A Fan of the Game

Sports Talk, Straight Talk

It’s Time MLB to Change Postseason

Every year I question why on earth the season has to be so long. There are obviously many reasons for it; some are understandable, others not so much. People enjoy baseball a lot and are willing to pay to go to every game.

Then you have the higher-ups who just want as much money as possible with television contracts and ticket revenues.

The logic of a 162-game season and just an eight-team postseason doesn’t make sense. In the other major sports, more teams have the opportunity.

The NFL allows 12 teams out of 32 into the playoffs; the NHL allows 16 teams out of 30; the NBA 16 out of 30.

Now obviously for baseball purists, having that many games and so few postseason participants is what makes the game special and unique. I can’t argue with that. It’s a great game.

But I can’t help but wonder how teams with 90+ wins don’t get in simply because there’s not enough room.

And what’s the incentive for bad teams to continue competing past July?

“Hey guys, it’s not looking good for us 82 games in. But it’s almost over—oh wait, we have 82 more games to play. Damn.”

I enjoy parity and while baseball has gotten better with parity, it could use a more consistent format to bring it more to fruition.

This may seem like a crazy idea, but rock ‘n’ roll seemed like the dumbest idea ever at one point too.

This also comes on the heels of talks of having an amoeba-like division system; smaller market teams have a chance to switch divisions because they can’t compete with teams like the Yankees who fork out money like it’s cheese samples.

I’m not sure about that idea, but a new postseason debate needs to be started.

So, submitted for your difficult-to-get approval, here are some options for a new format:

1. Shorten the season by about 30 games (a month) and add two teams from each league to the postseason. This would take on an NFL-type format with the top two teams receiving byes. That doesn’t sound like baseball, but it does give two extra teams a chance.

2. Shorten the season by 30 games and add four teams from each league. This is the NHL and NBA style of doing things. The early series would have to be five games to keep things short.

3. Shorten the season by 30 games and keep the existing four-team postseason, but allow the division series to be seven games. Hopefully, this way November games would disappear, if not be few and far between. It also allows for more intense division and wild card races, with the shorter season.

4. Shorten the season by 15 games and allow five or six teams from each league in the playoffs. Then, execute a round robin format and have each team play the others four-five times. It’s the most radical suggestion so far, but have to throw everything out there, right?

5. Keep it as is.

There’s probably some variations of those options you can do to make it unique to baseball. I’m guessing I’ll see 95% opposition to this, but go ahead and let me know what you think in the comments — if it should be changed, any options you like, options of your own.

Let’s get the debate going.

–Ray

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April 8, 2010 Posted by | Baseball | , , , | Leave a comment

Inside the Shark Cage, Vol. 70/71

Quite the . . . for the Sharks as they proved just how awful they can be with two losses in a row to the Anaheim Ducks, 4-2, and the Dallas Stars, 8-2. I use ellipses because words just can’t describe how angry, disappointed and furious I am with this team.

I should have seen this coming. The last time the team played well might have been in January, and it was going to come to a head sooner or later. Tonight against Dallas was the night. It was the Chicago debacle, part deux (November 25, Sharks lost 7-2 to the Hawks).

Apologies for not having a blog posted for the Anaheim game. Unfortunately, my ride back to college took place during the game, and upon seeing the result, I really didn’t feel like watching it. The highlights were more than enough to enlighten me on the sloppy play.

It figures as soon as I defend Evgeni Nabokov, he starts letting in goals a two-year-old can stop. That was both in Anaheim and Dallas. Thomas Greiss relieved him tonight and looked like a lost redneck in New York City.

Tonight’s performance against Dallas was repulsive, but I can’t help but think about praising the Almighty. We all know by now how stupid and stubborn the Sharks can be, and the only way they learn is the hard way. Winning after playing like crap gives them confidence. That’s great if it happens for a few games in a season. Not 10 games in a row.

Dan Boyle supposedly yelled at the team in some capacity after the Anaheim loss and echoed those statements in the media. Boyle said half the team showed up and that they were “coasting” to the finish line like last season. Yes. That would be correct Mr. Boyle. It might be time for a late-season captain change. Rob Blake’s even-keel attitude has worn thin on me faster than I anticipated. And his stupid penalties game after game are driving all Sharks fans insane.

Boyle isn’t playing perfect either. He’s turning it over a lot lately, but at least he knows the team plays like a pile of manure.

Honest question. Have you ever seen a worse team with this many points? Answer in the comment section, please.

Let’s get into some specifics of tonight’s game while you ponder that question. San Jose didn’t help itself taking a double minor penalty right off the bat. More penalties and Dallas eventually capitalized.

Kyrs Barch dropped the gloves the first of two times in the first period — this one against Ryane Clowe. I expected more out of Clowe. Wild punches were thrown, but I think Barch had the slight edge.

After another Dallas goal in the second to make it 2-0, Barch danced with Jay Leach. No clue what Leach was doing, nor do I think he knew what he was doing; Barch won that handily.

Of course, that fight sparked two more goals from the Stars and it was 4-0. Nabby was pulled and Greiss entered the game.

Some of the Sharks players show their signs to the opponent before heading to the locker room and starting their dance recital (From SJSHARKS.com)

Then we have an interesting development. Stephane Robidas slammed Clowe into the boards — payback for an earlier hit Clowe gave Robidas — and Robidas received a five minute major and game misconduct. What’s hilarious is the Dallas analyst said he thinks the injured player shouldn’t be allowed to return either if the culprit is ejected (Clowe did continue to play).

In what dimension does that make sense? So, Clowe should essentially be “ejected” for being boarded? There’s a new low in human thought. Congrats analyst — I’m not even going to bother looking up your name.

This is where I was looking for Brad Staubitz to do something. Jody Shelley is gone; you’re the enforcer Brad. Do something with your life. It’s seeming like you were a lot tougher with Shelley to hide behind. Safe to say Staubitz’s and the rest of the Shark’s family jewels have retreated back into their stomach or just dropped off all together.

Proving my point about learning the hard way and seeing one of their own get demolished in the boards, the Sharks scored the next two goals to bring the score to 4-2.

The flash of professional-hockey-level play came to an abrupt end when Dallas scored two shorthanded goals in a row. Ah yes, the parallels to the Chicago game continue (Chicago scored three shorthanded goals in a row in the 7-2 game).

Dallas continued the onslaught with two more goals, as the Sharks hung up their skates and put on leotards.

I’ve just about given up hope on this team again. Every year after playoff struggles, I’ve managed to keep the positive thoughts going — even last year when they struggled at the end of the regular season. This time it just seems worse because there is only one major injury (Marc-Edouard Vlasic, who is skating now). Last year the team was plagued with injuries.

I actually verbally lashed out at my computer screen when the sixth goal was scored. It’s just plain ridiculous.

This team needs to start a brawl. Every player should be required to fight someone. I’d love to see that.

All hail the San Jose Sharks:  Dumb, Dumber, Dumberer, Dumbererer, Dumberererer, etc.

Other Notes

Hit-O-Meter: SJ 26  DAL 29; Jamie McGinn led with four.

The “Minnows” next game is against Vancouver on Thursday — the front end of a back-to-back.

–Ray

March 17, 2010 Posted by | Hockey | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment