Saturday, October 14, 2006

Saturday A.M. (Very) Quickie:
(Plus Selig's Worst Idea Yet)

Update (4:20 p.m.): Fox analyst Steve Lyons was fired for his racially insensitive remarks towards Lou Piniella last night. Good riddance to a complete moron.

Very quick update this morning:

(1) Mets choke: If the Mets wanted to lose playoff games in the late innings, they could have saved $10 million (or whatever the HUGE number was) they spent on Billy Wagner and kept Braden Looper as the choke-when-it-matters closer. (Post-trade-deadline acquisition Mota, too.)

(2) T.O. ticked: Who had "Week 6" in the office pool for when T.O. would publicly terminate his relationship with his Cowboys position coach?

(3) Knicks shocker: They pound the Nets in their exhibition opener. I've been saying this since the summer: Isiah will definitely win more games than Larry Brown did, if only because the players will be motivated out of spite for Brown.

(4) A-Rod scare: How freaky was that story that he was involved in a near-accident on a plane?

(5) Selig's new folly: He floats the idea of taking a home playoff game away from the Wild Card winner, because getting a single extra playoff home game isn't enough of a reward for winning the division.

Oh my god, this might be his worst idea yet! First of all, Wild Card World Series winners have made baseball infinitely more exciting since the WC's inception. Second, Wild Card winners are often better than the fourth-best team in a given league. Third, it's unnaturally anti-competitive. That bonus home game SHOULD be a HUGE advantage for the division winner -- of course, if the division winner is going to lose to the Wild Card no matter WHERE the game is played (cough! Yankees! cough!), where the 5th game of a best-of-5 series that ends in 3 or 4 games is moot.

(If anything, the rule should swing the OTHER way: If the Wild Card team has a better record than the division winner they are playing, then it's the Wild Card that should get the home-field advantage. For example, look at the NBA, where the 6th-seeded Clippers had home-court advantage over the 3rd-seeded Nuggets, even though the Nuggets were a division winner and the Clippers got in as the equivalent of an NBA Wild Card team.)

The Wild Card system has been the greatest baseball innovation of the last 25 years -- and possibly in the game's history. It has made the regular season -- and the playoffs -- infinitely more exciting and dramatic.

I actually think that Selig has been on a roll lately when it comes to innovating the game and how it has been marketed. Why would he mess with that by doing something regressive?

-- D.S.


Jake C said...

I love the idea for only 1 home fact, I had this idea months ago and voiced it then. However, it comes with a caveat...that the teams are ranked 1-4 in the postseason, AND the WC ALWAYS plays the #1 team even if it's in the same division. My problem is teams were/are starting to get complacent with the WC. "It's okay if we lose towards the end of the season since there's always the WC." Ahem, Tigers. There should be a better reward for the BEST team playing the 4th than just 1 extra home game.

Christian Thoma said...

Uh, Dan? The Mets didn't blow the lead in the 9th--Mota blew the lead earlier in the game. It was knotted up at 6 when Wagner comes in. If you're not going to watch the game, at least read the boxscore before posting. Sheesh.

Worldwide Reader said...

The Wildcard was a wonderful idea. It's too bad that first round series are only best of five. Makes absolutely no sense.

You play 162 games and if you go 2-3 over the next five, then your season is over. Terrible, terrible concept.

All series need to be best of 7.

Brian in Oxford said...

Here's the thing. No team should be punishedbased on geography. (A west coast team shouldn't get in over east coast teams if lots of east coast teams are better)

However, I do ascribe a little to, be lucky you're even INVITED to the playoffs, you darned 2nd-place team. Why should a second-place team get ANY benefits? In the old days you could win 105 games and go home.