Sunday, April 24, 2011

Saturday Night, er, Sunday Morning Special

It was a good day yesterday in west Georgia. Took the kid to an Easter egg hunt, then ran some errands before coming home to work a little on the house and yard. My neighbors will be coming over this afternoon for the Easter Lunch the missus will make. So, Happy Easter to you.

The powers that be in Major League Baseball are proposing shifting from a 8 team playoffs to 10 teams. Not that any of us will have a say in the matter, but I'm not totally opposed to adding one additional team from each league to earn a trip to the World Series. 10 spots in the playoffs will certainly add intrigue, but I'm curious as to how the new wild card round will be played out.

MLB started this season in March to prevent the World Series from possibly being played in November. An extended playoffs would seem to inevitably push the playoffs into the next-to-last month of the year, making for highly unpredictable weather for about 80% of the cities that are home to MLB teams. The weather would be generally nice enough here in the Atlanta area, but for Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis, Cleveland, New York, Boston, Baltimore, etc...not so much. So, what are the proposals?

1) A one game "winner-take-all" between the two teams that aren't the division winners. Looking at the 2010 AL final standings, the Yankees would take on the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium before travelling to Tampa Bay for the next round. In the NL, the Padres would travel to Atlanta.

2) Logistical issues complicate anything more than a single "play-in" game. If it was a 3 game series, the Padres would have to fly cross country 4 times in a 4 to 5 day span assuming the series went 3 games and they had to play the San Francisco Giants in the next round.

3) One idea that was proposed that I like (but it'll never fly) would be to have the "play-in" round played at host stadium of the next round. This takes away true home field advantage from the wild card teams and eliminates many of the logistical concerns.

It will be interesting to see how Bud Selig and crew determine what system to use. There were a lot of doubters when the wild card round was added in the 90s, but I was not one of them. The wild card has been very beneficial to the playoffs, heck, my Angels were a wild card team that unexpectedly beat the Yankees, Twins, and Giants on the way to the 2002 World Series.

Other thoughts:

The Red Sox are in the Angels' collective heads. Daisuke Matsuzaka one-hit the Halos over 8 innings, leading to a 5-0 Red Sox victory. Ervin Santana has been underwhelming thus far, a stark contrast to the way Jered Weaver and Dan Haren have been pitching. The goodwill from winning the previous series in Texas certainly has faded fast. Here's hoping they bounce back to take a game from Boston today.

Well, gotta mow before it gets too hot out.

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