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Baseball's Double Switch
Wall Street Journal ^ | November 18, 2011 | Daniel BarBarisi

Posted on 11/17/2011 4:42:02 PM PST by SMGFan

MILWAUKEE—Major League Baseball plans to revamp its divisions and playoff format with a series of moves that will have significant ramifications for at least two of its media partners and millions of fans. MLB hopes to begin some of the changes next season, with an additional wild-card team making the playoffs in each league as part of an effort to generate more television revenue for baseball and give fans of midtier teams a reason to continue buying tickets and following games through the entire season. The four wild-card teams will play a one-game or best-of-three playoff to determine who moves on to the divisional series.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: baseball; chat; majors; sports
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not sure how exciting this makes pennant races
1 posted on 11/17/2011 4:42:04 PM PST by SMGFan
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To: SMGFan

We’re going to need a bingo card to follow this mess.


2 posted on 11/17/2011 4:44:31 PM PST by Zuben Elgenubi
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To: SMGFan

An additional wild card team. Pretty soon, MLB will be like the NHL where 80 percent of the teams get into the playoffs. What’s the point of having a regular season?


3 posted on 11/17/2011 4:46:03 PM PST by Signalman
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4 posted on 11/17/2011 4:46:28 PM PST by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: SMGFan

More TV money - World Series in December?


5 posted on 11/17/2011 4:46:30 PM PST by PapaNew
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To: SMGFan

Why don’t all the teams get to play in the playoffs and get a variable handicap depending on how crappy they are? It’s the new American way.


6 posted on 11/17/2011 4:47:42 PM PST by RightGeek (FUBO and the donkey you rode in on)
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To: SMGFan

Get rid of the silly Designated Hitter.

And while you’re at it, get rid of inter league play.


7 posted on 11/17/2011 4:48:02 PM PST by eddie willers
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To: Signalman

Maybe they can play year round and have the world serious end by December 24.


8 posted on 11/17/2011 4:48:09 PM PST by morphing libertarian
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To: eddie willers

“Get rid of the silly Designated Hitter.

And while you’re at it, get rid of inter league play.”


I agree.


9 posted on 11/17/2011 4:52:14 PM PST by Mears (I can't take anymore of this.)
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To: eddie willers

Both, like homosexuality, are unnatural acts.


10 posted on 11/17/2011 4:53:48 PM PST by Jacquerie (Think outside the pizza box.)
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To: morphing libertarian
If they add another round of playoffs, they should go back to the 15 game schedule..shorten the regular season by at least a week..

One day in the future, when the Twins play the Cubs in the WS...the ENTIRE WS will be will be wiped out by a blizzard that blankets the midwest..

11 posted on 11/17/2011 4:55:03 PM PST by ken5050 (OH SHIT****NOT MITT!!!)
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To: SMGFan
not sure how exciting this makes pennant races

They keep moving the World Series later into the fall and they can count on occasional snow-outs.

12 posted on 11/17/2011 4:55:20 PM PST by SoJoCo
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To: SMGFan

I like it. It puts the pressure on pitchers.


13 posted on 11/17/2011 4:55:56 PM PST by AGreatPer (Obama has NEVER given a speech where he did not lie!!!)
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To: SMGFan

From a sporting standpoint, professional sports need fewer teams in the playoffs, not more. But since the objective of professional sports isn’t to win but rather to make money, I could see this coming.

From a sporting standpoint I have to laugh at the concept of a team that couldn’t win its division somehow becoming a ‘world champion’. Yet we see it repeatedly.


14 posted on 11/17/2011 4:57:18 PM PST by Colonel_Flagg (Why, yes. I AM in a bad mood.)
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To: eddie willers
Get rid of the silly Designated Hitter. And while you’re at it, get rid of inter league play.

If they were smart, they would play fewer regular season games, back to say 150 per year.

And yes, inter-league play was harmful. Baseball was special, when the only time AL and NL got together was Allatars and World Series.

Then to have one league, one team dominate; makes baseball predictable and boring.

15 posted on 11/17/2011 4:58:05 PM PST by cicero2k
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To: SMGFan

As an Astros fan, I can say today was an absolute kick in the gut. I would love to personally punch Bud Selig in the face.


