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View Full Version : Joe Posnanski on why the Wild Card round stinks



Cedric
10-15-2010, 12:12 PM
The only thing I know is that Joe is my hero.

http://joeposnanski.si.com/2010/10/13/the-baseball-playoffs/?eref=sihp

Col_ IN Reds fan
10-15-2010, 12:24 PM
I disagree but changes need to be made . The playoffs have no flow. When the final playoff game ends in a certain round then the next round should begin in 2 days. As the weather turns colder the Phillies have been waiting since Sunday. the Weds-Fri-Sun series was stupid. There never should be a scheduled off day when teams remain in the same town for the next game.

The Operator
10-15-2010, 12:27 PM
There are way too many teams IMO to ever return to a format where the best team from each league automatically makes the World Series. I think it would zap fan interest, especialy in smaller markets.

I do agree about the flow of the playoffs sucking though. Bud complains about baseball running too late into the year, but isn't he the one who has the final say over these ridiculous schedules?

westofyou
10-15-2010, 12:29 PM
I love the regular season, adore it, treasure it... playoffs seem like a a bad concert most of the time.

Chip R
10-15-2010, 12:32 PM
I love the regular season, adore it, treasure it... playoffs seem like a a bad concert most of the time.


That's why I feel more wild cards - while perhaps improving competitive balance - cheapen the regular season. Especially since Home Field advantage doesn't mean very much in MLB as opposed to the NBA.

Roy Tucker
10-15-2010, 12:50 PM
I love the regular season, adore it, treasure it... playoffs seem like a a bad concert most of the time.

Exactly.

I love a pennant race. I love the everyday aspect of it. I love it that it is so final. I love that it's like a death march for the teams in it. The desperation "win or go home" brings true meaning. Guys play their guts out.

It is a true test of who is the best *team*, slots 1 through 25 of the roster, slots 1 through 5 of the starters, your bullpen, and your bench and minor league depth.

Playoff baseball has become who has the best and most #1 starters.

RANDY IN INDY
10-15-2010, 01:27 PM
I love the regular season, adore it, treasure it... playoffs seem like a a bad concert most of the time.

:beerme:

dsmith421
10-15-2010, 01:45 PM
I love a pennant race. I love the everyday aspect of it. I love it that it is so final. I love that it's like a death march for the teams in it. The desperation "win or go home" brings true meaning. Guys play their guts out.

It is a true test of who is the best *team*, slots 1 through 25 of the roster, slots 1 through 5 of the starters, your bullpen, and your bench and minor league depth.

Playoff baseball has become who has the best and most #1 starters.

Man, I couldn't agree more.

My ideal circumstance would be for the season to be shorted to 158 games and end on Tuesday afternoon. Call it "Closing Day". Then the divisional series starts up Friday with all four series playing. Best-of-seven, seven straight days. One day off and then the LC series start, best of seven, seven straight days. World Series starts on a Sunday and ends on a Saturday.

Make it more like the regular season -- with the added bonus that you can earn additional rest by taking care of business quickly.

Cedric
10-15-2010, 01:48 PM
Man, I couldn't agree more.

My ideal circumstance would be for the season to be shorted to 158 games and end on Tuesday afternoon. Call it "Closing Day". Then the divisional series starts up Friday with all four series playing. Best-of-seven, seven straight days. One day off and then the LC series start, best of seven, seven straight days. World Series starts on a Sunday and ends on a Saturday.

Make it more like the regular season -- with the added bonus that you can earn additional rest by taking care of business quickly.

Agree with most everything. I would put the league back into two divisions and have the playoffs go just like pre 1995.

bucksfan2
10-15-2010, 01:54 PM
Man, I couldn't agree more.

My ideal circumstance would be for the season to be shorted to 158 games and end on Tuesday afternoon. Call it "Closing Day". Then the divisional series starts up Friday with all four series playing. Best-of-seven, seven straight days. One day off and then the LC series start, best of seven, seven straight days. World Series starts on a Sunday and ends on a Saturday.

