NEW YORK, NY – The regular season is finally over and Baseball’s second season starts today with the 1-game Wild Card playoffs. Yet while there was some real excitement down the stretch, there are still some glaring problems with the new system.
In the American League, it’s win or die for the Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers, who both played their way into the wild card places by falling off down the stretch. The O’s and Rangers finished the season with identical 93-89 records. Which means they would have played this game anyway under the old system with the single wild card. The winner of today’s game will take on the Yankees in the ALDS while the Tigers and resurgent Athletics duke it out.
My problem with the new system isn’t the addition of another team to the playoff mix. I like that aspect of the new format. There were a lot of teams still involved late in the season that wouldn’t have been under the old one-wild-card system. What I don’t like about the new system is the same thing I didn’t like about the old system. Its that where you play has as much to do with getting to the postseason as how well you play. And this is painfully evident this season.
The Tampa Bay Rays and The The Angels Angels of Anaheim, who won 90 and 89 games respectively are sitting at home now only because they play on the coasts. While the Tigers won 87 games and coasted into the postseason playing in the weaker middle of the country (in baseball at least).
Things aren’t much better in the NL where the Braves and Giants both won 94 games. The Giants are sitting pretty because they play on the left coast while the Braves have to fight for their lives today against the Cardinals who finished with the 12th best record in baseball. With apologies to Cam James, the Cards shoudn’t be in the postseason.
Its time to take geography out of the equation. Do away with divisions and let the best teams play in the postseason. Of course, that’s just my opinion. I could be wrong.
Another discussion recently that has got me Angry Ward angry is the Miguel Cabrera-Mike Trout MVP discussion. Mike Trout had a phenomenal season. It was one of the best in recent memory. But he didn’t win the f*cking Triple Crown. In addition to leading the league in average, HR, and RBI, Cabrera also led the league in total bases, slugging percentage, and OPS. Trout had more runs scored, and stolen bases, but Cabrera had 205 hits to Trout’s 182.
I think that Cabrera will win the MVP. But what is bothering me is how many first-place votes Mike Trout will probably get. Trout is a great ballplayer and I wish him all the success in the world, but he didn’t win the first triple crown since 1967. Give the MVP to Cabrera.
And give the NL Cy Young to R.A. Dickey. He definitely deserves it after winning more than a quarter of his team’s games. Thats it for me today. Enjoy the weekend.