You’ve already seen how spot-on our resident baseball experts were in Game 1 of the ALCS — John remarkably predicted two rain delays lasting approximately 45 and 60 minutes, both occurring in the bottom of the fifth (he was half-a-frame off) — so you should be psyched to see them back at it for the NLCS — a battle of Central Division rivals who last met in the playoffs in the 1982 World Series. That’s right, it’s the first-ever rematch of a World Series in a non-World Series round of the postseason. History!
TIM: Alright, so I think I’m finally over the Mets loss in the 2006 NLCS to talk about…wait, the Cardinals are back in it? Didn’t they miss the playoffs by like 15 games?
JOHN: It certainly seemed heading for that a few months ago. But, hey, look on the bright side: They managed to make the playoffs thanks to a collapse by your hated Atlanta Braves!
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Let me set the scene for you: It’s the Division Series, and a team that’s 15 games better than the team it’s playing has just been eliminated in four days. Some people notice.
Let me reset the scene for you: It’s the Division Series, and a team that’s 15 games better than the team it’s playing has just survived quite the scare in a taut seven-game series that drew national attention.
We must face a simple truth, sports fans: Baseball’s playoff system is broken. In this, the Fifteenth Year of the Wild Card, it is time to finally discuss change.
The main flaw with Major League Baseball’s postseason is its reliance on Chip Caray as its announcer. Pierre kids…maybe.
The main flaw with Major League Baseball’s postseason is that the regular season’s best team rarely if ever wins the World Series anymore. My evidence: The team with the best record in the regular season has won the World Series just twice since the inception of the Wild Card in 1995. Those two teams are the 1998 Yankees, who won 114 games and are the second-best regular-season team in American League history, and the 2007 Red Sox, who won 96 games. I’m tempted to exclude the ’07 Red Sox from this “Best Team” discussion because their 96 wins not only tied them with another team (the politically incorrect Indians) but also marked the fewest wins by a league leader since at least 1978, and that includes the strike-shortened, 144-game 1995 season.*
*But not the strike-shortened 1994 and 1981 seasons, where winning 96 games would have been a remarkable achievement in each case.
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