Today was the final day in the regular season in Major League Baseball. Except it wasn't. Both the Tigers and the Twins won their final games and will play a one game playoff on Tuesday to decide the division champion. It certainly is an interesting wrinkle on what has been a great season of baseball. This Fan has completely enjoyed the daily ride from start to finish and with over 500 posts this season, hopefully, you enjoyed it too.
Though the last day of the season is sad in many respects since there will be no daily slate of games to pour over both before and after they happen, there is something very cool about the last day. Once the last out is made for all those games, the statistics are set in stone and will live for a very long time. The Fan was going to say eternity, but who knows if those Mayans were right or not (let's hope not!). Those statistics will be on the back of baseball cards and in stadium programs and on stat sites like www.baseball-reference.com and others. No one can change them unless some official scorer wants to petition the league for a last minute change (doubt that will happen).
And so Derek Jeter will have a permanent .334 on his batting average slate for 2009. Nope. You can't take that away from the Captain. Nor can you take away the .406 OBP or the 212 hits or the 107 runs scored. They are in the books.
Nor can you take away the 102 runs that Jason Kubel drove in along with his .300 average. Oh yeah, you can if he takes an oh-fer on Tuesday! Okay, but you can't take away the fact that this guy unexpectedly batted for an impressive .904 OPS this season.
You can't take away the numbers that Ryan Braun put up this season. His .320 final batting average with 203 hits, 32 homers, 113 runs scored and 114 RBI, his twenty stolen bases or his .939 OPS.
You can't change the fact that both Trevor Hoffman and Mariano Rivera, despite their age, both finished with a sub-2 ERA and blew only six saves between them.
Chris Coghlan's first big league season is set in stone with a final batting average of .321 with an OBP of .390. Nice job, kid. His teammate, Hanley Ramirez's season will always say that he batted .342 with a .953 OPS.
Yes, this was a cool season. The climate shift in the game meant that no pitcher won 20 games and no batter hit 50 homers. One more game will decide a division and will close the books on this 2009 regular season. In the days to come, the Fan will devote a post to each major league team and its highlights and low lights statistically. It will be a great way to wrap up the season and put a bow on it. Hope to see you around here because the Fan's season is just getting started.