Good for the Braves, bad for the game

The additional wild card will help the soon-to-be “small market” Braves in the increasingly competitive NL East. But it makes the regular season increasingly meaningless, with one-of-3 teams ultimately making the playoffs.

Heckuva job, Buddy!

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7 Comments on Good for the Braves, bad for the game

  1. charlesad // March 1, 2012 at 10:07 am //

    I don’t have a problem with this. It makes winning the division more important, which in a sense adds value to the regular season.

  2. Jack Straw // March 1, 2012 at 11:48 am //

    Added playoffs devalue the game in my opinion. A wild card race is no substitute for a real pennant race. As last year shows, winning your division is nearly meaningless, because you still have to win 2 more series to get to the World Series. The best teams no longer represent their leagues in the World Series. The NFL did not suffer when they added an extra round because it is a single game, not a series.

    Inter-league play and expanded playoffs have diluted the MLB brand. The World Series is just another series. Casual fans used to watch the World Series, but they increasingly have no interest.

  3. charlesad // March 1, 2012 at 12:07 pm //

    If MLB really wanted to increase the game’s popularity, they should cut 20 games from the regular season, and somehow keep 9-inning games to no more than two-and-a-half hours. I’m not for either of those ideas as hard and fast rules. But I think both would appeal to the casual fan. I believe one reason the NFL is so popular is that games rarely last more than 3 hours. A 4-hour American League, 12-10 slog is dreadful, I think.

    I am not in favor of continually expanding the playoffs. I would prefer there be no wild cards, but I understand the rationale for it. And now that there is one, I don’t really have a problem with giving the division winners a small edge over the WC winners.

  4. roadrunner // March 1, 2012 at 1:16 pm //

    I don’t think baseball translates well into a tournament sport, like basketball does. In baseball, even the best teams win only 60% of the time. That allows lesser teams to win a short series fairly regularly.

    162 games is a major investment of time and effort. It’s a schedule that allows the best teams to come to the top. It’s an odyssey. It should count for something.

    A tournament playoff system devalues the achievement of making it through on top. It removes much of the tragedy that makes that journey so compelling. The ’93 pennant race was so great because of that.

    But MLB makes more money out of a tournament, and in a world where everyone gets a gold star and no one wants earn what they want, it’s fitting, I guess.

  5. jgraham // March 1, 2012 at 2:41 pm //

    Have to agree with CD’s point above. I don’t think UCS (Used Car Salesman) does much right, but this does make winning the the division marginally more important in my mind.

    Side note – I think it’s silly to hang a banner for winning the wild card and hope the Braves don’t hang any WC banners for getting to the play-in game and losing it.

  6. charlesad // March 1, 2012 at 4:33 pm //

    Liberty could just hang up a banner with the number of dollars in extra revenue they got from the game.

  7. What have you got against the job creators, charlesad?

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