Friday, June 17, 2011

Don't expect sports media to protect baseball from Selig's expanded playoffs-Mushnick

"In baseball, the press is traditionally seen as the guardians of the game."...Marchman "How can you call yourself a big baseball fan when you just sit there with a blank look as Bud Selig and his puppeteers continue to disfigure The Game?

I know, most sports media are no help; they're compliant and co-opted; they capitulate as a matter of expedience, access or corporate considerations. The media don't protect fans or the games as they were once inclined.

  • They're no longer able or willing.

But that doesn't mean you have to fold, too.

It's now a given that MLB will add two more playoff teams, for a total of 10. Finishing in first after a 162-game regular soon will mean even less than it did last season.

Recall last season? Early October? The final series between the Red Sox and Yanks, a series to decide if the Yanks finished first, meant nothing because Joe Girardi logically didn't care. The system told him so. He cared about getting his starting rotation rested for the playoffs.

So, on the last days of a 162-game season, in what once would have been the biggest games of the season, the Yanks didn't much care if they won or lost. They lost two of three and finished second. No big deal.

In the series to determine first place, the Yanks rested their best starter, CC Sabathia. Now that's baseball in the

  • Age of Bud!

And with 10 playoff teams there will be plenty more where that came from. What once would have been the biggest games of the regular season soon will be institutionally rendered even less relevant. The "biggest" games will be played by also-rans just looking to get into the money.

Money? Did someone say money? Remember, this isn't the NBA, NHL or NFL. MLB plays 162 games to distinguish the best from the rest.

But with 10 teams in the playoffs that diminishing reality will be further eroded.

No matter the sweet, embracing words Selig chooses to frame it, 10 qualifiers aren't in the best interests of fans or baseball any more than cats serve the best interests of mice. It's about adding more artificial stimulants in pursuit of more money.

And money's the prize for which Selig and his button-pushers allowed baseball to be overrun by drugs, the same reason Sunday afternoon games are moved to 8 p.m. and why

  • last week's Red Sox-Yanks began at nearly 11 p.m.

MLB couldn't care less if fans and media debate whether 10 playoff teams is good or bad. Let fools argue an irrelevancy. It's about money."...


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