Make it more like the regular season -- with the added bonus that you can earn additional rest by taking care of business quickly.


The Reds Phillies series was a disaster. An off day in between every single start did nothing to help the flow of the series and set it up better for the team who has the best TOR starter. Although you could make the argument that Philly has the best top to bottom rotation left in the playoffs.

There was an interesting article in the LA Times saying leave the weekend alone and I couldn't agree with it more. Don't go up against College Football and the NFL. Your casual sports fan is going to watch football over baseball, especially right around now when both seasons are heating up. I guess I would go start a season on Monday, play Monday through Friday, off day Friday and then a game on Sun. Take advantage of the NFL's stupid TV policy of only showing one 4 game and start the MLB game at 5-6.

I couldn't agree more in that you want the playoffs to mimic the regular season. The 5 man rotations came around because of a basic need, the pitches couldn't pitch consistently on short rest. I agree that the the entire roster should come into play in a playoff series. Maybe the only day is given for an travel day. If you are worried about off days then stagger the starts of the playoffs. Start one on Wed and one on Thurs and then have them play with an off day given between game 2 for travel.

Chip R
10-15-2010, 01:59 PM
Agree with most everything. I would put the league back into two divisions and have the playoffs go just like pre 1995.


I think the leagues are just too big for that.

Reds Fanatic
10-15-2010, 02:09 PM
I don't have a problem with the current setup of how many teams are in the playoffs. I don't really see a need to add more teams. The more you add the less the regular season means.

The one thing I would change is the scheduling. Like mentioned above the Reds Phillies series having the extra day of that no other series had should not happen. The last few years for TV they have had one series with an extra day off so they can start with 3 games a day for the first few days. What that leads to is for that one series the teams get through the series with 3 starters where in the other series most times the teams will use a 4th starter. It makes no sense to setup an advantage for a few teams in the schedule that the other teams don't get.

REDREAD
10-15-2010, 02:09 PM
Agree with most everything. I would put the league back into two divisions and have the playoffs go just like pre 1995.

The problem you have with that is that more teams are shut out of even having hope to make the playoffs. If we were still in two divisions, the Reds don't make the playoffs this year.

The Wild Card was one of the few good ideas Bud had. It gave smaller markets a chance. It also gives me a chance to see someone other than the Yankees from the AL in the world series every year.

KronoRed
10-15-2010, 03:58 PM
Easy way to get rid of the wild card in the NL, four 4 team divisions.

As for the AL, it's irrelevant fake baseball anyway :D

UKFlounder
10-15-2010, 04:17 PM
Or eliminate the playoffs.

All teams.

1 League.

162 (165? 168? 170?) games.

Winner takes all.

How bad would that suck? :p:


Easy way to get rid of the wild card in the NL, four 4 team divisions.

As for the AL, it's irrelevant fake baseball anyway :D

westofyou
10-15-2010, 04:26 PM
I go 4 divisions of 7 (with 2 getting 8) and the top 4 teams battle it out in 7 game series.

The 2nd place teams all play in the NIT of baseball with 5 game series.

RFS62
10-15-2010, 10:09 PM
I love the regular season, adore it, treasure it... playoffs seem like a a bad concert most of the time.


Exactly.

I love a pennant race. I love the everyday aspect of it. I love it that it is so final. I love that it's like a death march for the teams in it. The desperation "win or go home" brings true meaning. Guys play their guts out.

It is a true test of who is the best *team*, slots 1 through 25 of the roster, slots 1 through 5 of the starters, your bullpen, and your bench and minor league depth.

Playoff baseball has become who has the best and most #1 starters.



Yep. My sentiments exactly

:beerme:

Dom Heffner
10-15-2010, 10:27 PM
Couldn't disagree more with the article. Just dropping the Rays in the series this year would have been stupid and bad for baseball.

I don't mind opening it up for more teams with the current wild card system, they just need to stop it with the off days. Seriously, it ruins it for me.

Johnny Footstool
10-15-2010, 11:10 PM
I'm with Dom.

