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The W - Baseball - Al Leiter for Commissioner
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JayJayDean
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Since: 2.1.02
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.99
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=stark_jayson&id=1840668

But while that group examines the practicality and potential appeal of a dramatic change in the baseball postseason, players continue to discuss that idea among themselves. And it appears there is quite a bit of interest in a format which Leiter has actually presented to the 21st Century committee. It would go like this:

Six teams would make the playoffs in each league -- three division winners and three wild-card teams.

The two division winners with the best record in each league then would receive first-round byes.

The four remaining teams would be seeded by record, with the division winner playing the wild card with the worst record, and the 4 and 5 seeds facing each other.

The first round would be a best-of-three series, with all three games in the city of the clubs with the best record. No travel. No off days.

The two survivors would move on to the Division Series, which would expand to best-of-seven.

The League Championship Series and World Series wouldn't change.

Leiter's pitch for this idea is that baseball needs to reach out beyond those traditionalist fans "who think we should go back to the 1950s, with two leagues, no divisions and eight teams in each league." The fans baseball needs to lure into into the fold are the fans who are spending Saturday afternoons watching skateboarding."

"We have to move forward," he says. "We have to be progressive. We have to have inventive ideas."

So they want inventive? He'll give them inventive.

Why best-of-three in the first round, and no travel days? Because that would add one more one giant obstacle for playoff teams with the worst regular-season records to overcome to get to the World Series, Leiter says.

Under the current system, it isn't much harder for an 87-win wild card to reach the World Series than it is for a 108-win division champ. But Leiter believes that giving first-round byes to dominant teams and forcing marginal playoff teams to survive a three-game-in-three-days test, possibly with no home games, "would clearly put those teams at a disadvantage."



How Al Leiter's playoff system would have looked last year:

National League
(Seeds in parentheses)

(1) Braves and (2) Giants: first-round byes (Braves win No. 1 seed by one game)

(3) Cubs (NL division winner with worst record) vs. (6) Phillies, best-of-three, all games in Chicago

(4) Marlins (wild card with best record) vs. (5) Astros, best-of-three, all games in Florida

American League
(Seeds in parentheses)

(1) Yankees and (2) A's: first-round byes (Yankees win No. 1 seed by 5 games)

White Sox and Blue Jays (86 wins apiece) hold one-game playoff to decide final playoff spot

(2) Twins vs. (6) White Sox-Blue Jays winner, best-of-three, all games in Minnesota

(4) Red Sox (wild card with best record) vs. (5) Mariners, best-of-three, all games in Boston

NL wild-card race
x-Florida (91-71)
x-Houston (87-75)
x-Philadelphia (86-76)
St. Louis (85-77, 1 GB)
Los Angeles (85-77, 1 GB)
Arizona (84-78, 2 GB)
Montreal 83-79, 3 GB)

AL wild-card race
x-Boston (95-67)
x-Seattle (93-69)
y-Chicago (86-76)
y-Toronto (86-76)
Kansas City (83-79, 3 GB)

x-clinched wild-card berth
y-tied for final wild-card berth, requiring one-game playoff


This is such a good idea, it'll NEVER happen.



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Grimis
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Since: 11.7.02
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
Expanding the playoffs so we don't finish the World Series until November is not a "Progressive" idea; it's a stupid idea. Truth is that there is no money in expanding the division series to best of 7, much less adding more playoff games. And if Leiter's scenario did come to fruition, you'd wind up with four-wild card teams in the end.

I don't think that MLB will change the playoff system until they expand to 32 teams. Then, you might see four four-team divisions and no Wild-Card.



JayJayDean
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.99
The article does go on to say that they'd likely have to cut the season back 154 games if they added the extra teams and round to the playoffs. Also, that they PLAYERS want a best-of-7 Division Series because THEY feel it's MORE FAIR. (And it's three wild card teams, not four.)

I think this would be an appropriate way to separate what a 100-win team has to do to get to the Series vs. an 85-win team. I also think the plan is so well thought out and could be so easily executed that it could never happen as long as you have to use the words "Bud Selig" when talking about implementing it.

Surely it's a much better idea than "This time It Counts".



