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View Full Version : Why not 7-game Divsion Series?


elrod
08-12-2005, 12:01 PM
I really enjoy the Wild Card and the three-round postseason format in baseball now. But I don't like the 5-game Division Series because it means can flop so suddenly after having a great season. I know the Championship Series was 5 games from 1969 to 1984 and they decided to expand it to 7. Will they expand the Division Series to 7 games too? Anybody heard any talk to that effect?

Brian26
08-12-2005, 12:10 PM
I know it's only two more games, but that's a lot of baseball. I don't think they want to play games in November on a regular basis.

C-Dawg
08-12-2005, 12:16 PM
Ugh. I liked it better when there were just 5 games in the divisional series; going to best-of-7 was just a ploy to get more TV revenue in my opinion.

Lip Man 1
08-12-2005, 12:40 PM
There has been some talk by the MLBPA about expanding the first round to a best of seven in order to try to reduce the 'luck' factor inherent in a shorter series.

From what I understand there are a few issues though between the MLBPA and the owners over this.

Basically without either reducing the number of off days in the regular season, or reducing the regular season schedule itself or beginning to play some scheduled double headers again you are running a major risk of bad weather in October in Northern cities. I remember the snow flying in Cleveland in 97 while the game was going on.

That would be a farce in itself. (Could you say a November World Series game?) In the 1962 World Series for example, game seven (I think) was delayed three days because of torrential rains in the Bay Area. That allowed the Yankees to alter their pitching rotation which in theory gave them an advantage they wouldn't normally have. You could be looking at the same type of situation should more games be added without giving yourself a chance to play those games in better outdoor conditions.

I have no problem with an opening round seven game series but it doesn't appear the owners and the MLBPA have an acceptable course (regarding the other) on how to do this.

Lip

mdep524
08-12-2005, 12:44 PM
I really enjoy the Wild Card and the three-round postseason format in baseball now. But I don't like the 5-game Division Series because it means can flop so suddenly after having a great season. I know the Championship Series was 5 games from 1969 to 1984 and they decided to expand it to 7. Will they expand the Division Series to 7 games too? Anybody heard any talk to that effect?YES! Great post, elrod, I feel the same way. You have this huge 162-game season...and then a best-of-five first round playoff series. It's not right. The ALDS and NLDS should be best-of-seven, even if that means cutting down the regular season by 10 games or so to avoid November baseball.

chitownhawkfan
08-12-2005, 12:48 PM
While we are on the topic of diminishing the regular season, they play 162 games for a reason, why not give home field to the team with the best record, and if there is a tie you could settle it head to head or with the all star game. I hate how they play 162 and some garbage team gets lucky and wins the best of five series.

Lip Man 1
08-12-2005, 12:52 PM
Chitown:

How do you determine home field for the World Series? You can't compare the two leagues since the teams don't play the same schedule including interleague games. It's possible because of the strenght of schedule a 92 win team in the A.L. may in fact, actually be better then a 98 win team in thew N.L.

See what I mean?

Lip

chitownhawkfan
08-12-2005, 12:55 PM
Lip, it is a good point, but they manage to do it in other leagues. And while it may not be fair I think it is better than the alternative of having alternate years or an exhibition game determine it.

PaleHoseGeorge
08-12-2005, 01:00 PM
The "problem" isn't best-of-5 or best-of-7. The "problem" is MLB keeps trying to replicate the excitement (pronounced "R-E-V-E-N-U-E") of the NFL playoff format without understanding the intrinsic difference between playing a whopping 162 game schedule vs. a pathetic 16 game schedule.

Wild cards and multi-round playoffs will ALWAYS be a joke as long as baseball clings to its 162 game schedule. I'm not talking about whacking it down by 10 or 15 games either. MLB would need to shorten the schedule by 70 or 80 games to get it closer to an NBA and NHL season's length -- and those leagues have worthless regular seasons, too.

You want a long regular season? Fine. Cap it with one best-of-7 championship. Call it the World Series and be done. If you still want all the gimmicks of wild cards, tiebreakers, and one-and-done shootouts, set up a punchout tournament and spend the whole month of October crowning a tournament champion.

