Monday, November 01, 2010

The (Late) Fall Classic

First came the news that the third game of the Giants and Rangers World Series had the second lowest viewership of any World Series game. By the way, the worst watch series was the Tampa Bay Rays- Philadelphia Phillies series, probably more caused by inclement weather that forced the cancelation of a number of games and then a few games played very late at night.

Anyway, after that comes the news that the Commissioner of Baseball, Bud Selig is thinking of expanding the play-off format to include two more wild card teams. Think this through, today is November 1st, there is a baseball game scheduled for tonight. In theory the Series could be over, but if the Rangers win tonight, they will force a game six and then if they tie it up, that will mean a game 7. In other words, we have baseball into the first week of November. Let's consider if they decide to add a few more teams to the playoff mix. Right now it is the winners of the three divisions and one team, called the wild card. It works, you have four teams per league, two rounds of playoffs before the World Series. As much as I think baseball should be over in mid-October, that isn't going to happen. Now, let's visualize one more round, yeah they will probably start at a 'best of five', and that will last one or two years. Now that will mean having to add another round of play-offs- so in other words, the World Series will begin in November, ending, if we are lucky by the middle of the month.

Here's the plan:
What Major League Baseball is proposing is adding another wild card team to the mix from each league. The two wild card teams would then play each other in a best-of-three series that would determine who moves on. It sounds great in principle.

So you add one more team, and they will play for the privilege of being the wild card team that faces one of the divisional winners. The first word that comes to my mind is 'why'? The wild card does expand the interest in the game, I will grant you, but to add one more to each mix? That is expanding for the sake of expanding.

Also consider the weather, baseball in November works if the only teams that participate every year are: Tampa Bay, Florida (Miami- unless there's a hurricane), Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Dallas, Houston, maybe San Francisco, Oakland, and Arizona. That's it, the rest of the country is cold, dark and wet. Just stop and think of a World Series between Milwaukee and Minnesota. Yes, Milwaukee has a retractable roof, but Minnesota is open air. Now open air is the way baseball is to be played, provided that the month is April, May, June, July, August or September. Certainly not in November, the area averages 9.3 inches of snow in November. Plus, the Fox network wants to have all the games start at 8:20PM, so the game will only get darker, colder and probably wetter. While you may think I'm picking on Minnesota, the same holds true for any team in the Mid-West. Then can you imagine Denver?

I guess what I'm saying is this is a horrible idea. There is nothing to be gained by this. As well, what's to stop the league from continuing to expand the play-off format?

People don't mind the October Classic, but they want baseball to be wrapped up by October. No one wants the game to continue into November. Baseball is best when the sun is out, the weather is warm and you've got nothing else on the calendar but sitting back in the Bleachers.

The scary part of all this, he does think it's a good idea. Good for Selig, bad for baseball.

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