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The thing is -- for you, regular season records don't matter. Teams are "overdogs" or "underdogs" based on historical performance. Why bother having seeds then?
I would prefer 2-2-1. That way you can't just sweep in by means of home field, but you also can't be coming back home to your first "home field advantage" game as an elimination game. Sorry, but that is just turning the whole concept of advantage on its head.
No. It is an advantage to be at home with your ace on the mound. Most teams have a higher winning percentage in that situation. What this article is saying is that this doesn't matter much in the long run of the series in terms of results (although we have a very small sample size for 2-3 series), but in practical terms it means that the "advantaged" team, if playing against a "disadvantaged" team that plays much better at home than on the road, is no longer "advantaged" by this format -- it basically says "home field advantage only matters in the out games, and if we have a case that the team with the lower record has a bigger home advantage by record, then we don't care, because you should overcome it". It's like affirmative action for home field, and it's stupid.
I agree with him that the wildcard is terrible for the sport -- it is better for marketing, dollars and the financial situation of MLB. The sport was better when the 162 games were less of a mere prelude. Not in the sense that the sport has never had playoffs. But rather in the sense that the current format very much trivializes winning over 162 games.
I agree with you that this is water under the bridge, and won't change, and isn't a reason to be annoyed about certain results, but it's still an integrity decreaser for the sport overall, in terms of a sport that has a 162 game season.
You're basically conflating "new" or "not recently won" with "underdog". Not the same thing. Teams with better records have bested other teams over the season, and are not underdogs. They may be new (relatively in some cases and absolutely in others), but they are not underdogs if they are the top seed in their league.
You obviously have some very narrow and specific rooting parameters.
The decision not to force a PH for Motte is going to be second guessed to beat the band, I agree.
I somewhat agree on the format issue -- the wildcard play-in and the travel schedules for the ALDS have made an already watered-down playoff system (compared to what it was before the advent of the wildcard) even worse, and even more trivializing to the longest regular season in sports -- which really seems wrong in every way other than financial.
I do think, though, that teams like the Reds and Nationals weren't exactly underdogs, at least not seen in the perspective of the regular season. And the Os were certainly an underdog that was given life by this format. So I think that the format issue, while watering down the significance of the regular season (why bother winning more than in the mid-80s if you're in a weaker division and you believe you can turn it on in the playoffs and win anyway), also does give rise to more spots for underdogs. The Cardinals are hard to see as an underdog given how well they have performed in the post-season in the last ten years in particular, but certainly this year they weren't a favorite or an overdog to win -- they just weren't a new face.
The issue with Edwin Jackson is that he fairly often (not always, but often enough) does not come out of the box strong: http://www.fangraphs.com/statsp.aspx?playerid=1841&position=P&season=2012
He often tends to settle down after the first inning in particular and pitch relatively well thereafter. That really isn't a good recipe for someone pegged for a one-inning relief appearance on one day's rest.
I'm not for second-guessing, but I do think that the expectation of a scoreless inning from Jackson there may have been a bit overblown