October 07, 2012

Show #204: The Braves Wildcard Debacle

We break down the loss in the WC play-in game:  the errors, the men left on base, the infield fly and the bottles on the field.



98 Responses to “Show #204: The Braves Wildcard Debacle”

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  1. 1
    Walker Says:

    I don’t know what it is with the Braves and the postseason. Now I feel like the only reason we won the 1995 world series is because we played a Cleveland team. And there is no worse loser city than Cleveland.

    Eric Gregg
    Lonnie Smith
    Buster Posey was out. Remember that
    And On And ON

    And just like the Division Winners get a reward. The top wild card winner should also get rewarded. My 2 game idea is a perfect idea.

  2. 2
    DAP Says:

    i still havent gotten over this one. its gonna hurt for awhile.

    wren needs to get to work and try to put a mid 90 game winning team again. its all he can do.

  3. 3
    Shaun Says:

    A simple solution would be to just have the two worse qualifiers play in the one-game playoff, regardless of whether they are division winners. Divisions wouldn’t be obsolete. The Tigers would still make the playoffs, in spite of having a worse record than some non-playoff teams.

    Of course, that wouldn’t have changed things in the NL this season, except maybe opened up the possibility for a Braves-Giants playoff before the playoff. Either that or the Braves would have been the first wild card anyway, because the Giants beat them head-to-head and the Giants won their division. I’m not sure what other type of tie-breaker scenario they could have used.

    But I would have accepted the Braves’ fate more if it was clear that the two worst (in theory) playoff teams were playing in the one-game playoff.

  4. 4
    Frigatedoc Says:

    I will listen to the show….. But only under protest! (Now I expect someone to immediately come back and deny it only because it would screw up the system that MLB screwed up!)

  5. 5
    Curt Says:

    Does anyone believe that the Braves win a 3 game series after losing that first game, in that fashion? Even if they win the second game, say it too is played in Atlanta, do we win a third game in St. Louis? I don’t believe that for a second. Not after that first game.

  6. 6
    Steve Says:

    I don’t know. It could certainly go the way you describe. But the Braves might be so pissed after Game 1 that they come out and absolutely roll the next two.

    The really sad part about this conversation is that it’s all we’ve got at this point.

  7. 7
    DAP Says:

    i agree with what y’all said about the frustration of the fans boiling over on friday.

  8. 8
    Curt Says:

    09:06 AM ET 10.07 | The Angels are expected to make a serious attempt to keep Zack Greinke. But smart money says he joins the Braves, who tried hard to trade for him.

    Chicago Tribune

  9. 9
    Leah Says:

    So not over it. I seriously need help. I keep playing all the what ifs. Chipper doesn’t make the error, the Cards don’t have the umps in their back pocket, things like that. If it wasn’t such a terrible call St Louis wouldn’t have made it their battle cry.

    Hate the Cards. Want them completely demolished by the Nats. So unfair!

  10. 10
    Steve Says:

    @8 – Makes no sense to me. Conservatively the Braves will ~$20MM to spend. They need a CF and LF (or 3B if Prado stays in LF). Why spend a huge chunk on another SP, especially with Beach back at the ASG? It’s just not the main need right now.

  11. 11
    Shaun Says:

    Curt @5, I agree with Steve. The sad part is that it’s baseball, a sport that is filled with 3-game series throughout the regular season, and the Braves (and any other team) only gets one shot.

    I feel just as bad for Texas, as much as they did to shoot themselves in the foot over the final days of the regular season. I think they are a better team than Baltimore and I still think they may be the second-best team in baseball in 2012. I don’t think there is any doubt they were better in 2012 than Detroit. They may have lost in 3 games but they never got the chance.

    I don’t understand why the wild card game couldn’t have been 3 games with no off days between the regular season, the wild card series, and the LDS round. Teams fly from one series to another in time to play a game the next day all the time. That would have been just three off days for the division winners and no off-days for the wild card teams.

    I’m sure the disadvantage for the wild card teams of having to play a 3-game series with no off days would have more than made up for any disadvantage for a division winner having to wait three days to play.

    The Braves have to fly to Atlanta from Pittsburgh, immediately after their regular season finally. The Cardinals have to fly to Atlanta immediately after their regular season finally. Both teams have to play the next day. They play 2-out-of-3, using their three best starters and wearing themselves out trying to win. The division winners get to relax for 3 days and then play a worn out wild card team. Why is this more unfair to the division winners than to the wild cards?

  12. 12
    Shaun Says:

    Steve @10, perhaps Liberty Media is going to raise the payroll just enough for them to fill all their needs and to get Greinke.

    Another factor is that Greinke seems to want to play for the Braves. Maybe he takes less than he could get on the open market.

    I could also see a scenario where they trade for solid yet cheap players to fill some of their needs, instead of going the more expensive free agent route.

    If things line up right, I could see them getting Greinke. But seems to me a lot would have to line up.

  13. 13
    Anne Says:

    Go, Nationals! I love that the CNN Sports headline today is “Champs on the Ropes.” T minus one hour to game. Did I mention: Go, Nationals!

