Baseball "Moving Inexorably" Toward Mediocrity, 10-Team Playoffs, Per Bud Selig
There's only one October in baseball, and it's followed by November. The month of December comes afterward.
No, we're not re-writing Rebecca Black's drizzling Friday. We're talking about the playoffs, and Major League Baseball's insistence that "October" is the month fans care about, even though the last two seasons have each hosted World Series games in November. It's a silly ad campaign and a sillier schedule that forces teams to play into the 11th month of the year -- but now Bud Selig wants to expand the playoffs to include 10 teams, dragging out the playoffs even more.
Are there even 10 good teams in all of baseball?
It used to be that the two best teams in baseball, the National League champions and their American League counterparts, faced each other in the World Series. Then, the two top teams in each league played for the right to go to the World Series. Now, four teams battle in two rounds for the chance to make it into the Fall Classic.
At what point is enough enough? American sports aren't exclusionary enough with their playoffs. It's almost as if all the professional sports teams are taking their cue from Little League, with the idea being that everyone deserves a touch, which is preposterous. Some teams aren't good enough to make the playoffs -- screw the extra revenue for the league that opening up the door to fifth-rate playoff squads provides, even if it's potentially good news for teams like the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The NFL lets too many teams into the playoffs. Ditto the NBA and the NHL. Baseball's almost there with eight total entrants, but the current schedule is defensible. Add two more teams to the mix, however, and the league will be pushing the quality of competition down to an almost scary level. Besides, scheduling is going to be hell.
There will be no November baseball this season, barring something catastrophic (like 9/11), but with Selig's desire to increase the number of teams in the playoffs, we might someday see December baseball -- or the teams will start in early March to avoid the later cold. The game is in danger of wearing out its fans and damaging the prestige of its championship, not that anyone in MLB management cares about anything beyond the bottom line.
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