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Lip Man 1
10-04-2007, 01:15 PM
Great story.

I personally would make the wild card team play four out of a possible five in the first round on the road myself.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/playoffs2007/columns/story?columnist=crasnick_jerry&id=3048274&POLL308=10000000000000000000000000000000

Lip

soxfanatlanta
10-04-2007, 02:00 PM
Not too sure about playing four out of five on the road; why should a team with 90+ wins have to play a team with 85 on their turf for four? Mediocrity should not get rewarded.

sox1970
10-04-2007, 02:03 PM
It's completely possible a wildcard team could be the second best team in the league. They should just go best of seven in every round, but shorten the season by a week. If it means scheduled day/night doubleheaders, so be it.

jortafan
10-04-2007, 02:50 PM
Not too sure about playing four out of five on the road; why should a team with 90+ wins have to play a team with 85 on their turf for four? Mediocrity should not get rewarded.



I've never understood the logic of this argument -- why should a team that can't even win its own division outright be rewarded, even if they manage to win 90+ games? There's still at least one team that's better.

I will agree with you on one point, anyone who thinks an 85-win team ought to be regarded as a playoff favorite for victory is a little cracked. I couldn't help but notice four teams this year (two in each league) who have better records than the so-called National League Central Division champions. If I were a New York Mets or San Diego Padres fan, I'd be seriously pissed at the presence of the Cubs in the playoffs.

Personally, I'm an American League follower. The only interest I have in the National League playoffs is to find out which team I'll be rooting against come World Series time.

salty99
10-04-2007, 02:57 PM
Leave it the way it is.

thomas35forever
10-04-2007, 05:34 PM
I've been following baseball for almost as long as the Wild Card has been in play. I don't seem to have a problem with it. Stick to the status quo.

TDog
10-04-2007, 07:23 PM
I've never understood the logic of this argument -- why should a team that can't even win its own division outright be rewarded, even if they manage to win 90+ games? There's still at least one team that's better.

I will agree with you on one point, anyone who thinks an 85-win team ought to be regarded as a playoff favorite for victory is a little cracked. I couldn't help but notice four teams this year (two in each league) who have better records than the so-called National League Central Division champions. If I were a New York Mets or San Diego Padres fan, I'd be seriously pissed at the presence of the Cubs in the playoffs.

Personally, I'm an American League follower. The only interest I have in the National League playoffs is to find out which team I'll be rooting against come World Series time.

Sometimes not winning the division is the matter of losing a tiebreaker, which they only have in baseball if two teams tied for first would both qualify for the postseason. In 2005, there wasn't much difference between the AL wild card and two of the division winners. The White Sox, after their historic collapse, managed only 99 wins. The AL East champ Yankees won 95. The AL West champ Angels won 95. The AL wild card Red Sox won 95 games. But for the wild card qualification, there would have been a game between the Red Sox and Yankees to determine the AL East champ.

The wild card usually doesn't have the fourth-best record in the league. A notable exception was the Cubs wild card season. Usually, the wild card team has a better record than at least one division winner.

This year, a couple of teams that weren't good enough to make the postseason had better records than the Cubs, who won their division. The fact that the Cubs won their division while finishing with losing records against the NL East and NL West -- teams the Mets and Padres had to deal with much more than the Cubs did -- weakens the Cubs claim to being deserving of home-field advantage if they beat the Diamondbacks in spite of Lou Piniella's incompetence and face the Rockies in the NLCS. But home-field advantage is what the Cubs would have, as the team had in 2003 against the Marlins.

I don't think a team that can't win their division should be in the postseason at all. But with three divisions, there has to be a wild card or one division winner from each league doesn't get to the postseason. There's no point in having a division without it's winner advancing to the postseason.

Expanding the playoffs would only make matters worse. The bottom line is, as much as it might offend sensibilities to have the wild card team in the World Series -- or the Florida Marlins having two World Series titles without ever finishing first -- continuing with the present format is better than the changes people are suggesting.

HomeFish
10-04-2007, 07:30 PM
The Wildcard has allowed some of the most exciting baseball teams in recent history to get into the postseason. The 2003 Marlins, 2002 Angels, etc. The postseason lately would have been a lot less interesting without the wildcard.

Lip Man 1
10-04-2007, 09:51 PM
Homefish:

MLB went to the three divisional, wild card format for one reason only.

To 'artificially' create excitement in the hopes that teams who normally would be 'out of it' could claim to still be 'in the race' and induce fans to show up.

