Worst?

Taking a break from English football to follow the World Series. I was on retreat, silently, earlier this summer. The Royals didn’t lose during the days I was incommunicado with the world, and were in first place for something like a day. Then I started reading the sports pages online and they fell from the top.

I told my baseball friends I wasn’t going to tune in until the last game of the Series. Given the way tonight’s game is running, I might have held to that promise.

I was amused at David Schoenfeld’s commentary here. Worst Series ever? Right.

As baseball and other pro sports expand playoffs, it no longer is about the best team winning. Playoffs are a tournament, and in an elimination tournament, a lot of unexpected things can happen. Witness the success of the NCAA basketball events each Spring. People like madness. Sometimes the best team wins. Sometimes it’s the best players. And sometimes it’s the group that puts together the right number of wins at the right moment.

If MLB were serious about three-hour games, they can enforce the rules already in the books. But they like the income from 180-minute games more than from the 150-minute games. So they won’t change.

MLB added playoffs in 1969, and baseball fans have enjoyed a lot of exciting, competitive sport. The price to pay is that often the 3rd, 4th, or even now, the 10th best regular season team might win the whole thing.

Baseball seasons are long. If people were really interested in the best team winning, they would organize a league so that all the teams would play one another the same number of games. Then, at the end, the first place team would be clearly the best. End of story. But that’s not the way American sport works.

I rather like the English model. In the Premier League, every team plays every other once at home and once in the enemy park. Winner is the champion. Then there are tournaments and champion’s leagues on the side. And that can be fun.

Worst World Series ever? It might still work out that way. Four 9-1 games. Lots of errors. That would be “worst.” What about this contest? Did the better team win?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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1 Response to Worst?

  1. FrMichael says:

    As a Giants fan from birth, I wanted to hate this article… but he’s right.

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