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There were only two contests this year, and the questions required contestants to answer six questions in the first contest and five in the second. In both contests, it was difficult to declare an outright winner, but here’s what yours truly has decided:

Contest #1: Are you a ‘homer’ or do you really know your team?

If your name is NOT in the following list, consider yourself a ‘homer’:

Ed Scholl, Jesse Maniff, Matt Galati, Larry Longenecker, Brent Schultz, Nicholas Lamanna, Bill Bronwell, Zack Haile, Jim Kilby, Chris Ballard, Dawn Wilson, John Carlson.

Of these 12 who all avoided the ‘homer’ label, it was difficult to choose between the two best submissions.

Matt Galati said the Pirate’s record would be 60-102 (they were 62-100), would be last in their Division (they were), and wouldn’t make the playoffs (they obviously didn’t), and he attributed that to mismanagement, lack of offense, and a weak defense (all true).

Chris Ballard said the Astro’s record would be 97-65 (they were 106-56), said they’d win the AL West (they did), have a first round bye (true), would go to the World Series and win it (true). His eight reasons were detailed and amazingly on target.

And so Matt and Chris share the Winner title for Contest #1, and each will receive a copy of Joe Posnanski’s superb The Baseball 100.

Contest #2: Name the four teams in the LCS, what two teams will make it to the WS, how many games will the WS go, which team will win, and why.

No one shined in this Contest. Brent Schultz did pick the Phillies to make it to the LCS and the WS (where they would lose to the Twins). Pretty good.

Joe Higdon and Chris Ballard (the same guy from Contest #1) had the best overall answers, each getting one of four teams in the LCS, one of two teams in the WS, who would win it all, and pitching being the reason for the victory.

Joe wins as he picked the Astros in six, and his submission was early. Chris loses to Joe as he picked the Astros in seven and, as usual, was late in making his picks.

So Joe gets one ticket to the 2023 World Series.

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See you all again next year when MLB will have instituted some new rules in the hopes of making beisbol more fan friendly.

Plus, look for my upcoming post, Mea Culpa.