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Nellie_Fox
10-13-2002, 11:34 PM
Okay, by now it should come as no surprise that I'm pretty much of a baseball traditionalist. As a result, I hate the wild card. This isn't the NFL where teams play 16 games, and every team has a different schedule. There the wild card plays a role of balancing out the regular season schedule, at least to an extent. In MLB they play 162 games, and everyone plays everyone. If you can't win your own division, you shouldn't be in the playoffs. And yes, I believed this when the Sox were the victims with the second best record in the American League and no playoffs (1990, 94-68 Sox stayed home while Oakland played 88-74 Boston.)

Now we face the very real prospect of an all-wildcard World Series. The only redeeming factor is that I hate interleague ball even more than I hate the wildcard, and if you throw out the interleague records, both Anaheim and San Fran win their divisions. I guess I'll have to take comfort in that, and I now throw my support to the Rally Monkeys.

FarWestChicago
10-13-2002, 11:42 PM
Wow Nellie, I didn't even think about the all wild card thing. It's hard to think of the RM's as a wild card. They were on fire in September and only an insane A's run topped them. And they have just pounded everybody in the playoffs. But, they are a wild card. The Gain'ts went the more weasely wild card route and are hot at the right time. That game tonight was pretty damn good. If the Gain'ts and RM's face off, I will be conflicted. Living up here for 21 years obliges me to hate all things LaLaLand. But, I don't like the Gain'ts and I don't need to hear the Gain'ts fans at work celebrating (It was very nice to hear the A's fans, especially my trolly employee, shut up). I guess I'll join you and PHG on the Rally Monkey bandwagon. :D:

voodoochile
10-14-2002, 12:18 AM
Originally posted by FarWestChicago
Wow Nellie, I didn't even think about the all wild card thing. It's hard to think of the RM's as a wild card. They were on fire in September and only an insane A's run topped them. And they have just pounded everybody in the playoffs. But, they are a wild card. The Gain'ts went the more weasely wild card route and are hot at the right time. That game tonight was pretty damn good. If the Gain'ts and RM's face off, I will be conflicted. Living up here for 21 years obliges me to hate all things LaLaLand. But, I don't like the Gain'ts and I don't need to hear the Gain'ts fans at work celebrating (It was very nice to hear the A's fans, especially my trolly employee, shut up). I guess I'll join you and PHG on the Rally Monkey bandwagon. :D:

Oh come on West, we all know you love the Giants... :D:

All I have to say is: "GO BARRY! GET THAT RING! SPANK THAT MONKEY!!!" (Now I suppose I'll have to ban myself for making a crude reference...)

PaleHoseGeorge
10-14-2002, 12:29 AM
:hawk
"I luv rally monkeys."

I hadn't thought about the wild-card angle, either. I think 99 percent of the trouble baseball has today can be attributed to MLB trying to emulate the National Football League.

The two sports are totally different. Recognize reality, and move on.

The two teams with the best records ought to meet in a best-of-7 World Series. That's the only way to restore the championship (and regular season games) to relevance again.

If you simply can't live without the added "excitement" of 16 teams competing in 6+ weeks of playoff games, simply create a separate competition to award a separate champion with a separate trophy. Problem solved.

Having said all that, I would love seeing Anaheim claim their first-ever world championship. They're playing great ball right now, and deserve it.

ma-gaga
10-14-2002, 09:44 AM
ugh. After a long weekend in Vegas...

Watching the Angels pound the Twins Bullpen, I've begrudgingly thrown my hat in Anaheim's corner. I tried working up a good hatred of them, but it just didn't happen.

The Twins starters did a good job. Gardenhire micromanaged to death in game 4, and his bullpen 'studs' got mauled in game 5. I said after game 4, I wanted the Twins to live or die by the guys that got them there, and in game 5, they did.

Congrats to the Angels. wow. What an display.

hold2dibber
10-14-2002, 10:47 AM
The Angels are the Sox of L.A., whereas the Giants are the Cubs of the Bay Area (I'm assuming the Giants will finish off the Cards). Plus, Bonds is a jerk whereas the Angels have a cast of hard working, gritty baseball players.

kermittheefrog
10-14-2002, 01:17 PM
How about we kill off both the wild card and interleague play and kill two birds with one stone?

