Tag Archives: division front runners

PARITY BE DAMNED – MLB HAS IT RIGHT

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”

imageIn 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.image

 

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……

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WHEN ALL THE PIECES FALL INTO PLACE…….

As in life there are times in baseball when everything just seems to fall into place. A hitter goes on a stretch where the ball coming to the plate looks as big as a beachball. Likewise, a pitcher goes through a series of starts where home plate seems 30ft away. Teams also have runs where twenty five players and the coaching staff come together to form a juggernaut that seems destined always find a way to win.

The New York Yankeesimages-8 are giving every indication thatimages-9 they are that kind of a team this year. Under the laid back (but focused) leadership of Brian Cashman (left) and Joe Girardi (right) we are watching – not a great team by any means- but certainly a solid and steady team that is avoiding the predictable highs and lows of a long and arduous baseball season.

No, this is not the team of the five year run. This year’s edition of the Yankeesimages-7 images-6is not even comparable to the 2009 team. Except for Mark Teixeria, there’s not even a true All Star on the team.

What the team does have are a bunch of role players who complement and support each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Brian McCann (upper right) for example is proving clutch at the plate while handling a relatively young staff seamlessly. Mashahiro Tanaka (upper left) seeks perfection every time out there. To hear him talk about his start that day, you’d think he gave up ten runs if you hadn’t watched the game.

It goes even deeper than that with contributors like Jacoby Ellsbury (right) who if not the best leadoff images-10 hitter in the game today,  must  surely  be in the discussion. A natural center fielder who runs like a deer, clutch is fast becoming his middle name too.

Flying under the radar too is Chase Headley (left). A star by no means….your everyday ball player who shows up for work every day andimages-15 gets his one hit a night when it means the most. So too with Brett Gardner who Cashman refused offers for a year ago when the season was already lost. Now, he’s having a career year as a graduate of the Yankees much underrated farm system.

This is a good team that certainly can win its imploding division. And when they get to the crapshoot playoffs, look out because they just might find their way to an unexpected but well earned title.