Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Baseball Post

This I did not know: Dan Okrent, who knows a thing or two about designing games, has the same basic attitude towards structuring the divisions/postseason that I have:
If you’re going to have divisions in baseball, and I can see a case for it, then the team with the best record in the league should get more than the home field advantage. So it would be like, in a seven-game series, the pennant-winning team would have to win three games before the other team wins four. You get these races that aren’t races, and I would change that tomorrow.
I'd love to hear what he thinks of my preferred plan (two divisions per league, first place team plays the other division's second place team and needs to win one fewer game). As far as I'm concerned, MLB could do a lot worse than putting Okrent in charge of this stuff. I'd trust him.

In other news...I'm happy that Rock Raines moved up to close to 50%. I'm a lot more confident now that he'll eventually get in. I'm not confident about Alan Trammell yet, but it was a solid step in the right direction for him, too. On the down side, it's also pretty clear now that Jack Morris will be a Hall of Famer, sooner or later. With the crazy balloting that's about to happen, there's really no way to guess when that will be, but no one gets that close and then doesn't get in. Too bad; there's no way that he's deserving.

Meanwhile, McGwire and Palmiero are just as flat as ever. It's hard to believe that Bonds and Clemens do worse than those guys (are there really people voting for McGwire who won't vote for Bonds and Clemens? I suppose anything is possible, but it's hard to see). I do think that there seem to be a chunk of voters who believe that McGwire isn't actually qualified based only on his playing career, and then there are others who believe that McGwire, and certainly Palmeiro, were marginal HOFers and wouldn't have made it without "cheating." They'll presumably treat Sammy Sosa the same way, right? But I've never heard anyone say that about Bonds and Clemens...there's also what I consider to be an entirely insane belief among sportswriters that we know exactly and certainly when Barry Bonds started using steroids, and I've heard more than one of them talk about how he had earned a HOF spot during his "clean" career. The funniest thing would be if he got in from that kind of thinking, and then it turned out he's been taking steroids since college.

Anyway, I definitely don't expect Bonds or Clemens to get in next year, but I wouldn't be shocked if they're both closer to 50% and then improve from that point. Or, you know, they could each get 7% and get knocked off the ballot...surely there are a whole lot of sportswriters who want to punish them. I guess we'll just have to wait a year to know.


  1. In some ways though, shouldn't everyone who is a "big hall" guy want Morris to get in? That way when arguing in favour of another player, you can say "Well, Morris got in, so player x should as well".

  2. Frankly, I don't care about the hall of fame. Think about your own life. Is it the awards or the experiences that mattered. In my opinion, it is the experiences, so who cares what awards one gets.

  3. I've suggested what seems like a combination of Okrent's idea and yours, Jonathan. I'd be happy with either applied separately. And very unhappy with this extra wild card playoff idea that is floating around.


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