Yankees manager Joe Girardi said the experience of coming from two games down to beat Cleveland in the Division Series helped them in coming back from two games down to take a three-games-to-two series lead over the Astros with the ALCS heading back to Houston.
While it could have a contributing factor, I think it is secondary to Major League Baseball’s inane playoff scheduling of 2-3-2, which in this case rewards the wild-card team of having three straight games at home.
Such a format neutralizes the home field advantage the Astros earned by winning 101 games during the regular season compared to the Yankees winning 91 games.
Isn’t having the best record supposed to stand for something?
The fairest playoff format in all sports for a seven-game playoff series is 2-2-1-1-1. Baseball doesn’t do it that way, saying it wants to cut down on cross-country travel. Seriously? In October it wants to cut down on the travel?
Beginning with the wild-card games, why do they have to be played on different dates? That’s because MLB cares more about playing as many games as possible in primetime.
Normally, that would carry some weight if we were talking about the major networks broadcasting the games. But, instead there were games telecast on four networks: FOX, FX1, TBS and MLB Network.
I wonder how much of the country missed out on some games?
For the ALCS and NLCS rounds, only four times was each league scheduled on the same date. That’s ridiculous scheduling.
It’s bad enough that if the World Series goes seven games, Game 7 will be played Nov. 1. I know things will never go back to the way it was, and I know MLB – like all sports – cares more about placating television than the fans in the stands, but c’mon, you have to do better than this.
With some creative scheduling during the regular season, MLB could easily cut a week off the calendar and start the playoffs earlier.
For example, since we have the unbalanced schedule thanks to interleague play, have at least once a month have teams play day-night doubleheaders within the division. Three home; three away.
That would cut six days off the schedule, it would make for more off days during the season, and enable the playoffs to start a week earlier.
C’mon Manfred, be a commissioner for the game and not just the owners.