THE SHAM THAT IS THE NATIONAL LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
A while back I was speaking with Chris over the phone and we talked about the possibility of a team with a sub .500 record making the playoffs. He suggested it would never happen, I thought other wise. Well the San Diego Padres clinched the NL West last night with a solid 79-79 record. A .500 record with 4 games remaining in the season. Look for a .500 record or below, with the Padres resting players and lining up their pitching rotation. What a joke.
The Padres need to win 3 out of their last 4 games to assure themselves of finishing ahead of the '73 Mets as the division winner with the worst record. Coincidentally that '73 Mets team went on to the World Series losing to the Oakland A's.
Let's take a look at the records of tems in the NL...The Phillies, Nationals, Marlins, Mets, and possibly even the Brewers will start playing golf on Tuesday with a better record than the division winning Padres, who will likely be playing a best of 5 series against the Cards. What a sham. Great job Bud.
A player can be suspended for life for making a bet on a baseball game, even a game in which he has no part in. Certainly, before next season a player will also be suspended for up to 50 games for steroids. I think both punishments fit the crime, except for I would make steroids like gambling, if your busted once your gone for life. That's the best way to clean up the game. You get caught you are on the black list with Pete Rose. Plain and simple. Screw this 3 strikes and your out crapola, as far as I am concerned steroids affect the integrity of the game far more than gambling.
Why am I bringing this up, because in my opinion Bud Selig is as guilty as Pete Rose, Barroid Bonds, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro in ruining the integrity of the game. The game has no integrity anymore when a team can win their division and not even finish .500. It's a sham.
Who do we have to thank for this fiasco, Bud Selig and his division re-alignment. Watering down the divisions so much so that we have what we have now.
Personally I like the way they did it in the old days, two leagues and the team with the best record in the league represented his league in the World Series. I realize though that the owners like thier little cash raising playoffs, so divisional races are around. There has got to be a way of having honest penant races, playoffs, and a World Series without letting teams with a sub .500 record in. I also am not a big fan of the wild card, yeah it makes pennant races down the stretch, but what kind of pennant races. Races between sub par teams not even capable of winning their division, who cares.
Frankly I do not know what the solution is. I know what I would do if I was commisioner, but that way is not likely to get voted in. Personally I would just have 3 playoff teams, no wild card. With the team with the best record getting a bye in the first round while the other two played to see who will face off in the LCS. I think the bigger advantage should go to the team with the best record. As it is know the advantage goes to the team with the worse record as they have been playing meaningful games all along and are sharp. Also I would shift the first series to 7 games instead of 5. Watching the other two teams burn their pitching staffs while you sit and get healthy and your rotation all lined up would be a huge advantage. That way still does nothing to eliminate the sham playoff teams like the Padres though. I guess evening out the divisions would help as well. Why is their 6 teams in the NL Central with only 4 in the West? If their were 5 teams in each division it would decrease the likelihood of a team such as San Diego winning their division.
Anyway you look at it the playoffs this season in the NL is a sham because the 4 best teams in the NL are not playing.