The Toledo Mud Hens began the Triple-A Final Stretch as the Detroit Tigers Triple-A affiliate continue their Midwest Division championship tour.
The Detroit Tigers game with the Chicago White Sox was postponed as it was rescheduled for Monday, September 27th, but the Toledo Mud Hens start a new format in Triple-A baseball with a five-game series down in Louisville against the Bats, the Cincinnati Reds affiliate.
No more Governors’ Cup
The Mud Hens won their seventh division title in team history but the days of winning the Governors’ Cup are gone. The Cup went to the winner of the International League playoffs but with the IL disbanded, the chances of Toledo winning their first one since 2006 are gone.
Another tradition that was newer was the Triple-A National Championship Game. Started in 2006, the game featured the winner of the IL and Pacific Coast League (PCL). But that also like the Governors’ Cup, went away.
Instead, Triple-A teams will play under the new format known as the Triple-A Final Stretch. A regular-season champion will be declared based on the overall winning percentage in the Triple-A East and the Triple-A West. So the Durham Bulls, the Tampa Rays affiliate, won the Triple-A East Regular Season Championship, and for the Triple-A West, the Tacoma Rainers, the Seattle Mariners affiliate.
The Mud Hens won their division and they have the opportunity to play for the Triple-A Final Stretch title. How it works is the team with the best winning percentage in their last 10 games will win the inaugural crown. You can find the rest of the rules in case of a tiebreaker in the link.
Personally, I do not like how the traditions of the IL and the PCL were taken away Thanos style with the snap of his fingers like it never happen but there is a way that Major League Baseball has redeemed itself.
Anytime a Triple-A team hits a home run, MLB will donate $50 dollars to the team’s charity of their choice. For Toledo, they chose the Boys and Girls Club of Toledo. The team was ranked second in the Triple-A East in home runs so they have an opportunity to raise money.
The five-game series kicks off today as Nivaldo Rodriguez, who the Tigers picked up from Houston off waivers earlier this summer, goes up against Riley O’Brien down at Louisville Slugger Field.