Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Thoughts and Ideas On The MLB Postseason

Ozzie Guillen and Jim Thome celebrate the White Sox 1-0 win over the Twins to lock up the American League Central Division title on Tuesday night. The MLB Playoffs start today with three games starting at 12 Noon PT/3:00 ET

By Allen Bacon
Editor, The Daily Bosco

Far be it from me to argue with genius. But I have to respectively disagree with Los Angeles Angel Manager Mike Scioscia's idea to tweak the Major League Baseball Playoff format a bit to make it harder for the Wild Card team to advance.

Under Scioscia's plan, which was discussed in Orange County Register's Randy Youngman's column this week, the Wild Card team would only get one home game in the divisional playoffs. The format involving the wild card team's game would be 2-1-2 with the wild card only getting one game at home on the third game. The current format for all playoff series in the first round is 2-2-1.

Scioscia would also like the teams to be seeded according to records with the Wild Card team playing the team with the best record in the first round. And he would allow teams that are in the same division to play each other in the first round which is not the case currently.

The reason why I disagree with the manager is that often times the Wild Card team is better than the two teams that win the division. I thought one of the reasons for the wild card was to not only create more interest and generate more money but to allow deserving teams that may have a better record than the other divisional winners a chance to play in the postseason.

For instance, this season, Milwaukee had a better record than the entire Western Division of the National League. They would have won the West going away. So they deserve to be there just has much as the Dodgers...if not more so.

I do agree with the Angel manager on the second point. The playoffs should be seeded, just like the NBA or NHL. Based on records...1 plays 4 and 2 plays 3. And teams in the same division should be able to play each other in the first round.

Some more baseball thoughts as we head to the postseason: I was thinking of all the compelling possible matchups for the World Series. Of course there is the possibility of Chicago vs. Chicago (The El train series) or LA vs. LA (the Freeway series). And we may finally get one for the ages: Chicago Cubs vs. Boston Red Sox. (two of the oldest teams in the two oldest ballparks). Then it could be Tampa Bay vs. the Dodgers. The youngest franchise against the oldest franchise. Or Tampa Bay vs. Chicago. One team has never been in the Fall Classic and the other team of course hasn't won or even been in one for a long, long time.

But my most obscure, and my favorite matchup: Chicago Cubs vs. Los Angeles Angels. Why? The old Los Angeles Angels in the Pacific Coast League were the farm team for the Chicago Cubs.

Every year at this time, I also start fantasizing about a tournament of champions between the winners of the major baseball leagues. A lot of them wrap up play about the same time. The MLB, Korean, and Japanese Leagues would all be ready to roll right into the series after their respective World Series were done at the end of October. I think it would be great for the game and you would see the best teams going head to head at their playoff best.

At any rate, it's my favorite time of's October, the leaves are turning (except here in Southern California where summer is still here apparently), football has started, hockey and basketball is around the corner and the MLB Playoffs start today. Yes, my friend, it's great to be alive. Make yourself a Pumpkin Latte and let the good times roll.

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