16 posted on 11/17/2011 5:00:20 PM PST by catfish1957 (Save a Pretzel for the Gas Jets!!!)
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To: SMGFan

Ever since the DH started almost 40 years ago, MLB has kept finding ways to screw things up even more. The solution to uneven numbers of teams is contraction.


17 posted on 11/17/2011 5:01:38 PM PST by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: eddie willers
Get rid of the silly Designated Hitter.

And while you're at it, get rid of inter league play.

If they adopted the second of your ideas it would be essential to adopt the first. Otherwise the National League would have a huge advantage in the World Series.....American League pitchers would not have a clue.

18 posted on 11/17/2011 5:01:44 PM PST by Churchillspirit (9/11/01...NEVER FORGET.)
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To: SMGFan

$$$


19 posted on 11/17/2011 5:01:54 PM PST by RckyRaCoCo (I prefer liberty with danger to peace with slavery, IXNAY THE TSA!...P.S. Why did FR ZOT Frantzie?)
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To: eddie willers
From what I am reading, it's going to move in the oposite direction. The DH (no, not 0bama) is coming to the National League along with lots more interleague play.

Makes me sick thinking about it.

20 posted on 11/17/2011 5:02:33 PM PST by Post5203 (Our political class have sullied a good man's name...Washington)
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To: Jacquerie

Just wait for instant replay. Can’t get any more gay than that . . . .


21 posted on 11/17/2011 5:03:34 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: catfish1957
As an Astros fan, I can say today was an absolute kick in the gut. I would love to personally punch Bud Selig in the face.

You mean you're not looking forward to all those powerhouse A's and Mariners games? ;-)

22 posted on 11/17/2011 5:06:45 PM PST by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: ken5050

Need more domes!

I do advocate all college teams in the NCAA basketball tournaments. Do away with conference tourneys and let everybody go for it. Generates interest in dark horses and would probably just add 2-3 more games replacing the conference tourney games.


23 posted on 11/17/2011 5:07:32 PM PST by morphing libertarian
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To: morphing libertarian

Baseball is an OUTDOOR game....


24 posted on 11/17/2011 5:09:09 PM PST by ken5050 (OH SHIT****NOT MITT!!!)
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To: SMGFan

MLB should play world series games starting at 1:00pm local time at the home field. Stop playing world series games in the middle of the night when kids cannot watch it. If a kids home team is in the world series, the teachers should let them watch an inning or two. When I was a kid in the 60’s the nuns would let us watch a little Koufax and Drysdale.


25 posted on 11/17/2011 5:09:14 PM PST by forgotten man (forgotten man)
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To: Colonel_Flagg
From a sporting standpoint I have to laugh at the concept of a team that couldn’t win its division somehow becoming a ‘world champion’. Yet we see it repeatedly.

Sometimes the best "team" doesn't come in first. I could give you plenty of examples........

26 posted on 11/17/2011 5:09:22 PM PST by Osage Orange (Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum)
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To: catfish1957
As an Astros fan, I can say today was an absolute kick in the gut.

Man I feel for you.

I don't know WHAT I would do if they moved the Braves to the American League.

27 posted on 11/17/2011 5:09:42 PM PST by eddie willers
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To: SMGFan

ESPN Classic’s “Who’s Number 1”? had a program on Top 20 “Best Pennant Races” that I watched a few nights ago

Although most went way back before my time, some of them I recall as a (former) baseball junkie. The “second guesser” guests at the end noted that the playoff system basically has taken out the importance of pennant races. I agree with that, and since baseball has chosen to over-expand, over-pay and over-price, I said hasta la vista many years ago.

And haven’t missed the game I used to love one bit.


28 posted on 11/17/2011 5:11:13 PM PST by A_Former_Democrat (There's nothing more hypocritical than a white liberal calling someone else a "bigot")
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To: ken5050

LOL, not if they play year round. Even now when the northern teams dominate playoffs it gets very wet and cold the end of October.


29 posted on 11/17/2011 5:13:12 PM PST by morphing libertarian
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To: forgotten man

Not me. I had to listen to Pirates’ rally on a transistor during recess (Kubek hit in the throat by bad hop grounder)

After we returned to class, came Maz’s HR.