In point of fact NOTHING can help garbage teams and organizations a la Royals, Pirates, Nationals and so forth.

You talk about 'excitement'.... fine. How's this for 'excitement'?

Try having a stretch run in 2005 with teams like the White Sox, Indians, Yankees, Red Sox and Angels fighting for the pennant and the right to go to the World Series.

No need to artifically create interest there is it?

There's a reason MLB will never have a pennant race like the American League one in 1967 where literally until almost the final days you could go from first place to fourth place in a single day.

I'm not opposed to the current format. I do agree however that teams that actually finish in first place over the course of a 162 game season should get a bigger reward then they do now.

But all in all if I had ultimate power I'd say go back to the single league format and force the bad teams to do what they need to do to 'contend' instead of lowering the bar giving false hope in the name of money.

Lip

HomeFish
10-04-2007, 09:59 PM
I guess there's a big generational gap between us, Lip. Having never lived through a pre-LCS pennant chase, and not having followed baseball in the pre-wildcard era, I have no nostalgia for that period. Instead, what I have nostalgia for are some of the great playoff series that the wildcard has produced, and some of the great, entertaining teams that I never would have seen if not for the WC.

Patrick134
10-04-2007, 11:36 PM
Why not just have no divisions at all, and the top 4 make it ? More rivalries would emerge, and nearly every game going would have major importance.

PKalltheway
10-05-2007, 12:31 AM
Why not just have no divisions at all, and the top 4 make it ? More rivalries would emerge, and nearly every game going would have major importance.
There are way too many teams for that nowadays. You would have half of the league out of the race by July. I don't see what's wrong with the current format now. I like it.

TDog
10-05-2007, 12:32 AM
Why not just have no divisions at all, and the top 4 make it ? More rivalries would emerge, and nearly every game going would have major importance.

A second-place team making the postseason is a necessary evil. A fourth place team making the postseason would be be pointless. If you don't split the teams in divisions, you don't need any postseason series. You only need a pennant race.

pudge
10-05-2007, 12:55 AM
There are too many entertainment options, and people are too busy and distracted to pay any attention to a regular season pennant chase. Kids are distracted with Ipods and Xboxs. We are now an instant gratification culture. And I actually agree with Home Fish, I think it's great that teams like the '02 Angels and '03 Marlins got national attention. Just look at how MLB has overcome an insanly NFL-focused town in Denver to steal the headlines. Even if it's only for a few weeks, the wild card has done huge things for baseball in Denver in a matter of days.

Sure, I would have loved for the 2000 White Sox to get an instant trip to the World Series, and it sucked that we were out in three games that year. But the real crime is that the owners won't shorten the regular season. It's time to expand the first round to 7 games and shorten the damn season. There's no point in playing 162 freakin games if 8 teams get access to the post-season.

Lip Man 1
10-05-2007, 02:10 AM
154 games or better still 150 games is more then enough games to determine a 'true' divisional winner.

Lip

wassagstdu
10-05-2007, 08:10 AM
The current format makes losers out of all but one team. It devalues performance over 162 games, a much better measure of quality. Back in the '50s Sox fans were proud of a "first division" (top four out of eight) finish every year -- which of course actually just meant, on average, a winning season. What are 82 wins worth now? (Could be a "World Series Championship" if you play in a crappy division like the NL Central). A first division finish was a successful season -- not, of course like winning the pennant, and the chance to appear in the World Exhibition Series. But that defaulted to the Yankees, so there was no shame in missing that.

Still, I like the current format from the viewpoint of a baseball fan as opposed to a team fan. It showcases more talent and provides more drama.

ChiSoxRowand
10-05-2007, 04:49 PM
If it were up to me I would go back to the old divisional format, but the current one is fine. Here is why nothing should change-

In 2001 the Mariners won 116 games to win the AL west.
The A's won 102 and finished second. Why should they be punished because they play in a tough division? Most of the time the Wild card has the 2nd or 3rd best record. The only thing I might be in favor of is going to a seven game series, but if you did that you would have to start the season earlier.

Oblong
10-05-2007, 05:47 PM
well if the Yankees go out again this year in the ALDS (making it 3 years in a row) then Torre will whine about it some more, as he did last year in the post game after game 4. After that, look for Bud and MLB to change it.

