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wassagstdu
10-30-2005, 08:07 AM
For 46 years I said that what really matters is the pennant, and that the WS is just a postseason exhibition series. My argument was that performance over 154 (or 162) games is a better indication of the quality of a team than a 7-game series. Can you say "Dusty Rhodes?" Since the Sox won both, this is the time to propose that MLB needs to recognize the league-best record over 162 games with a special status. Somehow "AL Central Champions" just doesn't do it.

I like that the winner is the ALCS is the "ALCS Champion" rather than "AL Champion" and the winner of the WS is the "World Series Champion" rather than "World Champion." How about recognizing the team with the league-best W/L record in the regular season as the "AL Pennant Winner?" Or because there is some ambiguity about whether that refers to the regular season or the ALCS, call it the "Commissioner's Trophy" or something like that. The word "Pennant" would give it some history and there could be a real pennant that the winner could fly for the following season, switching to a commemorative one after that as the pennant passes on to the next year's winner.

One point of this is to recognize that the regular season is not just preseason for the playoffs. There really are two seasons, the summer season and the fall season. They are totally different in pace, flavor, and what it takes to win. Real baseball fans love both, I think. I think the Cardinals are entitled to celebrate their accomplishment, just as the Sox were in '59, without being "yes, but ..." losers.

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PaleHoseGeorge
10-30-2005, 08:18 AM
Well, the NHL already has a similar honor called the President's Trophy awarded to the team with the best regular season record. Next 16 teams take the ice for 2-1/2 months of playoffs and by the time the Stanley Cup winner is crowned, nobody gives a rat's ass who won the President's Trophy. Baseball's honor would be similarly futile.

I've already pontificated about the same problem that concerns you: the need to make the regular season meaningful again. I won't bore you with the details, but they're in the WSI archive. (Search for "Commissioner's Cup" and I'm sure you can find them.)

However I'm afraid more radical restructuring of the MLB season is required to fix this problem than simply awarding a trophy for best regular season record. I think the example of the NHL's President's trophy proves my point.

wassagstdu
10-30-2005, 08:33 AM
Well, the NHL already has a similar honor called the President's Trophy awarded to the team with the best regular season record. Next 16 teams take the ice for 2-1/2 months of playoffs and by the time the Stanley Cup winner is crowned, nobody gives a rat's ass who won the President's Trophy. Baseball's honor would be similarly futile.

I've already pontificated about the same problem that concerns you: the need to make the regular season meaningful again. I won't bore you with the details, but they're in the WSI archive. (Search for "Commissioner's Cup" and I'm sure you can find them.)

However I'm afraid more radical restructuring of the MLB season is required to fix this problem than simply awarding a trophy for best regular season record. I think the example of the NHL's President's trophy proves my point.

I don't know anything about hockey (something to do with ice?), but my son told me about the President's Trophy and that was what made me think of this. You may be right that after the intensity of the "fall season" nobody would care about "The Pennant" -- except maybe the winners and their fans. Baseball is a totally different sport from hockey, and what fans value in a smash-mouth take-no-prisoners sport like hockey is different from what baseball fans value (even if in some cases they may be the same people).

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PaleHoseGeorge
10-30-2005, 09:56 AM
I don't know anything about hockey (something to do with ice?), but my son told me about the President's Trophy and that was what made me think of this. You may be right that after the intensity of the "fall season" nobody would care about "The Pennant" -- except maybe the winners and their fans. Baseball is a totally different sport from hockey, and what fans value in a smash-mouth take-no-prisoners sport like hockey is different from what baseball fans value (even if in some cases they may be the same people).

.

I completely agree. I think the crime that baseball cheapens its 162 game schedule is twice as large as hockey cheapening its 81 game schedule. Proving yourself the best team across that many games ought to count for more than home-field advantage in a playoff against teams you already proved yourself superior to!
:?:

Baseball further compounds the problem with unbalanced schedules and allowing second-place teams to enter the post-season. What purpose does the 162 games have but to make the team with the best record look stupid come October?
:o:

I feel very strongly about this. Baseball needs to radically change the way it markets itself. Making the regular season meaningful again is the key. I agree winning the pennant ought to count for more, but I just don't think awarding a trophy to the ballclub with the best regular season record will help at all.

veeter
10-30-2005, 10:02 AM
I agree that winning "The Pennant" is huge. But, I do like the fight between the two leagues. I like the differences with and without the DH. I was talking to a cub fan, co-worker who was graciously bowing to me, and said I feel great they won the pennant, the WS would be gravy. But really it's much more than that. Now they'll always be recognized. If they lost the WS their great season would have been forgotten about, nationally. And I love Sox respect, nationally.

wassagstdu
10-30-2005, 11:45 AM
I've already pontificated about the same problem that concerns you: the need to make the regular season meaningful again. I won't bore you with the details, but they're in the WSI archive. (Search for "Commissioner's Cup" and I'm sure you can find them.)

However I'm afraid more radical restructuring of the MLB season is required to fix this problem than simply awarding a trophy for best regular season record. I think the example of the NHL's President's trophy proves my point.

I have gone back and read PHG's proposal and I think I like it, though I will have to think about it for a while.

The advantage of the more conservative approach is that it preserves continuity, and anyone can go back and see who won "The Pennant" from the beginning of divisional play and beyond. For example, the Sox won "The Pennant" in 1983, 1994*, and 2000.

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VenturaSoxFan23
10-30-2005, 12:50 PM
That said, the NHL's President's Trophy winners don't usually make it very far. The 'Hawks won it years ago and got bumped in the first round, as did Ottawa years later.