Baseball needs to stop trying to have its cake and eat it, too.

Baby Fisk
08-12-2005, 01:05 PM
The pre-1968 format was best. Best team in the AL vs Best team in the NL. Everyone else goes home.

santo=dorf
08-12-2005, 01:11 PM
The pre-1968 format was best. Best team in the AL vs Best team in the NL. Everyone else goes home.

How the hell would you know?

Why don't you ask some of the old timers how it felt to always finish behind the Yankees or win 90+ games and not be considered worthy enough to compete for the championship?

The two division format sucked too.

pinwheels3530
08-12-2005, 01:15 PM
I've been thinking about this for the last couple of weeks, 7 game division series would be a alot more exciting . I am glad someone brought it up.

PaleHoseGeorge
08-12-2005, 01:18 PM
Why don't you ask some of the old timers how it felt to always finish behind the Yankees or win 90+ games and not be considered worthy enough to compete for the championship?

Well now *this* is an interesting take on things. A ballclub proves itself a superior team across 162 games -- finishing with 95 or 100+ wins, the best in the entire league -- but that doesn't mean **** in your world? The winner in 7 or fewer games is YOUR champion?

:kukoo:

santo=dorf
08-12-2005, 01:26 PM
Well now *this* is an interesting take on things. A ballclub proves itself a superior team across 162 games -- finishing with 95 or 100+ wins, the best in the entire league -- but that doesn't mean **** in your world? The winner in 7 or fewer games is YOUR champion?

:kukoo:
Well considering one team may go through more injuries than another (I guess avoiding injuries or tragedies is a "skill" that only the great "championship caliber teams have) and teams don't play balanced schedules (and no, I don't want to see one ****ing division with every team playing the exact same, bland schedule because it kills the novelty of "regional rivals")

Having the best record also determines who has home field advantage in the series, so yes, it does mean "****" in "my world."

Baby Fisk
08-12-2005, 01:32 PM
How the hell would you know?

Why don't you ask some of the old timers how it felt to always finish behind the Yankees or win 90+ games and not be considered worthy enough to compete for the championship?

The two division format sucked too.
I restate my point: two best teams play for it all. Yeah, it sucks for everybody else, but then they aren't the best are they? 162 games is long enough for the cream to rise to the top.

Do you think San Diego with its current 58-56 record deserves to be going to the playoffs?

PaleHoseGeorge
08-12-2005, 01:38 PM
Having the best record also determines who has home field advantage in the series, so yes, it does mean "****" in "my world."

Ah, I stand corrected. I was wrong to say in "your world" the best record in baseball across 162 games doesn't count for ****. It in fact stands for NEXT TO ****.

:cool:

santo=dorf
08-12-2005, 01:42 PM
I restate my point: two best teams play for it all. Yeah, it sucks for everybody else, but then they aren't the best are they? 162 games is long enough for the cream to rise to the top.

Do you think San Diego with its current 58-56 record deserves to be going to the playoffs?

I knew this San Diego debate would come up.

No I don't think they have played like a playoff worthy team, however, if they continue to play like this, they will be the first sub .500 or barely over .500 team to make the playoffs since they expanded back in 1995 (well technically 1994.)

That's one team compare to the number of second place West division teams who had a better record than the East Division winning teams and vice-versa.

Hell, in 1993, the Giants won 103 games but didn't go to the playoffs because the Western Atlanta Braves won 104. Despite being 6 games better than the 97 win Phillies team, they didn't make the playoffs.

Ol' No. 2
08-12-2005, 01:45 PM
Well now *this* is an interesting take on things. A ballclub proves itself a superior team across 162 games -- finishing with 95 or 100+ wins, the best in the entire league -- but that doesn't mean **** in your world? The winner in 7 or fewer games is YOUR champion?

:kukoo:Comparing best record years ago with best record today is an apples and oranges comparison. In the days of the 8-team leagues, teams played each other 22 times. If you wanted to finish first you had to beat, or at least hold your own with your main rival. "Proves itself a superior team" had a lot more meaning then. Today, division winners might play each other only 6 times, and the best overall record is often more reflective of who plays in the weakest division. Even if you balanced out the schedule, teams would play each other only 11 times. Any way you do it, the small number of head-to-head meetings inevitably cheapens the meaning of "best overall record" (unless it's by a wide margin).

