Parity in Belle? Kind of a novel idea but it may be where we're headed. The playoffs will have a decidedly different look this year.
In the NL North, Chicago capped a great regular season by sweeping defending NL champ Ottawa in the season-ending series to capture the division. The Free Swingers set a new franchise record for wins with 103. They go into the playoffs as the #2 seed; the Ice are in at #5.
In the East, Jacksonville takes the division for the third straight year, and posted their best record since Season 10 (86 wins).
Down South, New Orleans claimed the #1 seed and their 3rd straight division crown with an excellent 107-win season. With some key players eligible for free agency, this may be the do-or-die year for a New Orleans championship. San Juan posted their 2nd straight 88-win season and is in as the #6 seed.
Out West, Vancouver breaks the OAK/LV stranglehold on the division with its first title. The Victory make their first playoff appearance as the #3 seed. This is the first year in Belle's history that we won't see either OAK or in the playoffs.
In the AL North, Detroit continues to improve and makes the playoffs for the first time since Season 10. They're in as the #4 seed.
The AL East has a new champ for the first time in 13 seasons. Pittsburgh has advanced to the World Series the last 2 years as a wild card (and won last year), but couldn't claim Eastern preeminence until wresting the division title from Cleveland. The Alleghenys have the #1 seed; the Katanas are in as #5. The division gets a third playoff team with Washington D.C. taking the #6 seed.
In the South, Richmond won a hard-fought race to win it's 2nd division championship in 2 years. The Poor Men take the #3 seed.
Finally, Salem wins the West for the 4th straight year. They get a first-round pass as the 2nd seed.
Congrats to all the playoff teams!