Wednesday, September 26, 2007

As I Pull My Hair Out... [J. Mark English]

...I have a wild solution to the wild card.

But first... I've been wanting to spew vomit all over the place for the last few weeks. I mean how much more can I take as a sports fan?

Notre Dame (not my alma mater, but since I am Irish Catholic I claim the right to root for them) 0-4. The for worst start in 120 years. Ugh.

The New York Giants - They made a nice little come back against the 'Skins, but the first two weeks, the defense gave up 80 points in two games. The first them their defense has been so futile since the early 1970's.

And then there are the New York Mets. Ah, my Mets. This is a team that just a few weeks ago were in position to wrap up the NL East with ease. Tonight, after giving up a five run lead to the Nats, with the Phillies leading the Braves, the Mets might not even make the playoffs!!

So yea, it has not been a cheery time to be a sports fan. I've been almost avoiding the blog in the hopes that all this bad luck with my teams might just turn around... And I can write about something positive But so far, its only been getting worse.

While the Mets try to stave off historic disaster I'd like to throw out a solution to what I think is a weird scenario in baseball.

The Red Sox and the Yankees have both clinched playoff spots, but neither team knows until the end of the season which team will be the wild card winner, or which team will be the division winner.

What does it matter though who gets what title? The Red Sox know that as the wild card team they can win the World Series since they did it in 2004. There seems to be little punishment for being the Wild Card team.

I think more incentive needs to be put on winning the division. A simple solution would be to add another wild card team to both leagues. This way, the two wild card teams in both leagues would square off in a one game playoff on the Monday following the end of the season. The wild card team with the best record would have home field advantage. This forces both teams to use up their best pitcher in that game in order to advance. Then the division winner with the best record is rewarded by playing the wild card team that wins the Monday playoff game.

This now puts much more emphasis on winning the division, and having the best record in the league. It rewards the team that excels the most in the regular season, and it does not cheapen the meaning of winning a division.

To the purest this will bring back memories of when the division meant more then it does now.

Plus, imagine the ratings the two single elimination games would get would get on the Wild Card Monday?

I know I'm not the first person to have come up with this idea, and I'm sure that there have been other writers to have already proposed this idea. Be that as it may, I think its a great idea.

Also, there is one more change I would make. Even under the current system, many more teams are alive past the trade deadline then previously under the old in prior to 1994. It used to be that the trade deadline was June 15. They moved it to July 31, because when they had four teams making the playoffs as opposed to just two, they wanted to move back the deadline since there were all of a sudden more buyers then sellers.

Now there are so many buyers past July 31, and most trades happen afterward the deadline...obviously only involving players that had cleared waivers.

Why not move the trading dead line to at least August 15? It makes more sense.

Anyway, I'm rambling, and the Mets are still blowing away this division lead. Fingers are crossed, and my stomach is tied up in knots. I hate this....

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