Open Thread: Why do the playoffs suck?

Wang tosses
Congress looking into Bronx land valuation

Aside from last night’s improbable and exciting comeback by the Sawx, this year’s playoffs have been pretty lame. All four Division Series were yawn worthy, as was the NLCS. It hasn’t just been this year either. The American League has gone 12-1 13-4 in the last four World Series, and none of those four series were particularly competitive. I don’t think there’s any question that the College World Series in June has been more exciting that the traditional Fall Classic for the past few season.

Games are starting later and later, which means most adult fans are asleep by the 7th inning, while young kids – the future of the game as both fans and players – as asleep by the 3rd. A stupid commercial (a commercial!!!) by a Presidential candidate will delay the start time of a World Series game even further. The number of off-days has reached ridiculous proportions, with a typical best-of-series series spanning an ungodly ten days, with even more days off before and after the series. The Phillies are going to have six days off between clinching the NLCS and Game 1 of the World Series, a year after the Rockies endured a ridiculous nine day layoff.

What do you guys think? Have you been disappointed by the way the playoffs have been drawn out and made inconvenient to a typical fan? Would it maybe be better to chop a week or two off the regular season to keep players fresh for the postseason, or do you prefer seeing tired relievers and exhausted starters throwing meatballs that determine games, series, and sometimes even career paths?

So while we wait another another off-day before Game 6 of the ALCS, let’s take this chance to air any playoff grievances here. Play nice.

Wang tosses
Congress looking into Bronx land valuation
  • pat

    why do they suck? because the sox are playin and the yankees aren’t. end of story

    • Slugger27

      amen to that

  • http://everythingbaseball.wordpress.com Aaron

    It’s the made-for-television scheduling that causes the biggest problem in my book. And I’m not even referring to the late start times. It is how drawn out all of the series have been.

    Let’s face it, from April through September these teams play 162 games with the occasional day off. Teams will sometimes play 21 games over a 20 game span, for instance. Why does this suddenly have to change simply because it is the playoffs?

    There is no need for more than a two or three day break between the final regular season game and the start of the playoffs. The continual off days in the series aren’t necessary unless the two teams are at clear opposite sides of the country. These teams and players are used to playing a game, travelling that night, and playing the next day.

    These breaks draw things out for no reason and it takes away from the integrity of the game. The Phillies will sit at home for six days before playing their next game. Last year the Rockies sat for nine. It’s just unnecessary.

    And yes, it’s disappointing that the Yankees aren’t in the playoffs this year but that isn’t the sole reason why the playoffs have sucked.

    • AlexCT

      i agree completely. baseball is a game of consistency. maybe part of the reason the post season has been such a crapshoot recently is that there are so many off days and that its really the luck of who can perform with random play dates.
      the late start times are definitely an issue. the bad commentary is an issue. 2-3-2 is an acceptable schedule, so what’s with the 1-1-2-1-2 type garbage??. also, if all teams end a certain series early? can’t you push the nest series up? if you need to have 5 starting pitchers in the regular season, why should you only need 3 or 4 in the postseason? 5 weeks of playoffs should be a goal here. make them shorter and more intense and people with get into it and watch. i understand that the fans in florida may not deserve a team in the WS, but the players deserve to be there. philly fans have never been all that deserving either.
      maybe part of it is that baseball is a sport where 90% of the draw is regional, so when it comes to playoff time, and teams without a national fan base(anyone but the yanks, sox, cubs, dodgers) will be bad for ratings. that is out of MLB’s control. good baseball is good baseball.

  • RC

    I have not seen the end of any game. I grew up in Phila a die hard Phillies fan. Fortunately I had a son who became a Yankees fan while in NE PA(moved before the SWB Yanks). Good to see, pardon read that the Phils won tough to see Torre lose.
    The late time stinks.
    How many fans especailly youngesters saw the Red Sox come back?
    BTW My son (6 y/o at the time) and I missed Bret Boones homer- sound asleep.

    I called into the MLB pregame on MX last night I wanted to discuss the start times esp with Billy Ripken on and the Ripkens work with youth. I got a “so what its prime time” attitude from the screener and was not put on the air. He said MLB does not like but cannot do anything.
    So if MLB said east caost games start at 7pm Fox will say “no” ????

    If they are really fearing a Tampa – Phila WS and it happens they should start no later than 7pm as those metro areas will be the ones watching.

  • Marty Puccio

    I simply can’t stay up past the 5th or 6th inning and be productive for work the next day.

