How great was that first round?
After months of watching my beloved Red Sox stumble through life like an angry drunk trying to fight a subway train, watching multiple quality teams play meaningful, competitive baseball was a breath of fresh air. I kept the games on while working, eating, and playing video games, paying half attention to the slower innings and perking up like a golden retriever excited to see the mailman anytime I heard something that sounded like action. I learned so much about teams and players I probably would’ve only seen a couple times over the course of a normal season. I want a Tatis jersey – and I want this to happen every year, maybe with a little less A-Rod commentary.
The playoff format itself was a point of discussion among the play-by-play guys and analysts. Several made pointed out that they don’t want sixteen teams in the postseason every year because the current format makes winning your division less important. I see their point; the 162-game season is a marathon, and finishing at the top of your arbitrary grouping is a pretty big accomplishment that should be worth something.
But man, I’m not sure I can write anything that does justice to the benefits of the expanded playoffs just in terms of adding more baseball that matters. In a normal season, so many games in August and September are totally unnecessary and boring. Let’s fix that! Let’s compromise and maybe give the division winners an automatic win in the first round, or the opportunity to choose their initial opponent, or a runner on second to open each game, or let them have the DH while the lesser team’s pitcher has to hit. There are fun ways to solve this problem so we can have more good baseball.