The one-game play-in…the worst idea since The Elvis Vegiform? You decide! I have…and I ain’t watching.
Why to hate baseball’s newly minted play-in game: Because you can be, as the Braves were over the course of six months, the demonstrably better team and still give a performance than fuses the three-error Brooks Conrad game of October 2010 and the Epic Collapse of September 2011. Because you can go home having sipped from the postseason cup for all of 189 minutes. Because you can put yourself in position to be rooked by those darn replacement umps.
Wait. These aren’t replacements? These are the real umpires? Is this a real sport?
Had Andrelton Simmons’ pop that dropped been allowed to stand, the Braves would have had the bases loaded and one out. When you’re trailing by three runs in the eighth inning, that’s rather different than having men on second and third with two out, which is what they wound up having. But not before the game was halted for 19 minutes as the field was cleared of the cups and bottles that had been flung, with somewhat greater accuracy than the Braves’ infielders displayed this night, by incensed patrons.
...We’re lucky that, as time does its work, we’ll have our memories of Chipper Jones to keep us warm. And maybe someday we can get past the strange doings on a lousy night in October 2012, when a good team played badly and got unlucky to boot, and thanks to this silly professional “system” it was eliminated. At least in the College World Series they play double elimination.