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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.42
It's really just the NFL playoffs applied to baseball. And the NFL playoffs are prety damn exciting. This is an awesome idea. Which, as you said, is the exact reason it won't happen.
Grimis
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Since: 11.7.02
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
Excdept that it is still a ridiculous idea. Can you imagine what's going to happen, with six playoff spots, when the Yankees start clinching playoff spots in late August? An expanded playoff ystem will seriously cut down on the importance of the last month of the season. The playoffs are exciting enough as it is without having the only pennant race in town coming down to two teams fighting for the sixth slot with 84 wins.



Gugs
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Since: 9.7.02
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.49
The only thing I don't like about it is the best-of-seven divisional series. Other than that, what everyone except Grimis said. This is a great idea, Selig will never implement it.



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Vote Kerry.
JayJayDean
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.99
    Originally posted by Grimis
    Excdept that it is still a ridiculous idea. Can you imagine what's going to happen, with six playoff spots, when the Yankees start clinching playoff spots in late August? An expanded playoff ystem will seriously cut down on the importance of the last month of the season. The playoffs are exciting enough as it is without having the only pennant race in town coming down to two teams fighting for the sixth slot with 84 wins.


That's what people said about the wild card, anyway. Look at the NL standings. Montreal finished TENTH in the league last year, yet they were only THREE games back of sixth.

Right now you'd have:

AL
1 - NYY 56-31
2 - TEX 49-37
3 - CHI 46-39
4 - BOS/OAK 48-39
5 - OAK/BOS
6 - ANA 48-40
7 - MIN 47-41 (1 GB)
8/9/10 - CLE/TB/DET 42-46 (6 GB)

With Texas and Minnesota and Texas, Oakland, and Anaheim so close you'd have five teams fighting for four spots, with a potential Tampa Bay (most likely of the 8-10 group) to jump in there. If the AL East is going to be a $200 million payroll, a $125 million payroll, and three MUCH lower payrolls, I'd say anything that could help create a Devil Rays-Yankees series is a good thing.

NL
1 - STL 55-33
2 - LA 49-38
3 - PHI/ATL 46-42
4 - SF 50-40
5 - CHI 48-40
6 - SD 47-41
7 - CIN 47-42 (.5 GB)
8 - ATL/PHI 46-42 (1 GB)
9 - NYM/FLA 45-43 (2 GB)
10 - FLA/NYM
11 - HOU 44-44 (3 GB)

That's SIX teams within THREE games of the last spot, plus a NL East tie that would currently lead to a one-game-"Winner's the three-seed/loser out" playoff, with the Mets and Marlins only one game back of them.

Plus, if the Yankees clinch home-field in August, so what? They rest their star players more and have a better chance (which they'll deserve) of getting to the Series over teams that were fighting it out to the last weekend.

I see NO bad side to this.



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Torchslasher
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Since: 17.1.02
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.75
"The first round would be a best-of-three series, with all three games in the city of the clubs with the best record. No travel. No off days."

This is my problem with this situation. You really want the teams that fought so hard to get to the playoffs to have to go on the road and not get any games at home? You realize how much that would suck for not only the teams, but for the fans in those cities, right? The chance to bring tons of people to Florida or San Diego would be lost on having 3 more sellouts in Boston, New York or LA.

I also have no use for best of three series. The best part of the playoffs is following teams that have to come from insurmountable odds. Now they just have to win two games to move on? No thanks.






(edited by Torchslasher on 16.7.04 1755)


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Since: 3.1.02
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.00
    Originally posted by Grimis
    Excdept that it is still a ridiculous idea. Can you imagine what's going to happen, with six playoff spots, when the Yankees start clinching playoff spots in late August? An expanded playoff ystem will seriously cut down on the importance of the last month of the season. The playoffs are exciting enough as it is without having the only pennant race in town coming down to two teams fighting for the sixth slot with 84 wins.


Well, for whatever it's worth, isn't that the baseball equivalent of a 9-7 record? That's normally in contention for a wild card in the NFL, right?
Downtown Bookie
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Since: 7.4.02
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.36
    Originally posted by Jay Jay Dean
    The article does go on to say that they'd likely have to cut the season back 154 games if they added the extra teams and round to the playoffs. Also, that the PLAYERS want a best-of-7 Division Series because THEY feel it's MORE FAIR.
Let me know how the PLAYERS feel when the PLAYERS discover that cutting the regular season back from 162 games to 154 games means that the PLAYERS will all be getting an approximate five percent annual salary cut. I could be wrong, but I'm willing to bet that more than a few of the PLAYERS (not to mention the PLAYERS' agents) won't find this such a great plan anymore.