For better or worse, the post-season has become a tournament, with the winner being crowned "champion".

Baby Fisk
08-12-2005, 01:46 PM
I knew this San Diego debate would come up.

No I don't think they have played like a playoff worthy team, however, if they continue to play like this, they will be the first sub .500 or barely over .500 team to make the playoffs since they expanded back in 1995 (well technically 1994.)

That's one team compare to the number of second place West division teams who had a better record than the East Division winning teams and vice-versa.

Hell, in 1993, the Giants won 103 games but didn't go to the playoffs because the Western Atlanta Braves won 104. Despite being 6 games better than the 97 win Phillies team, they didn't make the playoffs.
That's why I think the divisional/Wild Card system is too flukey. You get occasional outcomes like those you listed.

One team from the AL, one team from the NL. It's fluke-proof.

TheOldRoman
08-12-2005, 01:47 PM
How the hell would you know?

Why don't you ask some of the old timers how it felt to always finish behind the Yankees or win 90+ games and not be considered worthy enough to compete for the championship?

The two division format sucked too.
I agree. There are many good teams in baseball. I do like that baseball's playoffs are so exclusive compared to other sports, but I think 8 is the perfect number. 8 teams out of 30 is still only 26% of the teams in the playoffs, unlike the NBA and NHL where over half the teams make the playoffs.
My problem with reducing the playoffs (in theory, because they would never really do it) is this - I think there are at least 4 very good teams in each league any given year. There are at least 4 teams in each league who are capable of winning a pennant if luck goes their way. The Wildcard was a bit of a joke when it first started, with some mediocre teams as the Cubs and Rockies making the playoffs. However, the Wildcard has moved away from being won by a team with 80 something wins. The Wildcards have been very good teams the last few years. There are many more good teams in baseball today than there were at any point in the 90s. I don't think you can say that the Angels didn't deserve to make the playoffs in 02, the Marlins in 03, and the Red Sox in 03 and 04.

I think this topic is especially important when you look at all the very talented young teams today. A couple years from now, I think the Indians, Tigers, Rangers, Brewers, Pirates, and Marlins could be very good teams with all young talent they have. Hell even the D-Rays and Royals have lots of talent, and might become somthing in 5 years if their management gets their heads out of their collective asses. Throw in the teams that are almost constants- Sox, Blow Sox, Yankees, Twins, A's, Braves, and the Cards, and you could have 10-15 very good teams any given year. There are teams that know how to win, and teams that never will win. We might be moving into an era where a third of baseball has a winning percentage over .550 (89 wins).
My point is, if you have 4 90 win teams in the same league, you can't say one or two of them don't deserve to make it. I fully believe that if there would have been a wild card format since 1950, the Sox would have a few more world championships than they have. The only way you can decide playoff seeding is by wins, but there comes a point where you are too exclusive. 2 is too exclusive, so is 4, but 8 is just right. It doesn't take away a league's credibility to have 4 out of 14 or 16 teams in the playoffs.

PaleHoseGeorge
08-12-2005, 02:01 PM
....

For better or worse, the post-season has become a tournament, with the winner being crowned "champion".

We can agree the current situation is absurd. Furthermore it isn't necessary. Baseball needs to stop pretending it's a summertime version of the NFL because it ISN'T and only the dumbest of fans could possibly miss the difference.

When baseball starts building on its strengths -- rather than trying to hide its weaknesses -- the sport will flourish. The biggest strength is the 6 months of nearly daily games plus a full month of nearly daily playoff games. That's a lot of room to work with -- if the barnicles who run MLB would just open their eyes and start thinking creatively on how to leverage it.

Instead we get inane discussions about best-of-5 vs. best-of-7 formats... and the dumbing down of baseball fandom continues unabated...

I say we set up best-of-7 playoffs from April 1st on. Wouldn't that be the most exciting of all?
:cool:

PaulDrake
08-12-2005, 02:04 PM
Comparing best record years ago with best record today is an apples and oranges comparison. In the days of the 8-team leagues, teams played each other 22 times. If you wanted to finish first you had to beat, or at least hold your own with your main rival. "Proves itself a superior team" had a lot more meaning then. Today, division winners might play each other only 6 times, and the best overall record is often more reflective of who plays in the weakest division. Even if you balanced out the schedule, teams would play each other only 11 times. Any way you do it, the small number of head-to-head meetings inevitably cheapens the meaning of "best overall record" (unless it's by a wide margin).

For better or worse, the post-season has become a tournament, with the winner being crowned "champion". I say it's for worse. Winning a pennant or least a division used to mean something in baseball. No more and that cheapens the product IMO. However, that is a very minority opinion. Most folks seem to love the extended playoffs. If baseball wants to do that fine. But bring back doubleheaders, a shortened regular season and NO baseball played after the third week in October. Check out the National Weather Service daily highs and lows for selected northern cities. The weather changes dramatically in the second half of October. The season is already too long.

On another note I see PHG has revived his innovative ideas about post season baseball, albeit in slightly abridged form.

Ol' No. 2
08-12-2005, 02:12 PM
We can agree the current situation is absurd. Furthermore it isn't necessary. Baseball needs to stop pretending it's a summertime version of the NFL because it ISN'T and only the dumbest of fans could possibly miss the difference.

When baseball starts building on its strengths -- rather than trying to hide its weaknesses -- the sport will flourish. The biggest strength is the 6 months of nearly daily games plus a full month of nearly daily playoff games. That's a lot of room to work with -- if the barnicles who run MLB would just open their eyes and start thinking creatively on how to leverage it.

Instead we get inane discussions about best-of-5 vs. best-of-7 formats... and the dumbing down of baseball fandom continues unabated...

I say we set up best-of-7 playoffs from April 1st on. Wouldn't that be the most exciting of all?
:cool:
You sound as if you had some specific thoughts on the subject. Let's hear them.

PaleHoseGeorge
08-12-2005, 02:17 PM
You sound as if you had some specific thoughts on the subject. Let's hear them.

Nah. I've stated them before. There is a long thread from last winter around here somewhere. I'm sure somebody can find it and link to it. Do a search for "Commissioner's Cup."

:cool:

Iwritecode
08-12-2005, 02:17 PM
You sound as if you had some specific thoughts on the subject. Let's hear them.

PHG has ideas for some pretty interesting and radical changes to MLB as we know it. I know he's posted them on the board before...

Iwritecode
08-12-2005, 02:19 PM
Here's one. (http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/showpost.php?p=542592&postcount=2)

mantis1212
08-12-2005, 03:16 PM
Here's what I think should happen:


Shorten the season back to 154 games. The team with the best record in the league gets to choose its 1st round matchup.

1st round: best-of-9 series
LCS: best-of-9 series
WS: best-of-9 series

Couple other ideas- every team plays every team, with just a little unbalanced scheduling toward your own division. I wouldn't mind eliminating interleague play, but I think we all know that's not gonna happen.

I propose the 9-game series because MLB will want to make up some lost revenue from shorting the season to 154 games. I think this format has classic ideas (154 game season, best of 9 world series) as well as new thoughts (choosing your opponent).

elrod
08-12-2005, 03:32 PM
Why not reduce the season to 154 games and go 7-7-7 in the postseason. Or keep the 162 game schedule start the season a half-week earlier. This season could have started on April 1 instead of April 4 or 5, for example. Those extra days would allow the end of the season to continue at the same time. A few years ago the season started on March 31.

socko82
08-12-2005, 03:47 PM
One way they could get the extra 2 games in is just eliminate 1 travel day in each the Division Series and Championship series. They farm out the first round games to the Family Channel so television should not be a huge factor plus TV would be getting potentially 8 extra games. Also if they eliminated one off day per series it would give a much deserved advantage to teams that have proved themselves over 162 games to be deeper and more talented. Lesser teams with only 1 or 2 stud pitchers would no longer have the advantage of stacking their rotation vs clubs with 4 solid starters in a short series. Every year there is one division series that plays Monday, Wednesday and Friday. One year San Diego was able to start Kevin Brown in both games 1 and 3 and they were able to upset a Braves team that had proven over 162 games to be the better team. Why should television scheduling play a bigger role in deciding who makes it to the World Series than talent???

