The Eugene Emeralds are a Cubs affiliate of the Class-A Short Season Northwest League. Last night they won that league’s championship. Normally such a thing would not be news on a site that doesn’t cover minor league baseball, but two things make the Emeralds’ title fun.
First: the Emeralds had a losing record in 2018, finishing the season with the worst record in the league: 31-45. In the Northwest League, however, you can make the playoffs based on your first half or second half record, the Emeralds went 17-21 in the record half and that was just good enough for them to win a Wild Card spot. Viva parity.
The second fun thing was the way they won the title game last night. It came via a walkoff balk, when Spokane Indians reliever Emmanuel Clase stopped his delivery with a stumble/stutter step in midstream with the bases loaded during a tie game in the bottom of the ninth:
Clase also walked in a run with the bases loaded just before that, so the dude was obviously shook. I feel bad for the guy, really. Still, what a win for the Emeralds.