I'm a huge Posnanski fan, but he's off base here:


Because playoffs, by their very nature, cut into the drama of pennant races. Nobody gave a damn who won the American League East this year since both teams were making the playoffs.

...and no one gave a damn about the AL West, either, because the Rangers ran away with it. (Well, and also because it's the AL West....)

Pennant races are only dramatic if there are two teams battling head-to-head, and they are only really dramatic for fans of those two teams. Fans of the game itself appreciate a good pennant race, but unless they have a dog in the fight, the passion is missing.

Also, for Joe to assert that baseball isn't a game that thrives on intensity is just plain dumb, especially considering how he pines for a "dramatic" pennant race.

But hey, you know what more than makes up for the alleged, prolonged "drama" of a pennant race? PLAYOFF GAMES.

mth123
10-16-2010, 05:41 AM
Exactly.

I love a pennant race. I love the everyday aspect of it. I love it that it is so final. I love that it's like a death march for the teams in it. The desperation "win or go home" brings true meaning. Guys play their guts out.

It is a true test of who is the best *team*, slots 1 through 25 of the roster, slots 1 through 5 of the starters, your bullpen, and your bench and minor league depth.

Playoff baseball has become who has the best and most #1 starters.

:thumbup:

Redhook
10-16-2010, 07:40 AM
Baseball playoffs are terrible. Almost unwatchable. Too many off days with 4-hour games that start way too late. This is a major reason why the NFL dominates MLB. Who wants to stay up to midnight to watch the end of a game? A 4-hour game no less.

Games should start no later than 7 PM, there shouldn't be off days in between games in the same city, and they must find a way to get the games closer to 3 hours long.

bucksfan2
10-16-2010, 09:17 AM
I don’t like them. I don’t need them. I don’t want them. If we lived in some sort of strange baseball dictatorship where I was the only person deciding baseball’s fate, I would get rid of the wild card, return baseball to a world with two divisions in each league, a championship series, then a World Series. I wouldn’t be opposed to getting rid of the playoffs altogether and just taking the best team from each league and going right to the World Series*.

This is the most telling thing in the whole article to me. Poz clearly lays out that the is a traditionalist and wants the game the way it was 20 or so years ago. I don't have an issue with that, I would just tell him to embrace the change. While purist may not like the wild card and interleague play, it has brought a lot of excitement back to baseball.

I also would challenge the notion that the better team doesn't win a large percentage of time. To be honest bad teams don't make the playoffs. So when you have a playoff series it is a crap shoot because both teams are good, and home field advantage is relegated to 1 game over the course of a 5 or 7 game series.

I agree with what Kyle said above. 1st pitch should be no later than 7pm. The only time a game should start after 7pm is if the game is played on the west coast. But to start the games as late as they do they lose viewship.

blumj
10-16-2010, 09:31 AM
I'm with Dom.

I'm a huge Posnanski fan, but he's off base here:



...and no one gave a damn about the AL West, either, because the Rangers ran away with it. (Well, and also because it's the AL West....)

Pennant races are only dramatic if there are two teams battling head-to-head, and they are only really dramatic for fans of those two teams. Fans of the game itself appreciate a good pennant race, but unless they have a dog in the fight, the passion is missing.

Also, for Joe to assert that baseball isn't a game that thrives on intensity is just plain dumb, especially considering how he pines for a "dramatic" pennant race.

But hey, you know what more than makes up for the alleged, prolonged "drama" of a pennant race? PLAYOFF GAMES.
Right, the problem is that other teams aren't providing enough competition sometimes, whether there are 2 playoff teams or 12, there are always going to be times when there's no race because X number of teams are that much better than the others.

M2
10-16-2010, 10:25 AM
I think the flaw in Posnanski's argument is that he's only beginning to realize that, regardless of the sport, playoffs are silly. They don't actually tell you who the best team is. Sometimes the best team actually wins, but often it's the hottest or luckiest team. And the only reason you know they're the best teams is because they played better than everyone else during the regular season.

