Unrestricted View

"Lou is not talking about mechanics when he goes out to the mound,"
~Chicago Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Playoff Format

I'm sitting down to watch game 1 of the Braves/Astros series. I want to post this before the outcome of the series. And even before the outcome of game 1, so it doesn't look like an excuse if my Braves lose to the Astros. Although my Astro fan friends will conclude that is exactly what it is. In my opinion, the divisional series should be stretched into 7 games. A 5 game series leaves to much to luck or a single player. Anyone can win a 5 game, which I know makes for more excitment, but isn't the purpose of the playoffs to allow the best team to emerge amongst the other good teams?

A short series can be won with a single hot pitcher. The Astros were victims of this when Randy Johnson pitched brilliantly, only to fall to a more incredible Kevin Brown in 2 games of that series. The Astros have also been on the other side of tracks, benifiting from a ridiculous hot streak by Carlos Beltran in last year's NLDS against these very same Braves. In the former case, the Astros were the better team all year long, in the latter they were not. Unfortunately, in both cases the best team was eliminated due in large part to the unpredictability of the short series.

This has been a staple of MLB playoffs since the conception of the wild card. I don't have a problem with the wild card, in fact, I enjoy that playoff races often last until the last weekend of September. It is strange though that a team that can't even be the champion of a 5 or 6 team division, is somehow fit to be crowned champion of the entire league. How does this happen? Mostly, because like any sport, anything can happen in the playoffs. But these teams also benefit from the short series at the beggining and the fact that they cannot play a team within their own division in the first round. This often means that the wild card, who presumably sneaked into the playoffs, enjoys the benefit of playing the 2nd best team rather the leagues best.

If these two changes were made, I think wild card teams would be far less likely to reach the World Series.

Digg it   ♦del.icio.us   ♦Technorati   ♦StumbleUpon   ♦Google   ♦Yahoo   ♦reddit


Post a Comment

<< Home

WWW A Cub Fan Rants Unrestricted View