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When I Was Young…

November 19, 2010

I don’t want to suggest that everything was better in the olden days, but generally it’s true. (Fuck you. I know it’s not true, the past sucked in so many ways, and there have been truly amazing improvements and our lives are really much, much, better, but still, everything kind of sucks).

Whatever problems one might have with the past. At least Baseball didn’t have Bud Selig fucking with game.

Today word comes that Baseball is planning to expand the playoffs yet again. Division play, introduced in 1969, is almost certainly better than what came before, one winner from each league. But every expansion of the playoffs diminishes the importance of the regular season. The incentive to win the division is lessened, as is the incentive to win any particular game.

The plan MLB is looking at would add two more teams to the playoffs, bringing the total to ten. Out of 30 teams. That’s something like 30% of the teams making it to the playoffs. That’s something like too many.

Not to go all George Will on everybody, but one of the things that distinguishes baseball is the length of the season. It’s such a long season that huge chunks of it are played without any focus on the playoffs; teams play to compete, to win, to develop new players, and so on. There can be story lines, rivalries, winning and losing streaks that, because of how many games there are, have nothing do to with the playoffs. It’s what gives a Royals vs. Mariners game some June evening any worth at all (I know, it doesn’t really have any). The Royals are not making the playoffs, the Mariners are not making the playoffs, yet one can settle in and watch any number of story lines develop. As a fan you can settle in and enjoy a daily involvement with the game even without the promise of fall baseball. Also, are we going to now be watching the World Series as we lay splayed out on the couch digesting our Thanksgiving turkey, stuffing and yams?

Well anyway, I don’t like it.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. jco permalink
    November 19, 2010 4:34 pm

    I don’t like it either. And, the proposal seems to be that there be a three-game, or even a one-game, playoff for the expanded portion. Which I guess is better than Thanksgiving baseball, but has no worth whatsoever. Any baseball fan knows that any team can beat any other team in any given game, and even a five-game series is all but worthless to determine the relative merit of two teams. Fuck you, Bud Selig.

  2. Fat Al permalink*
    November 19, 2010 4:42 pm

    Are they going back to 154 games and a balanced schedule? Because that would make at least a little more sense.

  3. Fat Al permalink*
    November 20, 2010 11:40 am

    It’s fucking ridiculous. More unnecessary and interest-killing off-days for the good teams, more meaningless August and September games. For what?

    Are they really trying to turn baseball into Hockey? Fuck you, Bud Selig, indeed.

    • jco permalink
      November 20, 2010 2:05 pm

      My inside MLB source tells me it’s a done deal.

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