Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Playoff Structure

Interesting piece in the KC Star this morning. Here, Royals play by play man Denny Matthews discusses the current playoff system. He's against the wild card team.

“Seriously, what was the point of the 162-game, six-month season?” Matthews said by phone. “Here they are, in the same division, and for six months the Cardinals proved to everyone they were the better team. They won the division by how many games?”

“If I'm a Cardinals fan, I feel cheated,” Matthews said. “For six months, the Cardinals grinded out this huge division lead. What good did it do them?”

Good points. Baseball is the game of "the Long Season" (as George Will puts it), and that long season is perfectly adequate of determining who the best teams are. In this case, the Cardinals absolutely dominated their division during the long season, only to face the second place team in their division to reach the World Series.

Of course, purists have always complained about the wild card. Bud Selig is happy with it because it has added an additional level of drama the last few years. For two straight years, the wild card team has won the World Series, and this year it's possible that both teams in the World Series will be wild card teams. So, Matthews' question is valid - what good was it to dominate the 6 months of the season?

No comments: