SCHAUMBURG, ILL. -- The Winnipeg Goldeyes ended a disappointing 2010 Northern League season on a rare winning note here Sunday afternoon, dropping the Schaumburg Flyers 4-3 in what was the final game of the regular season for both clubs.
With the victory, the Goldeyes finish the season with a 46-53 record, seven games under .500, That is the worst record for a Goldeyes team in franchise history.
Goldeyes manager Rick Forney waved off a request to be interviewed by the Free Press after the game. But his players discussed the disappointment of missing the playoffs and finishing sixth in the eight-team Northern League. The Flyers are tied for last with the Lake County Fielders.
"It’s just depressing that we didn’t make the playoffs," said right fielder Justin Justice, who stroked a two-run single in the eighth that proved to be the game-winning RBI. "But at least we went out with a win."
"It’s pretty depressing not to make the playoffs," said former big-leaguer Donzell McDonald. "Down the stretch, the club was looking for some kind of spark, any kind of spark, to put something together. And it just never came."
Rookie shortstop Price Kendall described a 2010 Goldeyes team with a split personality.
"We had times when we looked great and we had times where we completely looked like a college team," said Kendall, one of the few bright spots for the Fish this season. "We had a little bit of everything this season."
It is the cruel post-script to this disappointing Goldeyes season that the meaningless win on the final day of the regular season saw the Fish put forth the kind of complete effort that had been so sorely lacking down a brutal final stretch that saw the Fish close out the season with a 6-14 run.
The Goldeyes got an excellent six inning start from left-hander Jason Mackintosh and then solid relief work from relievers Chad Benefield, who got his first professional win, and Ian Thomas who got the save.
The offense was opportunistic, the defense was error-free and in the end it was exactly the kind of performance this Goldeyes club always felt it was capable of, but was unable to provide in the final weeks of the season.
Meanwhile, Goldeyes MVP Kevin West went 1-4 with an RBI on the final day of the season as he continued his pursuit of a batting title.
West was tied for first in the batting race with Kansas City’s Jacob Blackwood at .338 heading into today. (Fish DH Juan Diaz, who went 1-3, was in third at .335 heading into the day.)
Blackwood has two games left to play and would need nothing more than two hits over the next two days to capture the title.