We construct tortured rationales designed to convince ourselves that playoffs are a sensible way to determine a champion, but the truth is they're not and the only time a playoff ever sort-of served that function was before 1969 in baseball when the champions of two completely separate leagues with balanced schedules faced off in a series to crown the best baseball team on the planet. And, even then, it was more spectacle than on-field proof of which team was the greatest in all the land.

In fact, spectacle is exactly what playoffs are designed to be. You can love the regular season and still enjoy the spectacle that is the playoffs.

And, in terms of putting on a spectacle, I think a play-in game between two wild card teams (and, most likely, their ace pitchers) would be a neat addition.

Tony Cloninger
10-16-2010, 11:02 AM
Play more DH during the year. Expand rosters to 28 through April and then 26 from May through into Sept. Then with expanded rosters you an deal with DH.

You can schedule about 2 in each month. With the Reds deep staff it would actually benefit them. But main thing is that it ends the year before October begins.

The playoff days off are something that everyone blames the networks for. How are you going to help that?

IslandRed
10-16-2010, 11:23 AM
I think the flaw in Posnanski's argument is that he's only beginning to realize that, regardless of the sport, playoffs are silly. They don't actually tell you who the best team is. Sometimes the best team actually wins, but often it's the hottest or luckiest team.

Yep. And we as sports fans generally accept that the team that wins the Super Bowl or the NCAA Tournament etc. wasn't necessarily the best team, but they're the champion, and that's that. The flip side is something like the NBA playoffs -- the best team (or in the discussion for it) almost always wins, but it requires slogging through a mini-season's worth of games to get there.

Cedric
10-16-2010, 12:01 PM
This is the most telling thing in the whole article to me. Poz clearly lays out that the is a traditionalist and wants the game the way it was 20 or so years ago. I don't have an issue with that, I would just tell him to embrace the change. While purist may not like the wild card and interleague play, it has brought a lot of excitement back to baseball.

I also would challenge the notion that the better team doesn't win a large percentage of time. To be honest bad teams don't make the playoffs. So when you have a playoff series it is a crap shoot because both teams are good, and home field advantage is relegated to 1 game over the course of a 5 or 7 game series.

I agree with what Kyle said above. 1st pitch should be no later than 7pm. The only time a game should start after 7pm is if the game is played on the west coast. But to start the games as late as they do they lose viewship.

I suggest if the Yankees don't win the world series every year, than the best team doesn't win it every year.

Johnny Footstool
10-16-2010, 01:40 PM
It's good that the best team doesn't always win the playoffs. It's good that a scrappy underdog can knock off a better team. It's what we love about sports.

The Operator
10-16-2010, 03:03 PM
It's good that the best team doesn't always win the playoffs. It's good that a scrappy underdog can knock off a better team. It's what we love about sports.It is good, but at the same time it also allows Bud Selig to sit back and point to the occasional feel good underdog story and proclaim that nothing is wrong with the competitive balance in baseball. It's a double edged sword in that regard.

Redhook
10-16-2010, 06:04 PM
I'm currently really enjoying watching the Rangers beat the Yankees. And the best part, regardless of the outcome, is I'll get to see the end of the game. What a novelty! And, for an added bonus, I should be able to see the end of tonight's Lincecum vs. Halladay battle because they're starting it at a decent time. As you can tell, starting the games late is my biggest pet peeve. Today's schedule is good, a rarity for the MLB playoffs.

Another thing that stinks for many is the fact that most of the games are on TBS now. Many have cable now, but quite a few still don't. These games should be able to be seen by everyone.

The thing that MLB doesn't seem to get is how they're not connecting with future fans, aka children. For future growth of the game, kids need to enjoy playing it and watching it. Unfortunately, baseball seems to do everything in their power to turn children away from the game.

Raisor
10-16-2010, 06:23 PM
that is the playoffs.

And, in terms of putting on a spectacle, I think a play-in game between two wild card teams (and, most likely, their ace pitchers) would be a neat addition.

