The Miami Amigos

It’s a situation a player can dream on. The bases loaded, no one out in the bottom of the 9th, down three runs, and then suddenly, two outs, full count, runners in scoring position and the championship one swing away either way. Eddie Cabrera would find himself in this situation, and would take full advantage of his opportunities and make his impact known on the base-paths, inserting his name in SFBL championship lore.

The postseason is certainly not without its dramatics and its definitely not without its controversy, those two things are for certain. And it certainly tends to be a back and forth affair. The Miami Amigos (28+ division) and Aventura Braves would follow that baseball narrative to a tee. In the 2nd inning, the Braves were set up beautifully and managed to get a run. The Amigos tied it. The Braves scored two runs in the 5th and took a 3-1 lead. The Amigos came back in the 6th to make it a one run game again. Going into the 7th, the Braves pushed two more runs across to reinstate their previous two run advantage, 5-3.

Cabrera forced an interference call between 2nd and 3rd base in the bottom of the 9th with two outs and runners on 2nd and 3rd down two runs, after Marcell Castaneda, the pitcher for Braves, balked the runners over from 1st and 2nd, and the highest of high pressure moments after Gil Rodriguez hit a hard grounder to 3rd that resulted in a 6-2-3 double play with the score 5-4 Braves and the championship hanging on the line.

While both teams fumed at the bang bang play at 1st in which the umpires ruled Gil out on a force-play, it was superseded by the very next play. In stepped Cabrera, the team’s manager and soon-t0-be-MVP. On a full count, he ripped a bullet down the first-base line, just out of the reach of the diving infielder for a single that scored a run to even the score at 5. The ball tipped off the first baseman Alonso George’s glove and ricocheted down the line. Cabrera then stole 2nd, a play contested by the Braves. He was awarded an interference call on the slide. While the Braves argued, not realizing that the play was still live, Cabrera, the ultimate IQ player, never stopped running and took third. Jose Aguada came through with a hard grounder towards the shortstop hole and the ball took a bad hop, squirted in between center and left field and scored Cabrera. The Braves shortstop, Alex Roa, threw a seed to home plate. But Cabrera, correctly calculating the angle of the throw, swam around the tag and scored with a hand-first tag for a 6-5 lead — after trailing all game long. The MVP was awarded to Cabrera who went 3-5 with two runs batted in, and two stolen bases, including the one that won the game.

Other key performers included right-handed pitcher Ruben Ramos who went 7 1/3rd innings pitched. He struck out six and surrendered seven hits, Eric Whitehurst who could’ve very well been granted MVP with his own 3-4 day, and both Gus Castillo and Gil Rodriguez who went 2-4.

“It was a good game. We’ve always have good competition against them. They beat us in the regular season. It was kind of a heated exchange. I was injured for that regular season matchup. I wanted the revenge. We’ve knocked them out of the playoffs 3 out of the last 4 seasons. Our games with them always come down to the bottom of the 9th, and controversy is typically how these games ends. They have not been able to beat us in the playoffs. We look forward to our future games with those guys, and beating them is the best feeling in the world,” said the MVP and manager Eddie Cabrera.