Sit down and take a twitpic of this one ladies and gentlemen because this may be the last post about baseball until the World Series in October (thanks Madden!). For this one, I want to talk about one of the best rivalries in sport: Yankees vs Red Sox. These teams are playing in Boston for 3 games this week. The Yankees took the first game on Tuesday, closing within a half a game of the Sox in the competitive AL East. C.C. Sabathia ended his Red Sox curse with 10 strikeouts. Mariano Rivera actually got a save against the Boston club. And I bet you the baseball world couldn’t care less.
The reason no one cares is that both of these teams have been in the playoffs since July practically. These two squads dominate the baseball world with their tremendous payrolls. The rest of the AL East has no shot unless the stars align and
Lil’ Wayne gets caught in public with women’s clothes pigs learn to fly. The other AL teams know they have to win their division because it will be either Boston or New York as the wild-card team. This makes a late August series between these two rivals meaningless; whoever loses the division will sashay Shante right into the wild-card spot. Then they will play their only meaningful series in the playoffs. Ask the 2004 Red Sox if being a wild-card is a problem if you are trying to make the World Series.
The problem is that there isn’t much of a difference being a wild-card and winning a division. At least in football, you are penalized The solution for this problem has actually been found out by MLB shockingly. Just add one more wild-card team and have a do-or-die playoff game to determine who is the true wild-card team. Then have the playoffs continue has it has been for the past two decades. This would mean that the Yankees would play the Tampa Bay Rays. The Yankees are 6-5 against the Rays (and 3-10 vs Red Sox as of this piece). You think the Yankees would want to play that game? But I know I would want to watch it. What a way to drive up fan interest, especially in the middle of football season, with a single elimination playoff game. What a way to keep fan interest in the regular season, when late August divisional games are not rendered meaningless. Seems like an easy fix for baseball, right?
Well, its baseball. They were slow to get the wild-card. They were slow to catch steroids. They made the All-Star game mean something because they are slow. Now there is talk of realignment and expanding the playoffs. But there is resistance to it from of course, baseball. Will baseball ever get it? They have been surpassed and stomped by the NFL. Random NFL regular season draw the same amount of viewers as the World Series!!! That should never, ever, happen in life. MLB needs to do something to shake up their sport, to inject juice into their season. Because when Yankees vs Red Sox gets the Kanye shrug from fans, you know there is a big problem.