Saturday, September 28, 2013

adios frankie, what Selig stole this weekend

Francisco De La Rosa was dealt to the whitesox. The story in that is the fact that a team would take him, not that the rays would send him away.

I know I am tough on Frankie, I never forgave him for taking a loss against Birmingham in which he was unable to hold a NINE RUN LEAD. In relief? He didnt even have to go the full game, he was brought in after the first four innings!

So, you can probly tell I am not upset about it. In fact, I hope the PaleHose send him to Double-A so we can get a chance to get a few of those runs back.

Bud Selig at MLB Headquarters
So I am looking at the standings, and along with the recent report that Selig will indeed quit being commissioner in january 2o15, it listed his many "accomplishments". I disagreed with them all, and noted that the quotes given were almost all by either employees or others who stood to gain from speaking good about him. There were no exceptions among the media, from what I could see, likely they fear reprisal from the car salesman if they speak out or even point out the negatives of his tenure.

Among the travesties rattled off, like a litany of atrocities, was the wild card. It got me to thinking, always a dangerous moment....

I wonder what would it be like without the wild card.

If there were no wild card and only two divisions, what would be different?

Atlanta would be in a dead heat tie with the Cardinals atop the NL East, 94 wins each, with the Pirates three games back with three to play. In the NL West the Dodgers would have a one game lead on Cincinnati.

In the American League the West division would belong to the A's as easily as they already have it. However the East would still be undecided, led by Boston, three games ahead of the Tigers going into the last series.

This weekends Pittsburgh Pirates vs Cinci Reds series would be HUGE. The Pirates would be three games behind the Braves, the west-division Reds would be one single game behind the Dodgers and very much in the heat of a real pennant race for the ages.

playoff bound, no matter what!
Instead, all those those teams have already locked up postseason play and are just playing out the string as they get their rotation in order for the playoffs, be it as one of three division leaders or one of two different wild-cards.

The Cubs could be spoilers against the rival Cardinals this weekend, instead of also playing out the string against a StLouis team that has already printed playoff tickets.
Dem Bums can take it easy this weekend

The Colorado Rockies face the Dodgers, the LA team would be fighting to keep their slim division lead in dramatic style.

Ditto for the Phillies-Braves matchup, the Phillies could have tried to push Atlanta into a tie with the Cardinals at the end of the year.

There might not be a clincher in the NL until the last day of the season, even a chance of a one game playoff between the Braves and Cardinals. Game 163 is one of the rarest and most defining games an organization can play in, the winner comes away as the best team in their division and advance to try to lay claim to a world championship.

How big would that Tigers final series be, facing a last place team they need to sweep if they have any hope of playing in the postseason. Instead the trip to Miami is the final road series to rest the Detroit regulars and test out Peralta returning from his Biogenesis suspension just in time to be added to the postseason roster.

Baltimore would still be hosting the Division leading RedSox this weekend, but an Oriole sweep along with a Tigers sweep would mean the RedSox would have to face the Tigers in game 163 as a one game playoff with the winner advancing to the postseason.

Instead of that, the games this weekend mean nothing. The games in this discussion are real, those are the matchups for the final weekend and if there were only two divisions we would all be singing the praises of the schedule maker for helping spark such amazing drama so late in the season.

Chief Wahoo wants in!
They are meaningless to both sides, the scene set for greatness has been dismantled and scripted under the guise of postseason wildcard playoffs. There will be no game 163 in either league, certainly not both leagues, this year. A majority of baseball fans surveyed say they like the wild-card system, but I think they have simply bought the processed drama-substitute instead of the real thing.

The only games of interest this weekend are the final wild card spot, either Cleveland or Texas.

Neither face bitter rivals or tough opponents, and the games are just a matter of figuring out who is the eighth best team in baseball. To me, that is just not as exciting as watching top teams fight to keep their postseason hopes alive.

edit - sept30 1am
So there will be a game 163, between the Rays and Rangers, to determine that 8th best team. It took a combination of teams backing their way into the playoffs, but somehow it still doesnt seem as cool as the potential that existed should there have been no Selig-designed wildcards.

No comments: