PRESENTED BY BLASEBALL NEWS NETWORK (@BlaseballNews)
BY SUNNY UMBRELLA (@PCBehindTheBats)
That was the story of the season. By some higher power, two of the brightest stars in blaseball were rendered unable to do what they do best. While Nagomi Mcdaniel and Jessica Telephone had their big bats silenced, a wealth of players stepped up and made a difference in a tumultuous season of Internet League Blaseball. Conner Haley hit bomb after bomb in Dallas, Thomas Dracaena was one remarkably reliable hitter, and a number of pitchers made a real name for themselves with career years. No, Mcdaniel and Telephone did not make our team of the year, despite the latter’s explosive finish to the season, but we’re happy to be honoring some fantastic performances and even some special outliers. Beginning with Team of the Year, as always, we’ll finish out with awards for division MVPs, Pitchers of the Year, a Rookie of the Year, and one Outstanding Achievement award. As always you can find every player stat we reference over at Blaseball Reference. And if you need any help with understanding all of the stats and abbreviations we use in this article, check out a helpful glossary of definitions here. They’re taken from a bizarrely similar splort (sport?) but generally speaking mean the exact same thing as in blaseball. Here are Behind The Bats’ ILB Season 7 awards!
TEAM OF THE YEAR
THOMAS DRACAENA (NEW YORK)
.341/.370/.611, .980 OPS, 12 Doubles, 3 Triples, 31 Home Runs, 59 RBIs
Thomas Dracaena was Mr. Reliable for the Millennials this season, and to an absurd degree. Whenever his teammates put him in positions to deliver, he did so at an incredible rate. Batting a whopping .528 with runners in scoring position, Drac was as clutch as it came, and delivered the Mills to yet another postseason appearance.
HAHN FOX (HELLMOUTH)
.280/.317/.608, .926 OPS, 13 Doubles, 13 Triples, 32 Home Runs, 72 RBIs
Hahn Fox has perhaps moved around more than a player would like over the past season and change, making her from her longtime home in Miami to Hellmouth by way of Boston, Fox settled in nicely and put up career best numbers nearly across the board. She led the Beams to their best season ever and a brush with the playoffs, barely missing out in the end.
WORKMAN GLOOM (CANADA)
.328/.393/.607, 1.000, 7 Doubles, 17 Triples, 15 Home Runs, 46 RBIs
Though Workman is no longer with us, we will always remember them for their remarkable consistency as one of the best players blaseball has ever seen. Spending seven seasons between Charleston and Canada, Gloom was the only player to ever post an OPS of 1.000 or better in every ILB season. He’ll be missed dearly across the league, but he said farewell with a remarkable home run even in the face of oblivion.
CONER HALEY (DALLAS)
.318/.345/.733, 1.079 OPS, 21 Triples, 41 Home Runs, 75 RBIs, 16 Stolen Bases
I think it’s fair to say that nobody quite lit up the league this year like Conner Haley did in the Lone Star State. Only the second player in ILB history to smash over 40 home runs, Haley wasn’t good for only power, adding in 21 triples and 16 stolen bases to show off his hustle on the basepaths. Looking like an absolute streaking comet of a player, we’re excited to see what Haley does next year.
JOSÉ HALEY (MEXICO CITY
.319/.359/.675, 1.033 OPS, 18 Doubles, 4 Triples, 31 Home Runs, 63 RBIs
With the Wings putting up their best season in team history, José Haley led the charge. Posting his second consecutive season with over 30 home runs, Mexico City had a star to cheer for all season, and they found themselves in their first ever playoffs come the end of the year. Whether that Mushroom has anything to do with Haley’s sudden rise or not, it’s safe to say he’s an all-star now.
KENNEDY LOSER (BALTIMORE)
.281/.315/.649, .964 OPS, 27 Triples, 31 Home Runs, 96 RBIs, 13 Stolen Bases
The Crabs soared to a comfortable league-best record for the third year running, and Kennedy Loser drove in a remarkable 96 runs batted in over the course of the season. Baltimore was very good, but Kennedy was phenomenal, dashing to 27 triples and smashing 31 home runs en route to a poster season.
YORK SILK (HAWAII)
.364/.408/.688, 1.095 OPS, 19 Doubles, 29 Home Runs, 72 RBIs
York did it again in Season 7, wowing us again despite another down year for the Fridays. The four triples he hit were a new personal best, and his On Base Plus Slugging % topped 1.000 for a remarkable fourth time in his career. Topping the whole league in batting average yet again, York’s smooth swing helped prove why he’s one of the greatest hitters of all time.
JUSTICE SPOON (CHICAGO)
.331/.367/.731, 1.098 OPS, 20 Triples, 31 Home Runs, 70 RBIs, 19 Stolen Bases
Maybe Justice Spoon was never meant to be a pitcher in the first place. They needed a couple of seasons to settle into the role, perhaps, but Justice found their rhythm in Season 7 and took off even in the face of a somewhat disappointing Firefighters season. Hitting 31 home runs, notching 20 triples and 19 stolen bases, Spoon was a real force on offense even if the Firefighters fell just a bit short of the playoffs this year.
KNIGHT URLACHER (SAN FRANCISCO)
.333/.381/.637, 17 Doubles, 3 Triples, 27 Home Runs, 64 RBIs
While the end of season race to the playoffs was tight, Knight Urlacher and the Lovers look like they could be genuine contenders if they could just take down the Crabs. Urlacher smashed their previous best slugging percentage and hit nearly twice their previous best in home runs. A solid rock in an up-and-down franchise, Knight could find themself headlining a championship run this year.
PATEL BEYONCE (UNLIMITED)
12-8, 2.88 ERA, 0.921 WHIP, 123 Ks, 14 Quality Starts
Patel is shelled now, thanks to the fantastic unionization effort of the Unlimited Tacos pitching rotation. Making a perilous choice, they have positioned themselves to not pitch a single game next year, or even be able to. We felt Patel deserved to make this list not only for their incredible leadership throughout the season, but because of a fantastic year for an otherwise struggling Tacos team. Few players broke the 3.00 ERA barrier this season, and he deserves a lot of credit for being one of them.
QAIS DOGWALKER (MIAMI)
14-6, 2.21 ERA, 0.833 WHIP, 138 Ks, 18 Quality Starts
Another Wild Low pitcher, believe it or not, Qais Dogwalker was arguably the best in the entire ILB this season, posting a wickedly low ERA and an incredible 18 quality starts. While Miami weren’t quite playoff contenders, Qais was incredibly reliable on the mound. Party time reportedly saw a number of players improve this season, but they were a force to be reckoned with from start to finish.
BURKE GONZALES (MEXICO CITY)
16-4, 2.58 ERA, 0.837 WHIP, 150 Ks, 16 Quality Starts
Burke Gonzales has been solid through his whole career, particularly in Season 5 (his first year in this universe’s ILB, actually), and this year he went above and beyond, notching 16 wins from 16 quality starts. Piling on 150 strikeouts, Gonzales was an integral part of the success of the Wild Wings this season.
RIVERS ROSA (CHICAGO)
16-4, 2.77 ERA, 0.941 WHIP, 155 Ks, 14 Quality Starts
Another Chicago player to have really started to shine since swapping positions, Rivers Rosa put on an exceptional season, winning 16 games and fanning the most batters of anyone on this list. It’s worth noting that the only pitchers she lost to in the whole season were Qais Dogwalker and Montgomery Bullock. While Axel Trololol may have moved on for now, the Firefighters have certainly found another star pitcher in Rivers.
AXEL TROLOLOL (BALTIMORE)
15-5, 2.33 ERA, 0.811 WHIP, 131 Ks, 17 Quality Starts
Speaking of Axel, we would be remiss not to mention him in our team of the year. 17 quality starts, the lowest WHIP in the league, and a fantastic ERA, Axel is once again commended in our end of season awards. Looking arguably stronger than ever, he guided the way as Baltimore won a competitive Wild High division yet again. Unfortunately he found himself shelled with Patel after the season ended, and will be unavailable to pitch in the playoffs.
