It seems, as always, the only thing actually standing in Baseball’s way of progressing as a sport are the old cranky stalwarts that make up the “royalty” of MLB Media Elite.
And, they are really starting to suck.
I get it. The game is changing…just a wee bit. But, just enough for you to be able to be sad that life isn’t the same as when you were a little boy or girl and things just made sense DAGNABBIT!
Life changes. It’s hard. But, what makes change harder is blowhards who wouldn’t understand the world around them if you paid them a million dollars. And, networks do. And, all it does is inch the blowhards further and further away from reality. Buster, Olbermann, Bill Plaschke, and basically any sportswriter in LA…or New York. They all find a way to gripe about something not lining up with their memory of Clemente or whatever the fuck it is.
So, what is the gripe this time? That the team with the most wins during the regular season didn’t automatically get to go to the World Series.
Yes, you read that right. The highest echelon of Baseball “journalists” and talking heads are angry that the team who won their division didn’t get an automatic pass to the the promised land. Although this hasn’t happened in…I don’t know…70 years…they all of a sudden want it to happen now.
Or, wait, maybe they just want it to go back to the old way where there was just an LCS. Wait, hold on…no it would be better if it went back to the way they did it last season, or five seasons ago, or wait no, sorry. Hold on. I got it now…the team with the most wins should get to choose who they play or not play at all until they feel like it, and when they do feel like it, if they start to lose the series, the series will be stopped immediately so they don’t lose – that is unless the team beating them in the series somehow had more regular season wins at that point. Yup. That’s it. That’s what needs to happen.
None of this old man nonsense makes any sense, and it won’t. Ever. Because these are the thoughts of men who are old and sad and dead inside and can’t fathom why anyone would do anything to make their life the tiniest bit different.
The crazy thing is all these changes to the game were made because it wasn’t fair to create a playoff system where only the division winners got to play. A couple decades ago the Mets wouldn’t have even been in the playoffs this year! It just woulda been, “Congrats on a 101 wins, but the Braves had a better in season record against you, sooo…bye!” They’ve continued to tweak the system because fans stopped paying attention in August when it was clear their teams were out of it!
Olbermann wants to make the argument that the World Series dominated the airwaves BECAUSE it was always the two best teams playing (we’ll get into that in a minute). But, that’s not at all true. He’s obviously referring to pre-wild card days, when Baseball in general was still the most popular sport. But, I’d argue it was this system in the first place that killed interest in Baseball so much so that it has yet to win it all back. Think about it: If you knew your team was out in August then why the hell would you watch? College Football is starting, and the NFL is right around the corner! Fans now had other places to go and they went. And, those leagues happily embraced them and never let them go.
What we are hearing right now from this cabal of crybabies is just that – whining. Bullshit. Bullroar, as they’d probably rather me say. None of their gripes or complaints or whining makes a lick of sense.
When, since playoffs were introduced, has the team with the most wins during the regular season mattered one bit outside of seeding? WHEN? FUCKING TELL ME WHEN?!
It never has. In fact, I’m willing to wager that the team with the most wins during the regular season almost never wins the championship. It’s irrelevant. However, when a team with all-time great winning records do win the World Series it goes down in history as an all-time great season. AND IT RARELY HAPPENS. In fact, the last team I can think of that pulled this off was the 1998 Yankees. That’s how long it’s been. (I’m positive there is a team who’s done it since, but I don’t care)
And, let’s just stop with all this nonsense about win totals. The Mariners had less wins than the Blue Jays, and they beat them, is that fair? The Cardinals lost to the Phillies but the Cards won 93 games and the Phils 87, so that’s a bit closer – is that okay? If the Guardians beat the Yankees will that be okay? I mean they had 7 fewer regular season wins? Gosh, I hope that’s okay. But, maybe it isn’t? When does it stop? When is it fair? It never does and it never is. Put on your big boy pants.
So, this narrative that the team with the most wins in the regular season should somehow waltz into the World Series is complete and utter malarkey.
Now, if we somehow want to stick to this narrative that the team with the most wins in the regular season should advance to the next round…then shouldn’t they be able to do that…by winning? I mean, they have this incredible great record that is soooooo impressive and they’re sooooooo good, so why did they get their asses handed to them by a worse team? I mean, IT CAN’T BE that maybe they’re overrated, or that maybe when you start to break down those wins you see they came from playing shit teams all year, or good teams when they’re best players were hurt, or maybe they had one long ass hot streak followed by .500 ball. You don’t get to 111 wins by just being amazing every single day. You get there by talent and luck.
You know who has had a crap ton of talent and no luck all season? The Padres. The Phillies.
If these amazingly talented 100+-game winning teams are so fucking good then how did they lose so badly? It could just be bad luck or a tough break or they played poorly or whatever it was. And, I guess you could surmise that a good handful of those 100 wins came from playing other teams who had bad luck or a tough break or maybe was a franchise who’s owners gave up on the season and kept throwing Madison Bumgarner out there?
So…yea, there goes your fucking “they won 111 games so they HAVE TO BE THE BEST” narrative. They won them cause they’re a really good team who also continued to get really lucky. And then, when it mattered most, their luck ran out, or they just played poorly. Maybe they’re a really good regular season team when not much is on the line. Some guys just aren’t meant for the big stage.
Moving on to this dumbass narrative that the Mets and Dodgers and Braves losing is somehow bad for Baseball fans. Um…what fans are you referring to? Baseball fans in general? Cause that’s just proving how out of touch you are. People haaaaate the Dodgers. They hate the Mets, and people really hate the Yankees. But, for those team’s fans, yes it is bad. It’s a bummer. It’s…part of the game.
But, this certainly isn’t bad for Baseball as a whole. Not even close. You have three cities right now – San Diego, Cleveland and Philadelphia – that usually have little to no reason to pay attention to Baseball in October losing their damn minds. Meanwhile, you couldn’t even sellout playoff games in New York. You have entire area codes of new fans to reach and to woo and to embrace. You have the chance to create a foothold with an entirely new audience. It’s amazing! So, it’s bad for the game or fans? Nope. It’s bad for your own platform. You no longer get your mug and tweets blasted across the New York or LA markets. You are less important now. It’s bad for you Buster and Keith and every single sportswriter in LA. Also, it’s somehow bad for Nick Canepa too, but I haven’t totally figured out why yet.
So, there goes another dumbass gripe.
The only logical conclusion here is not only that it’s bad for these media personalities mass appeal, it’s bad because they only became famous to begin with because they embraced large market teams. The teams they root for lost and they’re saddy sad sad pants.
But, I do honestly feel like something deeper is happening here. Something worse. And I do hate to say it: I think it’s personally motivated. I do. The main gripe you’re hearing about is coming from Mets and Dodgers fans. So, it’s about the Padres essentially. And, who is the face of the Padres? Manny Machado. These old white beat writers and talking heads are pissed that Machado is king shit right now. They can’t stand that this narrative they’ve made millions on for years is crumbling right in front of their eyes. He’s a bad person, a dirty player, a clubhouse cancer, and on and on and on. And, now on a national stage egg is being thrown in their fucking faces night after night.
They could barely bring themselves to talk about the Padres during these broadcasts, let alone Manny’s incredible season. They hate him. They hate that he’s more famous now than ever, and that people everywhere are seeing that not only is he good, he’s a good teammate and leader. It’s eating them up inside.
Good. Let it. Maybe while it’s there it can eat up their sad old man takes, and unwillingness to let Baseball grow.
The NLCS is here. And, it’s the Padres and Phillies you motherfuckers. Why? Cause both teams managed to kick the asses of these 100+-win teams in pretty short order.