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Sunday, August 19, 2012

ESPN: Stark: Down The Stretch They Come

Could be some extra games to watch!

So here’s a scenario that’s far from out of the question: Say the Dodgers and Giants tie for first in the NL West—and also tie the Cardinals for the second wild-card spot. You could see a situation in which the Giants would finish the regular season Wednesday (Oct. 3) in Los Angeles, play an NL West tiebreaker game the next day in San Francisco, fly to St. Louis for a wild-card tiebreaker Friday, fly to Atlanta for the wild-card survivor game Saturday, then head back to San Francisco to start the division series on Sunday.

“Oh my god,” said an executive of one contender when we laid out that potential travel nightmare. “That’s crazy.”

The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 19, 2012 at 07:56 PM | 41 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: playoffs, wild card

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   1. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 20, 2012 at 01:20 AM (#4212287)
Wow, players forced to travel by luxury private jet 5 toes in 5 days? Is that even legal?
   2. SoSH U at work Posted: August 20, 2012 at 01:28 AM (#4212289)
“Oh my god,” said an executive of one contender when we laid out that potential travel nightmare. “That’s crazy.”


Shouldn't he have been aware of this already?

   3. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: August 20, 2012 at 03:18 AM (#4212301)
I'd love to see something like this happen just to see how Bud would step in and make it even more ridiculous.

Maybe he could instead send the Red Sox to play one of those games for the Giants at the completely neutral location of Miller Park.
   4. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: August 20, 2012 at 04:33 AM (#4212305)
You could see a situation in which the Giants would finish the regular season Wednesday (Oct. 3) in Los Angeles, play an NL West tiebreaker game the next day in San Francisco, fly to St. Louis for a wild-card tiebreaker Friday
Wait, how would they still be tied with the Cardinals after the NL West tiebreaker?
   5. Flynn Posted: August 20, 2012 at 04:43 AM (#4212307)
Wow, players forced to travel by luxury private jet 5 toes in 5 days? Is that even legal?


C'mon man. I know you've alluded to being an executive in some other threads, so you've probably got some frequent flyer miles. But flying sucks.

SF to LA is no big deal, but flying across time zones in consecutive days stinks.
   6. TomH Posted: August 20, 2012 at 07:39 AM (#4212317)
#4: them is the rules. MLB does not want a team tied for the division to also lose the WC by dropping the divisional tiebreaker.
   7. DKDC Posted: August 20, 2012 at 07:55 AM (#4212320)
Commercial air travel sucks. But a lot of what sucks goes away the way these guys fly:

1) no need to get to the airport early just in case security lines are long, and no rushing when you are running late. The plane leaves when you are ready.
2) fly out of municipal airports or empty charter terminals. Walk in, quick security check, get on the plane.
3) plenty of leg room, fully reclinable seats, and all the food and drinks you need.
4) just bring a small backpack, and the team will take care of the rest of your luggage. No fighting for overhead space or waiting around the airport for checked bags.

   8. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: August 20, 2012 at 08:01 AM (#4212325)
How could the Giants solve this problem? Hmmm, I don't know...maybe, win more games!

Seriously, if they win the division outright, none of this happens.

Feeling bad for a team that has to do all this travel because they tie for both the division and the wild card is a little bit like feeling bad for Lucy Arnez in "I Love Lucy" because she always has to get herself out of wacky, awkward situations. Want to get out of said situations? Don't get into them!
   9. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: August 20, 2012 at 08:19 AM (#4212333)
MLB does not want a team tied for the division to also lose the WC by dropping the divisional tiebreaker.
So it counts in the standings as a regular season game unless it's inconvenient for it to count in the standings as a regular season game. Got it.

