It’s December, so let’s talk about baseball. That solid chunk of not-ice being thrown 95 miles per hour head first into a maple-pine-ashy smash. What comes next? Into a soft catcher’s mitt, onto the hard ground or maybe even over the wall into a lucky fan’s hand. The owners and players are busy hammering out the deets of a new CBA so we can get back down to business, but I wanted to stretch their playoff concept into a 1000 colorful words or so and see if I can’t conjure a colorful scene.
It was a cold day in hell and Sportsball was considering the NL DH. No that’s not how this started. It was a lukewarm day in late September and the Cardinals were trying to heat up an already hot winning streak, pulling away from a July slump where the division even at times seemed at risk. Those dark days are no longer, 8 games up in the division, but 1 game back of the (regular season?) NL Pennant leader, games in September still had meaning. More than meaning. You see, last year the Dodgers latest iteration of an attempted super team went into the playoffs as a wild card and now, they once again were looking at their perennial responsibility: dodging the upper echelon of glory in order to play that role of the 21st Century Yankees.
Insert bit about selection whatever day in the intro:
Ok, so I read they were talking about doing like an announcement broadcast after the last game, but I vote we do it after each game that is clinched. If we can make the last couple weeks malleable scheduling so we can get it linear? Cool, that's optimal. If not just providing the teams choosing their wild card opponents a platform on the field in celebration mode could be good TV.
I’m really curious if a 1st round bye will have any negative effects on players and teams. I kind of think not. First of all, it’s going to be what? A week off? Didn’t bode well for the Tigers in ‘06, but overall I’d think a team with any fire in it at all could ramp up the intensity between their top tier competitors and keep sharp (Verlander already signed somewhere, right?). The benefit of avoiding an elimination round is huge.
I love that, while, the second place regular season team still has to play games, they also get to choose their opponents. It’s not an all-or-nothing battle for supremacy. There’s a crack of the whip of frustration they get to do to one of their underling teams. And there are plenty of teams to choose from! When we talk about the randomness of the playoffs, a lot of that has to do with the length of the regular season and the inherent health and performance fluctuations that come along with that length. Marathon winners sprinting to the finish line. There uh may-uh be some stumblin’.
… Let’s move on to the 3rd seed. I’m guessing you can’t get too trickstery with the first pick. There’s two more picks, so you’re not necessarily saddling another team with a bad matchup; You don’t know how the bracket will necessarily form up. But with that second pick. You decide the top wild card’s matchup. Now I haven’t heard anything about seeding for the first round with Mr. Pennant winner, but this could matter!
I’m guessing whoever you face off against is going to face the big dog and we’ve got that #2 seed, but essentially you have 3 teams to try to send to that #1 seed matchup, if you’re confident against the wild card field (if not, then matchup).
So let’s talk visualizations. Currently MLB has 6 divisions with 5 teams a piece; Each of those divisions is like a pentagon, the pentagons are arranged in a circle. The six division winners are squares protruding according wins out from the center of their pentagon, into the middle of the circle. Now the 8 wild card winners are something else, an undefined shape as of now. Let’s call them fuck it, triangles. I really don’t want to type triangles because it was like, the first thing that popped into my head. But alas, we’ll come back to this
********************************* What was the point? (We’re building a pyramid with some architectural flair).
So in the end, make it kind of floral, like the glass building. So each of these segments, in your head imagine the pyramid tower first and then these elements shimmy up from, into and out of the shape. Ok, it didn’t end up being quite so sharded and the floral element can come from, you know, floral elements.