I haven’t posted a holistic view of the Valley League franchises in a number of years, so it’s time.
Seven Valley League teams have been in the league since 2001: Covington, Front Royal, Harrisonburg, New Market, Staunton, Winchester, and Waynesboro. Woodstock joined in 2004, Strasburg in 2011, Charles Town/Purcellville in 2013, and Charlottesville in 2015. Several other teams were active in this time span: Luray, Haymarket/Aldie, Fauquier, Loudoun, and Rockbridge.
So which teams have the best winning percentage? Worst? Who has done the best in the playoffs? Won the most titles? The best overall?
Here’s the completely ridiculous idea. I decided to assign a point total to various achievements.
Here’s what I decided to call “Franchise Points:”
- 1 point for a season finished at .500 or better
- 1 point for 30+ regular season wins (sort of a bonus for a truly outstanding year)
- 1 point for winning the regular season division title (or in the case of 2014, 2010, 2007, and 2006, winning the regular season pennant, since there were no divisions those years)
- 1 point for losing in the first round of the playoffs (or you could call this a point for qualifying for the playoffs)
- 2 points for losing in the semifinals
- 3 points for losing in the finals
- 5 points for winning the title (what we play for, obviously)
Got it? I know, it’s ridiculous, but it’s fun.
So let’s start with winning percentage, split into two sections- the “original” 7, and the rest…
|The “Original” 7||W||L||Pct|
I am not surprised at all that almost all of the teams are between .450 and .550 (roughly), but look at the Turks! They are an astounding 153 games over .500 in 17 years. Wow!
Not only are Staunton and Waynesboro close in proximity to each other, but their records are almost identical- they are only 3 wins apart.
Now the rest:
It didn’t take the Tom Sox long to climb over .500, did it? Luray was very successful over its 12 years, and Strasburg and Purcellville are floating right around .500. Woodstock is 101 games under .500 in 13 years, but is still ahead of Rockbridge and Loudoun in winning percentage.
Now, let’s take a look at Franchise Points. We’ll split it into two groups again first, but because I have also averaged the number by how many seasons the team has existed, we’ll combine them in on last chart.
- Winchester: 6 division titles, won 3 championships (2001, 2003, 2004)
- Waynesboro: 5 division titles, also 3 championships (2007, 2013, 2014)
- Harrisonburg: 4 division titles, 1 championship (2012); oddly, the Turks have lost in the first round of the playoffs 12 times in the last 17 years, including the last 5 in a row
- Covington: 3 division titles (but none since 2005), won two championships (2005, 2011)
- Staunton: 3 division titles, 0 championships; the Braves made the finals in 2004, 2006, and 2015, but have not won a championship since 1999
- New Market: 1 division title (2006), and one championship (2002)
- Front Royal: 2 division titles (2009, 2015), 0 championships, one finals (2010); Cardinals won their only championship in 1986
- Strasburg: 1 division title, 2 championships (2015, 2016). The Express did not make the playoffs in their inaugural season, and then went like this: lost in the 1st round, lost in finals, lost in semifinals, won title, won title, lost in finals
- Luray: 3 division titles, 3 championships (2006, 2008, 2010)
- Purcellville/Charles Town: 1 division title, 0 championships
- Aldie/Haymarket: 1 division title (2010), 1 championship (2009)
- Rockbridge: 0 division titles, 0 championships- Rapids made the finals in 2011
- Woodstock: 1 division title (2013), but the River Bandits have not advanced to the finals yet as a franchise
- Fauquier: in their 3 years of existence, the Gators did not win a division title or championship. They lost in the first round in 2008
- Loudoun: the Rangers finished last in their only season
Let’s put them all together, what do you say?
What conclusions can we draw? Well, you can see the numbers for yourself. The Harrisonburg Turks are far and away the best regular season team, and with the flawed system of “Franchise Points,” Strasburg and Winchester have achieved the most.
So, what say you, Brilliant Reader?