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Of the 11 National League teams to win 100 games in the wild-card era, not one took the World Series. But the Marlins, who have yet to finish first in their division, have done it twice.
It’s fun, but what does it all mean?
It is what it is.
The old six-team NHL had the best idea: crown a champion, and then hold the Stanley Cup playoff. But nobody remembers who won the league championships (or do they?); the whole focus was always on the Cup anyway as I remember.
Except, it sucks less than the alternatives. There are far too many team for single division leagues.
Except, it sucks less than the alternatives.
I am a game designer
Maybe MLB needs to take a page from the NHL and hand out something like that.
Oh, and Sam, sorry about the Braves. Maybe you can arrange for some sort of retroactive regular season trophies that would supplement the Braves' three actual championships.
The first wild card usually makes it more likely that a top team will win. In a league of 14 to 16 teams, the wild card is often going to be better than one of the division winners. The second wild card, of course, ruined that. You introduce a team that's not likely to be better than a division winner AND putting a tremendous penalty on one of the likely top teams. All this because, ostensibly, they want to put more emphasis on winning the division (yeah right).
The bottom line is that MLB really doesn't care much if the best team wins. They just want more playoff baseball and more pennant races to sell.
The point of the second wild card team was to hand a noticeable advantage to the division winners
If you want to to attract people to the games late in the season, you want to have as many games as possible be meaningful as possible. That of course conflicts with the Platonic ideal of the single best team being declared champion. Every postseason/playoff format is an attempt to reconcile those two contrasting goals.
I am a game designer and encounter exactly the same thing. I want the most skillful player to win, but if the game is designed to separate players over the course of the game, players that fall behind with no real hope of catching up will complain and not want to play. One game company said of one of my current designs explicitly that they want more catch-up mechanisms in the late game. On the other hand, if the outcome seems too random and does not reward good long-range planning, players will complain also. It's not easy to balance it.
No, it was to make money with the one game playoff.
I would cut the "standard" season back to 154 games. Then I'd make the 4 wildcard teams each play a 5 game series while the division winners get a week off as a reward, and an advantage, being able to set their rotations. Then the division series would go 7 games, as would the league championships, until the glory of the World Series would go over 9 full games in two weeks.
The addition of the 2nd WC was to keep more teams in the playoffs for longer, and in turn increase attendance in September (the extra playoff game revenue is a nice little cherry on top). Selig may pay lip service to 'making the playoffs fairer,' but he's more interested in the bottom line.
You can say it's not the same thing, but how is playing simulated games to keep your hitters sharp different then a real game? (####, import fans if you have too..play the Netherlands national team...) Or is the REAL issue getting your players to the ballpark on these days off to put in the work?
That is the purpose of the play in game.
I don't believe he had fairness in mind for one second when he came up with the two team WC idea.
I'm shocked that a Cards fan is adamantly defending the play-in game. Just *shocked.*
You keep saying this, but Selig is on the record as saying that it is designed to expand the universe of potential teams in the mix late in the season.
You really are an idiot.
But it's a far cry from "not enough advantage given to division winners". The point was to drive late season revenue from more clubs than under the previous system. Everything else was merely a corollary, and the central fact is it was a revenue driven decision, not a fairness one.
Neither conceding or arguing this point, "sucks less than the alternatives" is not a rebuttal of "it sucks."
Given that those three constraints aren't always satisfiable, the current system doesn't do a bad job. Bad teams seldom reach the playoffs, the champion always has to beat good teams, and the regular season usually comes down to the last week. A one game playoff is more random than you might prefer, but another way of looking at that is that it gives you an incentive to win the division.
Video or board?
When I was into college basketball, the Big East Tournament was always a big f*cking deal. Even way back then I realized that March Madness was a crapshoot ... on acid.
And you're a front running fan of a second rate team. We all have our foibles.
Seriously, get a tin foil hat.
They added the 5th wild card team because it was the best solution they could come up with to prevent teams from coasting into the playoffs.
And again opposing something because it creates revenue isn't a legitimate argument.
Ha. No, they did it to add revenue. Millions in gate receipts, many more millions in TV revenue.
The argument for the extra wild card game is that it creates more of an incentive for teams to win the division.
65% of the gate receipt of a one game playoff goes to the players. It's not that much money for the teams, and again, it's just one game. It is not all about the money, to think that, is conspiracy nutters.
It is not all about the money, to think that, is conspiracy nutters.
So, for owners, there is money to be made even if your club were to get swept in a given postseason series, but they reap even greater rewards if a series goes beyond the minimum, not just because of the extra games, but because the two teams get 100% of the gate after the Commissioner's Office takes their slice off the top.
Once you started allowing multiple divisions, wild cards, weaker teams were always going to get into the playoffs.
Video or board?
When your mediocre team squeaks by and wins a championship, it is an affront to God, motherhood and apple pie. When my mediocre team wins a title, however, it's proof they are scrappy and resilient and morally superior (as am I, of course).
I say again, the extra round is in there, by design and Bud's own words, to maintain late season interest for more clubs. It may well do what you claim as well, but that is not why it was added.
The Giants - NY, not SF - not only were a mere 9-7, they were outscored by their opponents in the regular season and won the Super Bowl anyway last year.
Actually it's complicated, and we haven't seen all its implications yet, have we?
I don't mean this to taunt Texas fans, but we saw this year that losing the West late really hurt Texas--put them in the play-in game, and they lost.
The Rangers' season would have turned out exactly the same under last year's playoff format. Exactly.
I'm sure Tony LaRussa's already thought of some way a team will someday be forced to throw a game to make the postseason :)
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