Taint is a funny word if you know what I mean
I confess that I want the Cardinals to lose every single game the franchise plays forever.
Win the Division
I understand your point and I don't think its without merit.
But I think its plain old silly to say "my team won 97 games and your team won 94 games so my team is clearly superior and your team has no business in the playoffs". How much luck went into that difference of 3 games?
I like competition. I like watching 2 teams in the playoffs going at each other tooth and nail. The games are played harder and with more intensity. It exposes teams' strengths and weaknesses. I would like teams that had the better record have a clear advantage in the playoffs, but I have no problem with a good second place team making it through.
I would have liked to have seen the Yankees of the 50's have to grind through the Indians or the White Sox in a short LCS series and see how many times they get to the WS. Seen the Koufax/Drysdale Dodgers against the Marichal Giants or the Gibson Cardinals. More better baseball.
This discussion just reeks of sour grapes. God knows I'm not a Cardinal lover. But I have to admire their playoff run this year (and last year) and I hardly think its "pure luck" they are winning.
I've seen and lived pennant races and I thought they were great. Don't ever say the name John Tsitouris to me. The meaningful baseball was played during the regular season. The last 2 weeks were often nail biters. But the game has changed and that meaningful baseball is played in the playoffs now. Each method has their merits. But I don't pine away for the old days. The baseball played on the field is better than its ever been. I like it.
Pay attention to the open sky
Excellent post, Roy, the game has changed. I do sometimes pine for those older simpler days, without TV and money ruling every decision. Change isn't always good, but it always happens, nothing ever stays the same, and reading your post reminds me to always keep that in mind.
And it is true that the players on the field are better than ever- bigger, faster, stronger. Maybe not quite fundamentally sound, but that varies from organization to organization.
I hope our Redlegs can take advantage of the newer format to win a couple of more World Championships in the next few years. They certainly have the core talent to compete every year. Nowadays, geting in is the first step and gives everyone a chance to move on. A team needs a couple of good hammers in the rotation, and good relief pitching to continue to move on. And a hot hitter or two. And some luck.
I think my problem is with the wild card setup the most. As I said earlier, something about it just doesn't feel right. As someone mentioned, teams really didn't fight that hard for the division, just kept fighting to get to the wild card, while the ones with the division locked up, sorta sat back.... maybe that losing the edge is what bothers me the most and why the WC teams always seem to have that edge, that hot streak.
I DO like the extra baseball, I do like the quality of baseball now. But there's something about the wild card that has always irked me.
I'd wouldn't mind going back to 2 divisions with divisional playoffs. (course I could never understand why St. Louis was in the Eastern division but Cincinnati and Atlanta was in the West??)
Maybe if baseball would implement a salary cap, that could do more good than a playoff change. And the Luxury tax doesn't count as a salary cap. really. Get some 'competitive balance' back in the game. Isn't that what Costas called it in his book...
Sure we may be having a bit of sour grapes, and the playoff losses always leave some sour grapes taste regardless of your team, but we wouldn't be fans if it didn't bother us a bit. I think what makes this year worse is the WC berth being fostered in by the 1 game playoff. I dearly hate those more than anything. 1999 anyone? If they want a second WC team it should be a play in series?? But the logistics of that would be maddening...
Oh and Roy had to look that name up, because I didn't really get started watching the Reds until '68...
In those things which we commit to practice we can master, and with mastery we have the freedom to use these skills whenever we desire, without this practice we are slaves to our inability.
I think a lot of us were OK with expanding the playoffs this year but we didn't really expect that extra WC team to win it all. If this new system means we're going to have some close to .500 teams winning the WS in the future then there will be a lot of complaining in MLB circles. I don't think that's what we had in mind
The way this thread reads, we should just eliminate playoffs in all sports. Let's just subjectively crown a champion at the end of the regular season. I am amazed by the harping on baseball playoffs, considering with the exception of college football, every sport at every level has playoffs.
Personally I like the playoffs mostly as-is, though I'd certainly make a few changes... i.e. fewer off-days and a 7-game series in the LDS instead of 5. That said, while I like interleague play, I would not be opposed to going to a 168-game schedule of playing 12 games round-robin within your league doing away with divisions, and then having a 9-game World Series among the two league champions.
Short of doing that, however, I don't think the problem is necessarily with having 5 teams from each league making the playoffs, but rather how the playoffs are set up to begin with. The whole season is a marathon and they've got the playoff schedules set up to be a sprint. The wildcard round adds an extra team but it also restores the importance of winning the division -- at least in theory. In practice, it would restore the importance by going to a 7-game LDS; cutting out the extraneous travel days during a series; and lastly, playing all the games in a series at home of the higher-seed.
Heck look at 1976....1st two in Philly? But the Phils did win 101 that year, so they were only one game better in regards to standings than the Reds....but clearly the Reds were better and it showed.
Reds get lucky not to see Reggie Jackson, but instead freaking Geno Tenace hits like Jackson AND the Reds blow a 9th inning lead beacuse Davey told Sparky he knew how to play Angel Mangual and the ball goes where Sparky wanted Davey to be at.
7th game..... and Rose is held up at 3rd on a ball Morgan thought he had a triple on and they cannot tie the game.