Day 011: Top 5 Reasons Why The Wild Card Round Will Suck
The MLB Postseason is upon us. If that means nothing to you, then it never will. This isn’t the season to pick up a baseball fascination. The 60 game sprint was strictly fan service and a lot of fans didn’t feel serviced. On top of that, the powers that be decided that there should be 16 teams in the Postseason. You know, because money. And all 16 teams are playing in the wild card round. Which means the best teams get nothing but a pat on the back and a good luck [and if the commish were reading this, he would probably say aloud, “I don’t recall saying good luck”]. The sad part is that this bastardized March Madness Cash Grab might be here to stay. So buckle up, buckaroos. It’s going to be a long month. Before it starts, here’s 5 reasons why the first few days will suck.
5) It’s mostly on ESPN
Let’s make one thing abundantly clear: ESPN doesn’t give a shit about baseball. But they love money. So the MLB pays them a lot of money for the exposure. ESPN says “thanks for the money” and then churns out a half-assed product. Any baseball fan can tell you that the Sunday Night Baseball broadcast team is one of the most excruciating in sports. And that’s their A-Team. On Wednesday alone, there are going to be 6 games on ESPN/ESPN 2/ABC [?!?]. If you thought the A-Team was bad, just wait until you see the F-Team, who will most certainly be calling the White Sox-A’s game, because America doesn’t like them.
4) It’s a 3 game series
In a professional sports playoff format, the standard has always been one game or a series of 5 or 7. It’s that way for a reason. A series of 3 games is a slap in the face. Either make it winner takes all or give both teams a fair shot. Baseball is such a streaky sport and even the greatest team has lost 2 games in a row. Inversely, the worst teams have also won 2 straight. A 3 game series is a total joke. It should have stayed one game or increased to 5.
3) The Astros are in it
Nobody wants to see that shit. The Astros didn’t even want to see that shit. They tried so hard to not make the playoffs, but they still limped in. They don’t deserve to be there. Not only because they cheated but also because they just plain suck. This year was supposed to be their death march into obscurity but instead, we have to sit through more hours of A-Rod gushing about how smart they are. The only benefit is that allegedly, the family of the home teams can attend the games. And the Astros will be in Minnesota. So that means we can actually hear the Astros get legitimate boos, something we’ve been waiting months for.
2) The whole thing is really poorly scheduled
I’m not saying that I could do a better job writing the schedule, but the powers that be should be able to. The wild card round was scheduled in a fashion that guarantees that nobody would watch it. It’s running from Tuesday through Friday, with a bulk of the games starting at Noon local time. Who in the hell is going to be able to watch that?!? Most baseball fans have jobs, because we’re responsible nerds. Also, Noon starts tend to throw teams off. For example, the Reds and Braves will go 3 days without playing and then be forced to play at Noon. That’s going to throw EVERYBODY off their game. And then there’s also a big buffer between the Wild Card and Divisional Rounds. If the Twins sweep the Astros, it’s going to be another 4 days before they play their next game. I guess this is normal in regular playoff formats, but this isn’t a normal season. The worst part is that there are going to be no games this weekend. You know, when people are off work and totally willing to watch Baseball. It’s like they’re allergic to ratings. They could have easily stretched the round out, have less Noon games, let them play through the weekend and then still have 2 days to prep the bubble for a Wednesday start. It could’ve worked. They just aren’t trying.
1) The Dodgers will probably lose
As I’ve mentioned before, the 3 game series reduces the matchup to a coin flip. The Dodgers have busted their ass to be the best team in the league. They get to play a suicide round against the Brewers, who at no point during the season had a winning record. It’s almost guaranteed that a top seed is going to get knocked out and it’s going to hurt. A lot. And whoever the poor bastards end up being, we can only hope that they’re big market enough to convince Commissioner Manfred to scrap the 16 team playoffs in future seasons. The only big market top seed is…yep, you guessed it. There needs to be a martyr and unfortunately, the Dodgers fit the bill. I already expected heartbreak, it might as well happen to influence positive change.
Like it or not, the Postseason is starting. Whether or not you choose to watch it is not your choice. It’s already been chosen for you. There’s nothing left for me to do but take a deep breath and remember that it’s just a game.
Okay. I’m ready to be hurt again.