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Aliens Abduct Clayton Kershaw Newsbeat

Thursday, September 24, 2020

WaPo: If baseball keeps these grotesque expanded playoffs, it will have lost its soul

I suppose it’s a sin to submit one’s own piece to the site, but what’s done is done.

With the three gradual expansions of the playoffs over the past half century, postseason outcomes have become more unpredictable due to the unique nature of the game: Your most critical players (starting pitchers) are only available once in a short series, or may be off their game, or maybe the opposing team is using an elaborate series of buzzers and trash cans to steal their signs. In fact, if history is any guide, the Dodgers will probably lose the NL wild-card series when Clayton Kershaw is abducted by aliens during the seventh-inning stretch of Game 3, because it always happens the way you expect it to.

That’s why the regular season, the 162-game grind, has always been so important: It separates the truly great teams (and, in this wild-card era, the scrappy upstarts and comeback kids, like last year’s Nationals squad), from the mediocrities and pretenders. But not this year! This year, you can bumble your way into the postseason, with the same puncher’s chance as any other team, by playing ball either at or barely above the .500 waterline.

The 16-team format not only threatens to make the meaning of a championship meaningless given the randomness of small-series outcomes, it also destroys the entire rationale of the regular season, which is so long precisely because it was designed to create significant separation, over time, between the best of the league and the rest, ensuring that even the weakest teams that made it to October still had a record of genuine accomplishment.

Esoteric Posted: September 24, 2020 at 05:29 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: aliens abduct clayton kershaw, business, history



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