(I think this method is probably fair, but it could/would lead to a situation in which two teams who aren't tied are playing a tiebreaker game. Which is crazy.)
   10. Lassus Posted: August 20, 2012 at 08:23 AM (#4212335)
(I think this method is probably fair, but it could/would lead to a situation in which two teams who aren't tied are playing a tiebreaker game. Which is crazy hilarious.)
   11. The District Attorney Posted: August 20, 2012 at 08:40 AM (#4212342)
Eventually, "Luxury Private Jet Five-Toes" got too soft to lead the Gambino crime family effectively.
   12. Lassus Posted: August 20, 2012 at 08:47 AM (#4212345)
Eventually, "Luxury Private Jet Five-Toes" got too soft to lead the Gambino crime family effectively.

I heard he lost the other five in a horrific seat-reclining incident.
   13. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 20, 2012 at 08:58 AM (#4212353)
So it counts in the standings as a regular season game unless it's inconvenient for it to count in the standings as a regular season game. Got it.


But would it count towards a batting title?
   14. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: August 20, 2012 at 09:02 AM (#4212356)
I heard he lost the other five in a horrific seat-reclining incident

Nice one, Lassus.
   15. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: August 20, 2012 at 09:03 AM (#4212357)
But would it count towards a batting title?


Ooh, good point. If the Giants have to play a 163rd game, does Melky get 4 hitless AB's added to his total instead of 1?
   16. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 20, 2012 at 09:32 AM (#4212379)
Ooh, good point. If the Giants have to play a 163rd game, does Melky get 4 hitless AB's added to his total instead of 1?


Well, he would only get 1 more, so 2 total. I think.
   17. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: August 20, 2012 at 09:58 AM (#4212390)
Well, he would only get 1 more, so 2 total. I think.


Why only 1? 3.1 X 163 = 505. He has 501.
   18. Hack Wilson Posted: August 20, 2012 at 10:05 AM (#4212397)
You think things could be bad this year? Wait until next year when Bud plans to increase the number of wild card teams to 4, and the year after when there will be 8 wild card teams. At present the idea of 16 wild card teams is on hold pending Selig's negotiations with leagues in Japan, Australia and Sierra Leone.
   19. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 20, 2012 at 10:33 AM (#4212428)

Why only 1? 3.1 X 163 = 505. He has 501.


Yeah, sorry, brain cramp.
   20. Red Menace Posted: August 20, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4212444)
Feeling bad for a team that has to do all this travel because they tie for both the division and the wild card is a little bit like feeling bad for Lucy Arnez in "I Love Lucy" because she always has to get herself out of wacky, awkward situations. Want to get out of said situations? Don't get into them!


It's not her fault Bill Holden sat in the booth next to her at the Brown Derby! Whaaaaaaa...!
   21. Karl from NY Posted: August 20, 2012 at 12:09 PM (#4212499)
Not to be a buzzkill, but this sort of thing is always "possible" but never happens. No team has ever had to play more than one level of tiebreaker. The necessary three-way tie for a playoff spot has never occurred. The "worst" scheduling snafu ever, the only time two games have been played after the normal ending date, was the 2008 AL Central where the White Sox had to make up a rainout vs DET and then play tiebreaker game 163 vs MIN.

Think about the math. Even if three teams go into the last day tied, there's only a 25% chance that they all get the same result in game 162 and remain tied. If they're not already tied (say STL 91 wins PIT 90 wins CIN 90 wins), the chance is only 12.5% that they all end up with 91. And the original scenario of three teams in the same league being within one win of each other going into the last day is already rare, maybe once per decade.
   22. SoSH U at work Posted: August 20, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4212512)
Not to be a buzzkill, but this sort of thing is always "possible" but never happens. No team has ever had to play more than one level of tiebreaker. The necessary three-way tie for a playoff spot has never occurred. The "worst" scheduling snafu ever, the only time two games have been played after the normal ending date, was the 2008 AL Central where the White Sox had to make up a rainout vs DET and then play tiebreaker game 163 vs MIN.


