April 22, 2011

Selig Working Towards Expanding Playoffs In 2012

Bud Selig said this week that major league baseball is "moving inexorably" towards adding two additional playoff teams, beginning with the 2012 post-season.

One possibility is to have two wild-card teams in each league play each other (either one winner-take-all game or a best-of-three series) for the right to advance to the Division Series. I believe there has been talk of having the Division Series be expanded to a best-of-seven format.
Yesterday, Peter Gammons said that "one of the worst things that's happened" to the Red Sox this month is that Jacoby Ellsbury has hit four home runs. Not that Old Hickory is anti-home run, but he thought that Ellsbury had perhaps changed his game plan, opting to swing for taters rather than getting on base any way he can.

Paul at YFSF, while bearing in mind the small data samples, looked at what Ellsbury has done at the plate since the season began:
Ellsbury is actually being more selective than he ever has ... unquestionably seeing more balls and better hitter's counts ... not swinging at pitches out of the zone as much ... laying off the first pitch ... swinging more often at the strikes that he sees. Yet he's making contact less often.

It's easy to look at these latter numbers and say Ellsbury is hacking more often in hopes of getting the big home run. But that theory doesn't fit the more selective Ellsbury we see from the [previous data] ...
Paul says Ellsbury's swing could be a bit wonky at the moment, so he's fanning more often or hitting more fly balls.
Or it could simply be pointing to a slump, where Ellsbury is correctly identifying the pitches to swing at, but he's just missing or getting unlucky on the ones he does hit (.162 BABIP says hello).
John Lackey is at it again. After Lackey beat the Yankees on April 8, he admitted that he "didn't pitch very well" -- 5 innings, 7 hits, 6 runs -- but he also said this:
I thought every ball they hit was down the line and for extra bases. If I keep those in the middle they're singles and no runs.
Then, after his most recent start, Lackey was asked if he could have gone another inning or was his pitch count of 93 near his limit, he said, "I don't know. I just work here."

Two SoSH comments: "I've never seen a player take less responsibility for their performance." and "Does he try to be as unlikeable as possible?"


Zenslinger said...

It better be a three-game series. The one-game playoff for the Division should be a special kind of drama, not something that happens four times a year.

I am OK with the number of playoff teams we have now. This is getting to be too much. Any more than that would be a serious compromise of the game, I think.

laura k said...

Like almost everything that comes out of Selig's MLB, this is a bad idea.

FenFan said...

Tardy to the party, but obviously this is simply a ploy to increase revenue. More playoff teams equal more games equal more revenue for MLB.

My only objection is that the post-season has become so LONG - right now, it takes at as few as 11 games and as many as 19 to decide a World Series champion. With off-days, etc., it's no wonder November baseball is soon to become the norm.

Now throw in a three-game wild card series and seven-game division, league, and championshop series, and there's a good chance that you'll see teams dodging snowflakes during late post-season games.

Like almost everything that comes out of Selig's MLB, this is a bad idea.


allan said...

Like almost everything that comes out of Selig's MLB, this is a bad idea.


Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig will not consider changing Barry Bonds' records following the slugger's conviction on obstruction of justice last week. ...

Bonds was convicted last week on a single count, with the jury finding he gave an evasive answer to a grand jury in 2003 when asked whether personal trainer Greg Anderson ever gave him anything that required an injection.

Of course, making that decision should be as natural, and require as much thinking, as taking your next breath, but still ....

laura k said...

Huh. Selig did something right. Stopped clocks and all that.

allan said...

Since he kept things as they are, he did not do anything, technically.

That sounds more like Bud.