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November 4, 2010

Prospectus Perspective

Four and No More

by Christina Kahrl

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It was a glorious World Series to cap a glorious October, and detracting from it in any way would be difficult. Sadly, baseball managed it.

With his usual knack, Bud Selig could not help but find a way to leave something floating in the punch bowl where the postseason was concerned, because on Sunday, with the 2010 campaign cresting with a matchup reflecting a decade almost as glorious as the '80s as evidence of a dynamic, healthy competitive balance, Selig couldn't help but fidget. He could not help but suggest that maybe what baseball needed was two more playoff teams.

There's something appropriate that Selig spoke diffidently about his “pragmatic” appetite for extra post-season action on Halloween. Where this past postseason was concerned, while we all got to overindulge from an overstuffed October goodie bag, there's always that one kid who couldn't settle on having just that one last Milk Dud. To his shame, Selig was the one glutton who 'fessed up to wanting more.

So the Commissioner talks of being pragmatic about this, which is just as well, because the logistical challenges to adding two more wild-card teams for one-game play-ins or best-of-three miniseries are considerable. Does it really make sense to have six teams standing around, while two wild-card clubs play their parts in the near-total trivialization of the regular season?

Selig might repeatedly and plaintively mention his horror for November baseball, but he's the man who created its near-unavoidability, certainly as long as post-season scheduling is tethered to network preference.* Inviting the addition of another short series or a scripted one-game death match hardly helps MLB avoid this ever-present threat. Admittedly, other antidotes to a November dogpile are being kicked around, as Selig commented at the All-Star Game: moving Opening Day (or Night) forward from Sunday/Monday (the 2011 season will start on Thursday/Friday), as well as deleting the odd day off or two during the LDS round.

That's all just embroidery, because the 162-game schedule is considered safe, and it isn't like the new generation of Lordlings of the Realm operating franchises these days are going to dip into their in-pocket profits from television, radio, ticket sales, and ancillary revenue streams by old-school scheduling or even day/night doubleheaders. The sixth-month slog might scoot up by a weekend, but it's still the unavoidably huge commitment, the game's greatest logistical feat as well as its handicap, simultaneously making a ballgame a ubiquitous pleasure while reducing it to seasonal wallpaper on a few too many local sports pages and national sports sites. Adding pre-scheduled baseball-as-bloodsport wild-card miniseries doesn't resolve that, while simply adding some new scheduling difficulties when it comes to avoiding trophy-hoisting in November.

Perhaps the man's disappointment is a product of our first play-in-free October since 2006. That was the last time we didn't need a one-game playoff to determine the identity of the eighth team on the slate, with the NL West doing the honors in 2007, and the AL Central generating sudden-death entertainment in 2008 and 2009. But as with so much else about the game, I'd argue that such pleasures are best savored when they occur by accident. As is, we got a contact high for this particular thrill's possibilities from the Braves, Padres, and Giants, right up until the regular season's last day.

That it didn't happen, that we did not get the Padres and Giants stepping out into the street for one last duel, or that we didn't get a three-way tie that left us having to determine the identities of both the NL West winner and the NL's wild-card club, is not an oversight to be corrected. Instead, it's an endorsement of how healthy what BP alum Keith Woolner referred to as the game's competitive ecology is.

Beyond the NL's near-miss for procuring this season's one-game playoff, the bunching up of today's contenders reflects an increasingly desperate scramble. In the American League, setting aside division alignments for the moment, the argument over who might have been the fourth-best team in the circuit had three teams—the Rangers, Red Sox, and White Sox—separated by just two games. The heavies from the AL East didn't just get beaten twice over by the upstart Rangers, they very nearly lost home-field advantage to the Twins. Look at third-order Adjusted Standings (here), and you find the AL tightly grouped, with a half-dozen clubs knocking around in a range of 88-92 wins.

Now, you can say that thick pack of possibles makes the actual outcome of which four clubs finish in the postseason too much of a toss-up, especially when you have an unbalanced schedule and the conceits of interleague action helping determine who lives and who golfs at season's end. And I'd collaboratively quibble over these and other complaints. But scheduling a play-in series strikes me as that last bit of bastardization too far.

Perhaps you cannot blame the man overmuch. As a matter of personal destiny, some by design, but by accident as well, Selig has had to preside over some of the most humiliating moments in the history of the sport. There are the matters of his guilt for 1994 as one of the leading architects of the first season sans World Series since 1904, or the embarrassment of an All-Star Game sloppily managed into a unresolvable tie, or his testimony on Capitol Hill that should place him with Rafael Palmeiro among the list of targets should already officious Congressmen decide to take up again their sense of slow-news-cycle outrage.