PaleHoseGeorge
10-06-2007, 10:24 AM
I think it is plain obvious that baseball could award pennants to the league champions based on nothing more than 100 regular-season games. Let those teams meet in a Best-of-7 World Series. Everybody else is a pretender to the throne (see Cardinals, 2006).

Wild-card playoff spots are for leagues with 16-game schedules. MLB needs to get a clue.

You want bells and whistles to keep everyone excited about their team's chances? Create a knock-out tournament where everyone has an equal chance to win the tournament's cup. It is very simple to schedule another 60+ tournament games for every team so that every club collects receipts for the usual 81 home dates -- and plenty more if they advance.

It makes too much sense so that's why MLB will never do it.

Frater Perdurabo
10-06-2007, 10:57 AM
I think it is plain obvious that baseball could award pennants to the league champions based on nothing more than 100 regular-season games. Let those teams meet in a Best-of-7 World Series. Everybody else is a pretender to the throne (see Cardinals, 2006).

Wild-card playoff spots are for leagues with 16-game schedules. MLB needs to get a clue.

You want bells and whistles to keep everyone excited about their team's chances? Create a knock-out tournament where everyone has an equal chance to win the tournament's cup. It is very simple to schedule another 60+ tournament games for every team so that every club collects receipts for the usual 81 home dates -- and plenty more if they advance.

It makes too much sense so that's why MLB will never do it.

I remember your idea from a few years back and I very much supported it then. I still think it should get even simpler, though. I think it's time to do away with the American and National Leagues. They are all but gone anyway; the only difference is the DH.

Get rid of the leagues. Make the DH the law of the land. Someone once wrote "I'd rather watch Jim Thome hit than Dusty Baker think." Spot on. Contract the Marlins and Rays. (To appease Floridians, have each team play one "home" series and one "away" series in Florida in April or May.) Have every team play every other team for one home and one away series. 27 opponents x 6 games = 162 games (each team still gets 78 games at their own stadium). Best two teams square off for the best-of-seven World Series during the first week of October. Then play the "commissioner's cup tournament" in Florida for the rest of the month with the top 14 teams qualifying (the two World Series teams get first round byes).

sox1970
10-06-2007, 12:51 PM
I remember your idea from a few years back and I very much supported it then. I still think it should get even simpler, though. I think it's time to do away with the American and National Leagues. They are all but gone anyway; the only difference is the DH.

Get rid of the leagues. Make the DH the law of the land. Someone once wrote "I'd rather watch Jim Thome hit than Dusty Baker think." Spot on. Contract the Marlins and Rays. (To appease Floridians, have each team play one "home" series and one "away" series in Florida in April or May.) Have every team play every other team for one home and one away series. 27 opponents x 6 games = 162 games (each team still gets 78 games at their own stadium). Best two teams square off for the best-of-seven World Series during the first week of October. Then play the "commissioner's cup tournament" in Florida for the rest of the month with the top 14 teams qualifying (the two World Series teams get first round byes).

No thanks. Can you imagine how many makeup games they have to do if they only playing one series. They'd be travelling all over the place on off days.

I think having 28-30 teams is enough to support four teams in each league making the postseason. We saw the AL have four teams with 94+ wins this year. All are worthy of a shot.

If I had complete control, I'd do this:

Get rid of the Florida teams
Move an NL team to the AL
Eliminate Interleague Play
Eliminate Divisions
Play everyone in your own league 12 games (156 games)
Shorten the season by a week
Top Four teams in each league make the playoffs (1 plays 4; 2 plays 3)
Make the first round of the playoffs Best of 7
Keep the DH in the AL. I really don't care if the NL keeps it the way it is.
Homefield for the World Series alternates year to year.
Instant replay for fair or foul down the lines and homeruns.

PKalltheway
10-06-2007, 01:09 PM
Move an NL team to the AL
If you did that, then an AL team would have to move to the NL as well, or else you'd have either one team having a bye series all of the time, or have interleague play all of the time. You could only have an even number of teams in MLB if you contracted 2 teams (Florida and Tampa Bay, I'm looking right at you).

ilsox7
10-06-2007, 01:10 PM
If you did that, then an AL team would have to move to the NL as well, or else you'd have either one team having a bye series all of the time, or have interleague play all of the time. You could only have an even number of teams in MLB if you contracted 2 teams (Florida and Tampa Bay, I'm looking right at you).

He did that in his plan. I thought the same thing as you, at first, until I re-read.

