Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?
This post-season has been a crushing disappointment in so many ways. I haven't posted much lately because I hardly know what to say about it.
I agree with Joe Posnanski; baseball is about the daily, six month slog. The playoffs seem ill-suited to baseball, where short series and small sample sizes mean anything can happen. As someone else said, the regular season is a marriage, the playoffs are a one-night stand. It's a crapshoot. Especially now, with the one-game play-in.
And boy, has that been demonstrated. The Braves don't have to worry about whether Paul Janish is healthy enough to play in the postseason, because they did not make it past the Cardinals. They were six games up on the Cards in the standings, but it did them no good. They lost the one-game play-in, with their ace on the mound (who wasn't bad, just not quite as good as he had been), and three errors from the best infield in baseball. Oh, and a truly terrible call from the left field umpire.
Janish's old team, the Reds, are also on the sidelines now. Up 2-0, they lost the short 5-game series after losing three in a row at home...despite having the second best record in baseball. Losing their ace, Johnny Cueto, was a big reason why.
The Yankees are still in it, but they have an uphill climb after losing the first two at home. Already the series has included a call so bad the umpire actually admitted he was wrong (and so did the player who was out but called safe). Even worse, Derek Jeter broke his ankle and is done for the year. I just knew watching it that it was bad, and that he wasn't coming back. The usually stoic Jeter screamed in pain, and had to be carried off the field. It was very reminiscent of the play where Janish dislocated his shoulder. Like Janish, Jeter threw the ball toward second base - head in the game, even though he was lying on the ground in agony.
Nothing that can be done about freak injuries and vicissitudes of luck, of course, but this postseason has been so aggravating it seems something must be done. It just seems grossly unfair.
So what, within the bounds of reality, can be done? I really wish they'd go to 7-game series for every round of the playoffs. That's probably not possible, with the WBC and all, but maybe they could have some doubleheaders or something.
The one-game play-in is an anathema, and should be eliminated. Either go back to the old system, or play at least three games. (Though that, too, could extend the season too much, given the possibility of tiebreaker games.)
And the officiating...that seems like the easiest to fix. First, do not have extra umpires on the field. It causes more problems than it fixes, because there are no left field and right field umpires in the regular season. They are playing out of position in the postseason, so it's not a surprise that they get calls wrong. Second, we need replay. Something like the NFL system, perhaps. Let each manager have one or two challenges per game, and don't let them challenge balls and strikes. As Joe Girardi pointed out, that would probably delay the game less than waiting for managers to "get their money's worth" and having to spend 20 minutes cleaning up trash thrown on the field by irate fans.
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