By In Stuff

Mayflowers bring … links!

— I’m not saying get rid of baseball playoffs. I’m just saying it would be cool if, like in the English Premier League, the baseball season crowned a champion. I get a special guest star to help me make the case.*

*Hint: It’s Billy Beane.

Inspired by Michael Schur, I go back to the NBA All-Time 50, voted on in 1996, and look to see how many players who have excellent since would make that team. I’ve got at least 10 with another five to 10 on the way. Of course, the harder question would be who to boot OFF those teams. That column to come.

— Matt Harvey is off to a historic start. Let’s look back at some other pitching phenoms.

Many, many blog posts backed up … will get to them as soon as possible. These include:

— The most famous athletes in the world.

— The proper way to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

— The coolest way to win 1-0.

— The Natural, in real time.

— And lots of stuff from here in Louisville at the Kentucky Derby.

15 Responses to Mayflowers bring … links!

  1. Unknown says:

    Rest assured, Joe, that I feel the same way about crowning a regular season champ!

    I started thinking this way last year as I explained the playoffs to some friends and just couldn’t find a way to really justify the need for them. The randomness is just too extreme.

    Plus, one thing you didn’t mention in the article is that the chase for a regular season title may lend extra excitement to the end of the season and in rare cases (1993 Giants) it will give teams fighting for both best record and the Wild Card extra incentive to finish in first. Also maybe we could then get rid of the stupid Wild Card play-in game.

  2. glenn says:

    In conjunction with the 2006 All-Star Game and the NBA’s 60th anniversary, TNT selected the “Next Ten” Greatest Players among then-active players and others who had been snubbed from the ’96 list. They came up with several of the same names as you: Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Connie Hawkins, Allen Iverson, Jason Kidd, Bob McAdoo, Reggie Miller, Gary Payton, Dominique Wilkins.

    According to Wiki ('s_Next_10_Greatest_NBA_Players ), Lebron, Wade, Nash and Dirk were considered. I’m sure they’ll make the 2016 “Next, Next Ten” (but probably not ’06 nominee T-Mac unless his comeback goes really, really well).

  3. Vidor says:

    Not surprised that the king of playoff failure wants to get rid of the World Series.

    Anyway, baseball used to have something that was a real prize won by the best team in each league. It was called a “pennant”. We stopped doing that 44 years ago, so is there a point to this beyond “the old days were better”? Which I agree with, by the way.

  4. Evan says:

    There’s not much to gripe about on that list, but it seems abundantly clear that Jason Kidd is as sure a lock for the top 50 as anyone you mentioned. He’s third on the career triple doubles list, the only player ever to average a triple double in a playoff series, oh, and his career assist average is higher than Steve Nash’s.

  5. Mike says:

    Heh. I advocated the playoff idea two years ago ( The best part is that, like the premiere league, you could recognize the teams that win the pennant and the world series as a great team for having won a “double.”

  6. The Premiership’s structure is able to work because the schedule is even — every team plays every other team once at home and once away. Baseball’s schedule is as uneven as it gets, so it would be lame if the Rangers or A’s claimed to be the “AL champions” since they get to play the Astros/Mariners 38 times.

  7. KHAZAD says:

    A couple of things…

    First, Fydrich’s rookie year, he pitched 250 innings at 21. He didn’t make his first start until May 15th, and only had pitched one inning prior to that date. That’s just criminal abuse.

    As far as the baseball thing goes, you have to take baby steps. Especially with Selig’s absurd interleague “rivalries”, you don’t even have the teams in the same division playing an even schedule, and division champions have already been affected by strength of schedule. The first step would be to at least get the teams in the same division playing the same schedule. That would be easy to do even with interleague play, but baseball has no interest at this point.

  8. Mark Daniel says:

    Baseball’s not fair enough to try to make it more fair to the teams with the best records. The only reason the wild card and the play-in game are acceptable in baseball is because of payroll disparity. It levels the playing field. I don’t think it’s necessary to give the proposed pennant winner an added advantage in the playoffs if it’s possible (and even likely) that they already have an advantage during the regular season.

  9. Unknown says:

    Looking forward to the PB and J post, as that’s what I eat for lunch every day at the office. I’m sure you’re wise enough to know that you need to put at least a thin layer of PB on both pieces of bread to prevent sogginess.

  10. jdc says:

    There is more to the English football story than the Premier League and the European competitions. There are also two straight single-elimination tournaments for all English football teams: the F.A. Cup and the League Cup. This means there are three completely separate domestic trophies up for grabs (by which I mean you don’t have to win one to qualify for the other), and for a team that has qualified to play in a European competition, a fourth available trophy in that competition.

    If baseball worked the same way, it would go something like this:

    1. What we understand as the regular season would be equivalent to the Premier League. The winner of the competition is the team with the best record.

    2. Alongside the regular season would be two knockout tournaments: the analog of the League Cup would have every MLB team play a straight knockout tournament, and

    3. the analog of the F.A. Cup would have every MLB and MiLB team play a straight knockout tournament. The winner is the winner.

    4. The winner of the league competition in 1. would win a spot for the next year in a knockout tournament against the winners of other international leagues.


  11. Richie says:

    “Many, many blog posts backed up … will get to them as soon as possible. These include:”

    What about the iPad review? And for that matter, we now need an iPad2 review and an iPad Mini review.

  12. Linden27 says:

    I agree that baseball has devalued the regular season. While I would love to see a return to separate leagues playing balanced schedules I know that isn’t going to happen. What I think would help is, like Joe suggested, giving an extreme advantage to the pennant winners–say having to win two games before the other wins three–but also doing away with all the off days during the post season. The regular season is generally won on depth yet October baseball can be won with a couple of hot starting pitchers and a break or two in the games they don’t pitch. This could also prevent November baseball but more importantly reward the teams built for the long haul.

  13. Tampa Mike says:

    I would love to see baseball drop the playoffs!! I hate the wild cards. 162 game season is enough to know who the best teams are. If it was up to me, it would go back to World Series only. Best in the AL faces the best in the NL.

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