True, but as you keep a) increasing the number of races, and b) pushing the level of quality required for qualification toward average, the chances of these types of crazy-ass playoff scenarios go up considerably.
   23. Karl from NY Posted: August 20, 2012 at 12:51 PM (#4212542)
True, but "considerably" is debatable. The three-way tiebreaker scenario might go from under 3% (never happened in 36 league-seasons of wildcard play) to maybe something like 5%. Even if it's twice as likely, it's still a once per decade occurence, not anything that can be considered likely or expected and certainly not projected in mid-August.
   24. SoSH U at work Posted: August 20, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4212544)
Even if it's twice as likely, it's still a once per decade occurence, not anything that can be considered likely or expected and certainly not projected in mid-August.


Of course not, but a multi-team tiebreaker will come, as you say, probably about once a decade. Then again, it's the only thing about this stupid new double-wildcard system I'm looking forward to.
   25.     Hey Gurl Posted: August 20, 2012 at 01:14 PM (#4212572)
Ooh, good point. If the Giants have to play a 163rd game, does Melky get 4 hitless AB's added to his total instead of 1?


No.

The language used is "games scheduled for each club in the league."

So, even if the Giants play 164 games, doesn't change the fact that 162 games were scheduled for each club.

The individual batting, slugging or on-base percentage champion shall be the player with the highest batting average, slugging percentage or on-base percentage, as the case may be, provided the player is credited with as many or more total appearances at the plate in league championship games as the number of games scheduled for each club in his club?s league that season, multiplied by 3.1 in the case of a Major League player and by 2.7 in the case of a National Association player

   26. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: August 20, 2012 at 01:15 PM (#4212573)
I was really, really hoping for the 5 way tie in 2007. Let the five 89 win teams battle it out in thunderdome like fashion, while the 85 win Cubs sat back and enjoyed the show.
   27. Zeba Zeba Eata Posted: August 20, 2012 at 01:44 PM (#4212614)
I haven't looked too hard, but the scenario that I'm very interested to hear how it will work, but which I haven't seen an explanation of, is where 3 teams tie for both wildcards. How do they determine which two teams are in the wild card game? Some sort of tiebreaker system or some convoluted playoff? Or a combination of the two? I can't really think of a 'good' way for this to work.
   28. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: August 20, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4212628)
I haven't looked too hard, but the scenario that I'm very interested to hear how it will work, but which I haven't seen an explanation of, is where 3 teams tie for both wildcards. How do they determine which two teams are in the wild card game? Some sort of tiebreaker system or some convoluted playoff? Or a combination of the two? I can't really think of a 'good' way for this to work.


Maybe they would do it like they resolve other 3 way ties. Only this time, the winner goes to the LDS, since the WC game is a one and done anyway. Baseball will never have a tiebreaker to determine playoff slots (at least I hope not), and a convoluted playoff among three teams to determine which 2 will play each other again one more time seems pointless.
   29. McCoy Posted: August 20, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4212629)
The language used is "games scheduled for each club in the league."

Well, wouldn't a 163rd game be a scheduled game? How would it not be a scheduled game? Do they just randomly show up at some field in America and play a game on a whim or something?

If 163rd games count for seasonal stats I'm not sure why they wouldn't count for qualifiers as well.
   30. Zeba Zeba Eata Posted: August 20, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4212630)
Maybe they would do it like they resolve other 3 way ties. Only this time, the winner goes to the LDS, since the WC game is a one and done anyway.


Hmm, that would actually make sense. So I'll mark it down as highly unlikely.
   31.     Hey Gurl Posted: August 20, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4212635)
The trick is "for each club in his club's league." 162 games were scheduled for each club in the league; that an additional game was then scheduled for the Giants makes no matter.
   32. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: August 20, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4212639)
The language used is "games scheduled for each club in the league."

So, even if the Giants play 164 games, doesn't change the fact that 162 games were scheduled for each club.


In that case, no one qualified for a batting title in 1981.
   33. KJOK Posted: August 20, 2012 at 02:02 PM (#4212640)
The "worst" scheduling snafu ever, the only time two games have been played after the normal ending date, was the 2008 AL Central where the White Sox had to make up a rainout vs DET and then play tiebreaker game 163 vs MIN.


