Parity is something discussed incessessantly in professional sports. How can you make things “even” between competing teams. This discussion explains from the quintessential baseball movie “Moneyball”
In 2012, Major League Baseball expanded it’s number of teams making the playoffs from 8 to 10. This resulted in each of the thirty teams having a one in three chance of securing a spot in the postseason.
At the same time, the National Football league allows 12 of its 32 teams in the playoffs. This results in 37.5% of the teams making the cut, or three out of every eight teams. More teams get in than in baseball, but not nearly as many as in the parity driven NBA……
If you play in the National Basketball Assosciation, your team has an astounding one out of two chances to be in the postseason and maybe that explains why they drag on for two months.
Baseball has it about right and any further moves to add more teams into the mix will only serve to water the playoffs down further by creating superficial fan interest in teams that are simply not very good to begin with.
In other words, don’t fix something that ain’t broke………..and besides……this format is thriving……
A quick look at the standings as they are today (7/13) demonstrates the point. In the American League, the Yankees stand a mere four games from making the playoffs before the bottom drops out with the Angels, Twins, Oakland, and Tampa Bay ten or more games behind and virtually out of contention.
In the National League, things are bit different with only five teams realistically in the running for a Wild Card spot. And that’s the way it should be. Go any deeper and there could easily be a sub .500 team playing for a chance to take it all.
The long season changes everything. What was (the White Sox and Pirates) no longer isn’t and then suddenly it is again as both teams appear to be surging. But, will it last? And if it does, who will be at the other end of the stick getting knocked out?
And therein lies the intrigue that you don’t find in any other professional sport.
The Cubs who were once playing at a .750 clip are now in the midst of a 1-9 ten game collapse while the Mets vaunted starting pitching staff loses Harvey for the season and Noah Syndergaard leaves a game early when he drops to only 91 on the gun (arm fatigue they are saying).
So, where she stops nobody knows. And therein lies the intrigue lovers of baseball have come to know – and that’s why the second half is destined to witness the ongoing ups and downs of the Long Baseball Season….