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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Pyrrhic victory in Kansas City: emphatic example of why the wild card is for suckers.

A Pyrrhic victory is a victory with such a devastating cost that it is tantamount to defeat.  Winning a battle but losing the war.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014, 8:00pm, Kauffman Stadium
Attendance: 40,502, Time of Game: 4:45
Royals 9 Athletics 8

                1  2  3   4  5  6   7  8  9  10 11 12    R  H  E
                -  -  -   -  -  -   -  -  -   -  -  -    -  -  -
Athletics       2  0  0   0  0  5   0  0  0   0  0  1    8 13  0
Royals          1  0  2   0  0  0   0  3  1   0  0  2    9 15  0

Jon Lester7.18662507.36311117541112314105041-0.1290.93-1.0
Luke Gregerson, H (1)0.21001200.0041611452011022-0.0194.28-1.1
Sean Doolittle, BS (1)22110004.50819141013531000-0.1693.80-0.0
Dan Otero, L (0-1)1.132201013.50724161123421000-0.3023.60-0.5
Fernando Abad0.10000000.001111000100100.0702.910.3
Jason Hammel0100000164310100011-0.4373.04-1.0
Team Totals11.215993806.94521771217020312417804143-0.9862.11-3.4
James Shields55442617.2021885631520588045-0.0841.02-0.5
Yordano Ventura, BS (1)0.122200154.003137511032022-0.3411.42-2.5
Kelvin Herrera1.24110305.40936271854421011-0.0710.50-0.6
Wade Davis10000100.003752121100000.0070.100.5
Greg Holland10003100.0062396210220000.0370.960.5
Brandon Finnegan2.11111303.86929187473210000.2112.090.8
Jason Frasor, W (1-0)0.21000100.003129315021011-0.2452.30-0.3
Team Totals12138861526.005420813172194013201504544-0.4861.17-2.1
Got the picture.  Now the victorious Kansas City Royals travel to Anaheim, CA to play a five game series against the well rested Angels who will have their pitchers lined up in optimum order.  The top Royals pitcher, James Sheilds, who had anything but a big game last night, will be able to start only one game against the Angels.  Sheilds pitched Tuesday and the games are scheduled for Thursday, Friday, Sunday, Monday, Wednesday.  Pitching on four days rest Sheilds can start game three Sunday, his team possibly facing elimination.  Pitching in a game five Sheilds would be working on two days rest and probably would only be used in relief.

It would have been the same for Oakland starter Jon Lester had the As won.

Yankee fans, reject the wild card.  Tuesday, August 19, 2014

As I immediately wrote when the extra wild card team was announced two years ago, the MBL had  inadvertently stumbled into a big improvement in its tournament.  The change gave a huge advantage to the number one seed, i.e., the division winner with the best record in the conference and a huge disadvantage to the wild card team, especially if it is wild card number two.  That team loses home field advantage in every round except the finals, which is absurdly determined by the winner of the All Star game.  I do not expect a number two wild card team to reach the finals, much less win it.  Ever.

So the Yankees are promoting their long shot hope of securing the number two wild card spot, the bottom seed.  That's sucker stuff.  Last season I felt bad for the fans of the two Ohio teams who were drawn into that.  I felt from the start of this new tournament format that within 3 to 5 years fans of teams on the bubble would develop fatigue from the rush of optimism in qualifying to the quick exit, either in the play-in game or in round one against the better and rested one seed...

Send a message.  Reject the wild card.  Stay home for the rest of the regular season.  Don't attend the first round series in the unlikely event that these Yankees both qualify for the tournament and then travel from Boston, where they end the regular season, to either Anaheim or Oakland California and win that do-or-die game.  And what of the ignominy of the Yankees desperately trying to beat the Red Sox on the road to get that bottom seed and failing?  Holy Bucky Dent!


Yoenis Cespedes - Red Sox at Orioles
September 19,2014
by Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons
Wil Myers August 20, 2013
by Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons


Cliff Blau said...

And yet...

Kenneth Matinale said...

You waited eleven days to second guess? What was your view BEFORE the tournament?

Has enough time passed to comment on the finals?