Follow Us on Twitter

Follow us on Twitter: Eric @OAKDezey

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bud Selig Doing His Best To Ruin Baseball

I completely disagree with the decision to extend the playoffs to ten teams. That's pretty much the crux of it.

If you haven't yet heard, Selig is going to have the wildcard berth be decided by a one game playoff between the top two non-division record teams in each league. It cheapens everything.

Baseball has the greatest playoff system of North American professional sports. Only eight out of thirty teams make the playoffs. At 27%, it's the lowest percentage of playoff teams of any major sport, and it makes the long 162 game season mean something. In the NBA, does anyone pay attention to the regular season until there's about 30 games left? No. It doesn't matter. Do people always pay attention to all 162 games of the MLB? No, but every one of those games matter. Adding the two teams only cheapens it.

Flash back to the last day of the regular season this year. With Tampa Bay and St. Louis completing impossible comebacks in dramatic fashion to secure their wildcard births. That night doesn't happen. Both all of those teams rest their starters to wait for the playoff. Now, maybe the playoff provides drama of its own, but why fix what ain't broke?

Next argument: it means that more teams are competitive longer. Meaning September attendance numbers should be up at a few more stadiums. Maybe. But when I looked at the top three finishers in the Wildcard in each league over the last ten years, more often then not the disparity is wide enough that adding a fifth team doesn't add much in the way of competitiveness. Also, there are plenty of times where a team gets penalized for winning. Take the 2002 Angels, for example. If a fifth team was in the playoffs, their 99 regular season wins would have meant nothing if they lose one game against the 93 win Red Sox or Mariners, who would have had to play their own playoff. So yeah, it creates some drama of its own. But the next best team? The 81 win White Sox. Not too much more drama late in the season.

And it penalizes that wild card team. Remember, the wildcard was created after expansion had happened long before, and really occurred because the 103 win Giants lost the West division crown to the 104 win Braves (East Division champion Phillies only won 97 games). Why should the Wildcard team have to trot out its ace against a team that won 6 games less than them in the regular season. I suppose you could argue that the division winners should have some sort of advantage, however, this system almost guarantees that you won't see a 02 Angels, 01 Diamondbacks, 11 Cardinals, or 04 Red Sox. Imagine playing the best team in your league and not getting to use your ace twice while the other teams get an extra day to rest up. Ridiculous.

I know just the fact that the playoffs exist, no matter what the format, there will be drama, there will be fun. However, when you look at what has happened since the expansion to the 8 team format, there's not much argument for a second wild card team. And when you get down to it, and you ask why is baseball doing this, you come to the obvious answer. Money.

More butts in seats, more television contracts, more advertising, more sponsorships. More dough. Another set of tradition set aside for the sole purpose of generating more money. It's sickening. So, to Mr. Selig and the baseball owners, I hope you sleep better at night after deciding to cheapen America's pastime.

1 comment:

  1. He'll sleep well alright. On his big fat pile of money.