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  • Caesar Cliffius

    My name is Cliff Eastham. I live in West Virginia with my wife Debbie, the loveliest lady in the world, and my youngest daughter, Holly who is equally as lovely as her mother.

    I enjoy writing about sports, and love a good healthy debate. My favorite teams are the Cincinnati Reds and the Washington Redskins.

    There are only a couple of sports that I don't write about, Hockey and Soccer specifically. My favorite sports are Baseball, Boxing, NFL, NCAA Basketball, MMA.

    Feel free to look around, and your comments are most welcome. Subscribe via email if you wish.

    It is decreed.....Caesar Cliffius
    this 8th day of December, in the Year of our Lord 2009.

MLB Playoffs Need Restructuring

(NOTE:  The following is a blog debate about restructuring the divisional playoffs in MLB, discussed by Cliff Eastham and Al Rinker in 2008. Therefore, when teams and seasons are discussed, they are from 2007.)

CLIFF: Al, I wanted to talk a little bit about restructuring the playoff format in the MLB. I know you are happy with the status quo, but I like to see some things change for the better.

Here are my thoughts:  I think the four playoff teams should be the teams with the best record, period.

It doesn’t matter to me if three or all four come from the same division.

A team who has had an outstanding year but didn’t win their division, should not be knocked out because a club in the Central Division won, but barely broke .500.

____________________________________________________________

AL: Cliff I believe the current playoff system is there for a reason.

Under your format there are about 8 teams that would not have a chance. I’m talking about the Central division in both leagues: The Indians,Twins Cubs and maybe the Brewers.

Those four teams would possibly not be one of the best records. We need a team in the Central to compete for the World SERIES!

Remember CLIFF all the other major sports (NFL ,NBA and the NHL) have the same format. Let’s leave it the way it is.

___________________________________________________________

CLIFF: It’s traditional thinking like that which keeps us in a box. Think outside the box, my man. That is my point, precisely.  We don’t need a team from a certain area, we need the best four teams.

Let’s take last year for instance.

In my format, the AL would have been just the way it was.

The National League, however would see some shakeup. The Cubs would be watching on TV.

The playoffs would see Arizona (west winner, best record) playing San Diego (4th best record). Colorado (2nd best record) would play Philadelphia (3rd best record). Winners would advance.

My reasoning is simple. Why should a team be penalized or punished because of their geographical location?

If all of the teams in the NL Central would end up being .500 or less, should they go to the playoffs? I think not!

Furthermore, I say that all pro sports use the same playoff format. The NFL is considering at least numbering the seeds by record, thus meaning a wild card could be a host team in the earlier rounds.

You say that several teams wouldn’t have a chance.  Come April, they all begin with a clean slate.  Everyone is in first place.

It worked fine prior to the MLB divisional setups we now have.

Remember the old days? In our favorite year 1961, the AL had ten teams and the NL had eight. There were no wild cards or runners up.

You either won the pennant or watched the series with a bag of popcorn in your hand.

In my system, the divisions could remain intact simply for geographical scheduling reasons.

I think it would be a better format and would keep the rif-raf out of the playoffs.

Cliff Eastham is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report where this article was also published.

© 2008 Clifton Eastham and Al Rinker. All Rights Reserved

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