Better Baseball?

This is a great time of year; college football, NASCAR’s Chase to the Championship, and of course the baseball playoffs.

Those who know me know I haven’t always been a big baseball fan. My dad has never really gotten into the game and I didn’t either until I started playing little league in the 5th grade. Even after that I didn’t follow every pitch like I do now.

For the past few years I thought I liked the wild card. More opportunities to get to the World Series would provide better races the last week or two of the season. Right?

Well not so fast Yogi.

My buddy Mike Tarrolly, scores a 4-bagger with an enlightening post on what the race to the playoffs would be this year in the old two divisional series races and before re-alignment.

For instance, in this year’s race the Twins and Tigers have already wrapped up playoff appearances, they’re both just fighting over which team will be the wild card and which will be the divisional champ. Who cares if you’re both in?

Mike’s done the research and convinced me that the wild card is not such a good thing for baseball. He also uses last year as another example: the Yankees and Red Sox both got in the playoffs, but if there had not been a wild card, the two teams (who had identical records in ’05) would have had to play a one-game winner take all ticket to the AL championship. Who wouldn’t have liked to see that?

This is brilliant stuff. In fact, tonight on the way home I wanted to share it with Rob Dibble and Kevin Kennedy on XM’s baseball network but after sitting on hold for 32 minutes, finally gave up.

But I don’t want to steal Mike’s information. He’s done the work. Go read it and tell me, honestly, is the wild card really that good of a thing for baseball?




Filed under Misc.

2 responses to “Better Baseball?

  1. Scott

    I have to disagree for one simple reason. Without the wild card, the 2004 ALCS between the Yankees and Red Sox never happens. And the Sox would not have won the Series.

    And I say that, not as a Red Sox fan, but as a baseball fan.

    Of course, the best argument against the wild card system – the Florida Marlins would never have won their 2 World Series without it.

  2. jamey tucker

    But with the wild card, two years ago the Red Sox and Yankees would have played a one-game winner takes the AL East Championship.
    This year, the Tigers and Yankees would have gone down to the last weekend tied while the Twins and Oakland would have done the same in the West.
    I do like adding more teams to the playoffs since we get two extra playoff series, but the old way was better since the best teams were rewarded the most.
    I also think there’s something wrong when a team with 20 or 30 fewer wins than the champs get in as a wildcard and then, if they have two dominate pitchers, they have the advantage in a five-game series.
    In the national league this season, the Padres and Dodgers would have had to play a one-game playoff for the west championship and a ticket to the playoffs.
    Also this season, the Tigers and Twins both clinched playoff spots with a week to play. In the old system, both teams would have had more at stake the last week.

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