So, Stark actually missed this in his doomesday scenario - the Giants could have a rainout they need to make up on Thursday, October 4th.....
   34.     Hey Gurl Posted: August 20, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4212661)
In that case, no one qualified for a batting title in 1981.


I believe they made a specific exemption then.

A lot of people seem to believe that it's "per team game" and that if a team happens to only play 161 games, that therefore only 499 PA is needed for players on that team, but despite this being a commonly held truism, I don't read that from the rulebook... look at the specific wording used in the rule:

Rule 10.22(a) Comment: For example, if a Major League schedules 162 games for each club, 502 plate appearances qualify (162 times 3.1 equals 502) a player for a batting, slugging or on-base percentage championship.


"schedules...for each club." So I read that as meaning it doesn't matter how many games the player's specific club plays.

But I may be mistaken.
   35. SoSH U at work Posted: August 20, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4212684)
But I may be mistaken.


I don't think you are.

I found this at BBRef:


What are the minimum requirements to lead a Rate Stat?

This is a bit of a dicey proposition as the standards have changed quite a bit throughout time. Here are how I computed them for the website. Thanks to Bill Deane, Gerry Myerson and Total Baseball for clarifying some of these issues.

Batting Average, OBP, Slugging Percentage, OPS

From 1957 to the present, a player must have 3.1 plate appearances per team game. Note however, that from 1967 to the present a player could lead if they still led after the necessary number of hitless plate appearances were added to their at bat total.



Note that team games are the average or expected number of games played in the league that year. So this could mean 162 even if a team only played 160 due to rainouts.

Emphasis mine.


I'd assume this also means Melky wouldn't get an additional 3 hitless ABs if the Giants play in a 1-game playoff.

   36. Bob T Posted: August 20, 2012 at 06:20 PM (#4213101)
In 1981, MLB awarded the NL batting title to Bill Madlock, who had just 320 PAs. The Pirates played 102 games that year, so that was enough. But there was debate over what the true number of "scheduled" games were. Since the number varied between teams, it was whatever number the teams finished with.
The Expos played 108 games in 1981.
   37. God Posted: August 20, 2012 at 07:13 PM (#4213148)
Parsing the language in the rule book seems fruitless when it's obvious that MLB is going to interpret the rule in whatever way seems convenient to do at the time, regardless of the wording of the actual rule. This has been the standard M.O. throughout the Selig era. Written rules that are inconvenient (i.e. outfield fences must be X number of feet away from home plate; advertisements cannot be put on uniforms; etc) get discarded basically whenever Bud feels like it.
   38. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 21, 2012 at 08:14 AM (#4213478)
In 1981, MLB awarded the NL batting title to Bill Madlock, who had just 320 PAs. The Pirates played 102 games that year, so that was enough. But there was debate over what the true number of "scheduled" games were. Since the number varied between teams, it was whatever number the teams finished with.
The Expos played 108 games in 1981.


This was obviously an exceptional situation and an ad hoc decision. In normal circumstances, the rule seems very clear that it's scheduled games. If it was supposed to be games played, it would say games played.

On the flip side, if the Giants have to play four tiebreakers before they get to the play-in game, then Melky will be eligible for the LDS, right?
   39. Lassus Posted: August 21, 2012 at 08:21 AM (#4213481)
Parsing the language in the rule book seems fruitless when it's obvious that MLB is going to interpret the rule in whatever way seems convenient to do at the time, regardless of the wording of the actual rule. This has been the standard M.O. throughout the Selig era.

Hasn't this kind of been the case in every era?
   40. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: August 21, 2012 at 08:28 AM (#4213484)
On the flip side, if the Giants have to play four tiebreakers before they get to the play-in game, then Melky will be eligible for the LDS, right?


maybe not.
   41. McCoy Posted: August 21, 2012 at 08:38 AM (#4213489)
How is a 163rd game not a scheduled game? The rule doesn't say to only count games that were scheduled before the season started.

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