(Photo: Long Island Ducks)
Since its Star Wars night here at the Ducks, you have to quote good old Darth Vader, when look at the team’s record.
“I find your lack of faith disturbing.”
On paper, the 7-11 in the second half Ducks face a hill to climb, since they have to make up six games to make the playoffs, after a first half where they had the second best record in the league.
“It’s baseball,” Ducks manager Kevin Baez said. “I get that asked a lot. You can’t put your finger on it. It’s confidence and you can struggle. Sometimes that takes its toll. We just have to come back at it tomorrow.”
The Ducks have made the playoffs nine of their last 11 years, including championships in 2004, 2012, and 2013. They have one of the most consistent teams in independent ball, and in the first half, it looked like their streaks were going to continue.
However, in the past month, the Duck roster was picked clean with first half stalwarts, RHP Mickey Jannis, LHP Andrew Barbosa, OF Lew Ford, and IF Reegie Corona all getting signed by affiliated ball or as in Ford’s case, the Mexican League.
That left a Ducks team that seems to be a little undermanned and not playing as sharp as they did back in June.
“It’s part of this league,” Baez said. “Other guys have to step up. I told the guys. That’s their opportunity and they have to step up.”
Not to mention, a team that’s hungry for a playoff spot.
There are 51 games left in the season, so there’s plenty of time to make up the gap between the Ducks and Bridgerport or they can get into the playoffs another way.
If either of the first half winners – Somerset or Southern Maryland – win the second half, there will be a wild card for one of the final spots. Now with a 46-24 record for the first few months of the year, they will have a good chance to win that spot, unless they totally tank during the next two months.
“You can’t look back and rely on the wildcard because that can come back and bite you,” Baez said.
Either way, the Ducks need to win some games.
But it’s not out of the realm of possibility that the Ducks will be playing at the end of September in 2015.
So have some faith.
And May the Force Be with You.