This Bud’s For You: Selig’s At It Again
It looks like he’s at it again. According to Associated Press, Commissioner Bud Selig is seriously considering adding another round of playoffs to the post-season, possibly as soon as 2011. Can someone please stop this man????
Under his proposal there would be not one but two wildcards from each league. The teams with the 2 best records that did not win a division would face each other in either a best of three round or simply a ONE game playoff to decide the wild-card, although Selig is leaning towards the best of three format. The rest of the post-season format would then remain the same as it is now.
Opponents of the one game playoff feel that it’s not fair to have a team work so hard to get to the post-season and have it come down to one game.
Personally, I think this is the craziest idea from a commissioner who has many crazy ideas. Baseball is a game of tradition, of history and I am a traditionalist. Leave it alone.
In the NFL, 12 out of 32 teams make the playoffs (37%). In the NBA and NHL, 16 out of 30 teams (53%) make the playoffs. In Baseball, now it’s only 8 out of 30. That’s 26% and that is plenty. If Selig’s proposal is adopted, 1 out of every 3 teams would make the post-season. In the AL, this new format would mean 5 out of 14 teams would advance. Or to put it another way, the American League would play 162 games over 6 months for the sole purpose of eliminating 9 teams.
Unlike Football, Basketball and Hockey the Baseball season is 162 games. I think that is long enough to determine who should advance and who shouldn’t. A post-season berth should be earned, should be won and not handed out like candy.
Over the last several years, based on final standings, 88 wins would get you a 2nd wildcard. Since 81 wins is 500 should a team get a chance at a World Series by simply being slightly better then mediocre?
Although a move such as this would have to be approved by the players union, Michael Weiner, union head, says the players are open to discussing a longer post-season. On the flip-side, however, the season would remain 162 games and would not revert back to 154 as it was prior to 1961. Clubs would not be willing to lose TV revenue and ticket sales by shortening the season 8 games.
With worsening weather and another round it’s possible the World Series could be played at Thanksgiving! I can hear it now: I’ll have some more white meat, please pass the Cranberry Sauce and come on, that pitch was outside.
We all love baseball. We cant get enough of it. But does the season really need to be 9 months? Will pitchers and catchers be reporting 3 months after the final out of the World Series is made? And would FOX and/or TBS be willing to realign their TV schedule for even another week?
In all fairness to the commissioner, he has made some improvements during his tenure. April 15th is Jackie Robinson Day, expansion into Phoenix and Tampa Bay, the Expos were set free from Montreal and we now have a stricter steroid policy, albeit a bit too late.
But the negatives of Selig’s time have outweighed the positives. For a guy who cancelled the World Series, for a guy who sat back and did nothing for far too long while players doubled in size and records were not just broken but obliterated, for a guy who had an All Star Game end in a tie and who came out with the ludicrous idea that the winner of the All-Star game gets home field advantage for the World Series, this could be the craziest idea yet.
About the Author: Rob Silverman
It was 1973 when my dad introduced this 7 year old kid to Baseball and the Mets. It's been a love and passion that has lasted for 40 years, much longer than my first marriage. Since I was little, there've been 2 things I've always dreamed of: 1) Being a successful author and 2) playing right field for the Mets after Rusty Staub retired. Although 4 decades have passed and based on the current condition of the Mets, I have not given up on either dream
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