Where other sports seem to armor themselves with one Teflon-coated corporate dullard or another, for better and for worse, Selig is transparently a fan of the game, and not merely his own initiatives. But he's also no simple traditionalist, since he has presided over and achieved more change than any Czar has or perhaps ever will. In this, he has had the advantage of being of the game as well as above it. Maybe, to achieve change within the industry, its idiosyncrasies required an equally idiosyncratic, in-bred solution. Dropping the pantomime of the past and dispensing with the dopey naivete that the Commissioner was some impartial elective monarch died a necessary death after the brief tyranny of Fay Vincent, baseball absolutism's last fantasy manager.

Instead, we have Selig, mogul and fan, a figure out of history nevertheless willing to thumb his nose at it and tinker. That's admirable in some ways. After all, who among us doesn't have his or her own agenda "were I Czar/ina for a day.” My own two cents, worth even less than the zinc wasted to mint them, is that I'd want us to go back to the two-division alignment for both leagues, and accept two wild-card clubs, which might in the worst-case scenarios help limit any one season's October slate to just one geographical accident per league. Admittedly, there's some lingering nostalgia for the alignment of my youth, but then again, I find the lopsided divisional alignments that give us the NL Central's six-pack and the AL West's short stack a bit ridiculous. However, I'm not so far gone as a hard-line historicist to insist we come down from four playoff teams per league back down to two.

But if Selig's willingness to break with history has its highlights and its uses, it also risks teetering into gimmickry, as it has with the “meaningful” All-Star Game. Here's hoping he doesn't go too far looking for some new, scheduled gewgaw. Let's take our one-game playoffs where and when we get them, delight in the game's stronger competitive dynamic while hoping the mechanisms that help achieve it either remain in place or get additional aid, and stick with four invitations to the dance per league.

* And effectively that alone, because of one of the great triumphs of Czar Bud the Builder, since one of the basic benefits of the baseball-only facilities almost every franchise enjoys today is there's little need to worry about anyone else's uses for the venues.

Christina Kahrl is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Christina's other articles. You can contact Christina by clicking here

Related Content:  Bud Selig,  A's,  Scheduling,  The Who,  Divisional Alignment

52 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

BillJohnson

I agree with what you've said here (to the extent that I was able to read it -- Christina, you could be less verbose by maybe 30% and still get your ideas across), but a perspective is missing in this, as in most analyses of expanded playoffs: the players' perspective. Allegedly, the players are all for it, and their opinion counts too. (I must admit that I wonder if they'll still be for it when they realize it means more wear and tear on tired bodies, particularly pitchers' arms.) David Laurila, are you listening? If so, I'd love to see "what do you think of an expanded playoff system?" become one of the regular questions you ask guys in uniforms.

Nov 04, 2010 07:58 AM
rating: 3
 
BP staff member Christina Kahrl
BP staff
(11)

The players aren't necessarily all for it; Mr. Weiner has been very polite on the subject, while stating that there's no apparent consensus on his side of the fence just yet.

Nov 04, 2010 09:07 AM
 
ObviouslyRob

Just my $.02, but I'm a really big fan of how Christina writes. I think her articles often benefit from increased verbosity.

Nov 04, 2010 09:45 AM
rating: 7
 
buffum
(458)

> Christina, you could be less verbose by maybe 30%

Also, Mozart's music had too many notes.

Nov 04, 2010 10:23 AM
rating: 9
 
Matt Kory

I'm a fan of Christina and her writing, but comparing her to Mozart is a bit much.

Nov 05, 2010 00:04 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Christina Kahrl
BP staff
(11)

I suspect that it's just the laughing like Tom Hulce that confuses people. ;)

Nov 05, 2010 01:10 AM
 
Patrick M

For the love of all that's holy, please, no more rounds of playoffs. 162 games is a truly wonderful sorting mechanism, and adding extra teams to the mix serves to devalue it. If there were 40 teams, fine, but 8 / 30 seems a good mix to me.

There are also matters of equity: unless we are doubling the size of the playoffs, some teams will have to get byes. With the current unbalanced schedule, teams from weak divisions may get unfairly favored. It would also call attention again to the unfairness of how the interleague schedules may impact races.

I would rather see MLB do the following:

1) Consider moving opening day back a couple of days

2) Schedule a few doubleheaders into the season, maybe ~3 per team

3) Eliminate the non-travel off-days within post season series

Nov 04, 2010 08:06 AM
rating: 5
 
amazin_mess

Totally agree. Extra wild card teams is a joke. But it will happen.