Okay so the Wild Card isn't going away but I see Interleague play losing a lot of steam. I predict it'll be gone in 4-6 years which is a while to suffer but hopefully we'll have a good riddance.

The extra round of the playoffs is here to stay because giving it up would be giving up advertising revenue.

Personally I think the answer is expanding to 32 teams and making 4 team divisions with a 7 game divisional playoff round. A lot of people will say the talent pool is diluted but if you look at the numbers there are more people available per MLB roster spot than ever before. How many non-white players were playing in 1920? How many Asians were playing in MLB before 1980 or so? The talent is there and if you hadn't noticed the number of runs scored per game is going down.

voodoochile
10-14-2002, 01:26 PM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog
How about we kill off both the wild card and interleague play and kill two birds with one stone?

Okay so the Wild Card isn't going away but I see Interleague play losing a lot of steam. I predict it'll be gone in 4-6 years which is a while to suffer but hopefully we'll have a good riddance.

The extra round of the playoffs is here to stay because giving it up would be giving up advertising revenue.

Personally I think the answer is expanding to 32 teams and making 4 team divisions with a 7 game divisional playoff round. A lot of people will say the talent pool is diluted but if you look at the numbers there are more people available per MLB roster spot than ever before. How many non-white players were playing in 1920? How many Asians were playing in MLB before 1980 or so? The talent is there and if you hadn't noticed the number of runs scored per game is going down.

I don't think interleague play will ever go away so long as the league can make big money on intercity showdowns like Sox/flubs, Mets/Yankees, etc. Whether they will continue to have the NFL like rotating divisional format is a different issue. No one really wants to see the Sox play Houston (for example) on a semi-regular basis.

The playoff format idea is almost definitely in the works, imo. It won't be long before the league adds teams and expands the playoffs to fit your format. Now that the teams have cost control bargained into the CBA, the league no longer has to worry so much about contracting teams. It's just a matter of time until they expand and reorganize the league. The question will be how long until they add back in more wildcards and go to a 12 team format - like the NFL...

hold2dibber
10-14-2002, 02:23 PM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog
How about we kill off both the wild card and interleague play and kill two birds with one stone?

Okay so the Wild Card isn't going away but I see Interleague play losing a lot of steam. I predict it'll be gone in 4-6 years which is a while to suffer but hopefully we'll have a good riddance.

The extra round of the playoffs is here to stay because giving it up would be giving up advertising revenue.

Personally I think the answer is expanding to 32 teams and making 4 team divisions with a 7 game divisional playoff round. A lot of people will say the talent pool is diluted but if you look at the numbers there are more people available per MLB roster spot than ever before. How many non-white players were playing in 1920? How many Asians were playing in MLB before 1980 or so? The talent is there and if you hadn't noticed the number of runs scored per game is going down.

I don't understand why some people (and I don't know if you're one of them, Kermit) are okay with 4 playoff teams as long as each one is a "division winner" but not okay with 4 playoff teams if one is a "wild card". I prefer the wild card alternative, because it rights the wrong of a great 2nd place team being excluded in favor of a weaker team that wins a weak division. The Angels, who won 4 or 5 more games than the Twins, despite playing an unbalanced schedule against vastly superior competition, clearly were more deserving than the Twins of a place in the playoffs. Should the Angels have been excluded simply because they have the "misfortunte" of playing in the AL West while the Twins have the good fortune of playing against the weaklings in the Central?

I think the current playoff format is perfect (excet they should scale back to 154 regular season games and extend the division series to 7 game series) and I certainly don't hold it against a wild card that they did not win a division.

hold2dibber
10-14-2002, 02:25 PM
Originally posted by voodoochile
I don't think interleague play will ever go away so long as the league can make big money on intercity showdowns like Sox/flubs, Mets/Yankees, etc. Whether they will continue to have the NFL like rotating divisional format is a different issue. No one really wants to see the Sox play Houston (for example) on a semi-regular basis.


Are you kidding? I think all Sox fans have already circled their calendars for when the Padres finally come to town next year!

jortafan
10-14-2002, 02:37 PM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
I think the current playoff format is perfect (excet they should scale back to 154 regular season games and extend the division series to 7 game series) and I certainly don't hold it against a wild card that they did not win a division.

