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Chez
07-26-2005, 01:32 PM
Usually the team which finishes with the best record faces the wild card winner in the first round of the playoffs The exception to this rule is when the team with the best record and the wild card winner come from the same division. Does anyone remember the rationale given by MLB for this exception to the rule? Do they not want teams which have faced each other 19 times in the regular season playing in the opening round? Is is for television? It seems pretty arbitrary to me. Anyone know the answer?

Lip Man 1
07-26-2005, 01:47 PM
You are correct. They feel it will cause a loss of interest in the first round if divisional foes face each other.

It's a load of crap but what do you expect from Proud To Be Your Bud.

Lip

ode to veeck
07-26-2005, 01:48 PM
I won't pretend to surmise the attempted thought processes of Bud Selig and co., but traditionally the thinking behind this setup (common in other sports as well) is that if better teams lie within the same division, they should get the opportunity of proving so by not having to meet in 1st round of playoffs. If they are really better they meet later after they've won a round (or two, in other sports)

Chez
07-26-2005, 02:20 PM
I won't pretend to surmise the attempted thought processes of Bud Selig and co., but traditionally the thinking behind this setup (common in other sports as well) is that if better teams lie within the same division, they should get the opportunity of proving so by not having to meet in 1st round of playoffs. If they are really better they meet later after they've won a round (or two, in other sports)

I guess that logic makes sense in the [unlikely] event that the wildcard winner finishes the season with the second best overall record. But has that ever happened or happened frequently enough to justify the automatic exception to the rule? Why not just have the exception apply to that particular scenario?

I want Mags back
07-26-2005, 02:52 PM
I won't pretend to surmise the attempted thought processes of Bud Selig and co., but traditionally the thinking behind this setup (common in other sports as well) is that if better teams lie within the same division, they should get the opportunity of proving so by not having to meet in 1st round of playoffs. If they are really better they meet later after they've won a round (or two, in other sports)

But it doesn't matter in other sports. In the NBA and NHL, 1 always plays 8, 2-7, 3-6, and 4-5, no matter what division they are from. In the Hawks last playoff apperance they played the Blues in round 1

Hangar18
07-26-2005, 02:55 PM
Usually the team which finishes with the best record faces the wild card winner in the first round of the playoffs The exception to this rule is when the team with the best record and the wild card winner come from the same division. Does anyone remember the rationale given by MLB for this exception to the rule? Do they not want teams which have faced each other 19 times in the regular season playing in the opening round? Is is for television? It seems pretty arbitrary to me. Anyone know the answer?


Actually the rule of thumb ......... is if the Yankees, RedSox or Cubs make the playoffs, they pre-empt EVERYONE else in the playoffs and get PRIMETIME gametimes.

Baby Fisk
07-26-2005, 03:08 PM
Bah! If we scrapped all this "divisions" poppycock and had all teams race for their respective pennant, we'd be lookin' at a Sox-Cards world series showdown starting in the first week of October, without all that "playoffs" nonsense. Play all day games too! :cool:

Or, we could go with PHG's Champions' Cup of Champions thingy to determine who rules (and who drools :drool: ).

Malgar 12
07-26-2005, 03:16 PM
You are correct. They feel it will cause a loss of interest in the first round if divisional foes face each other.

It's a load of crap but what do you expect from Proud To Be Your Bud.

Lip

Not to be too much of a conspiracy theorist, but it also guarantees the Yankees and Red Sox will not meet in the first round.

PaleHosed
07-26-2005, 03:23 PM
I guess that logic makes sense in the [unlikely] event that the wildcard winner finishes the season with the second best overall record. But has that ever happened or happened frequently enough to justify the automatic exception to the rule?

I recall one instant quite well...

The 1990 White Sox finished second to Oakland's 103-59 record with a 94-68 record that was second best in the AL and third best in the entire MLB. Cincinnati finished the season 91-71 and swept Oakland in the Series.

-Al

Chez
07-26-2005, 03:33 PM
I recall one instant quite well...

The 1990 White Sox finished second to Oakland's 103-59 record with a 94-68 record that was second best in the AL and third best in the entire MLB. Cincinnati finished the season 91-71 and swept Oakland in the Series.

-Al

I remember that year too. But, there was no wildcard in 1990. I was referring to a season when the wildcard winner (1995 or later) finished with the second best record in the league.