I think this would be great fun myself.

westofyou
10-16-2010, 06:38 PM
I'm currently really enjoying watching the Rangers beat the Yankees. And the best part, regardless of the outcome, is I'll get to see the end of the game. What a novelty! And, for an added bonus, I should be able to see the end of tonight's Lincecum vs. Halladay battle because they're starting it at a decent time. As you can tell, starting the games late is my biggest pet peeve. Today's schedule is good, a rarity for the MLB playoffs.

Another thing that stinks for many is the fact that most of the games are on TBS now. Many have cable now, but quite a few still don't. These games should be able to be seen by everyone.

The thing that MLB doesn't seem to get is how they're not connecting with future fans, aka children. For future growth of the game, kids need to enjoy playing it and watching it. Unfortunately, baseball seems to do everything in their power to turn children away from the game.

Glad you get to see the "end" of the game, but remember there our a crap load of people on the west coast that want to see the game too.

So when planning on the who gets to see what and when remember us.

Redhook
10-16-2010, 07:44 PM
Glad you get to see the "end" of the game, but remember there our a crap load of people on the west coast that want to see the game too.

So when planning on the who gets to see what and when remember us.

:laugh:

Watching the last few innings is a heck of a lot better than the first few. It's much better to live out West when it comes to watching the playoffs.

7:00 EST start ending around 10:30 EST is a pretty good time if you ask me. The games would end around 7:30 out west with the average worker (8-5) being able to watch the final 2 hours of the games, give or take a bit.

blumj
10-16-2010, 08:09 PM
Glad you get to see the "end" of the game, but remember there our a crap load of people on the west coast that want to see the game too.

So when planning on the who gets to see what and when remember us.
That's what the DVR is for, you west people can make it start later, us east people can't make it start earlier without time machines.

westofyou
10-16-2010, 09:20 PM
That's what the DVR is for, you west people can make it start later, us east people can't make it start earlier without time machines.

Hate DVR sports,

I'd like a 7 start EST, that means I can catch the end for sure and negotiate seeing the beginning. If the game is over at 11 EST that's gold for me. Gold for the rest of the eastern section.

Roy Tucker
10-17-2010, 04:58 AM
I like the idea of 2 wild card teams having to play a "play-in" game too. Right now, there isn't much a drawback to getting into the playoffs as a WC team. Doing a 1-game playin would provide much motiviation to *not* be a WC team.

You have to be a real baseball fan to figure out who is playing when and on what network. Its happened to me a couple times now where I'll be watching something else (like football) and they'll post a MLB playoff score and I'm like "whoops, huh? they were playing tonight???".

You have to make it easy for people. There doesn't seem to to be much of a rhyme or reason as to when games are on. Both time of day and day of the week. And what the heck channel too. Is it TNT? TBS? Fox? Bah, I'll watch college football, at least I can find that. :)

Tony Cloninger
10-17-2010, 06:30 AM
Why is it such a problem for Fox to change their schedules of their programs knowing full well they signed up for this? Same with TBS, who really has no schedule of original programming.

It's also not that hard to find out which station they are being played on. Just click on the Guide box on your remote and you can find out where it is on by following the programming schedule for either TBS or TNT.

bucksfan2
10-18-2010, 08:52 AM
Glad you get to see the "end" of the game, but remember there our a crap load of people on the west coast that want to see the game too.

So when planning on the who gets to see what and when remember us.

For some reason that 3 hour time difference is difficult. To me it is much more difficult to adapt to that 3 hour difference than it is 2 hour in say Colorado. You start a 3 hour game at 5 local time and it pushes the eastern end time to 11-1130. If you do it for mountain time its 10-1030 which to most is much easier to stomach.

I have always felt that you have to do the west coast some for of injustice because you have the vast majority of the US either on eastern or central time. Unless you have a west coast team in the playoffs then the start time has to benefit the home teams fans. It would make little sense to cater to the West Coast for the ALDS when you have the Yankees playing the Rangers. Start the games at 7 or even earlier for that matter. If there is a west coast team then the start times should start around 730-830.