30 posted on 11/17/2011 5:16:17 PM PST by A_Former_Democrat (There's nothing more hypocritical than a white liberal calling someone else a "bigot")
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To: catfish1957

“As an Astros fan, I can say today was an absolute kick in the gut. I would love to personally punch Bud Selig in the face.”

As a Pirates fan, I am rejoicing in that we’ll never, ever, ever see 6th place in the NL Central again!!!!!

I’d still love to punch Bud Selig in the face with you though! That moron has structured the entire league around insuring both the Yankees and Red Sox make the postseason every year.

I also think this restructuring will mean designated hitting in the NL. There’s going to be an interleague game every day since there are 15 teams in the AL and 15 teams in the NL now.

I’ve always wondered why there isn’t designated fielding ... if a designated hitter makes so much sense, wouldn’t it make more sense to have 9 fielding experts ... I mean, playing the field means you’re much more prone to injury. We could see hitters play the game well into their 50s!!!! That means even more players on the team ... that means more superstars!!! Come on Bud ... you know you want to do that!!!

Anyway, once the DH is part of the NL, I’m done with baseball. That rule has never made sense to me ... its flat out stupid and senseless. It takes away so much strategery.

Then again, come to think of it, watching the Pirates really hasn’t been baseball these past 20 years anyway. Their strategery has been “dump players, get suspects, watch suspects improve, dump players, whine about being poor, rinse, lather, repeat .... “


31 posted on 11/17/2011 5:17:50 PM PST by edh (I need a better tagline)
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To: SMGFan

Dispense with division races and make it a balanced schedule. Make it like the NBA and NHL where the top teams in the conference (or in this case, league) go to the playoffs. To expand the playoffs, you have the top four teams go, where one plays four and two plays three. It gets rid of division races, which have been compromised by the wild card anyway. That way it would be like the old days, except of course then it was only the top team from each league that went to the post season. In case of ties, use head to head records or one game playoffs, where necessary.


32 posted on 11/17/2011 5:19:22 PM PST by drew
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To: edh
Yeah, I have been a fan since 1964. Very dark day when this dipshit takes a dump on 50 years of tradition.

It seems this guy is single handledly trying to destroy baseball.

33 posted on 11/17/2011 5:23:45 PM PST by catfish1957 (Save a Pretzel for the Gas Jets!!!)
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To: catfish1957

As an Angels fan living in Houston, I love it.


34 posted on 11/17/2011 5:25:54 PM PST by Bruinator ("For socialism is not merely the labour question, it is before all things an atheistic question")
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To: SMGFan

Selig’s a moron.


35 posted on 11/17/2011 5:29:40 PM PST by GnL
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To: SMGFan

Until the Dodgers return to Brooklyn, nothing else will be right.


36 posted on 11/17/2011 5:32:57 PM PST by Jim Noble (To live peacefully with credit-based consumption and fiat money, men would have to be angels.)
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To: SMGFan
It hasn't made sense to have 16 teams in one league and 14 in the other. The solution is obvious--send Selig's team back where it belongs, to the AL. Moving the Astros to the AL will mean that the state of Texas will have no team in the National League. An all-Texas World Series will be impossible (not that there have been many of them to date).

Of the 7 most populous states, Texas will be the only one with no NL team. (All 7 have at least two teams--California has 5--but at present all of them are represented in both leagues except for Pennsylvania, which has two NL teams...it lost its AL team in 1955.)

37 posted on 11/17/2011 5:44:49 PM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: SMGFan

This sucks give me back the 70’s please.


38 posted on 11/17/2011 5:49:43 PM PST by angcat (NEW YORK YANKEES!)
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To: Jim Noble
You said it...


39 posted on 11/17/2011 6:12:48 PM PST by GreenLanternCorps ("Barack Obama" is Swahili for "Jimmy Carter".)
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To: Osage Orange
Sometimes the best "team" doesn't come in first. I could give you plenty of examples........

But the champion should.

40 posted on 11/17/2011 6:16:17 PM PST by Colonel_Flagg (Why, yes. I AM in a bad mood.)
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41 posted on 11/17/2011 6:23:25 PM PST by RedMDer (Forward With Confidence!)
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To: SMGFan

This only adds two more games to the playoffs. However it means that winning the division becomes more important. A couple of times the past few years the Yankees and Red Sox did not kill themselves to win the division because with only one wild card, both teams were in the playoffs anyway. Now they will want to avoid the one game wild card game.