Nov 04, 2010 08:26 AM
rating: 0
 
jerrykenny
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

All wild card teams are a joke.

- fixed it for you.

Nov 04, 2010 08:54 AM
rating: -4
 
baserip4

So it was a joke that we included the Yankees in this year's postseason?

Nov 06, 2010 09:41 AM
rating: 0
 
beerchaser42

I think 4 playoff teams per league is enough. I'd be ok with the idea of going back to two divisions per league and two wild card teams, if it could be done without the kind of alignment gimmicks that had the Atlanta Braves playing in the NL West.

As for scheduling, I'd like to see MLB move Opening Day up a few days. Spring training lasts too long as it is, and I really like the idea of having a Thurs/Friday start to the season instead of Sun/Monday. Also, it seems to me that the regular season really should be done by September 30.

Nov 04, 2010 09:10 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Christina Kahrl
BP staff
(11)

One way to go:

AL East: Baltimore, Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, New York, Tampa Bay, Toronto
AL West: L'Anaheim, Chicago, Minnesota, Kansas City, Oakland, Seattle, Texas

NL East: Atlanta, Cincinnati, Florida, Milwaukee, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington
NL West: Arizona, Chicago, Colorado, Houston, Los Angeles, St. Louis, San Diego, San Francisco

Then, to spiel this out all the way, you can expand to Portland and New Jersey, realign around the Goombas if you want to put them in the NL (perhaps the Brewers move back to their original league and division?) while putting Portland in the AL West.

Having said all that, I think it's time for me to get back to writing those "there are too many states, please eliminate three" letters.

Nov 04, 2010 09:47 AM
 
69wildcat

For starters you can combine the Dakotas into one state, why do we need two of them :-)

Seriously, the last thing baseball needs is more playoff teams; all that does is increase the possibility of more mediocre teams in the post-season. If I were commissioner I would eliminate the wildcard, right after I got rid of the designated hitter rule. Baseball doesn't need to be like the NFL or the NBA, with half of the damned league in the post-season "tournament". Given enough time we will end up with the World Series being played in January, with just a couple of weeks off before the teams report to spring training.

Nov 04, 2010 10:15 AM
rating: 1
 
baserip4

I'll agree to eliminate the DH if you agree to never force me to watch pitchers bat. Eight man lineups sound good to me.

Nov 06, 2010 09:45 AM
rating: -1
 
Impresario

Personally, I'd like to see the following:

-One of the NL teams moves to the AL (probably the Brewers, as I think they have the roster to take advantage of it) and we balance out the divisions finally with 5 teams in each one.
-Use the DH in both leagues. I hate watching the pitcher hit. As a Cardinals fan, I grimace a little bit whenever I have to see Adam Wainwright take a hard turn around the bases, knowing that a Chien-Ming Wang situation could be right around the corner.
-Instead of a set interleague period, spread them out over the course of the season, with one interleague series going at any given time. That would make up for the odd number of teams in each league.

I don't think expansion is really an option, since Portland has been pretty resistant to putting up public money for a stadium (good on them) and I don't think any other city big enough to support a team would be willing to front that much cash either, or at least not right now.

I think it can work with the number of teams we have now and without anyone moving, it'll just take some creativity from MLB, which they haven't shown all that much of in recent history.

Nov 04, 2010 11:14 AM
rating: 0
 
ObviouslyRob

I like this idea of spreading the interleague schedule across the season instead of just during July (I know, it leaks at the ends... ew).

If expansion were to happen it'd have to be two teams, but I think the time to have done that was before Oklahoma City got a NBA team. Oklahoma City and Las Vegas I think would have been the two best options.

Nov 04, 2010 11:18 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Christina Kahrl
BP staff
(11)

I really don't think Vegas is ever going to fly, assuming it isn't already a peaked boomtown downward-bound; casinos are all well and good, but that's really all the town had going for it, and that's taken an understandable hit.

A re-evaluation of Nate's old market-size articles would be worth doing, to see where the usual suspects--Portland, Sacramento, Vegas, Charlotte, Jersey, etc.--rate these days.

Nov 04, 2010 20:19 PM
 
Matt Kory

I would love to read the re-evaluation of the markets. That would be a great series of articles for the off season.

