Here’s some Sunday morning links as we wait to see where the Yankees end up in the AL East and continue to recover from last nights Burnett vs. Dice-K “duel” (this was written Saturday night, if it’s truly a duel I’ll be shocked).
Joe LaPointe suggests increasing the number of playoff teams to an NHL’esque 16. It’s preposterous to think that more than half the teams in baseball belong in the playoffs, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see the number increase from 4 teams in each league at some point. I was hesitant about the Wild Card, and while I think it has been a success (other than 2004 and 2007), it would be an extremely slippery slope for MLB to expand further. They are already having issues getting the bottom feeding team to spend money that is literally given to them, if the odds of making the playoffs doubled, teams could point to their spot in the playoffs as “success”.
Jon Paul Morosi argues that the Yankees are better off winning the Wild Card and makes a pretty compelling case. I’m not one to root to face one team or another unless there is a specific advantage/disadvantage, but in a vacuum I’d rather face the Twins than the Rangers. The flip side I’d rather have the Yankees have home field, but at the end of the day, I don’t really prefer one team to the other, though homefield in a potential ALCS would be huge. Either way they are in for a battle and can beat either team, or lose to either team.
Billy Crystal was honored on Friday for directing “61*” and an exhibit for the movie opened. The exhibit will be on display until the end of 2011. The article is more generous about the movie than I am (it was okay, not great), but a good quick read and certainly would be worth checking out the exhibit if you’re at the Hall of Fame in the next year.
A couple of links about parity and competitiveness in MLB. Chris Stankovich points out that several small market teams are competing this year, and more importantly points out that several teams convince their fans that they simply cannot compete. If I were fan of the Royals, I wouldn’t be pissed about the Yankees, I’d instead be pissed that they can’t model their system like the smaller market teams who can have success. In that same vein, Jon at WFNY (and Indians blog) goes into the breakdown of how impact players on several teams were acquired. It’s promising (in a way) to see that more impact Sox players have been signed through free agency than Yankees players. Get to the Indians part and it has to be pretty disappointing to see how they have drafted. It’s beyond awful.