There are few things in life that I enjoy more than baseball. Any time I have the chance to catch more baseball, I'm normally all in. Spring Training games, college baseball, you name it, I'll watch it.
That said, I'm not too wild about the new Wild Card format.
Don't get me wrong, I have no issues with adding another team to each league's playoff format. I love the Wild Card and the divisional rounds of the playoffs. Still, I get the arguments by some baseball fans that the Wild Card winner does not get penalized enough for not winning their division. Instead the worst they get is a date with the top team in the league. And to make matters tighter, they get a best of five series to pull of an inevitable upset.
So in Bud Selig's infinite wisdom, which is the equivalent of a monkey learning to smoke, Major League Baseball thought it wise to add another team to the playoffs in each league. Again, no problem here. However, I'm not a huge fan of how it is being handled.
First off, the league has opted that the two Wild-Card teams will face each other in a one-game playoff, with the winner advancing to the divisional round. The question of course will be how MLB schedules the additional game, making sure that extra travel involved doesn't make it completely unfair to both teams involved in the game. Would it be fair for a team to play a game in Los Angeles one day and then jet across the country to New York the next night? I'm not sure that by rushing into this that the good old boys in the MLB office have truly thought this piece of the puzzle through.
Secondly, I have issue with the series being just a one-game format, as if they are choosing to force force an end-of-season tie-breaker. Why make it single elimination? THIS is the format that should be a best-of-five series. Then you could change the divisional round to a best-of-seven series like it should be. Why tease us with an expanded playoffs by adding just a single game. What satisfaction is there if the Cardinals and Giants have to sort it out in one game and the final score is 7-0?
No, this is just the Windows Vista of playoff plans; not quite a finished product.
- What is Roy Oswalt thinking? At 34-years-old, Oswalt is nowhere near the age where he should be considering himself a hired gun. I get the desire to play closer to his Mississippi home, but when the options to play in Texas or St. Louis washed out, he opted to take his mitt and wait for an injury or need to arise rather than play for someone else. I can understand wanting to be close to your family, but if it is that important, the decision should involve retirement, not proximity.
- Matt Kemp has been quoted on multiple occasions as saying his goal for 2012 is a 50/50 season. While I applaud Kemp's optimism, he plays in Los Angeles, where as a player that just signed a huge extension, he should be focused on helping them rebuild by talking up the team and not individual achievements.
- Hal Steinbrenner announced today that he wants to reduce the Yankee payroll below the threshold to $189 million over the next couple of seasons. What does that say for the state of the game versus the state of the economy? When the two biggest spending teams over the last decade are making noticeable strides to reduce expenses, then the rest of the league needs to take notice and see that growth can not be sustained while the rest of the economy is struggling.