PKalltheway
10-06-2007, 01:13 PM
He did that in his plan. I thought the same thing as you, at first, until I re-read.
Ohhh I see now. Never mind.:redface:

LITTLE NELL
10-06-2007, 02:30 PM
No thanks. Can you imagine how many makeup games they have to do if they only playing one series. They'd be travelling all over the place on off days.

I think having 28-30 teams is enough to support four teams in each league making the postseason. We saw the AL have four teams with 94+ wins this year. All are worthy of a shot.

If I had complete control, I'd do this:

Get rid of the Florida teams
Move an NL team to the AL
Eliminate Interleague Play
Eliminate Divisions
Play everyone in your own league 12 games (156 games)
Shorten the season by a week
Top Four teams in each league make the playoffs (1 plays 4; 2 plays 3)
Make the first round of the playoffs Best of 7
Keep the DH in the AL. I really don't care if the NL keeps it the way it is.
Homefield for the World Series alternates year to year.
Instant replay for fair or foul down the lines and homeruns.
I agree with you 100 %. Only the 4 best teams in each league would be in the post season. I would move Washington back to the AL. Under this format the Cubs would be playing golf right now. One of my biggest gripes is the unbalanced schedule where say the Sox, Cleveland, Detroit, KC and the Twins are not playing the same teams.

PaleHoseGeorge
10-06-2007, 02:59 PM
One of my biggest gripes is the unbalanced schedule where say the Sox, Cleveland, Detroit, KC and the Twins are not playing the same teams.

If you sincerely believe this, why bother with divisions? A balanced schedule makes it plain obvious which team is the absolute-best across the entire season. Isn't THAT the purpose of the regular season schedule?
:?:

If no divisions, why let 2nd, 3rd, and 4th-place teams have a shot at upending the 1st-place team? It's like two bites of the apple for these also-rans... they've ALREADY been proven inferior ballclubs by the regular season schedule.
:o:

Yes, I'm playing devil's advocate on this subject. However you can't have it both ways. If you want artificial playoff "excitement", create a separate tournament with every bell and whistle you can think of. As long as baseball has 100+ games in the regular season, there will ALWAYS be a clearly-best team to represent each league in the World Series -- no bells or whistles necessary... and certainly nothing as stupid as unbalanced schedules or wild-card "champions".
:puking:

LITTLE NELL
10-06-2007, 03:34 PM
If you sincerely believe this, why bother with divisions? A balanced schedule makes it plain obvious which team is the absolute-best across the entire season. Isn't THAT the purpose of the regular season schedule?
:?:

If no divisions, why let 2nd, 3rd, and 4th-place teams have a shot at upending the 1st-place team? It's like two bites of the apple for these also-rans... they've ALREADY been proven inferior ballclubs by the regular season schedule.
:o:

Yes, I'm playing devil's advocate on this subject. However you can't have it both ways. If you want artificial playoff "excitement", create a separate tournament with every bell and whistle you can think of. As long as baseball has 100+ games in the regular season, there will ALWAYS be a clearly-best team to represent each league in the World Series -- no bells or whistles necessary... and certainly nothing as stupid as unbalanced schedules or wild-card "champions".
:puking:
I dont want divisional baseball but with so many teams vs. 50 or so years ago when there were only 16 teams and 2 league winners I dont think its bad to have 4 playoff teams from each league to create a little excitement. But I want the 4 BEST not the 6th best like you know who. 4 seperate leagues of 8 teams would not be bad either except we would have to have 2 expansion teams.

PaleHoseGeorge
10-06-2007, 03:47 PM
I dont want divisional baseball but with so many teams vs. 50 or so years ago when there were only 16 teams and 2 league winners I dont think its bad to have 4 playoff teams from each league to create a little excitement. But I want the 4 BEST not the 6th best like you know who. 4 seperate leagues of 8 teams would not be bad either except we would have to have 2 expansion teams.

I won't comment on expanding or contracting teams because I don't believe it belongs in this discussion. Any change in the system ought to accommodate ANY number of teams... for now and for the unpredictable future, too.

100 games is more than enough to have a balanced schedule for both leagues. It's 22% more games than either the NHL or NBA schedules and over 6-times more than the NFL schedules. It's long overdue that MLB injects excitement into its regular season. By definition, the excitement is diluted by awarding also-ran clubs playoff status. It's two bites of the apple, and you can't escape it.

dickallen15
10-06-2007, 04:30 PM
Because of the wild card, the unbalanced schedule is not fair. Teams in weaker divisions play easier schedules. Go back to the balanced schedule.