I wouldn't call the current playoff format "perfect," but I like the notion of extending the first round by two games. I even like the idea of going back to 154 games (it sounds traditional, while also allowing the added playoff games that some people adore). While it would be more difficult with the six-team NL Central, you could easily lose eight games by reducing the number of games played against each team in one's division from 19 to 17 each year.
Be honest, does anyone really think that losing two games against the Royals is that much of a tragedy. I personally was sick of seeing them come September.

doublem23
10-14-2002, 04:01 PM
Originally posted by Nellie_Fox
Okay, by now it should come as no surprise that I'm pretty much of a baseball traditionalist. As a result, I hate the wild card. This isn't the NFL where teams play 16 games, and every team has a different schedule. There the wild card plays a role of balancing out the regular season schedule, at least to an extent. In MLB they play 162 games, and everyone plays everyone. If you can't win your own division, you shouldn't be in the playoffs. And yes, I believed this when the Sox were the victims with the second best record in the American League and no playoffs (1990, 94-68 Sox stayed home while Oakland played 88-74 Boston.)

Now we face the very real prospect of an all-wildcard World Series. The only redeeming factor is that I hate interleague ball even more than I hate the wildcard, and if you throw out the interleague records, both Anaheim and San Fran win their divisions. I guess I'll have to take comfort in that, and I now throw my support to the Rally Monkeys.

I agree. I think the sport was better off when it just had 2 divisions per league with the best-of-seven LCS.

FarmerAndy
10-14-2002, 05:26 PM
While I've enjoyed the Giants and the Angels this post-season, I don't like the wild-card either. I think it should be eliminated. As far as second place teams who have better records than a weak division winner, that's just part of the heartbreak that has been in baseball since the begining. The fact that baseball isn't always fair was one of the games beautiful quirks. This year we've had two very exciting wild-card teams, but the wild-card still takes something away. Look at '97 World Series. The 5th and 7th best records during the regular season faced off for a pretty forgettable series. This should never happen.

Anyway, I don't think we need to go back to 2 divisions, or expand to 4. I think the teams with the best record in each league should have an automatic spot in the championship series. Then have one division series in each league where the other two division winners face off. This would create more excitement at the end of the season, because even after you clinch your division you will still be in a race for the overall best record in the league. It's almost like having two races. The wild card on the other hand can take the excitement out of a division race.

StepsInSC
10-15-2002, 01:20 AM
I understand and sympathize, but baseball needs whatever it can get to try to get more fans, keeping tradition wont win ratings...personally I like the wildcard, but I just wish that every series was best of 7...things probably would have gone a lot differently.

i hate interleague play but if it helps the good of the sport...then i guess i can tolerate it.

and expansion is not what needs to be done, personally i still think 2 teams should be contracted....

Look at '97 World Series. The 5th and 7th best records during the regular season faced off for a pretty forgettable series. This should never happen.

are you serious? forgettable?? if memory serves me correct it went to 7 games, and florida came back in the bottom of the 9th to win it with an edgar renteria basehit up the middle. and against cleveland!! as a sox fan i was rooting for florida and was sooo happy when they won it.

longshot7
10-15-2002, 02:37 AM
why we're at it, why have an LCS in the first place - why not just the best teams in each league meet in the world series?

no, why don't we not have a series at all, since there were no series before 1903?

and how bout if no team was allowed to use a DH?

really, guys, these suggestions are ridiculous - as are the ones that suggest getting rid of the wildcard and interleague play. it's called progress - sports needs to grow like society does. baseball has a hard enough time reaching today's fast action seeking audiences. the wildcard and interleague play will stick around - like they should - not unlike the LCS and the DH when first implemented. better get used to them.

and I love hearing from so-called "purists" who are under 20 years old - how old were you when the wildcard was implemented - ten? yep, the good ol' days....

doublem23
10-15-2002, 08:07 AM
Originally posted by StepsInSC
I
are you serious? forgettable?? if memory serves me correct it went to 7 games, and florida came back in the bottom of the 9th to win it with an edgar renteria basehit up the middle. and against cleveland!! as a sox fan i was rooting for florida and was sooo happy when they won it.

Actually, Florida won it in the bottom of the 11th in Game 7 (http://www.baseballreference.com/postseason/1997_WS.shtml).

Ah, that was a great World Series.

But I still dislike the LDS... It just doesn't seem like the best teams are representing each league. Baseball doesn't benefit from a longer play-off, IMO.

