Sunday, August 16, 2009

Peed In The Reath Of Taxes

Red Sox at Rangers, 2:05 eastern, or real, time. Out-of-NESN-area folks can watch it on TBS.

I can't believe we're three-quarters of ten games back. And this is another reason why I hate the wild card. Because now everybody gives up on the division and starts acting like the wild card is the only thing we're fighting for. I wish it didn't exist, so that every Red Sox fan, player, and employee could look at the standings and say, we're 7.5 out with a month and a half left, so here's what we need to do to make up that ground because it's the only chance we've got.

And to make it even worse, let's say we do come all the way back and win the division. Because of the shitty wild card, the team we spend all our energy passing STILL makes the playoffs, and now we're a spent team when we play them. So then it's like, Okay, we'll just take the wild card because getting into the postseason is the most important thing. Which to me is like giving up--and the whole crap-cycle continues.

You know what they should do? They should draw the wild card team out of a hat. Every team goes all out all season trying to win their division, and after the last game is played, one lucky team in each league gets in completely at random. It ain't any dumber than acid wash... (or having the All-Star Game count, having two leagues that play by different rules play each other mid-season, etc....)

I don't like the Wild Card, but then again I also don't like the DH. But I'd rather have the Sox make the playoffs than stay home, and at the moment their best chance by far (and unless they start making up some serious ground immediately, their only chance) to get there is the Wild Card. Without the WC, there would have been no '04 Championship. With the Wildcard in 1978, the Sox would have had a chance to redeem themselves and knock off the Yanks in a playoff series, thus saving the junior-high age AJM much emotional turmoil and taunting from MFY-fan classmates that fall. And until MLB allows the Sox to move to a division where they no longer have to compete with a franchise that can easily outspend them by $60mm+ every year on payroll, I'll be glad that there is a Wild Card.

Personally, I'd get rid of divisions, interleague play and the unbalanced schedule entirely, and let the top 4 teams in each league into the playoffs...1st place plays 4th place w/home-field, and #2 plays #3.
I'll never say we shouldn't accept it when we get it. I just don't like it. And in 2004, if there hadn't been a wild card, maybe we would have won the division knowing it was our only chance. The point is, maybe without it, we would have won the last ten championships, we'll never know. (Though I'm pretty sure that Kerrigan year we weren't going anywhere regardless.)
The 2004 team launched a pretty furious and remarkable comeback in August of that year just to get to within 2 games of first on September 8th; I don't think that they could (or would) have played even better without the Wild Card as a backup. And I don't see how they would have won any more championships in the last decade without the WC; if anything, the 2006 team (to cite one example) would have probably packed it in even sooner than they did that season. On the other hand, the '78 team definitely would have had a great chance to win the ALCS and the World Series if they had only been invited to the dance.

But, again, I don't like the WC and would do away with it as part of a larger restructuring of the league format. I just don't want to have to compete without it under the current divisional alignment.
I'm aware how how every season has gone down and all that. I'm just saying I wish it was never there to begin with, and, without it, every season since it started would've been entirely different.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States