EL BARRIO, EL FALLS – Happy Monday. Hope everyone is doing well… I got some
fan mail re my no NFL on Mondays stance… it was about whether I’d be sticking with that. Well. I am. So if you want to talk about the pathetic Giants performance, a record-length field goal, or the Chiefs coach being taken away by ambulance, you have to come back tomorrow for Ben Whitney. I won’t be touching that stuff, despite Management’s tantrums. Anyway, here is what I decided to make today’s topics: MLB Playoff Format, Ben Simmons, Jack Eichel.
MLB Playoff Format
Baseball fans and pundits are two different breeds of people. The fans, for the most, part live in the now and are concerned with the state of the game as it is today. Meanwhile, the pundits tend to be traditionalists, with all sorts of byzantine rules and code of conduct. MLB’s Playoffs are a case in point, having gone from just the league winners to 2 division’s within each league and those winners facing off. This was the method until the late ’90s when three divisions were created and the best runner-up won the
wildcard Wild Card. The creation of the Wild Card created so much competition that a second Wild Card spot was created. But it would see the two Wild Card teams battle it out in a one-off game to determine who faces a division winner. This has become the new norm but more change is being schedule for debate this winter, as the owners are considering making it a best of 3 instead of a one-off. All of this has the pundits grumpy while fans are like sure, let’s make it more interesting.
Trying to follow this drama has been too much for me. I actually avoided it the past few months because it all seemed like gossip. Essentially, Simmons is a 6-10 forward for the Philadelphia 76ers and part of the new breed of forward – called point forward. He plays the small forward but has a power forward’s body and can dribble like a guard and shoot from medium range. He has trouble with long-range shots and free throws. But his biggest problem is consistency in the playoffs. We all know regular season greatness means nothing if you are a post-season choker. His playoff difficulties led to a meltdown last spring, as the Hawks blew by the Sixers. As to be expected, the press and fans lambasted him, while his teammates issued muddled statements that were well short of praise. So Simmons has decided he wants a trade and won’t be showing up for pre-season. Now the Sixers have to move a talented 3 time All Star that is a playoff choker and everyone knows. They don’t have great leverage.
Sabres captain and
defenseman center Jack Eichel has been stripped of said captaincy. Eichel has been out 6 months and could miss more time. Management also seems to be running out of patience waiting for him to reach his potential. The brass and Eichel remain at odds over how to treat a herniated disk he sustained after being checked into the end boards against the New York Islanders in March. Eichel favors having artificial disk replacement surgery. The Sabres are against him having the procedure because it has never been performed on an NHL player. They prefer him having the disk fused. This is situation with a ticking clock because starting next season, Eichel’s contract, which has 5 years and 80 million left on it, will enact a no-move clause. So if the Sabres are to get anything for him, they have to trade him this season to a team that will let him have the experimental surgery and wait for him to return to the great player he was. None of that can sound appealing to suitors, so someone in the Sabres front office will have to work some magic.
Thanks for reading, comment below and come back tomorrow for our Tuesday Morning QB, Ben Whitney.