, I am glad that it will be to your Cubs.
Now: Let's play seven! And, please, please, please Indians, do not freakin' lose. Go Tribe!
In today's action: The Chicago Cubs hope to clinch a World Series berth, but Clayton Kershaw might have something to say about that. Oh, please, let it get to a Game 7!
Meanwhile, the best worst headline I've seen related to the Indians came from the Akron Beacon Journal. It says: "As long as Indians continue to beat the odds, they can’t be counted out." Thank you, Captain Obvious. Thanks for spelling that out for me. I don't know that I would have said it that way, but I'm not the one with the professional responsibility to say it so brilliantly.
In yesterday's action: My Indians are going to the World Series! My Indians are going to the World Series! My Indians are going to the World Series! Oh, and the Cubs evened up their series with the Dodgers. But my Indians are going to the World Series!
In yesterday's action: My Tribe is one game from the World Series. Win. I mean win. My Tribe is one win away from the World Series!
Speaking of wins, they appear to be doing it with bailing wire, popsicle sticks, and duct tape. But without Band Aids. No Band Aids! But damn. The fun part is that they're doing it at all.
With the Wild Card and Division Serieses out of the way — SLPL hitters smacked 16 HRs while pitchers threw 110 Ks — the picture in the Santa Lechuga Power League is looking a lot like it did at the end of the Regular Season. Donde Esta Mi Cerveza owner Tom Kinchus is still sporting a large Overall lead. Actually, he has opened up his lead even though he is only in 11th place in the Playoffs standings. Meanwhile, Cabbage Farmers owner Paul Martin, who finished in 33rd place in the Regular Season, is at the top of the Playoffs heap by ten points. But, hey, this is the playoffs, where everything turns topsy-turvy since the points you can earn (and lose) increases during each round.
Here's how points are awarded during the League Championship Serieses:
- Hitters earn 50 points for every home run hit
- Hitters lose 5 points for every K
- Pitchers earn 5 points for every K
- Pitchers lose 25 points for every homer surrendered
In yesterday's action: There was no action, though tonight should be fun. I mean, c'mon, Game 5, people! Game Foxtrottin' Five!
In the meantime, howzabout a Tip of the Ballcap to Dongwhipped owner Kevin Klinkhamer, who sent us this link back on October 5 with the comment "I'm a little late with this since the Cardinals posted it last week when their magic number was 2. Side note, how'd that work out for y'all?! Seriously, every member of Creepy Cardinal Nation needs to be eviscerated!"
Late or not, we are always up for a little Cardinals humiliation. Thanks, Kevin!
TIP OF THE BALLCAP STANDINGS
1. Joe Kelly - 13 Tips
2. Kevin Klinkhamer - 11 Tips
3. Michael Skoien - 6 Tips
4. Joe Livernois - 3-1/2 Tips
5. Jennifer Leigh - 2 Tips
6. Vince Livernois, Nate Meyers, Jeff Burns, Dan Klinkhamer, Sue Klinkhamer - 1 Tip
7. Marcus Rochellle, 1/2 Tip
8. All others - 0 Tips
Three potential sweeps are brewing in the Division Serieses, (well, four, if you count the 1-0 Dodgers, too) which would be boring in other circumstances but since I'm an Indians fan I will find it extremely exciting and satisfying if it actually happens. Brooms, baby!
Team Name owner Vince Livernois observes:
About the next round matchup: I said in June that the one team the Cubs don't want to play in the postseason is the Giants, not because of this even year bullsierra, but because Bochy just knows how to press the buttons to win playoff games … and Bumgarner is a foxtrotting' robot this time of year. I know the Cubs are stacked and it's their year and blah, blah, blah, but they don't have Bochy and they don't have Bumgarner. And while Maddon has been a great coach for the Cubs' young talent, for all his Manager of the Year awards he has lost more postseason games than he has won. I fear the Cubs won't get out of this round of the playoffs.
The first postseason game is in the books — the Toronto Blue Jays won in thrilling fashion while the Baltimore Orioles have all offseason to replay the sound of Toronto fans erupting at the thrill of it all — and several SLPL sit atop the heap of the Playoffs standings with 34 points. Tonight, the National League determines who will go on to play the No. 1 seeded Cubs.