Nov 05, 2010 00:07 AM
rating: 3
 
beerchaser42

I'll echo the expansion analysis request. Speaking as a Raleigh native, I'd much rather see baseball here than Charlotte, but I realize that's probably a pipe dream. I'll take Charlotte though if that's the closest we can get.

Nov 05, 2010 11:56 AM
rating: 0
 
deep64blue

I like the two Leagues being different but if you're going to harmonise them then the abomination that is the DH has to go.

NL baseball is much better due to the extra tactical layer the pitcher batting brings to the game.

Nov 04, 2010 12:10 PM
rating: -1
 
BP staff member Christina Kahrl
BP staff
(11)

That's one position that doesn't work absolutely, especially in the absence of the more aggressive in-game managers on offense, and with Lou Piniella's retirement it's worthwhile to ask how many of those are left.

Nov 04, 2010 20:24 PM
 
baserip4

I don't understand how NL baseball is more tactical. "Oh, there's a runner on base with less than two outs. Pitcher bunts." That's not strategy.

Nov 06, 2010 09:49 AM
rating: 1
 
warclub

Selig needs to promote his sport of baseball, and not try to be football or basketball. The overreaction comes from no real race in the AL for the last two weeks. Usually, there's a race of some sort.

The problem with the AL is that really only two or three spots are up for grabs because of the Yankees and Red Sox.

Nov 04, 2010 09:30 AM
rating: 1
 
amazin_mess

Selig is simply far too old for the job. His arrogance keeps him on the post because he thinks baseball needs him. He needs to go away before he does any more harm.

Nov 06, 2010 19:25 PM
rating: 1
 
stewbies

Hopefully somebody from MLB reads these articles and comments....it's a shame how poorly baseball has done to market its product.

No more wildcards.

Go to 2 divisions in each league and get rid of the unbalanced schedule.

Limit interleague play to two three game series - one with most logical rival and the other with a different team each year. Creates two different/interesting weekends series but cuts down the current excessive interleague schedules.

Start post-season night games at 7pm est (with the occasional switch to 8pm if a west coast team is involved) so more people can watch the actual games! My 8 year old thanks you Bud for allowing him to watch about 1 inning live per game. And put games on during the afternoon on Sat and Sun. Baseball is going to be competing with football anyway, and football usually has its best games at night (ABC/ESPN Sat night and NBC Sunday night), so compete with the earlier games and give kids the opportunity to watch.

And have a Friday night game during the WS! Even on Thursday night baseball is competing with ESPN college football, so go with a Tues-Wed, Fri-Sun, Tues-Wed 7 game schedule.

Last tip - require relievers to face 2 batters upon entering game (unless inning ends before 2 batters can be faced). Cuts down on pitching changes and hopefully speeds up game a bit. This rule change should not lessen strategy aspects, and in fact might create more opportunity for second-guessing, always a good thing.

Nov 04, 2010 10:39 AM
rating: -2
 
SC

I was with you until that last bit. That's a major rule change, and while on occasion pitching changes can slow a game to glacial pace, it sorts itself as teams quickly run out of pitchers worth bringing in to face the Ryan Howards of the world.

I'd be curious, how many times did a pitcher face fewer than two batters this season. I'd bet less than once every two or three games.

Nov 04, 2010 10:53 AM
rating: 2
 
BP staff member Christina Kahrl
BP staff
(11)

On the last suggestion, I'd expect that to just contribute to a spike in intentional walks, or at the least a redistribution of who gets to issue them. Whenever I speculate about this sort of never-happen rule, I usually go with three batters, but it would be worth simulating that to see where it takes us, even if it's another zero-percent-likelihood move.

Nov 04, 2010 20:27 PM
 
Matt Kory

I agree it'll never happen, but the thing to do isn't a batter requirement for a pitcher, but have a non-injury mound visit limit per inning - say three or four - and after that, well that's it.

Nov 05, 2010 00:10 AM
rating: 0
 
Ric Size

I agree with all these points.

Nov 04, 2010 15:37 PM
rating: 0
 
amazin_mess

I totally agree about the start times. Baseball is so incredibly stupid on this issue. They are alienating the entire younger generation.

Thing is, King Bud will retire and still show up for work the next day. This guy won't stop until he's dead; he's that type of person with no life whatsoever outside his career.

Nov 07, 2010 13:51 PM
rating: 1
 
T. Kiefer

Selig et al. are all assuming that entertainment can be found only amongst the winners. I think there could be plenty of excitement to be found with the losers--along with getting people interested in AAA ball. How? Instead of another wild-card, I think he should introduce relegation, like they have in the English Premier League. Each year, the worst team (or worst two teams; in EPL it's the bottom three) in each league gets relegated to AAA, and the top two (or four) AAA get promoted to the Majors. That way we get to see e.g. the Royals, Orioles and Mariners battle to the death for remaining in the Majors, which would actually be pretty entertaining. On the flip-side, we'd get to see new teams like Durham or Memphis or Sacramento (or even Campeche or Mexico) make an appearance in The Show.
Relegation would also help get cheap-skate, revenue-sharing owners off their butts and start spending some real dough on real talent.

Nov 04, 2010 11:36 AM
rating: -3
 
BP staff member Christina Kahrl
BP staff
(11)

I know we're playing make-believe here, but relegation without also fully liberating the minors and non-40-man players doesn't even have an element of internally consistent realism going for it as pipe dreams go. That's without getting into the massive destabilization of television revenues that would result, especially in the affected local markets. On the list of "ain't ever going to happen" scenarios, I tend to put relegation up there with Jeebus chucking the Second Coming to play center field for the Yankees.

Nov 04, 2010 12:07 PM
 
deep64blue

The problem with 2 Divisions and 2 Wild Cards is the same as we have just now - there's no great difference between being the Wild Card and winning your Division.

There are two ways to sort this without reducing the number of play-off teams:-

1) Change the rules so Wild Card teams only get 1 home game in each round. The problem is that home advantage doesn't really seem to exist.

2) Add a second Wild Card and have either a 1 game or 3 game play-off, my preference is the latter the team with the most wins hosting all 3 games playing the first game on the Monday and then a double-header (if needed) on the Tuesday. The Wild Card winner then starts their post-season on the Wednesday. This ensures there is a real advantage to winning your Division.

Nov 04, 2010 12:07 PM
rating: 2
 
baserip4

"There's no great difference between being the Wild Card and winning your Division"

Why, exactly, is this a problem that needs fixing?

Nov 06, 2010 09:53 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Christina Kahrl
BP staff
(11)

A fair point. My thought is that if you expand the LDS round to seven (and whether or not you go from three divisions per league to two), maybe the token you offer the division winners is a 3-2-2 series split, with five home games. No, it's not quite that big a deal, as we know, but it's something.

Nov 06, 2010 11:18 AM
 
baserip4

I understand the sentiment, but since divisions are arbitrary divisions of talent, why does it matter? Should the Yankees have really been penalized to the benefit of the Twins this year? They (the Yankees) won more games in a more difficult division, so that deserves three straight road games to open the playoffs simply because their city happens to fall in the same time zone as Tampa? The point of the wild card (aside from more money) was to help ensure that the best teams from each league make the playoffs despite geography. Why do we want to reintroduce the possibility of a geographical bias?

Nov 07, 2010 08:45 AM
rating: 0
 
Morris Greenberg

If they do this, they need to add two teams to the AL. It would be ridiculous to have 6 out of 14 teams make it.

I think often, people complain about how one team that missed the playoffs deserved to make it. But, that's part of the excitement leading up to the playoffs, that a couple of teams are battling it out for less than that many slots. Getting rid of that would just make the end of the season less exciting, and decrease the level of play in postseason games. If Bud Selig wants that, then add 2 playoff teams in each league.

Nov 04, 2010 12:12 PM
rating: 2
 
fsgillispie

Preaching to the choir...

- Wild cards are evil. What was the point of the last six weeks of the AL season?
- Interleague play is OK, I guess, except that it results in unbalanced schedules within divisions. That's evil.

Given that nobody is getting contracted:
1) Add two teams
2) Four divisions in each league. Play your division 3x18, one other division 4x12, the other two 8x6, and one division from the other league (rotate or not, I don't care - as long as everybody in the same division plays the same teams) 4x3. 54+48+48+12 = 162 - Voila.
3) You have to win your division to advance. No freebie backdoor wild cards for the Yankees.

Get rid of the DH, while you're at it. No more than 11 pitchers on the roster until September 1. And allow two legal spitballers on each team.

Nov 04, 2010 12:17 PM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Christina Kahrl
BP staff
(11)

I'm OK with the two new teams conceptually (New Jersey and Portland, for the sake of argument), but no way could I see going with four divisions, that'd almost guarantee a '94 Rangers-like nightmare.

