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Baseball’s playoffs used to serve top-shelf quality.
Does anyone really take a team that's 4 out with 16 to play THAT seriously?
The sheer number of teams involved and the lack of head to heads that you note is a pretty big problem for them but I wouldn't dismiss them out of hand at this point.
The '73 Mets would say hi, but they were elbowed out of the way by the 2005 Padres.
If not for the strike that cnxd the 1994 season, the AL West winner could have had a shameful record of 75-87.
I didn't know much about Kevin Frandsen three months ago, in that I was never sure which one was him and which one was Todd Linden (or Dan Ortmeier), but he looks like a starting 3B for a contending team to me. Obviously the BAbip is through the roof right now, but he seems clearly better than Mike Fontenot. Where has this guy been for the last five years?
On the other hand, under last year's rules the Brewers, Phillies, Pirates, and even Cardinals would be starting lots of their minor league players from now until the end of the string. Instead, we'll continue to see regular turns from Halladay, Lee, Carpenter(!), Wainwright, Gallardo, and Hamels. So the new rule seems to have done what it was intended to do.
Washington 89-57 --
St. Louis 77-70 12.5
Milwaukee 74-72 15
Philadelphia 73-74 16.5
Cincinnati 88-59 --
Atlanta 84-63 4
San Francisco 83-63 4.5
Los Angeles 76-71 12
New York 83-63 --
Baltimore 82-64 1
Tampa Bay 78-68 5
Detroit 77-68 5.5
Milwaukee 74-72 9
Texas 87-59 --
Oakland 84-62 3
Los Angeles 80-67 7.5
Chicago 79-66 7.5
The second wild card is, at worst, the fifth best team in the league. Any really bad playoff teams will be division winnners. If that really bothers you, get rid of divisions altogether.
You're saying "fifth best" as if that's supposed to be impressive. But this isn't the fifth best team in D-1 basketball. It's the fifth best of fourteen/sixteen teams. That's not likely to be sub-.500, but it is pretty darn mediocre.
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