GregoryEtc
07-26-2005, 04:48 PM
It seems pretty arbitrary to me.

When has Schlitz Selig ever done anything arbitrarily? I mean besides moving the Brewers to the NL for no reason other than because he friggin owns them and thats what he wanted? Oh and next year, the winning All Star team will automatically be declared free agents and divied up between the Yankees, Red Sox, and Cubs. Home field advantage in the World Series will be decided by which ever team as the oldest smelliest ballpark.

billyvsox
07-27-2005, 12:51 AM
I'm sure it was done so that the Yanks-Red Sox would always be the AL Championship series not the first round.

TDog
07-27-2005, 04:30 AM
I remember that year too. But, there was no wildcard in 1990. I was referring to a season when the wildcard winner (1995 or later) finished with the second best record in the league.

Last year, the Red Sox and Yankees were clearly the best teams in the AL at season's end. The Red Sox won 98 games to 101 for the Yankees. It wasn't even close. Twinks and Angels each won 92. Next best team was A's, who missed the postseason with 91 wins.

No East Coast bias, gang. Just fact.

In 1972, the White Sox had the league's second-best record and failed to make the postseason, because there was no wild card, similar to the team's fate in 1990. Before the advent of three-division leagues, that would happen sometimes. Splitting the league into three divisions doesn't mean the team with the best records won't be in the same division.

The main reason the wild card is treated as a fourth-place team in the ALDS seedings is the belief by many that it doesn't belong in postseason at all. At least that was the prevalent view at the outset of the wild card format. And the main reason -- still the best reason -- that a wild card team doesn't face a divisional rival is the simple fact that it would be ridiculous for a the league's best team to go directly into a best of five series against the team they just best to determine who will compete to go to the World Series.

doogiec
07-27-2005, 06:34 AM
The main reason the wild card is treated as a fourth-place team in the ALDS seedings is the belief by many that it doesn't belong in postseason at all. At least that was the prevalent view at the outset of the wild card format. And the main reason -- still the best reason -- that a wild card team doesn't face a divisional rival is the simple fact that it would be ridiculous for a the league's best team to go directly into a best of five series against the team they just best to determine who will compete to go to the World Series.

I agree that's the best reason to keep things the way they are. Could you imagine winning a division by 10-12 games, then giving the second place team a chance to knock you off anyway just by winning 3 out of 5? The wild card team should have to prove something by beating another division winner before getting a chance to knock out the team that already proved itself better in the regular season.

A simple way to solve this would be to allow the team with the best record to pick its first opponent. That would actually give the team with the best record a little additional edge, which I think baseball needs to do to help reduce the random nature of the playoffs.

Malgar 12
07-30-2005, 08:31 PM
how about this for a radical thought...make the first round best of seven, and give the wild card 2 home games. (That way there is some real incentive and value to actually winning a division.) If they win in the first round then it goes back to the usual 4-3 format.

Lip Man 1
07-31-2005, 01:43 AM
That has actually been discussed giving the 'better' team an edge over the wild card' club. Some have even suggested four of five at the home of the team with the best record. The 'wild card' gets one game, number 3 at home.

Lip

Malgar 12
08-06-2005, 09:06 PM
That has actually been discussed giving the 'better' team an edge over the wild card' club. Some have even suggested four of five at the home of the team with the best record. The 'wild card' gets one game, number 3 at home.

Lip

Discussed, by MLB or by peons like us? Just curious.

Chips
08-06-2005, 10:20 PM
I remember that year too. But, there was no wildcard in 1990. I was referring to a season when the wildcard winner (1995 or later) finished with the second best record in the league.

In 2003, the Wild Card Marlins had a better record the division winning Scrubs.
In 1997, the Wild Card Marlins had a better record the division winners San Fran and Houston.
In 1996, the Wild Card Dodgers had a better record than division winning St. Louis.
The 2001 Wild Card A's won 102 games, better than both Cleveland and New York.
The 1997 Wild Card Yankees were better than Division winning Cleveland and Seattle.
The 1998 Wild Card Red Sox were better than divison winning Cleveland and Texas.
Them bastard 2000 Wild Card Mariners had a better record than Division winning New York.
The 2002 Angels were better than Division winning Minnesota.
The 2003 Red Flubs had a better record than Minnesota.
The 2004 Red Flubs were better than both Minnesota and Anahiem.