  • Slugger27

    AL is 12-1 the last 4 years? didnt the cardinals win the WS in 2006?

    that requires 4 victories…?

    • frank

      oooooo *smack*

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      I’m an idiot. It’s fixed. Thanks.

  • frank

    What’s wrong with the playoffs….

    1. The Red Sox.

    2. The darling Red Sox gritty, gutsy comebacks

    3. The darling Red Sox gritty, gutsy comebacks that extend their series while the NL team who has just won in 4 or 5 games waits for a week or so while the momentum acheived through a season of tough games and come-from-behind-wins is sucked from their bodies like the very talent they onced possessed to play the game of baseball against such an immortal, corageous and valiant team.

  • E-ROC

    I am a little disappointed because the Yankees aren’t in the playoffs. This year was bound to happen; better late than never.

    However, the Tampa Rays and Phillies have been entertaining. The Phillies are already in the WS, while the Rays are on the verge of defeating the RedSox for good. I have the Phillies winning the WS by the way. There haven’t been any great moments besides the RedSox comeback last night. I think that is where the dull factor lies. I suspect the off-season will be more entertaining than the playoffs, especially for Yankee fans, with the Yankees expected to be big players. I don’t think its that boring or dull. You can never get tired of the Rays stomping a mud-hole in the asses of the RedSox.

    • frank

      Apparently you are unaware of the fact that the Red Sox will beat the Rays on their way to another WS title.

      • E-ROC

        I am very much unaware of this anomaly.

  • rafael

    Just out of curiosity, at what hour do you think the playoffs should start?

    I ask mainly because I can totally understand why you would want a 5-7 PM start; living on the West Coast, that’s what they are for me right now. However, a 5-7 PM start, Eastern time, pretty much eliminates the West Coast altogether. I wonder what the demographics are in terms of who is watching these games.

    What would be considered the “compromise” time?

  • RC

    For a game played on the east coast I would say a 7pm or at least 7:15 week day start and 7:30 on weekends.
    I know thats early for the west but the game will then end in prime time on the west where as now the games end on the east well after 11pm.
    I cannot complain when a game is 10pm on the east b/c it is played on the west at 7pm
    What are the demographics east/central vs mnt/west? 7pm east means 6pm central which should not be too early.

  • Yankees=warriors

    The 4th game of the NLCS and yesterday’s game are the only entertaining playoff games so far. But I guess the real reason the playoffs are boring is because the Yankees aren’t in it…

  • RustyJohn

    First pitch should be 7:05 PM EST at the latest, no off days except for travel in between games 2 and 3 and games 5 and 6 at the most- i’d even be for back to back games- Boston to Tampa is a 2 hour flight. I hate this crap where teams have all week to line up their starters and relievers- I liked it better in the good old days when the bullpen actually had to be managed.

    How sweet would it be to have a game tonight with Pappelbon being totally spent?

  • BigBlueAL

    The new schedule is horrible because of the idiotic off-day between Games 4 and 5 of the LCS. The WS doesnt even have an off-day in between their Games 4 and 5, so why the hell do the LCS have one????

    The schedule of the division series sucks now too thanks to TBS airing all the games. Start times at 6, 6:30, 9:30 i mean wtf??? Plus now you also have off-days for any Division Series that goes to a Game 5 if necessary, which is plain old horrible too (although so far no Division Series in the last 2 years has gone to a Game 5.)

    Plus apparently from what Ive read the WS next year will last until Nov 6th for a Game 7 if necessary!!! Are you kidding me!!! The season is starting a week later into April for the WBC so the playoffs and WS will do the same. Horrible if they go through with this.

    The NBA did the same crap when the first 2 rounds of the playoffs now have at times 2 to 3 days off in between games w/o even the teams having to travel!! MLB isnt to that point yet but its the same problem because these series have no feel to them. They are like random games. The reason those Yanks-Sox series were great were because the games kept coming at you night after night. The drama never had time to go away. Ditto the NBA, you couldnt wait every other day for the Knicks-Heat, Knicks-Pacers, Knicks-Bulls games to go on. Now its wait a few days. Sucks!!!!

    Of course the Yankees not being in the playoffs is the worse part of all…..

  • Joseph M

    The baseball postseason is not an example of televised sporting events it’s an example of network programming. The games have more in common with House, Monk & Desperate Housewives than than they do with the postseason of a generation ago. All of this could be filmed on a backlot somewhere with simulated crowds and prerecorded crowd noises.

