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.

10 comments:

Jake C said...

I love the idea for only 1 home game...in 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.

ChrTh 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.

james said...

Uh...ChrTh...Apparently Dan was watching because Taguchi hit the homer to take the lead off Wagner in the ninth inning.

Generik said...

Why don't we just give the WC team NO homegames? Hell, lets do it even better, just give the WC team a banner to hang in their ballpark next year and send them home.. don't even let them play.

I can't believe the idea to give the WC team only 1 homegame is even getting traction with a fan of the game. Just a horrible idea and anti-competitive in my opinion.

Politician818 said...

There shouldn't be a wild card. If you don't win your division, you shouldn't make the playoffs. Although I enjoyed watching the Tigers beat the Yankees, it was unfair to the Twins to let the Tigers into the playoffs. The Twins won the Central; the Tigers didn't. Both teams shouldn't get rewarded when only one won the division. A common response to this statement would be that the Tigers had a better record than the A's, who made the playoffs. However, if you win your division, you have to make the playoffs. There would be no point to divisions if winning your division didn't get you into the playoffs. Wild cards don't "have" to make the playoffs. I also have to disagree with Dan Shanoff that the wild card makes the regular season more exciting. One example proving me right is 1993. The NL West race between the Giants and Braves went down to the wire, with the Braves winning the division on the last day (with 104 wins). The Giants, who won 103, didn't make the playoffs. Had the wild card existed back then, that race would have been boring since both teams would have made the playoffs anyway. Without the wild card, that division race was tremendously important and exciting. Two teams were fighting for just one playoff spot. In conclusion, the regular season needs to count for something, and second place teams (regardless of how good they are) should not be a part of the postseason.

Politician818 said...

There shouldn't be a wild card. If you don't win your division, you shouldn't make the playoffs. Although I enjoyed watching the Tigers beat the Yankees, it was unfair to the Twins to let the Tigers into the playoffs. The Twins won the Central; the Tigers didn't. Both teams shouldn't get rewarded when only one won the division. A common response to this statement would be that the Tigers had a better record than the A's, who made the playoffs. However, if you win your division, you have to make the playoffs. There would be no point to divisions if winning your division didn't get you into the playoffs. Wild cards don't "have" to make the playoffs. I also have to disagree with Dan Shanoff that the wild card makes the regular season more exciting. One example proving me right is 1993. The NL West race between the Giants and Braves went down to the wire, with the Braves winning the division on the last day (with 104 wins). The Giants, who won 103, didn't make the playoffs. Had the wild card existed back then, that race would have been boring since both teams would have made the playoffs anyway. Without the wild card, that division race was tremendously important and exciting. Two teams were fighting for just one playoff spot. In conclusion, the regular season needs to count for something, and second place teams (regardless of how good they are) should not be a part of the postseason.

Politician818 said...

Pardon me for sending that twice.

Politician818 said...

If two teams in the same division play each other in the first round, that guarantees that that division will be represented in the LCS. That's why that's not allowed. The purpose of the MLB division series is to have teams from different divisions compete with each other.