General Baseball

What Could Have Been: Braves-Sox 2011 Series

“The Collapses” didn’t matter, as Boston went on to win the 2011 series in six games over the Atlanta Braves.  That scenario would have been a possibility last season if there had been 10 teams with playoff berths as will be the case in 2012 now that expanded playoffs is a done deal according to Ken Rosenthal.

Hey, more baseball can only mean better baseball, right?

8 replies on “What Could Have Been: Braves-Sox 2011 Series”

Valentine will keep the Sox exciting enough for three possible slots. That’s the best you can hope for. The pressure is obviously on the Yanks to win the division.
I smoke my chicken. Applechips last night. Don’t forget the rub.

I like this. I am clearly no purist so I am interested to hear what the elder statesmen think?
It’s going to be exciting for those 1 game playoffs.
Plus, we will never miss the playoffs again.

More baseball is always better, imo. Not to mention this gives more incentive to actually win the division.
To be honest I’m more excited about how this will play out for the NL East. Every team in that division looks fantastic.

As you say Atheose, the increased incentive to win the division is welcome.
And I like how this increases the difficulty for those teams that get to the playoffs but don’t win their divisions. Until now their only increased difficulty was in having to go on the road. Now they’ll still have to do that but will also likely have a jumbled rotation – at least in the first playoff series – as they’ll need to throw their best available arms at the one game playoff while division winners are resting up.
For sure it will be annoying in those cases where your team, playing in a tougher division, has compiled the best non-division-winning record in the league, and yet their fate lies in a single game against what could be a team that played significantly worse competition AND compiled a worse record than they did. After all, baseball as much as any sport I can think of can not settle who is the better team through a single game, especially given the central role played by the pitcher. But again, all the more reason that you should have shored up the division. And that unfairness was really introduced as soon as they went to the unbalanced schedule, and then further exacerbated when they introduced imbalanced inter-league play.
On the whole, I like this move, though I don’t agree that more baseball is always better. I think the number of times these divisional team play each other is pretty out of control. They see each other too much. And I’d be happy to see inter-league play go the way of the do-do, though I will admit enjoying the Yankee-Mets match-ups and getting to see guys like Pujols, Lincecum, etc. play in Yankee Stadium. Just not enough to look past the increased imbalance of it all or the yawners that come along with those intriguing star appearances.
Like krueg, I’m interested to hear from detractors…

It should be noted that under this scenario both the Sox and Braves easily make the one-game playoff last year, ergo no last week drama, or the only drama would have been over who gets the home game.
I agree that it gets to be too much intradivisional games. They should go back to a balanced schedule.

> though I don’t agree that more baseball is always better
I was definitely being cheeky. I despise interleague play in the regular season and am frankly sick – of what is it – 18 or 19 games against each of the divisionals. I would like to say I came around on the realignment introduced in the strike year, but that was more likely due to the fact I just forgot about why I didn’t like it having been so thoroughly pissed about there not being any baseball because of the strike and then subsequently entertained by ’96, ’98-’00. I am cautiously optimistic these steps will lead to mo’ bettah baseball.

It sucks When I was a kid you came in first in your league or you went fishing. Then they divided the leagues in half, and then in thirds – now 2 “wild cards.” Pretty soon it will be like the NHL – “We’re number 16! Hooray!”

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