Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Too Many Off Days

Bud Selig reportedly is determined to keep the World Series from ever being played into November again.

And yet...

Why do the Giants and Phillies have almost a full week off before the NLCS starts?

Hockey doesn't schedule out it's entire playoff schedule before the postseason starts. A series will begin a few days after the preceding and determining series end. Baseball can do that. Give the last team to secure a spot in the LCS a travel day and then start the series. Phillies vs. Giants in Game 1 Wednesday night.

"But, they need time to rest and set up their rotation..." I hear you say. Bull-shit. Every Division Series, even the ones that ended in sweeps, already had at least 1 off-day. During the regular season, you're lucky if you get 1 off-day a week. Why should the postseason suddenly be different? Teams really do not need a week off between games. In fact, it's actually bad for baseball players to take that much time off between seeing live pitches.

I don't really understand why MLB clings to this idea that we have to know on October 1 exactly what day the NLCS and ALCS are going to start. I suppose it's because TV networks prefer that, but I'm sure the TV networks would have preferred the Yankees/Twins series went 5 games. There's already a built-in fluidity to baseball's postseason. Adding flexible start dates might actually be good for the networks because then they'd know that one way or another they're going to have a game Wednesday night. They just don't know if it's the end of a Division Series or the beginning of an LCS.


  1. It's not only the TV networks that prefer it. It makes ticket sales complicated if there is no set date. Furthermore, let's say the both ALDS's end in 3 games, and the ALCS ends in 4, but the NLDS and NLCS go 5 and 7 games each. Then the winner of the AL pennant would be waiting a hell of a long time off before the WS.

    I know it is annoying, but it's understandable.

  2. Well, let's look at that scenario a little closer, Alex. Had both ALDS's and the ALCS ended in sweeps, the earliest the AL Champion could have been named would have been Friday 10/15. (I'm starting the ALCS on Monday 10/11 and allowing a travel day between games 2 and 3.) Even had both NLDS's gone a full 5 games, they would have both been over by Wednesday 10/13. The NLCS would start Friday 10/15 and end Saturday 10/23 at the latest.

    True, that gives the AL Champion 9 off days before the World Series in the worst case scenario, but that's only 2 more off days then the AL Champion would get in the worst case scenario under the current system. (An ALCS sweep would end 10/19. the World Series doesn't start until 10/27.) Plus, even with those 2 extra off days, it still starts the World Series 2 days earlier than the current system. (And in that "worst case scenario" nearly an entire LCS gets to run in prime-time without competing against the other LCS.)

    Again, that's all the worst case scenario. On average, you'd have much more reasonable wait times before series begin.

    As for it making ticket sales complicated. Ticket sales are already complicated. Game dates and times would always get set with well more than 24 hours notice. Plenty of time for people to make arrangements. These are PLAYOFF GAMES. People are going to go regardless of the day/time.


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