Many still believe the baseball postseason should go back to the days when the teams with the two best records after a long and grueling MLB season faced off in the World Series to determine a champion. Due to our short attention span and love of elimination games, the current format playoff format is a mixture of one-game playoffs and seven game series that don’t reflect who the best teams in the game actually are.
And that’s fine.
Being the best over 162 game span is infinitely more impressive to me than winning the majority of your games over the course of a few weeks at the end of the season. The Dodgers should probably get more than just a pat on the back and home field advantage for being the best team in baseball over a six month time period, but they don’t because of the current state of the sports fan.
We as a collective sports universe need elimination games. We need the drama of upsets and the thrill of cheering for the underdog. The average sports fan isn’t satisfied when the best team wins at the end of the year. That’s why the Patriots are hated, why fans love when the Blackhawks lose, and why baseball needs these one-game playoffs. Does the seven game series format truly decide who the better team is? Not even close, especially compared to the huge sample size that the regular season provides. The most accurate way to say who the best team was in a season is still to look at regular season records.
But that’s boring. Baseball can’t afford to be perceived as even more boring to the public than it already is. The predictability and length of the regular season sucks the drama out of the game to those who don’t dissect every pitch like yours truly. Who of this year’s division winners were not expected to make the postseason? Baseball doesn’t have the parity of football or hockey, so the current playoff format is needed to get fans excited about the game.
The Dodgers likely won’t win the World Series. That’s not an indictment on the team, it’s just an acknowledgement of the randomness of the postseason. Without that randomness, your average sports fan who doesn’t read blogs like this or care about the most intricate parts of the game will be wondering one thing.
What’s the point in watching?