Wednesday, July 13, 2005

FROM THE RED STATES

Well the NL blows it again in the All Star Game. That makes 8 in a row for the AL. Are we really this much worse than the AL, I don't think so. Part of the problem was NL fans voting a joke of a starting lineup, which really screws everything up as far as picking the reseves. Some guys don't get picked who should, and some get picked who shouldn't, all because some guy who don't deserve it gets in there, ala Mike Piazza, Jim Edmonds, Carlos Beltran. Those 3 guys took the place of some one else more deserving and really threw things out of whack.

So once again the AL will recieve homefield advantage in the World Series. No matter which two teams play, no matter their records, no matter if they are a divisional winner or a wild card team. What a miserable joke. All for some game in mid July, with the likes of Mike Sweeney, some guy named Brian Fuentes, and Felipe Lopez. Who are these freaking guys, and further more why should something as important as homefield for the biggest event in baseball depend on them. What a joke. So if the Cardinals get in again this year, we will again have to start in the AL's park. My prayer though is atleast it would be against a team that atleast managed to be the best team in their own division over the course of 162 game season. Face it sports fan the wild card is a joke, homefield being settled by the ASG is a joke, and the MLB post season is fast becoming a joke.

My solution: Let's make it like the NBA and as long as you show up to all your games you get in the playoffs. Teams with sub .500 records make the playoffs. Let's expand the playoffs, and drag them out for two months as well. Let's play the World Series in late November early December. I know what started this whole wild card travesty, it was the 1993 Giants who won 102 games that season and yet didn't make the playoffs because they finished 1 game behind the Atlanta Braves, who won 103. That's when they crying started. "How can they not be in it, they won 102 games, waaaaahhhhh, waaaahhh, waaaaahhhhh." So now we have the wild card to award a second place, bunch of losers another shot at glory. Well I say the 93 Giants already had their second chance at glory, as well as their 3rd, their 4th, 5th, 6th,7th...all the way up to their 162nd chance. They had 162 chances to get it done. That seemingly meaningless game on a Tuesday night in May that they threw away, came back to hurt 'em. Or the game where they had a lead but there bullpen blew it. The fact is they lossed, and despite how many games they won, they didn't win enough. The same goes for every other second place team, they didn't get it done over the course of the season and should not be rewarded a second opportunity. If we award second place a chance, why not third place. I mean a team like the Cubs last year should have been given a chance to redeem themselves for a lackluster regular season. Well then why do we cut it off it 3rd place, why not 4th place as well. Why don't the Pirates or the Reds get that same chance. What about last place, why not them as well. Why don't we just have everybody make the playoffs, and everyone will get a second chance. Like I said drag the playoffs out for 2 months like the NBA.


For all those that say the wild card creates great pennant races down the stretch that otherwise would not be there, well it eliminates true life or death pennant races as well. Take the NL West race in 1993 between the Ginats and Braves. What a great race it was, especially knowing that the loser was going to feel some tremendous heart break knowing that they would be done, despite how many games they won. What a great race. The two best teams in the league battling over a 6 month season, down to the wire, a true life or death race. Today, it would be no race. Down the stretch both teams would be lining up their pitching rotations for the playoffs, not really caring who wins because they would have bigger fish to fry.

Take Bobby Thompson's HR to beat the Dodgers on the final day of the season in 1956,to quote from Bob Costas' book, Fair Ball: A Fans Case for Baseball, sums it all up, that great call of the "the Giants win the pennant, the Giants win the pennant, the Giants win the pennant", would now sound like this "the Giants win the pennant, the Giants win the pennant, the Giants win the pennant, the Dodgers win the wild card, the Dodgers win the wild card, the Dodgers win the wild card."

The wild card has done one thing, and one thing only, it has taken 100 years of baseball tradition and sacrificed it on the altar of greed and the almighty dollar. A game that was so pure has now been tainted. Purity was always one of the best things about baseball, the best team always won, it is not like that anymore. The best team does not always win, and it has been disgraced.