After months of discussion, Major League Baseball decided to implement its new playoff plan for the 2012 season.
The new playoffs will feature two wild card teams from each league. Each league will have three division winners, and two wild cards. The wild cards will play each other in a one-game playoff to see who advances to play the division winner with the best record in a best-of-five series. The playoffs will then move forward just as they have since the wild card was introduced in 1995.
It’s one of those changes that you feel you are supposed to dislike, but once you consider it, it makes sense.
The one-game playoff between wild card teams gives more of an advantage to division winners – which they deserve. The division winners get an extra day or two to rest and set up their starting rotation. Meanwhile, the wild card teams have to survive a nerve-racking do-or-die coin flip game to advance into the “real” playoffs.
I like this. In the past, the wild card teams were treated as equals to the division winners. Now there is a proper reward for winning the division.
Furthermore, the one-game wild card playoffs should make for some epic TV viewing – and who doesn’t want that?
- Here are Larry Stone’s initial thoughts on the new playoff system.
- Rob Neyer runs through the arguments in favor and against the new system. It’s an interesting read.
- John McGrath thinks the new system will be fun – and he also checked to see how many times in the past that the Mariners would have at least reached a tiebreaker game with the new format. It’s more than I thought.
- The Mariners official PR blog has an excellent guest column about the early days of Ken Griffey Jr written by ace broadcaster Rick Rizzs. This is a must-read for Griffey fans – hit it right here.
- Larry LaRue visited with Alex Liddi at training camp. From the story, it seems like Liddi has a good attitude about the move to first base.
- LaRue struck gold with this video of the three young guns James Paxton, Taijuan Walker, and Danny Hultzen talking about each other.
- Infielder Kyle Seager had a huge game at the plate on Sunday, going 3-for-3 with a homer.
- Outfielder Trayvon Robinson is a player fighting for a major league roster spot, and he’s trying to use last year as a learning tool.
- Some bored sportswriters covering the Padres have dubbed the Mariners – Padres interleague series “The Vedder Cup.” As in Eddie Vedder – here’s why.
- Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times caught up with Jamie Moyer, who is making a comeback bid with the Colorado Rockies.
- The latest round of Baseball America minor league transactions reveal that former Rainiers pitcher Nate Robertson signed a deal with the Cubs, and Royce Ring inked a contract with the Rockies.
- Jeff Sullivan cracked me up with the title of his game story from Friday’s exhibition opener: “Mariners Flatten A’s Into Delicious Little Pancake.”
- Former Rainiers slugger Bryan LaHair is on the cusp of the big time – Jerry Crasnick of ESPN has a story on him.
- Words I never thought I would read in a baseball story: “a psychedelic sculpture in deep left-center could pose problems for some hitters” in the new Miami Marlins ballpark. Ex-Rainiers infielder Greg Dobbs, who is a very serious fellow, doesn’t like it. Money quote: Marlins sidearm reliever Steve Cishek won’t mind if his pitches “look like they’re eggs popping out of one of the pink flamingos painted on the sculpture.” Who designed this place, Wavy Gravy?*
- If you are like me and “Dazed And Confused” ranks in your Top-3 Dumb Comedies Of All Time, then you will enjoy this just as much as I did.
We’ll be back on Wednesday with a look at the Mariners and Rainiers bullpen situations.
* Just learned Gravy’s real name. Definitely makes you go “Hmmmmm….”