Somebody on Twitter this morning alluded to the notion that the MLB playoffs were too good for TBS, which, as far as I know, is the only cable outlet carrying the games. And baseball should be grateful that they even have that, because ever since MLB expanded to the 8-team postseason format, playoff baseball has been a gigantic cluster…bomb. Let us count the ways.
The first round best-of-five series are a joke. Seriously, when the worst team in baseball wins 60 games a year, how much less variance does a series like that have than, say, a single game? The team with the better record in Divsion Series advances only 48 percent of the time. The first round of baseball’s season is, almost literally, a coin flip. Some people will say that such a format adds to the drama. I say it makes a ridiculously long regular season even more trivial and–when you consider baseball’s unbalanced scheduling–patently unfair.
The start times of these games make them virtually unfollowable to the casual fan. Scheduled first pitch times for yesterday’s games (all Eastern): 2:30, 6:00, and 9:00. The Phillies “drew” the 2:30 game. I guess being the defending World Series champs means that your fans can get by without watching you on TV that night.
Eight teams in the playoffs, along with the WBC, will The World Series into November this year. Big deal, it’s just another month on the calendar, right? Wrong. November is football time, and baseball better recognize. But seriously, either can it with the crammed traveling and just play baseball until Thanksgiving, or wrap that sucker up before Halloween.
The WNBA Finals, by the way, were nestled comfortably in prime time last night on ESPN2. I guess one league with an exorbitant regular season plagued with mainstream fan apathy is plenty for that network. Wait, which sport were we talking about?