Now, this is just my opinion, of course, but quite frankly I don't see the merit to this idea. In fact, the main reason I don't like it is for the same reason that many do. As The Bucs Fan said:
    Originally posted by The Bucs Fan
    It's really just the NFL playoffs applied to baseball. And the NFL playoffs are pretty damn exciting.
Yes, the NFL playoffs are exciting. But baseball is not football. What may work for one sport doesn't necessarily work for another. Two platoon may work fine in football, but I don't want to see a baseball game where each team has nine players for defense and another nine players for offense. Likewise, baseball's beauty is it's long regular season, a daily drama played out over six months that slowly builds into an Autumn crescendo. September's pennant races should be the last leg of the marathon to see which is the best team, not simply the end of a six month time trial to pick out a group of qualifiers for the main race. In baseball, the regular season is the main race, with the post season as the dessert. 1951. 1978. How often do you hear people talk about the World Series from those two years? And those are but two. True baseball fans could give you another twenty, at least. Yet none of these great pennant races exist if there had been a wild card. Oh, and for those wondering, no, a bunch of mediocre teams fighting for that "last spot" in the post season does not equal great champions going down to the wire to see who is the best.

Perhaps I'm just one of those traditionalist fans Al Leiter and company are hoping to reach out beyond. After all, I don't like inter-league play, I think the wild card is a joke, I thought the All-Star Game was better when it didn't "count", and I would love to see the Designated Hitter tossed onto history's scrap heap of really bad ideas. So perhaps baseball isn't interested in my opinion on this matter. But perhaps baseball should be, as the number of new curiosity seekers drawn to it by each successive gimmick don't seem to equal the number of traditional fans the sport has alienated. Or, should I say, "reached out beyond".




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TheBucsFan
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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.42
Of course, nobody talks about the regular season games from those two years either, Bookie. they talk about one postseason game.

Also, what makes you so sure players would see a pay cut? I doubt they would. Everybody didn't get raises in 1961 when the season extended to 162 games, as far as I know. Maybe I'm wrong. And owners would be pretty stupid to cut salaries over 8 games.

In the NFL, the regular season AND the playoffs are nonstop excitement and drama. It's exciting to see who gets into the playoffs, and who emerges as champions.
Quezzy
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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.31
    Originally posted by Grimis
    Except that it is still a ridiculous idea. Can you imagine what's going to happen, with six playoff spots, when the Yankees start clinching playoff spots in late August?


Which is why they point out in the article that the first two seeds get a bye and the team with the best record gets home field in the World Series. Even after the Yanks clinch a spot they still have to keep playing if they want a first round bye and home field advantage. It's just like in any other sport. Do football teams stop playing when they get to 10 wins? Do basketball teams stop playing when they get to 50 wins? No. So would they in baseball?

    Originally posted by Torchslasher
    You really want the teams that fought so hard to get to the playoffs to have to go on the road and not get any games at home? You realize how much that would suck for not only the teams, but for the fans in those cities, right?


Again it's all about desire. If you don't want to play a three game series at someone else's field then don't finish in 5th or 6th, finish in 1st - 4th. If you finish in 6th, and have to play the 3 seed at their stadium, then I don't see how you would have any right to complain, since they DID have the better season, and in fact the 3 seed would also be someone who won their division.

The way it is set up now IS unfair because the Braves and Marlins were treated like equals last year when they should not have becuase of the Braves season.


I like the idea of it all, but they need to ATLEAST change it so that the Wild Card plays the first place team in the first round regardless of if they are in the same division and of course they need to change home field advantage to the team with the best record.




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PalpatineW
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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.00
Selig covered this in his pre-ASG online chat. Wrap-up, with comments, can be found here.

