Sunday, October 03, 2010

Baseball Diplomacy:

I looked at the baseball standings this morning and realized that San Francisco, San Diego and Atlanta could end the season (today) in a three way tie. I would say the chances of this happening were about 20%. Atlanta did their bit, beating the Phillies, but San Diego lost. Thank goodness.

This tie would have required two one-game playoffs: first, between SD and SF to determine who won the division title. Then the loser would hurry 3,000 miles to Atlanta for another game to determine the National League Wild Card team. If the West Coast team won this game, they would be in the playoffs in the worst way, having traveled cross country and played two extra games when other teams are resting for the playoffs.

Before today's games were played, I came up with - I think - a much better way to settle these ties. Imagine that SD and SF must decide who is the division champion. They get together and negotiate. Why not? With equal records of 91-71, there's little to choose between them; a one-game playoff is almost a random way to decide the title. It would be better for each team to offer the other one inducements to cede the title. The offer of a very favorable trade (to take place after the world series, of course), would persuade one team to cede graciously to the other. The "winner" would be as well-rested as its post-season opponents, and that would be fair.
Post a Comment