Sunday, December 5, 2010

Article says Bud Selig messing with the essence of baseball

I am almost willing to defend Bud Selig in his decision to expand the MLB playoffs to ten teams.  Two wildcard teams having to play a best of three series to meet a division winner does make winning a division title more urgent, if you are going to have a six division set up with wildcards.  However, Selig is quoting as saying the following:  the wild card worked out far better than I ever dreamed. If the wildcard was ultimately his responsibility, he deserves to have a special place in a baseball hell.  As the article, I have linked to, says, Selig is messing with the essence of baseball.  And the wildcard has ruined baseball.  The pennant races of '78 (Red Sox -- Yankees), '79 (The Expos that year),  and '80 (The Expos again) that really turned me onto baseball, and the Jays string of pennant race disappointments before ultimate triumph (the final years before the Wild Card) can no longer happen with the wildcard setup as good teams have playoff spots sown up instead of having to deal with possible heartbreak over an extended period of time.
I remember a while ago, saying that people who liked the wildcard in baseball couldn't be real baseball fans, and I got some heck for it.  Someone even sent me a statistical study that was beside the point (it was the equivalent of using statistics to prove poetry is not necessary).  And I stand by what I say, even if these people are season ticket holders.  Baseball to be really appreciated requires time and patience.  The attempts by Selig and his ilk to make Baseball like Football, Basketball, and Ice Hockey (Can the NHL do anything right?) are stupid and short-sighted.  Baseball will continue to fall in popularity because it can't be happy with its niche.  It would be like the Catholic Church trying to become Anglican or Protestant -- years of tradition ruined by trying to be in fashion.  Baseball should weather the storm, regain its virtue by abandoning the wild card, and wait for the next wave of popularity.  These things go in cycles.

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