Personally, I don't see much of a need to tinker with the playoff spots. Four teams of four divisions would eliminate the wild card, but so what? Most peoples' opposition to the WC seems to be that it permits less-deserving teams to go to the post-season. To that, I simply point to the AL Central, or other weak divisions. The changing nature of baseball teams more or less assures us that you'll never have true parity, in the sense that some teams, and whole divisions, will always be in a rebuilding mode, or be hit with bad luck, or what have you. Why is it better to send the 85-72 winner of a division to the post-season than the 93 win team that finishes second?

Complicating things further is the nature of the game and the playoffs themselves. Luck plays a large part. Also, the post-season is such a tiny sample when compared to the rest of the season. Sure, the Yankees cruised through the regular season last year, and played a remarkably even series with the Sox in the ALCS. But the Marlins more or less man-handled them. Which was the better team? Over 162 games, it was the hated Yankees. But over 6 games, it was the Marlins.

The point of all this is to say that there is no magic formula to determine a "worthy" team. I think the current system of the wild card, which allows for strong teams from stacked divisions to go on to the playoffs, does a good job of rewarding good teams that might otherwise have been shafted. If we're going to complain about "worse" wild card teams, then we might as well argue for exluding any number of weak division winners, too.

Edit: If you want a really fair system, why not eliminate divisional distinctions entirely? Lump all the teams into one big league, and have them face off according to their rank at the end of the season.

(edited by PalpatineW on 17.7.04 1616)


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Since: 18.5.02

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.18
I like it, but it'd be more fun in a fantasy world. I don't see it happening.



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Iago
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Since: 17.2.04
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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.73
    Originally posted by PalpatineW

    Personally, I don't see much of a need to tinker with the playoff spots. Four teams of four divisions would eliminate the wild card, but so what? Most peoples' opposition to the WC seems to be that it permits less-deserving teams to go to the post-season. To that, I simply point to the AL Central, or other weak divisions. The changing nature of baseball teams more or less assures us that you'll never have true parity, in the sense that some teams, and whole divisions, will always be in a rebuilding mode, or be hit with bad luck, or what have you. Why is it better to send the 85-72 winner of a division to the post-season than the 93 win team that finishes second?



And the last two champions have been Wildcards. It escapes whether the D-backs were. I am fairly certain they took their division. But that's just ammo against the argument that WCs aren't good teams.

Back to the main topic, I do like the idea that Leiter proposes, but I doubt it will be executed. This is baseball, it's a "Traditional" game. While there have been changes, there is a clear, and sometimes blinding, nostalgia for the old days. Still one can hope for changes that would be better, but I would think now is not the time to take a risk on broad changes, baseball is rebounding but give it more time.

(edited by Iago on 18.7.04 2315)



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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.50

    Back to the main topic, I do like the idea that Leiter proposes, but I doubt it will be executed. This is baseball, it's a "Traditional" game. While there have been changes, there is a clear, and sometimes blinding, nostalgia for the old days. Still one can hope for changes that would be better, but I would think now is not the time to take a risk on broad changes, baseball is rebounding but give it more time.


First things first the playoffs should be run like playoffs with the best team in the series getting the perks of home field advantage. This goes for the World Series as well. It doesn't make sense that a team a couple games over .500 can host a team with over a hundred wins in the WS just because a bunch of guys in the league won a game most of them were just trying to avoid injury in.

Traditionalism is a very fine line that baseball walks. On one hand it's great to have a game with such a rich history, but on the other it really might be time to catch up to the times. How much tradition is really left in a game where so many records have been shattered by players on designer drugs and who are bigger and stronger now than they were in their 'prime' years. Not only that the balls are wound tighter, the bats are harder and the parks are smaller. I'm sorry, but this really isn't the same game our father's grew up watching, hell it isn't the same game we grew up watching.

In the end traditionalism just seems to be a word that people throw out there to avoid change in a game that has already changed. Baseball has to do something to reach out to younger fans. I know that kids still like baseball, but MLB isn't going after the young like the NBA, NFL or even Nascar. All three go after kids like big tobacco, because in the end these are the people who buy most of the merchandise, trading cards, and who drag us to more games and we drop more money at these games than we would probably otherwise end up doing on our own.


So can baseball be made fair and become cool at the sametime? It's hard to say since we're talking about a bunch of guys who thought plastering a spider on the bases for the weekend would be a *fun* idea. Baseball needs a commissioner. Can you imagine the NFL or NBA being run by the owners? It would be a disast... well it would be as backwards as baseball.


