What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
when did one series become more important than an entire season? how often do the best teams win it anyway?
What makes a team the best? Is it winning the most games?
That said, the World Series is hardly different from the Super Bowl, the Stanley Cup, the NBA finals, the curling championship, etc. Most sports, including those most popular in the U.S., are like this. No idea how often the "best" team wins it (however you define "best"), but it's widely believed to be largely a tossup. As you can see by looking over a complete season's schedule, a lot of teams get hot for a while. Any one of them can do that in the playoffs.
there are a lot more variables in baseball and the playoff structure is a little different.
I think baseball is different than other sports, though.
The 162-game baseball season places a heavy, heavy emphasis on depth, especially starting pitching depth. When you play 20 out of every 21 days for 6 months straight, you simply cannot hide the fact you don't have quality starters in the 3-4-5 spots.
However, in a 5 or 7-game series with multiple days off, a team that has two dominant starters can overcome the fact they don't have thost quality 3-4-5 starters. Just ask the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks.
In the other sports, the team that is put on the field / court / rink pretty much represents the best that team has to offer and the game is pretty much capturing the same test of each team as a regular season game. Not so true in the MLB.
This is one reason why the best teams in baseball lose 60 games. Sometimes they have their #5 guy going against a #1 guy. While every league has schedule quirks that favor one team or the other, it's not like it is in MLB where one night you're going against Steve Carlton (27-10) and the next you're going against one of a group of guys who combined to go 32-87. Those are basically two completely different teams depending on who was pitching.
That, to me, makes MLB playoffs less representative of the regular season than most other sports. Of course the #6 seed Devils playing the #8 seed Kings in the NHL Stanley Cup Finals might indicate I don't know what I'm talking about.
Maybe so. What's your point?
That was directed at wings, not MrMan.
Just my humble opinion, but whenever you have a "best of..." series, the team that comes out on top is deserving to be called champion. One day, football will catch on to this.
my point is that you can't compare baseball to other sports
It is largely just a toss up nowadays. When baseball was played pre-1668 there was a balanced schedule and single table format for the league so each game mattered. The champions met the champions in the World Series, which is a distinct hyperbolic misnomer since it is not actually an international competition at ll but a domestic one. But hey, how to do you sell a series between the champions of the American and National leagues other than "World" The World Series itself does not bother me, since it is a apples v oranges series between teams that compete in different circuits. But the playoff involving 5 of 14 teams this year is super watered down. I hate baseball playoffs a lot except to hope to see Rangers win it all. ALCS, NLCS and WS should be all that there is.
But people don't pay to watch a team come close but get outclassed. They have to hope their team can sneak into the lottery take all format and defeat a team that showed their merit once and now has to do it a second time. And it can be nearly packaged and sold to advertisers and broadcasters because causal eyeballs outnumber rabid eyeballs and when they can just pay attention for one month, why would they watch the whole seven? Its all a money making scheme with athletic competition coming in a near distant second.
So, the answer to your question is yes, there is too much emphasis on the World Series and "playoffs" in general in North American sports. Its because the mean likes things less time consuming and dedication dependent, and Broadcast companies and MLB are businesses that are beholden to maximum profit. This can be filed under the sad but true file and attempted to be ignored so that you can just hope that the team that proved itself the class of the Junior Circuit is the Rangers and that they can show that truth again in a two and half week stretch through ALDS and ALCS to get back to what matters, which is actually getting the trophy for all their efforts.
"anyone else think too much emphasis is placed on the world series?
Granted, baseball is different from other sports. But they all have their circumstances that make them overblown. As you mentioned, in baseball, the playoffs are very short compared to the rest of the season, and since you actually have days off when traveling and such, you can get by with fewer great pitchers, and there's also the ebb and flow of hotness which comes and goes over a long, long season, and which may or may not be present at any given moment in the playoffs. Then there's football, which has only one game per round. If an important player on your team (especially QB, on most teams) goes down, your chances of prevailing drop way down. Then there's basketball, where half the league makes the playoffs. Teams getting hot probably happens less in basketball and one or two players can sometimes carry a team for the most part, but it still allows a team that had a middling record (or, on some occasions, actually a losing record) to make the playoffs and, possibly, beat teams that played better all season. That last part is actually true in other sports too I suppose, but I can't remember it happening in baseball.
Yes, I do agree, there is too much emphasis on the World Series, but I think the same is true of the other sports, just for different reasons. I'm not sure I wouldn't be happier just eliminating the playoffs and just crowning the winner to the team that wins the most games, but that'll probably never happen.
Only fans of teams that can't seem to get over the hump think the winner of the world series isn't the best team. Anything else is just the losing team and their fans trying to make themselves feel better about losing.
no, dude. that's not how it works.
The World Series is not over-emphasized. Just compare player reactions after winning the division to winning the World Series. It's what they play for.
To much emphasis as to who is the best team? I would say yes. I thought the Phillies were the best team in baseball last year, but shit happens in a 5 game series.
To much emphasis as to what the goal of the season is? No. The point of the season is to win the playoff.
The World Series will never be like other playoff series until:Baseball unifies the rules for each league. (Either have pitchers bat in both leagues or use DH in both leagues, just make a decision!)
And let's have the club with the best record have home field as opposed to this BS about ASG winner getting home field.
To answer your question: No.
I bet we wouldn't be having this conversation had we won it last year.
I don't think it really matters if the World Series champion is indicative of the best team in baseball or not, or if the complex structure of baseball makes such a series invalid. You can't just declare the one team with the best record as the champ of the season because it's not dramatic and exciting enough (plus all of the more cynical reasons like Tre mentioned).
It may not say "this is the best team in baseball this season", but it does say "this is the best team in baseball given these particular circumstances and luck." The world series is exciting! I think baseball would not be as fun without some kind of climax to look forward to at the end. I think that the points you find negative about the world series, actually make it more exciting. If the best team on record automatically won every time, it wouldn't be as fun. That a wild card team could come out and win the whole thing is fun to watch. Even if it sucks for us.
I guess my point is, I don't feel like the World Series is about being the best team in baseball, no matter what is said in print. I think it's about who is good enough to make it that far, and good enough to win with quite a bit of luck on their side as well. So no, I don't think *too* much emphasis is placed on it. I don't think it's perfect either, but I don't see a reason for downplaying it.
Also, I agree with The Fool's modification suggestions.
And this is why I piss everyone off with my contrarian views about the BCS... I am more interested in who the best team is over the course of the season than over a 1-2 week period at the very end. (But when the leagues are set up so that I have no choice but to care, I obviously oblige...)
There are big problems with the BCS. First, it makes most the teams in the pool are never given a chance to win it no matter what they do. If you are in a Mid Major conference you really don't even matter when it comes to the national championship picture (Unlike in college baseketball, where almost all of the 300+ teams going into the season know they have a chance to win it all due to their playoff). Or if you are in the ACC or Big East, you have to go undefeated and hope and pray that 2 teams in the Pac-12, Big 10, Big 12, or SEC don't go undefeated (or in alot of cases, one loss).
And there are other arguements for a playoff as well. For example, wouldn't it be better leave out the team people think is the 17th best team in the nation, rather than the 3rd? If you had the 11 conferences winners and 5 at larges, there is a much better chance that the best team is ACTUALLY going to get a chance. Better than the current alternative than having computers make judgements based on 12 game sample sizes that don't even take margin of victory into account. Also, the big thing about the BCS is that is was suppose to eliminate split national championships. But it didn't even do that (USC/LSU).
I think the problem with baseball playoffs is that the series aren't really long enough to take away the aspect of luck. I remember reading a piece somewhere awhile ago (I really wanna say it was on The Book website, but I'm not really sure), and it basically said that the regular season is the perfect length to eliminate luck (comparing it to hockey), then essentially said that for the playoff series to do the same thing, they would need to be best of 13 or 15 length series. I don't necessarily have a problem with that approach, and I think you could make it work with doubleheaders and all (now that would really test the depth of the playoff teams there).
But yes, WS winner =/= best team of the year.
Oh, and Andy, as to teams with a middling record winning the WS, in 2006 the Cardinals finished 83-78, and they ended October spraying each other with champagne.
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