    8:30 starting times, miscellaneous days off during series, games spread out between Fox and TBS, is today an off day or an on day, who knows, and for the casual fan, a great big who cares reaction. The series have constant breaks derailing any build up of fan interest.

    It’s a joke, I imagine we are in the process of raising a generation of fans who will know of the postseason more through highlight reels than actual as it happens viewing.

  • Jim J

    You mean there are playoffs if the Yankees don’t make the post season???

    I’m much more excited about the race for 60 seats…

    • GoTerpsGo

      Pitchers and catchers report in 4 months!!! I can’t wait!!! :D

  • A.D.

    The 15 min ad delay just makes a mockery of baseball

  • Mike Pop

    Red Sox make it suck

  • MikeD

    These extra days off suck. Baseball is a marathon, where the best teams rise to the top because they grind it out. Baseball rewards the deeper teams durin gthe regular season. Then you get to the post season, and baseball introduces vacation days. Please, end this crap. After Tuesday night’s Rays/Sox game, the teams will have played ONE GAME from Tuesday to Saturday. That is NOT baseball. It’s boring, the teams lose momentum, and fans lose interest.

    • whozat

      “Baseball rewards the deeper teams durin gthe regular season. Then you get to the post season, and baseball introduces vacation days”

      This is a great point. It changes the whole game. Starters get pulled after 5 innings because you can use every arm in the pen and STILL know they won’t have to pitch more than two days in a row. You can go with three starters in a 7 game series and one guy might have to pitch on short rest. Totally changes the whole dynamic.

      • BigBlueAL

        Amen. Think of how the Yankees-Red Sox had to use their bullpens in the 200-2004 series when the rainout of Games 3 and 4 in the seperate series made the final few games of each series all back-to-back and dramatic as hell, plus added to the strategy and bullpen usage. Great stuff that wouldnt be possible in today’s LCS schedule.

        Heck how about the Yankees-A’s series when in 2000 and 2001 they had to fly across the country and play Game 5 the very next day. It may sound stupid to force these teams to do so, which is why the day-off in between Games 4 and 5 in the Division series makes some sense, but it sure added to the drama of the games.

  • Jay Walker

    A stupid commercial (a commercial!!!) by a Presidential candidate will delay the start time of a World Series game even further.As a person who is followed by many people you should use better judgment with your words. Is it stupid because Obama will be in that commercial and not McCain? Another thing why are the playoffs stupid, As a Yankees fan I miss watching them play in October, but that doesn’t mean that the teams playing don’t deserve respect and by your comments you are clearly not giving it to them. Look at Tim Dierkes, He’s a Cubs fan and you have never seen him making such comments about the playoffs or something.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Trust me, it doesn’t matter whose commercial it is – Obama’s, McCain’, Ross Perot’s, Frank Caliendo’s, I don’t care. It’s that baseball’s postseason – basically the most sacred part of the game – if manipulated at will for dumb reasons that run the integrity of the game.

      The playoffs have sucked for years now, even when the Yanks made them. I don’t mean anything by it, it’s just that I don’t like the most important time of the baseball calendar being treated worst than Spring Training.

      • Lanny

        The guy who is going on and on about the country failing and people having no money and being out of work is spending millions of dollars on a 30 minute commercial on tv networks?

        A tad hypocritical much??

        Maybe that money should go to the poor so they can feed their families and pay the rent, Barry???

      • JimT

        I agree with Mike that the games are too spaced out for the sake of TV. A more tightly spaced schedule favors the teams with the most depth, especially with thier pitching staffs. In my opinion that the way it should be.

        A two-three-two format with two days off for travel most closely resembles the regular season and favors the deeper, better team.

        The starting times are a fact of life however. There are just too many people that now live on the West Coast to be ignored. A 7:00PM start eastern time puts the game on at 4:00PM. The game goes off during the work day and continues through afternoon drive time. Acceptable, perhaps for radio, but not for TV.

  • Lanny

    I bet the playoffs are awesome for Philly, TB, and Bos fans.

  • radnom

    fuick you

  • Mike Pop

    Honestly I love that we are going to pursue CC, Lowe, Tex, Burnett, and maybe Manny but why does Heyman write the same column over and over again

  • bebop

    Mostly cause we’re not in it and Boston is

  • RobC

    I got on XM ‘s MLB Home Plate Sat afternoon
    the host was talking about the late time starts. I did not know who the host was as I was driving to my son’s babseball game.
    No solutions just venting and agreeing with eachother.
    I think the players union would have to act to get anythign done.