(edited by Tony Stewart on 19.7.04 0631)
Grimis
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Since: 11.7.02
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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
    Originally posted by Tony Stewart
    First things first the playoffs should be run like playoffs with the best team in the series getting the perks of home field advantage. This goes for the World Series as well. It doesn't make sense that a team a couple games over .500 can host a team with over a hundred wins in the WS just because a bunch of guys in the league won a game most of them were just trying to avoid injury in.
I don't think anybody has a problem with awarding homefield advantage based on record. That's probably one of the few things Leiter gets right.

    Originally posted by Tony Stewart
    Traditionalism is a very fine line that baseball walks. On one hand it's great to have a game with such a rich history, but on the other it really might be time to catch up to the times. How much tradition is really left in a game where so many records have been shattered by players on designer drugs and who are bigger and stronger now than they were in their 'prime' years. Not only that the balls are wound tighter, the bats are harder and the parks are smaller. I'm sorry, but this really isn't the same game our father's grew up watching, hell it isn't the same game we grew up watching.
Mmmmkay. Before in 1919 Babe Ruth hit 29 homers to set a major league record. In 1920 he hit 54. The career home run record went from Roger Conner's 136 to Babe Ruth's 74. The ball was whiter(they used more new balls after the death of Ray Chapman in 1920) and they abolished the spitball. It wasn't "the same game" their fathers grew up with either. But nobody at the time suggested radically changing the playoff structure.
    Originally posted by Tony Stewart
    Baseball has to do something to reach out to younger fans. I know that kids still like baseball, but MLB isn't going after the young like the NBA, NFL or even Nascar. All three go after kids like big tobacco, because in the end these are the people who buy most of the merchandise, trading cards, and who drag us to more games and we drop more money at these games than we would probably otherwise end up doing on our own.
And what does that have to do with expanding the playoffs? Kids care about LeBron James even though he didn't sniff playoffs. The problem with the people who propose radical change in baseball is that they argue that baseball needs to "do something" without actually trying to figure out what baseball really needs. It becomes change for the sake of change in the eyes of many.

In the end, it is the same game it was eighty years ago. There are no rule changes every week or year, like NASCAR or the NFL. There have been no changes in scoring, like the NBA.

You sill throw the ball, you hit the ball, you catch the ball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains...

(edited by CRZ on 19.7.04 0509)


SC
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Since: 11.12.01
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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.22
Baseball is both fair AND cool and I like the playoffs the way they are now. They just changed the playoffs about a decade ago. There's no reason to water them down with mediocre teams like we would have had last season with Toronto/Chicago, the Phillies and the Astros.

The one wild-card team rule seems a little silly, maybe, until you compare it to Al Leiter's genius plan of the best two of three division winners getting freaking first-round byes.

It's not football, in football they play one game a week, so a bye means missing one game. And a best-of-three, all at the same park? Why bother?

Honestly I think the whole idea seems pretty stupid and something that someone like Al Leiter would think up because he's not someone who should make decisions like this. And with good reason.

Baseball may need to "do something", but changing the playoffs to make them cutting-edge and "new" isn't it. Interleague play once seemed like a good idea, too. Having playoffs that would inevitably just be worse, sillier and less exciting than the system we have now isn't what they need.



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JayJayDean
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Since: 2.1.02
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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.00
    Originally posted by ScottChrist
    Baseball is both fair AND cool and I like the playoffs the way they are now. They just changed the playoffs about a decade ago. There's no reason to water them down with mediocre teams like we would have had last season with Toronto/Chicago, the Phillies and the Astros.

    The one wild-card team rule seems a little silly, maybe, until you compare it to Al Leiter's genius plan of the best two of three division winners getting freaking first-round byes.


Yes, how horrible it would be if a team TEN GAMES OVER .500 were allowed in the playoffs. It's not like a .500 team would ever get in short of winning a REALLY bad division, and that team already gets in.

    Originally posted by ScottChrist
    It's not football, in football they play one game a week, so a bye means missing one game. And a best-of-three, all at the same park? Why bother?