Frater Perdurabo
10-06-2007, 04:31 PM
No thanks. Can you imagine how many makeup games they have to do if they only playing one series. They'd be travelling all over the place on off days.

Is that your only objection? Worried about making up games that were rained/snowed out because there is only one series for each pair of teams to play? You can move many games out of the cold/rainy season. By the time June rolls around, the multi-day washouts aren't very likely because summer rain showers generally don't last more than a few hours. After eliminating TB and FLA, 6 dome teams remain. Seven more are in the West or Southwest and don't suffer many multi-day rain events (SF, OAK, LAA, LAD, COL, SD, TEX). That leaves 15 teams prone to multi-day rainouts. Most are East of the Mississippi River (other than KC and STL) and meteorologically are most likely to have muti-day, non-stop rain events in March, April and May. So, have those teams play their Florida games earliest and also go on the road to dome and/or western cities early in the season to minimize early season home games when the weather is most likely to be worst. That would eliminate almost all of the multi-day rainouts. Then, schedule all Sunday games to start no later than 1 p.m. local time to give plenty of time either to play a double-header or to give rain plenty of time to clear out.

Also, build in an extra week in October for "mathematically necessary" make up games and to start the World Series during the second week of October. By the third week of the month, the top 14 teams would be in Florida anyway, where and when the weather generally is delightful!

A World Series played between the top two teams from the entire MLB ensures that it's a true championship and that a mediocre but "hot" team doesn't fluke its way into it. This year, Boston and Cleveland (96 wins each) would be playing for it. Last year, the World Series would have been between the Mets and Yankees (OK, maybe that's not so great). In 2005, it would have been the Sox and Cardinals (or maybe not, if the Cards didn't get to pad their schedule against the POS NL Central).

At the same time, a chance to make the big postseason tournament keeps interest level high in at least 3/4ths of the MLB cities. Instead of "pennant races" among five or six teams jockeying for a playoff spot, all of a sudden you've got excitement in every city other than those of teams that are just completely hosed. It's as exciting as the NCAAs, plus the last two weeks of the regular season would be like the last two weeks of the NFL season, when so much is up for grabs among the teams within striking distance of .500.

dickallen15
10-06-2007, 04:32 PM
I agree with you 100 %. Only the 4 best teams in each league would be in the post season. I would move Washington back to the AL. Under this format the Cubs would be playing golf right now. One of my biggest gripes is the unbalanced schedule where say the Sox, Cleveland, Detroit, KC and the Twins are not playing the same teams.
How are you going to have no interleague and have an odd number of teams in each league?

sox1970
10-06-2007, 04:36 PM
How are you going to have no interleague and have an odd number of teams in each league?

14 teams in each league. Contract Florida and Tampa and move an NL team to the AL.

Fenway
10-06-2007, 04:40 PM
14 teams in each league. Contract Florida and Tampa and move an NL team to the NL.

The 2 teams that have made out the best with the wild card and new divisions are Florida and Boston.

Florida of course wins 2 World Series as a wild card and with out the new divisions and wild card Boston would this year be making the playoffs for the first time since 1990.

sox1970
10-06-2007, 04:40 PM
Is that your only objection? Worried about making up games that were rained/snowed out because there is only one series for each pair of teams to play?

No, I just like AL teams playing AL teams, and NL teams playing NL teams. There's no question in my mind that the All Star Game and World Series have been diminshed because of interleague play.

Daver
10-06-2007, 04:49 PM
No, I just like AL teams playing AL teams, and NL teams playing NL teams. There's no question in my mind that the All Star Game and World Series have been diminshed because of interleague play.

The All-Star game is a joke anyway.

Fenway
10-06-2007, 04:51 PM
The All-Star game is a joke anyway.

The All Star Game should become USA vs the World. That would create a little buzz.

PaleHoseGeorge
10-06-2007, 04:52 PM
The 2 teams that have made out the best with the wild card and new divisions are Florida and Boston.

Anyone posting here who is defending also-ran teams making the playoffs, or the need for unbalanced schedules, or the value of divisional or wild-card "champions" needs to read what Fenway posted above and get a clue.

Who doubts MLB wouldn't be better off if Florida NEVER wins a World Series and obnoxious Boston fans are left sitting at home every October they finish second to a superior Yankees team. It shuts them up 4 weeks early!

Thank you, Fenway, for proving my point.

:cool: