Daytona defeated Jupiter moments ago to claim the Florida State League East Division second-half crown. The Cubs took the title despite failing to win the most games in their division.
Jupiter can make that claim, and the Hammerheads can load that hollow victory into their duffle bags as they depart for their off-season hometowns in the coming days.
Tropical Storm Fay and the afternoon thunderstorms that followed washed away Daytona’s entire series in Vero Beach and all but one game in St. Lucie two weeks ago. Those rainouts can’t be made up and as a result the Cubs played only nine games since August 18.
Sunday’s season finale was only Daytona’s 62nd of the half. Jupiter, by contrast, played 69.
FSL rules dictate that when teams don’t play an equal number of games, the team with the best winning percentage wins the title. That’s Daytona. It’s not a great rule, but there is really no other way to handle it, especially in South Florida where it rains almost every day.
Daytona’s title-clinching game actually began on Saturday. It had to be suspended in the bottom of the fifth with Daytona leading 9-1 when winds from one of those powerful South Florida storms prevented the grounds crew from deploying the tarp.
The game restarted today as part of a doubleheader. Daytona ultimately won the title, but had to wait for the champagne until the completion of the second game. Manager Jody Davis' post-game high fives (photo) was pretty much the extent of the inital celebration.
“We’ve got it for after the second game,” said Ty Wright between games. “I can’t wait for that. Hopefully this next game goes by fast.”
That three-hour bus ride back to Daytona should be interesting…