  14. 14
    Walker Says:

    Shaun you make a great point. Baseball is a sport filled with so much luck and randomness on a day by day basis. The reason the season is so long is so that the cream rises to the top.

    The long season allows the truly best teams to show who they are. This isn’t football. And Selig should be ashamed. This need to be changed immediately. I’ve long thought that even the Division series needed to be 7 games.

    So much is great with this sport. But so much is wrong with it. And I’m not saying this because we lost either.

  15. 15
    Erika Says:

    @Shaun: You’re absolutely right about the fair/unfair argument. I am not exactly sure why it is such a problem for the division winners to rest after the season to give time for a WC series. Even with the one game playoff, the Yankees won their division and did not play for four days. Those who advocate for the one game playoff believe the Wild Card should be “punished” for not winning the division. It’s strange to me that MLB has implemented the one game playoff just for this reason, to create a disadvantage for the Wild Card, yet allows the Wild Card winner to open the LDS at home this year and have 2-3 format, even through they play the team with the better record. Ultimately, MLB continues to contradict itself, defending an incredibly long, 162 game schedule simply to render it pointless by one Wild Card game. And to top it off, it allows the WC winner to open the LDS. None of it makes sense.

  16. 16
    Steve Says:

    @15 – Great post.

  17. 17
    bub Says:

    The punishment argument for the Wild Card game is absurd anyway. The whole damn we have a wild card team was to protect the ostensibly 2nd best team in a league from being left out if it happened to be in a division with the best team.

    That’s the team being protected by the Wild Card. The 2nd or 3rd best team in the league. We have to keep that in view all the time. The Wild Card was never, ever, ever designed to help to help out the 4th best team in the league.

    But then it’s like Selig and company just completely forgot that, came late to their own party, and were like, “hey, can’t have this #4 team on even ground, slap ‘em into a one game coin flip with the ALMOST DEFINITELY FIFTH best team in the league.” It’s absurd.

  18. 18
    Erika Says:

    @Bub – completely agree that’s the true “point” of the Wild Card. I’ve been reading the counter argument all over the blogs the last few days and it’s infuriating me to no end.

  19. 19
    Shaun Says:

    For what it’s worth, I don’t feel as icky about this season as last. It seemed like last season the Braves never played to their potential. Granted a lot of that was probably due to injuries, players playing through injuries, etc. But I think some of it was Fredi over-managing a lot more than he did this season, it seemed the hitting philosophy was all out of whack. This year felt like the team did as much as they could do, except for in that one dumb winner-take-all game.

  20. 20
    bub Says:

    Shaun, I could go along with that.

  21. 21
    David Says:

    Several things…

    First off, terrific show as always. This one had all of the anger and bitterness that should be expressed in Braves country after Friday’s game.

    – While I do hate the Cardinals, I don’t think their “infield fly” chants were anything wrong [duck]. I didn’t see any footage, but to me it sounds like it was more in jest at the umpires and the situation and more of a “and what about that call?!!?” way — not in a “let’s stick it to the Braves!” way. If they wanted to stick it to the Braves, they should’ve chanted “THREE ER-RORS! THREE ER-RORS!” But I do hate the Cardinals.

    – After Friday’s game, I hate the whole MLB system more. The 1-game playoff is asinine and totally contradictory to the regular season system. I also hate that MLB will never, ever, ever go back and reverse something they’ve done — and that seems to be from an understanding that they got it right the first time. Hence no instant replay, hence no repealing of the DH. It seems that MLB will only add to the system, never take back what they’ve put in place.

    – In addition to the idiocy of the 1-game playoff, I’m wondering why baseball even needed a 5th playoff team to begin with. Obviously the “need” is to get more money, to which I say: use that money, in every regular season game, for a 5th umpire to monitor instant replay calls.

    – Re Zach Greinke — doesn’t seem like the Braves need him. Heading into the 2013 season, our starting 5 includes Medlen, Huddy, Minor, Maholm, and Hanson, with Beachy waiting in the wings until the all-star break. That’s also not factoring in any potential offseason trades that would see Hanson or Minor or Maholm (although I bet it’ll be Delgado or Teheran before any of them) exit for a power-hitting outfielder.

    Also on Hanson: I would think that his first/second half splits suggest that he’ll be traded midseason. He’s a much better first-half pitcher than second-half. (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=hansoto01&year=Career&t=p)

    Lastly, I’m with you Curt — Hotel Transylvania was awful.

  22. 22
    Nate Says:

    Curt, shouldn’t you start rooting for the Cardinals? Wouldn’t that be the ultimate way for you to get back at them on behalf of Braves Country? They don’t have a chance if you do.

  23. 23
    Curt Says:

    Nate, done. I’m all in on the Cardinals. I’m growing a Motte like beard until they get knocked out.

  24. 24
    Steve Says:

    @23 – Your normal beard is borderine frightening. Can’t wait for this one.

  25. 25
    eric Says:

    I get the arguments that the one game playoff isn’t fair, but I don’t really see that being the case here. It’s not like the Braves were some powerhouse. I have no reason to believe they would have gotten by any of the division winners or that they even would have won a 3 game series against the Cards.

    I like that the Braves were in the one game playoff. It was exciting. Bottom line – they blew it.

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