With 32 divided into two eight-team divisions in two leagues, though, you get into a happy schedule that gives you:

Division Rivals 14 games x 7 teams= 98 games
Interdivision League Foes 8 x 8 = 64 games
Boom, you're at 162 games

Or, if you're a die-hard who has to have interleague action:

Division Rivals 14 games x 7 teams = 98 games
Interdivision League Foes 6 x 8 = 48 games
Interleague (home and home, two opponents) 3 games x 4 series = 12 games
Interleague (home and home, one opponent) 2 games x 2 series) = 4 games

All simplistic, I admit, but those are just a couple of a lot of ways you could go.

Nov 04, 2010 20:37 PM
 
Jay Taylor

I think that they should get rid of divisions, the unbalenced schedule, and interleauge play. They take the top four teams from each league and have three rounds of playoffs. At least it would be more likely that way to have the best teams in the playoffs.

Nov 04, 2010 13:09 PM
rating: 2
 
R.A.Wagman

Yes. I advocate this whenever I can. What is the use of geographically confined divisions?
Geography (especially considering how teams travel) should not play any role in getting a team to the playoffs, or in keeping a team from the playoffs.
Two leagues. Four teams. If MLB were to expand by two, I could see good reason for a quickie play-in. Without divisions creating alot of suspect shenanigans, what's the harm?

Nov 04, 2010 17:16 PM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Christina Kahrl
BP staff
(11)

There is a practical logistical concern worth bringing up, in that if you favor an unbalanced schedule and go with geography as your ruling logic, you're potentially reducing the amount of travel and doing something nice for the people who have to do this for their day jobs.

Nov 04, 2010 20:41 PM
 
R.A.Wagman

They fly in private jets, do they not? Maybe this can be checked by creating a one-league faux-schedule and comparing the air mileage to what a random few teams flew last year?

Nov 05, 2010 04:10 AM
rating: 0
 
baserip4

It's really more of a time zone concern than a pure mileage one. Boston -> Miami (1500 miles, no time change) is much less disruptive than Seattle -> Kansas City (1200 miles, 2 hour time change in the summer).

Nov 06, 2010 10:02 AM
rating: 0
 
baserip4

Woops, that should be Phoenix -> Kansas City. Seattle, of course, is really far from everywhere.

Nov 07, 2010 08:45 AM
rating: 0
 
R.A.Wagman

Considering that all stadia are within the same four time zones (no more than 3 hours apart) and that most normal, healthy adults can handle a three hour shift in one day, maybe scheduling needs to be a little bit more complex, so that there is an automatic off-day between games more than 2 time zones apart.

Nov 07, 2010 12:10 PM
rating: 0
 
jlefty

I'm quite happy with the current system.

Maybe a fifth umpire in the review booth and a few less off days in the postseason?

Nov 04, 2010 13:13 PM
rating: 4
 
BP staff member Christina Kahrl
BP staff
(11)

Certainly beats adding a play-in, to my mind.

Nov 04, 2010 20:41 PM
 
dodgerdan

Great article. Bud "Light" Selig, car salesman extraordinaire, is a cretin. 'Nuff said.

Nov 04, 2010 15:10 PM
rating: 1
 
bossfan101

I remember Bill James proposing something like this at some point. Yes, constant visits to the mount slow the game down (I'm looking at you, Jorge), but several mid-inning pitching changes can add up to a half-hour to game time. I wouldn't agree with a rule that states the pitcher must face at least two batters...but maybe a rule that says he must finish the inning, unless he gives up a run? Some would complain that it would decrease strategy, but I'm not sure that's the case. It would just change it. Would it be worth it to bring in your lefty-killer with no outs, knowing he has to face two following righties? Or would it be better to save him for a later spot with two outs, but maybe a less dangerous hitter?

Nov 07, 2010 00:56 AM
rating: 0
 
bossfan101

Oops, was attempting to reply to the discussion regarding pitching changes...

Nov 07, 2010 00:58 AM
rating: 0
 
drawbb

Here we are, exactly where I predicted we would be when BeelzeBud first proferred his ridiculous wild card-driven scheme. Instead of listening to the dire warnings of we traditionalists that baseball was irreversably heading down a slippery slope that would lead to endless levels of playoff expansion, he simply couldn't resist the compulsion to play Pandora.

Now we've got Stark, Olney, and all the rest of the MSM sycophants completely on board with the steward's folly...ejaculating articles about "adding more meaning" to winning the division via the simultaneously contradictory position of adding more playoff teams.

I am as thoroughly convinced today as I was in 1993 that there is a special circle of hell reserved for every last one of them who had a hand in this inexorable crawl into mediocrity. The day when he finds his way there can't come soon enough.

Nov 08, 2010 06:54 AM
rating: 1
 
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