SI1020
10-15-2002, 08:21 AM
I agree with PHG in that baseball is trying to emulate the NFL. In baseball, winning a title used to mean something. Another thing regarding baseballs ever expanding playoff format. I live in a major league city and right now it is 43 degrees outside. Last night the temperature dipped into the 30's. Not every northern MLB city has a dome ala Minnesota. If you keep expanding the playoffs without shortening the regular season then one day in the not too distant future the weather is going to make a farce of the World Series. I miss playing hookey from school or work to watch the World Series. I guess that makes me a hopeless traditionalist too.

hold2dibber
10-15-2002, 08:40 AM
Originally posted by SI1020
I agree with PHG in that baseball is trying to emulate the NFL. In baseball, winning a title used to mean something. Another thing regarding baseballs ever expanding playoff format. I live in a major league city and right now it is 43 degrees outside. Last night the temperature dipped into the 30's. Not every northern MLB city has a dome ala Minnesota. If you keep expanding the playoffs without shortening the regular season then one day in the not too distant future the weather is going to make a farce of the World Series. I miss playing hookey from school or work to watch the World Series. I guess that makes me a hopeless traditionalist too.

It would seem to me that more teams in the playoffs makes winning a title more meaningful - now, instead of just winning 4 games against one team to win the World Series, a team has to win 11 games against three different teams. That is a much more difficult task. Although it's true that a higher % of teams get into the playoffs, the team that makes it all the way through has to run a gauntlet in the playoffs that is much more harrowing than it was when the regular season launched teams directly into the world series.

SI1020
10-15-2002, 08:56 AM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
It would seem to me that more teams in the playoffs makes winning a title more meaningful - now, instead of just winning 4 games against one team to win the World Series, a team has to win 11 games against three different teams. That is a much more difficult task. Although it's true that a higher % of teams get into the playoffs, the team that makes it all the way through has to run a gauntlet in the playoffs that is much more harrowing than it was when the regular season launched teams directly into the world series. OK. Baseball has changed the format and many fans like you are in agreement. In baseball, as in life things change and often times you have to go with the flow. Baseball will still find itself in conflict with Mother Nature. Ever been to Colorado in late October? Snowstorms of a foot or more are not uncommon. I live in Pittsburgh and my furnace has been kicking on for the last three days. If MLB and its fans like the expanded format and even want to expand it further fine. However, common sense would dictate shortening the regular season by a couple of weeks. Either that or having designated warm weather cities for the World Series. I, for one would not like that at all.

Nellie_Fox
10-15-2002, 02:26 PM
Originally posted by longshot7
really, guys, these suggestions are ridiculous - as are the ones that suggest getting rid of the wildcard and interleague play. it's called progress - sports needs to grow like society does. baseball has a hard enough time reaching today's fast action seeking audiences. the wildcard and interleague play will stick around - like they should - not unlike the LCS and the DH when first implemented. better get used to them.

and I love hearing from so-called "purists" who are under 20 years old - how old were you when the wildcard was implemented - ten? yep, the good ol' days.... So even if you made a wrong turn at that last fork in the road, well, hell, you can't go back, that wouldn't be right. Keep going forward, even if its in the wrong direction.

By the way, I was watching baseball when there were only eight teams in each league. The Orioles were still the Browns, the Twins were still the Senators, the Braves were in Milwaukee, the A's were in Kansas City, the Dodgers were in Brooklyn, and the Giants were in NY. Batting helmets hadn't been thought of yet.

As far as all the excitement interleague play has brought, do you really think that fans care any more other than in the cities with strong natural rivalries (e.g., Chicago, NY, L.A., maybe the K.C./St. Louis matchup?) Oh, yeah, I just get goosebumps every time the Sox face off against the Astros. Interleague increased interest for a couple of years at most. Its an idea whose time has come and gone.

Dadawg_77
10-15-2002, 03:10 PM
The only reason I like interleague play is I can watch players like Barry Bonds in person without going to Wrigley.

nut_stock
10-15-2002, 05:30 PM
I like the 4 team playoff format. It gives more fans hope and excitement. When there are more contenders, league attendance goes up. With this in mind I'm not suggesting we expand to 8 or something. 4 provides excitement while maintainng some legitimacy.