TornLabrum
08-12-2005, 04:59 PM
How the hell would you know?

Why don't you ask some of the old timers how it felt to always finish behind the Yankees or win 90+ games and not be considered worthy enough to compete for the championship?

The two division format sucked too.

Okay, I'll answer that since I fit that description. I hated the swtich to divisions and the addition of a playoff series. I hated the addition of the Wild Card.

I don't mind the LCSs so much any more because the sizes of the leagues are unwieldy. I still hate the wild card.

mdep524
08-12-2005, 05:15 PM
I say it's for worse. Winning a pennant or least a division used to mean something in baseball. No more and that cheapens the product IMO. Minority opinion or not, I totally agree. Winning your division has to mean something.

Why not reduce the season to 154 games and go 7-7-7 in the postseason. I think that would work well.

And PHG is right, MLB should stop trying to have their cake and eat it too.

Lip Man 1
08-12-2005, 05:42 PM
Since all of us are dealing with things that will never change because of the revenue issue here's one for size.

In 'the good old days,' baseball usually started the regular season when April days were in double figures. The weather was usually better and many teams drew decent crowds.

Therefore since we are all fantasizing, here's mine. The season starts April 15, it ends September 20. 130 games or so. Then start your playoffs and get them over by October 15th. Weather isn't so much of an issue and the conflict with other pro sports is lessened.

And Hal, sorry to disagree with you, I saw to many terrific Sox teams particularly in the 60's get screwed because they couldn't finish in first. I'd take my chances in a 'short' playoff series with New York as long as guys like Peters, Pizarro, Horlen, John and Buzhardt were on the mound.

Lip

downstairs
08-12-2005, 06:21 PM
Wow, I actually agree with PaleHoseGeorge.

The real problem I have is that every near .500 team in July/August now has a legitimate chance. I think right now on 8/12/05 about 22 of 30 teams "have a real chance" at the playoffs.

It just bothers me. I like the ALCS/NLCS. I like having 2 divisions in each league. That worked.

Note... I generally *do* have a problem with 5 game series, because I think they're a joke. 2 7-gamers to determine the World Series, and 1 7-game WS. End of story.

Chips
08-13-2005, 12:57 PM
I say it's for worse. Winning a pennant or least a division used to mean something in baseball. No more and that cheapens the product IMO. However, that is a very minority opinion. Most folks seem to love the extended playoffs. If baseball wants to do that fine. But bring back doubleheaders, a shortened regular season and NO baseball played after the third week in October. Check out the National Weather Service daily highs and lows for selected northern cities. The weather changes dramatically in the second half of October. The season is already too long.

On another note I see PHG has revived his innovative ideas about post season baseball, albeit in slightly abridged form.

I couldn't agree more, winning the pennant got you into the world series. Now you don't even have to win the division. Go back to two league, two pennants, if you aren't the best team in the league than you're not going to the postseason. Too bad.

Palehose13
08-13-2005, 01:25 PM
I couldn't agree more, winning the pennant got you into the world series. Now you don't even have to win the division. Go back to two league, two pennants, if you aren't the best team in the league than you're not going to the postseason. Too bad.

Well, unfortunately MLB is a business and businesses need to make money. How many people would still be going to games if there team is knocked out of it by May?

I don't fit the "old timer" description, but I can remember the Sox finishing second in the AL West behind Oakland and not get in the playoffs while the AL East team had an inferior record and were in the playoffs. It sucked.

the only problem I have with the wildcard is that it ****s with the trading deadline. Teams that would normally be "sellers" are hanging on to guys because they are 3 or 4 games back of the wildcard (when in their heart of hearts they know that they aren't going to get in...but how would it look to the fans? re:white flag). If MLB is going to continue with the wildcard (which I believe they will), I think they should push the non-waiver trade deadline back til at least August 15th.

Oh, and I don't want best of 7 for LDS...I really don't want to watch the WS in November. But I do like the idea of cutting the schedule and starting April 15th and ending in mid-September.