Tuesday, September 18, 2012


There is a lot of buzz about how almost half the teams in both leagues are still capable of getting into the playoffs. This is, of course, because of the 'extra' wild card. After the three division winners are determined, the next two teams with the best record, play one game to determine the last team in the playoffs.

So in effect, you end up with five teams with a chance to win the World Series. I can't really say they have a chance to be the "best team in baseball," because the team with the most wins seldom ends up winning, or even finishing second. I only went back 10 years because I do have some semblance of a life, and I found that the teams with the best record don't seem to fare well in this format.

In those 10 years, 20 teams participated in the World Series. Only six of those teams ended the season with the best record in their respective league, and only two of those six won the World Series. I don't understand this. You play 162 games, fight through losing streaks and injuries, win more games than any other team in your league, and you have only a 30% chance of playing for the championship. 

This wild card game has another rule that could affect the outcome. The manager sets his 25-man roster before the game, but can designate a different set of 25 players if he should win and continue in the playoffs. Under these rules, there is no reason for you to carry five starters, you can load up on position players and relievers. So a team that has five good starters and a mediocre bullpen has a handicap facing a team with a solid bullpen and a suspect starting rotation. Teams with a deep bench have an advantage over teams that rely on their starters.

So if you happen to be a fan of the Washington Nationals (best record in baseball), or the Texas Rangers (best record in the AL), enjoy the season, because your team might not even be playing in the series to determine the World Series participant. However, if your team is the Philadelphia Phillies with a record of 74-74, you could be rooting for the eventual World Series winner -- even though your team ISN'T Major League baseball's best.

Thank you, 'Bungling' Bud Selig.

If you have tickets to tonight's game with the Yanks and Toronto, bring your umbrella and a book, because you'll only be able to root for the grounds crew.

"Just wondering, can you have the best fantasy-football team on paper — or is that redundant?"  -- Dwight Perry
"After the Tampa Bay defender hit Eli Manning, it was reported that Giants coach Tom Coughlin had an unhappy expression. Which doesn't mean much since the last time Coughlin had a happy expression was when he got a skateboard for his ninth birthday."  -- Brad Dickson
"A streaker who disrupted a high school football game in Florida avoided security by climbing over a chain link fence. The bad news is police have found him. The good news is the school choir has a new soprano."  -- RJ Currie

" Bobby Valentine, on the Red Sox: "This is the weakest roster we've ever had in September in the history of baseball." Yeah, he's got his team's back - with a sharp knife in it."  -- Janice Hough
"Chicago Cubs president Theo Epstein said today that rebuilding the team "won't happen overnight" and that 2013 may also be tough. Undaunted, die-hard Cubs fans immediately put on t-shirts saying "Wait until the year after next year."  -- Janice Hough
" Line judge Shannon Eastin became the first woman game official in NFL history in Sunday's Rams-Lions game, and Steelers linebacker Larry Foote had no problem with that: "Women are more honest and fair than men, and they know how to catch a man cheating."  -- Larry Foote



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