StepsInSC
10-15-2002, 08:21 PM
Plus, Bonds is a jerk whereas the Angels have a cast of hard working, gritty baseball players.

yeeeaaa riiiigght Bonds has never been a "hard-worker", nah he was just born with all the ability he needs. And you must have met him several times to be able to classify him as a jerk, right? Calling someone a jerk whom you have never met doesnt make you sound like the most credible person...

Sheesh give the guy a break. He's a GREAT player and he doesnt pretend that its not the truth. That doesn't make him a jerk and any less deservant of a ring. Ted Williams played way before I was born but I've heard lots of parallels to his attitude and the fans' attitude towards him compared with Bonds...surely you have too.

PaleHoseGeorge
10-15-2002, 10:10 PM
Originally posted by Nellie_Fox
So even if you made a wrong turn at that last fork in the road, well, hell, you can't go back, that wouldn't be right. Keep going forward, even if its in the wrong direction....

What I don't understand is how anybody can claim baseball has made "progress" for adding all the new divisions and playoff games. The TV ratings keep getting smaller and smaller each time they do it.

As someone old enough to remember bringing a transistor radio to school to listen to World Series games in the afternoon, I'm embarrassed that the first round games of this year's playoffs were held on the ABC Family channel. Is this some sort of joke?

There is nothing "pure" about my vision for what baseball needs to do to regain popularity. What I won't tolerate is the nonsense that has baseball trying to emulate what the NFL does. IT WON'T WORK! The sports are vastly different--starting with 162 regular season baseball games vs. just 16 for football.

Consider this. Baseball could play two whole "seasons" worth of games if they followed the schedule of the NHL or NBA. Baseball could play ten NFL schedules without breaking a sweat. Instead of cheapening the relevance of that mountain of regular season games with layers and layers of playoff rounds, couldn't MLB easily accommodate separate competitions--serving both purists and the casual fan alike? This is a no-brainer.

Of course MLB has no vision whatsoever to fix their problems. They'll probably realign the two leagues, add more divisions, another round of playoffs, and end up doing playoff games on Local Cable Access channels.

Yeah, that's progress.

voodoochile
10-16-2002, 12:03 AM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
What I don't understand is how anybody can claim baseball has made "progress" for adding all the new divisions and playoff games. The TV ratings keep getting smaller and smaller each time they do it.

As someone old enough to remember bringing a transistor radio to school to listen to World Series games in the afternoon, I'm embarrassed that the first round games of this year's playoffs were held on the ABC Family channel. Is this some sort of joke?

There is nothing "pure" about my vision for what baseball needs to do to regain popularity. What I won't tolerate is the nonsense that has baseball trying to emulate what the NFL does. IT WON'T WORK! The sports are vastly different--starting with 162 regular season baseball games vs. just 16 for football.

Consider this. Baseball could play two whole "seasons" worth of games if they followed the schedule of the NHL or NBA. Baseball could play ten NFL schedules without breaking a sweat. Instead of cheapening the relevance of that mountain of regular season games with layers and layers of playoff rounds, couldn't MLB easily accommodate separate competitions--serving both purists and the casual fan alike? This is a no-brainer.

Of course MLB has no vision whatsoever to fix their problems. They'll probably realign the two leagues, add more divisions, another round of playoffs, and end up doing playoff games on Local Cable Access channels.

Yeah, that's progress.

Depends on what you define progress as. The owners are at the mercy of the TV networks IF they want to keep the huge television contracts coming in. Fox and ABC aren't making dime on on the national games during the season, so they have to make their profits on the post season. Regular season baseball is regional and will always remain thusly. It isn't an exciting enough sport (by today's standards) to draw a national audience for Saturday afternoon games in the summer. Thus if the owners want the huge national TV contracts they have to add more rounds of playoffs (as they already have and probably will do again in the future).

To some extent this is the natural evolution of things. People have many more entertainment choices availalbe to them then they had when baseball was king of the mountain. The advent of cable made year round new programming a reality and as a result baseball is now competing with "Sex and the City", "Arliss", "Witchblade", etc. during the summer for TV ratings. They never will get paid the way they want to unless they give the networks what they want.

Besides as someone else said earlier, the wild card adds excitement for many more teams and fans. More playoff spots means more interested fans means more butts in the seats means even more revenue for the owners to spend on whatever they want from players to yachts. Money makes the world go round and that is what this is all about. Remember, in 2001 baseball set an attendance record and only the threat of a strike set them back this year. Like it or not, this is the future and realistically it is already here...