ATM Correspondent: FSL Wild

WILD, WILD? CARD: Fourth in the standings, First in the
Wildcard

The Florida State League has an interesting rule when it comes to the
playoffs. If the same team wins the
first and second half, the best overall record over the course of the season
makes the playoffs by virtue of the wildcard.

With Brevard County winning the first half and holding a 5 ˝ game lead
over Jupiter and St. Lucie in the second half of the season, fourth place Palm
Beach is in line for the playoffs if the season ended today.

The Cardinals, who finished 5 ˝ games behind the Manatees in the first
half, also finished five games ahead of the Mets and Hammerheads, which tied for
last in the division.

In theory, the Cardinals have two ways of pulling this out. One way is to beat Brevard County for
first place and leave no doubt in the matter. The second option is to scoreboard watch
and root for Brevard County to finish in first place and make sure they finish,
at the worst, five games behind the Mets and Hammerheads.

There is a very possible chance that Palm Beach could finish in fifth
behind Jupiter, St. Lucie and Daytona and still make the playoffs as the
wildcard the way the schedule plays out with a gridlock in the
standings.

The Cardinals play the Manatees only three times the rest of the
season. However, they can rest easy
knowing, win or lose, they will benefit as long as Brevard County stays in first
place and Palm Beach stays within five games of Jupiter and St. Lucie and
five-and-a-half of Daytona.

Palm Beach?s last 21 games include three against Daytona, St. Lucie and
Brevard County. Five against
Jupiter and seven against last place Vero Beach. Jupiter may have the biggest advantage
or worst scenario considering they play three doubleheaders in the last nine
days of the schedule, but two are against Vero Beach and one against the rival
Cardinals. You can bet manager Luis
Dorante will be calling for a few extra starters from the player development
office that week.

Winning with a losing record is nothing new to the Cardinals. In 2005, Palm Beach backed into the
post-season with an overall record of 69-71 due to Daytona pulling a
doubleheader sweep of Brevard County on the second to last day of the
season. The Cardinals went on to
defeat Vero Beach in the divisional series 2-1, before knocking off Lakeland 3-2
in the championship series, after the Tigers set a franchise record with an
85-48 mark during the regular season.

Last season, Brevard County knocked off Daytona on the third to the last
day of the season, then had a doubleheader rained out on the next day, keeping
the Cubs from making up enough ground, thus vaulting the Cardinals into the
playoffs again.

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