It’s why we play this game.
In the actual baseball season, players went on strike during the summer of 1981 and each team lost about 50 or so games. The season was split and first half division winners played the second half division winners and in a sense, it was a precursor to the Wild Card games we now see. In my replay season, I didn’t have the strike and instead played each game out as if the season was intact.
And it’s playing out interestingly.
The New York Yankees led their division by three games on Aug. 9, but went into a tailspin and now are mired in fourth place, 3.5 games out of first place. Detroit briefly led the East Division, but the Tigers also free fell and are now in third.
Kansas City continues to lead the American League West and the Oakland A’s may be the biggest disappointment in my replay season. Despite their good pitching and great home run barrage, they lose. A lot.
Montreal and Los Angeles vie for being the best team in baseball. The Dodgers could end up with four 20-game winners and Montreal should be arrested for felony theft what with the number of bases the Expo players have stolen so far. (Old baseball sportswriter cliché).
Eddie Murray leads all players with 43 home runs this season and Mike Schmidt leads the National League with 42. Rick Reuschel has gone 22-5 so far for the Yankees and Tom Seaver is 23-3 for the Reds.
With all that said, here are the standings as of Sept. 3, 1981:
EAST W L WEST W L
Milwaukee 80 55 Kansas City 86 48
Baltimore 79 55 California 82 53
Detroit 78 56 Chicago 76 58
New York 76 58 Texas 66 68
Boston 65 68 Oakland 65 70
Cleveland 60 74 Seattle 43 91
Toronto 45 91 Minnesota 39 95
EAST W L WEST W L
Montreal 90 43 Los Angeles 90 43
Philadelphia 79 54 Houston 80 53
St. Louis 71 62 Cincinnati 78 55
Pittsburgh 61 73 San Fran. 57 76
Chicago 47 87 Atlanta 52 81
New York 46 87 San Diego 48 85