we still remember mitch hedberg

A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

Sep 10th 2008

How scheduling postseason baseball around fall TV lineups could be hurting the game

Baseball is meant to be played every day. The only postseason breaks should be for travel, not for TV. It should also be played on a level playing field: series should not be stretched out to accommodate TV. In October, players don’t want to rest, they want to play. They don’t want to stand around answering the same questions during six or eight off days in a row.

Once upon a time, the World Series was the best sports event on the calendar. The Super Bowl was one game that was often a blowout. The Final Four was great, but there was never a guarantee Monday night would produce a great game. The Series always seemed to produce. The four- or five-game duds were few and far between. Even in 1988 — Dodgers over the A’s in five — there was Kirk Gibson. In 2000 — Yankees over the Mets in five — there was the Subway Series and Armando Benitez melting down in Game 1.

Baseball hasn’t had a truly memorable ending since the Angels rallied in Game 6 and went on to win Game 7 against the Giants in 2002. Maybe it is just coincidence.

Then again, maybe not.

[source: washington post]

2 Responses to “How scheduling postseason baseball around fall TV lineups could be hurting the game”

  1. M.McD

    what’s interesting is that in the last 5 World Series (since 2003) the losing teams have won a cumulative 3 games (obviously, the winning teams have won 20). 20-3? that kind of record exists in t-ball and chinese international ping pong, not professional sports. The difference, I’m certain, is that this kind of post-season t.v. schedule allows for a 4-man pitching rotation (and, occasionally, a 3-man when necessary) instead of the usual 5-man.

    This gives the teams with the stronger pitching a very significant marginal advantage and, I think, potentially unfair. Everyone says, good pitching beats good hitting (e.g, Chicago in 2005 series), but it’s not always good pitching that gets a team to the world series (e.g. St. Louis in 2004). So, when the playoffs show up there is an artificial element introduced to pitching rotations which doesn’t play a roll in the entire 162 game regular season. All of a sudden, you’re number 5 starter (and number 4, if needed) who might ordinarily be a liability can be cut and is no longer a factor and you work with just your best 3. A team that has already relied on it’s pitching gets artificially better than their regular season team.

    However, the team that relied on its hitting doesn’t get any better–they’re not shortening up lineups to dump their 8 and 9 hitters who are almost always liabilities.

    Why should pitching necessarily be favored over hitting? I would say the same about hitting if the roles were reversed, but the playoffs shouldn’t introduce elements that wouldn’t ordinarily be part of a normal season that gets teams to the post-season in the first place.

    I’m pretty sure I’m still only 1 of about 13 people that still care about baseball in this country, but I agree that the world series could be more exciting if they would not let t.v. schedules screw it up.

  2. doug


    Thanks for that summary, very very interesting. I had never considered that before, but it makes all the sense in the world.