Saturday, April 23, 2011

Please Bud...Don't

Baseball has existed for almost 200 years now (give or take, since the true genesis of the game hasn't been conclusively determined).  The World Series, baseball's grandest event, began in Nineteen-aught-three when Boston (then the Americans) beat Pittsburgh (then, as now, the Pirates).

Major League Baseball survived the scandal of gambling (there's new evidence that the 1918 World Series was tainted, a year before the famed "Black Sox"), the dark clouds of war and the hideous nature of the color barrier.  It expanded and moved, and eventually, broke into divisions in 1969.  That brought on the League Championship Series, which was originally a best three-out-of-five affair.  That grew to four-out-of-seven in 1985.  Baseball further expanded with the addition of more divisions and a wild card, beginning in 1995.

And now?  It looks like Commissioner Bud Selig is pushing towards the addition of more playoff teams in 2012 (Mark Feinsand - Blogging the Bombers).

I hate, hate, hate this idea.  Consider this the further watering down of the regular season, to where soon baseball will be like hockey or basketball - where no one truly pays attention until the post-season starts.

Baseball is not doing great right now.  The game isn't getting the attendance numbers (I'm seeing plenty of empty seats - even at Yankee Stadium).  Ratings aren't great, blah blah blah.  So is this just a band aid?  Is it a reason to try to excite people?

I know, I know - "Rob's a traditionalist", and yes, that is true (I still hate interleague play).  I didn't love the wild card, but I quickly adjusted.  It didn't seem like a terrible idea.  Yet this just seems to further water the sport down, and adds another questionable piece to an already dicey legacy for Selig, who I believe loves the sport every bit as much as I do.

It just doesn't seem necessary to me.

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