42 posted on 11/17/2011 6:41:11 PM PST by gusty
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To: eddie willers
Get rid of the silly Designated Hitter. And while you’re at it, get rid of inter league play.

I agree on both counts, but the Players Association will never allow the DH to go away (too highly paid) and with 15 teams in a league, you have to have interleague play so everyone plays every day.

The obvious solution is to expand the rosters to 28 (with 25 dressing, taking a page from the NHL) and to add two teams. While the Players Association would lose 14 highly-paid regular DHs, they'd gain 16 new regulars, 10 new starting pitchers, 2 new closers, additional bench players, and three extra slots per team.

The other advantage is that you could break each league into four four-team divisions and you would not need to have wild cards. Division winners could fill 4 playoff slots.

43 posted on 11/17/2011 6:42:42 PM PST by TBP (Obama lies, Granny dies.)
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To: SMGFan

Sending the Astros to the American League after half a century in the NL is DUMB, DUMB, DUMB!!!


44 posted on 11/17/2011 6:43:40 PM PST by TBP (Obama lies, Granny dies.)
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To: SMGFan
not sure how exciting this makes pennant races

Any system that makes non-winners eligible for the playoffs isn't good for pennant races, but the argument MLB makes is that two wild cards may actually be better for pennant races than one. By forcing the two wild-cards into a "play-in" round, it screws up their rotation and creates a greater disadvantage for being a wild card, thus encouraging teams to play for the division win rather than "a playoff spot," the argument goes.

The problem is that had this system been in place this season, the excitement we saw on the last day of the season as the Cardinals and Rays defeated the Braves and Red Sox for the wild-card spots would not have occurred, since all four teams would already have been in. So instead of an exciting, climactic night of baseball,we'd have an anticlimactic night of playing out the string as the teams prepared themselves for the wild-card play-in. But the powers that be in baseball don't see that.

45 posted on 11/17/2011 6:48:49 PM PST by TBP (Obama lies, Granny dies.)
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To: SMGFan
not sure how exciting this makes pennant races

Any system that makes non-winners eligible for the playoffs isn't good for pennant races, but the argument MLB makes is that two wild cards may actually be better for pennant races than one. By forcing the two wild-cards into a "play-in" round, it screws up their rotation and creates a greater disadvantage for being a wild card, thus encouraging teams to play for the division win rather than "a playoff spot," the argument goes.

The problem is that had this system been in place this season, the excitement we saw on the last day of the season as the Cardinals and Rays defeated the Braves and Red Sox for the wild-card spots would not have occurred, since all four teams would already have been in. So instead of an exciting, climactic night of baseball,we'd have an anticlimactic night of playing out the string as the teams prepared themselves for the wild-card play-in. But the powers that be in baseball don't see that.

46 posted on 11/17/2011 6:49:23 PM PST by TBP (Obama lies, Granny dies.)
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To: TBP

You are right about 2011, but all the planets had to line up for last years race to occur. If you factor in the other years’ races, then this new system might make sense.


47 posted on 11/17/2011 6:53:59 PM PST by gusty
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To: Churchillspirit
Get rid of the silly Designated Hitter.

So, you find it interesting when the pitcher comes to bat and is almost an automatic out.

48 posted on 11/17/2011 7:02:42 PM PST by OldPossum
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To: Signalman
Pretty soon, MLB will be like the NHL where 80 percent of the teams get into the playoffs.

16 out of 30 is nowhere near 80 percent.

The days of 16 out of 21 were 20 years ago. You need to update your references.

49 posted on 11/17/2011 7:13:01 PM PST by SoothingDave
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To: OldPossum
So, you find it interesting when the pitcher comes to bat and is almost an automatic out.

Exceedingly so.

Let's say he has a three hitter going but his team is behind 1-0. Two outs, runner on second and the bullpen was used the night before in a 15 inning game.

What do you do?

In the American League....who cares?

50 posted on 11/17/2011 9:39:23 PM PST by eddie willers
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