Saturday, October 28, 2006

83 wins

So MLB has gone and made a schedule and a playoff schedule that results in an 83-win team taking the championship. I've long argued that just about any team can win 82 games, my baseline expectation for just about every team (including the Pirates) year after year.

Far be it from me to question the business judgment of MLB's owners, who are selling plenty of tickets and making money hand over fist, but the game has lost some of its appeal as a game for hardcore fans. Perhaps they are fine with that. The circus sells plenty of tickets and hardly anyone identifies themselves as a loyal circus fan.

To improve the quality of competition, which may have nothing to do with ticket sales, the league should do these things: (1) reorganize the leagues and divisions into even, geographically-tight groups, (2) shorten the season, and (3) adopt a playoff structure that more heavily favors the teams with the most wins during the regular season. I won't hold my breath; the league is happy, I think, to sacrifice anything for the sake of their bottom line. That may even be the best long-term strategy.

Congratulations, St. Louis. All championships are equally awesome. Enjoy the offseason.

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