The point was that now a Wild Card team now gets to line up its pitchers so team with a dominant #1 starter can throw three times in one series and if they implemented this plan they would have to use their staff up a bit (like the NFL teams who don't get the bye having to play) and they would be at more of a disadvantage in the Division Series. All three games are in one stadium so they can fit the games in over three days. If that's unfair, give the lower-seeded team last-ups in the middle game, so it's like they're at "home" for one game.

    Originally posted by ScottChrist
    Honestly I think the whole idea seems pretty stupid and something that someone like Al Leiter would think up because he's not someone who should make decisions like this. And with good reason.


Because BUD SELIG's decisions have been so wise and innovative?

    Originally posted by ScottChrist
    Baseball may need to "do something", but changing the playoffs to make them cutting-edge and "new" isn't it.


Who said anything about "cutting-edge" and "new"? Leiter's exact words were "progressive" and "inventive". This is a MUCH sounder idea than "this time it counts".

    Originally posted by ScottChrist
    Interleague play once seemed like a good idea, too.


I admit I wasn't really for it when it started, but interleague play hasn't ruined the very fabric of baseball or anything, and with a little tweaking it would be hardly noticed.

    Originally posted by ScottChrist
    Having playoffs that would inevitably just be worse, sillier and less exciting than the system we have now isn't what they need.


"Inevitably worse"? Really? The NBA playoffs just wrapped up with 16 teams from a 29-team league, and they were pretty damn exciting. I don't hear any hockey fans clamoring for the days of eight teams in the playoffs. The Marlins having to take two-of-three from Roy Oswalt and the Astros would've been "not exciting"? Roy Halladay or Esteban Loiaza pitching Game One against Minnesota would be, somehow, "sillier" than Game one of the ALDS?

I've YET to see anyone give a REAL reason why this would be bad for baseball, other than the same ol' arguments that were made (including by me, at the time) against the Wild Card. EVERY SINGLE ONE of those has been proven false, as the playoffs are STILL as exciting as ever, and the pennant races are BETTER with more teams going for the playoffs. It's the ONE good idea Bud Selig ever had, and this would just make it better.



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Since: 11.12.01
From: Valparaiso, IN

Since last post: 1236 days
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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.22
    Originally posted by JayJayDean
    Who said anything about "cutting-edge" and "new"? Leiter's exact words were "progressive" and "inventive".


Sounds a lot like "cutting-edge" and "new" to me.


    This is a MUCH sounder idea than "this time it counts".


Being better than an already stupid idea doesn't make this one good.


    "Inevitably worse"? Really? The NBA playoffs just wrapped up with 16 teams from a 29-team league, and they were pretty damn exciting.


I thought they took forever and sucked, and the Boston Celtics made the playoffs with a 36-46 record.


    I don't hear any hockey fans clamoring for the days of eight teams in the playoffs.


Well, I have. The hockey playoffs are bloated too.


    The Marlins having to take two-of-three from Roy Oswalt and the Astros would've been "not exciting"? Roy Halladay or Esteban Loiaza pitching Game One against Minnesota would be, somehow, "sillier" than Game one of the ALDS?


Right, because god knows finishing in third place out of five teams, which is what the Blue Jays did last year, certainly warrants postseason.


    I've YET to see anyone give a REAL reason why this would be bad for baseball, other than the same ol' arguments that were made (including by me, at the time) against the Wild Card.


The wild card worked. Don't push it by adding two more of them.


    EVERY SINGLE ONE of those has been proven false, as the playoffs are STILL as exciting as ever, and the pennant races are BETTER with more teams going for the playoffs. It's the ONE good idea Bud Selig ever had, and this would just make it better.


Yeah, I like the wild card. I like the playoffs how they are. Four teams per league is plenty. I just don't see the need to throw more teams into the postseason when the current situation is fine. The playoff structure is not in the top forty of baseball's problems. Why is this an issue?

I'm not saying I wouldn't watch it, but over the years, it's going to become LESS exciting when teams only have to be "pretty good" to contend for the playoffs. Why does baseball have to be like other sports?

What's so wrong with the way it is that this idea should even be discussed, really? Shouldn't they address more pressing matters? Like things that are actually WRONG?



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I like the deal. I thought McCarthy was good, but honestly having seen him pitch this year, I don't think he has a ceiling higher than #3 guy. Everything I've seen on Danks suggests his high end could be #1 level stuff.
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