Playoff races go down to the wire

From SABR member Nat Newell at the Indianapolis Star on September 22, 2012, with SABR members Dave Bohmer, Pete Cava and Chris Jensen:

Three members of the Indianapolis-based Oscar Charleston Chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research agreed to discuss the pennant races with assistant sports editor Nat Newell (who is also a SABR member but a Red Sox fan, and thus has no interest in baseball any more this year).

Newell: The second wild card is against everything baseball has always stood for — earning a playoff berth by actually winning something, then using a longer playoff series to advance — but I love it. It’s created a lot more excitement at the end of the season and the one-game playoff should be great television. What are your thoughts?

Dave Bohmer: I agree. It has kept more teams in the race and has enhanced fan interest. Another (commissioner Bud) Selig accomplishment.

Pete Cava: This seems like more of the ongoing NFL-ization of Major League Baseball. We’ve gone from two teams in postseason play to four, to eight, and now to 10. Still, it may not be a bad thing. There’s definitely a lot of excitement this year. But let’s hope they don’t expand the number of teams in post-season any further, or it could render the regular season irrelevant.

Chris Jensen: I like it in theory, but they’ve got to get the scheduling fixed. That could turn out to be a nightmare this year if there are a bunch of ties. It’s a serious disadvantage for the division winner to play the first two games on the road, which defeats the purpose of having the division title mean something. Still, it’s hard to imagine anything topping the excitement of the last day of the 2011 regular season.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: September 23, 2012. Last Updated: September 23, 2012.