ILB OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
INKY RUTLEDGE (YELLOWSTONE)
In the entirety of the ILB’s first six seasons, there were two recorded no-hitters pitched. One each by Mooney Doctor and Jaylen Hotdogfingers in Season 1. In Season 6, Inky Rutledge of the Yellowstone Magic threw two no-hitters; Day 7 against the Fridays and Day 37 against the Shoe Thieves. While Inky’s season stats were perhaps not quite up to par with the best pitchers in the league, we here at Behind The Bats felt that Inky rightfully deserves special recognition for that accomplishment. Congratulations, Inky! Your name has gone down in blaseball history!
ILB ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
STEPH WEEKS (BRECKENRIDGE)
When Steph Weeks came into the lineup for the Hands last season, there were great expectations to fulfill. The team was strong, competitive, and he lived up to them better than you would generally expect of any rookie. Batting .302, driving in 52 RBIs, and collecting nearly 200 total bases, Weeks helped shore up an already talented Jazz Hands roster on their way to their seventh consecutive postseason appearance. If Steph can take his experience and build on it, he may become a true all-star before long.
PITCHER OF THE YEAR
WILD HIGH – RIVERS ROSA (CHICAGO)
While Axel Trololol and Brock Forbes were exceptional this season, we felt no pitcher was more crucial to their team in the Wild High this year than Rivers Rosa in Chicago. The star pitcher may be reportedly not much of a fan of playing blaseball, but she’s certainly quite good at it. She could establish herself as one of the best of a generation if she keeps having years like this.
WILD LOW – QAIS DOGWALKER (MIAMI)
Patel Beyonce was a solid choice too, but we felt that Qais put on a performance that excelled beyond anyone else in the Wild League this year. Miami looks like they’ll be even more competitive next season, and if Qais carries this on, there’s a real shot of them finally making a playoff appearance.
Many of the Mild High teams have been historically known for having fantastic pitchers, but this year was perhaps a little slow — or, maybe, the offense in the division simply stepped up a notch. In spite of that, Dunlap Figueroa had a very good season for the Tigers, notching a career best 164 strikeouts and winning 14 games for the fourth time in their career. The Tigers may not have the hitting they once did, but their pitching rotation is still top notch.
MILD LOW – BURKE GONZALES (MEXICO CITY)
While teammate Silvia Rugrat makes a solid case for this recognition, Burke Gonzales was ahead of everyone else in our reckoning. We detailed his season up above, but there’s no doubting Burke’s prowess on the mound, and in a squad that’s stayed nearly identical since the league began, there’s potentially no limit to how high the Wings could fly if they stay together.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYERS
WILD HIGH – KENNEDY LOSER (BALTIMORE)
96 runs batted in tends to speak for itself. Kennedy Loser contributed a remarkable amount to a very good team, and it would be difficult for us to justify giving this award to many other players in the Wild High. If their performance keeps up into the postseason, the Crabs may cruise to their second ILB title.
WILD LOW – HAHN FOX (HELLMOUTH)
Despite the multiple moves, Hahn Fox delivered in Season 7. Maybe there was something about Hellmouth, inhospitable as it seems, that worked in her favor, though one wouldn’t typically imagine a glaring sun to be conducive to good hitting in afternoon games. While the Beams came up just short of the playoffs this season, we may get to see them make another push next year with Hahn leading the way.
MILD HIGH – CONNER HALEY (DALLAS)
41 home runs. Conner Haley put on a show in Texas this year, and it was no fluke. Since moving from the pitcher’s mound to become a hitter, we’ve only been left wondering why he didn’t make the switch sooner! While Dallas had a rare off year, Conner and the Steaks will be back and ready to contend again next season.
MILD LOW – JOSÉ HALEY (MEXICO CITY)
Steadily improving year after year, the Wings might just be able to turn some heads in the playoffs, and continue to do so for years to come. A team of great unity, there really does seem to be an advantage to continually developing team chemistry. Setting career bests in half a dozen different statistics, José was to us the undoubted best player in the Mild Low division this season.
Thank you so much once again for reading! As always, you can find all the player stats we referenced over at Blaseball Reference, where the SIBR team continue to do incredible work recording the history of the ILB. Thanks also to Blaseball News Network for inviting us into their media family. You can follow them at @BlaseballNews for all sorts of blaseball news every day! And lastly, you can follow us at @PCBehindTheBats on Twitter for these awards every season as well as unique player interviews. See you next season, folks!