All things being equal, I should be far more enthused than most people about the prospect of expanded playoffs, no matter the format. After all, the Toronto Blue Jays, the team that dictates how most of my evenings and weekend afternoons are spent, stand to benefit from the idea more than most teams.
However, something inside me despises the idea. I think of baseball’s regular season being 162 games for a reason. I think that almost anything can happen in five or seven game series. I can deal with a single Wild Card team being added to the mix because, for the most part, that fourth team has a better record than the weakest division winner. The fifth team normally doesn’t.
Yet, my inner protests mean nothing. According to Bud Selig:
I would say we’re moving to expanding the playoffs, but there’s a myriad of details to work out. Ten is a fair number. The more we’ve talked about it, I think we’re moving inexorably to that.
There’s a lot to be said for how much more exciting playoff baseball is than regular season baseball. I get that. And I’m not normally one to stand up on a soap box and wax eloquently about the sacredness of the game. But I’ve always felt as though the structure of baseball with a rotation of starting pitchers doesn’t lend itself well to having its champion decided by a seven game series. It’s a compromise in place to increase more revenue for teams and allow television networks to pay more for the product than they otherwise would.
However, these are just personal feelings. And while I’d much rather see baseball rid themselves of divisions altogether, there’s certainly a legitimate argument to be made by the other side for playoff expansion. And there are some formats that are less offensive than others.
From Tom Tango:
I’d love to have all 30 teams in there. How could that work? You take the bottom 12 teams, and given them a one-game play-in. After that one game, you are down to 24 teams. Then, the bottom 16 (of the 24) go into a best 2-of-3 play-in (all at the home of the better seeded team). These two play-in tournaments occur with no rest days. Now you’ve got 8 well-rested teams, and 8 teams that have played 2, 3, or 4 games. All the games of the third round are also all played a the home field of the better seeded team, and you make it best 3 of 5. After all that, you are now down to 8 teams.
Maybe I’m being a little prehistoric with this issue, but I’m on Tim Lincecum’s side.
I don’t know, man. I don’t see why you need to fix something that isn’t broken. Players like it the way it is. It’s dog-eat-dog. People know they need to win 11 games to win the World Series. Nobody wants to have to worry, ‘Oh [Getting Blanked], now I’ve got another [Getting Blanked] team in the [Getting Blanked] mix. Now we have to worry about what that takes and what they’re going to do.’ What if the (second) wild-card team is not deserving of getting in?
Mark Teixeira has similar thoughts, though less expletive filled:
We battle all year long in a very tough division; if you win the division and have to have five or six days off before the start of the playoffs, or you win the wild card and still have to play another one- or three-game series just to get into the playoffs, it doesn’t make much sense.
And The Rest:
Surprise of the season: Daisuke Matsuzaka is suddenly a very good pitcher.
It must be a relief to Mets fans that their ownership group seems to understand the role they play within the team with regard to important decisions.
Speaking of the Mets, could renovations to Citi Field end up helping the ball club?
The Toronto Blue Jays must have really been uninterested in Brad Emaus. After the Rule 5 pick up was waived by New York and scheduled to return to Toronto, the Jays traded him to Colorado despite an injury to their regular second baseman Aaron Hill. Hours after the trade, Jayson Nix, subbing in for Hill, was also injured.
Former Blue Jays, current Athletics’ reliever David Purcey has incredibly large feet. And you know what they say about big feet? Uncle Phil just walked in so I’ll just tell you they say, “Damn, you got some big feet.”
When not measuring each others’ feet, members of the Oakland A’s like getting into it on Twitter.
Does Roy Halladay really need to be throwing 130 pitches in April?
According to Doug Melvin, Ryan Braun’s costly contract extension will have no bearing on the future of Prince Fielder staying or leaving the club.
However, a fan putting her cell phone number on a sign for Ryan Braun likely did have a bearing on her phone bill.
Clint Hurdle continues to talk nonsense.
Dusty Baker attempts to put a spin on being outsmarted by Tony LaRussa.
Could Steve Garvey be the next owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers?
Neftali Feliz is hitting the Disabled List. It must be all those extra innings he’s throwing as a starter.
Russell Martin’s great start is drawing some unwanted attention high and inside.
This is me actually linking to an article in which the term “frenemies” is used to describe the relationship between Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez. And I thought the Doug Melvin comments would be the most surprising part of today’s link dump.
Could Creatine use be behind the sudden increase in oblique strains?
It was only a week ago that the Chicago White Sox had the best lineup in baseball. Now they have the best lineup in baseball at being criticized.
I’ve said it before, but Sam Fuld is truly the player that we can all enjoy. In addition to being gritty and determined, the scrappy outfielder also uses statistics to improve himself.
And if you don’t believe Sam Fuld is a superhero, here he is taking off. Don’t get Fuld again.
Not even Fuld could remember Evan Longoria’s passport though. However, he got it in time and didn’t leave his team waiting too long.
Unlike a non-hustling Felipe Lopez.
Kyle Davies is historically awful.
I’m not the only one who thinks bunting is ridiculous. Speaking of which, I hope no one’s forgotten about Travis Snider bunting on Saturday.
Finally, in shocking and appalling news: Elijah Dukes was arrested again. Quelle surprise!