Monday, October 26, 2009

2009 MLB Playoffs: A down year

When the regular season is over and the playoffs begin, the number of teams still broadcasting drops from 30 to 8. That means that the fans of 22 major league teams can no longer watch their players take the field. For the playoffs to be truly successful, the fans of these 22 playoff-ineligible teams need to tune in and watch the postseason action. Whether it is an overachieving underdog attempting to knockoff a team of superstars or two teams with a storied rivalry, it seems there is always a good reason to pay attention.

What reason, if any, is there for watching the playoffs this year? As the World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees approaches, people from around the baseball community are expressing their discontent. The Yankees are supposed to win. Their players earn more than anybody and have access to some of the best facilities around. When they don't make it deep into the playoffs, it usually takes everybody by surprise. As for the Phillies, they won it last year. They have been one of the best teams all season long. With incredible athletes like Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins, the Phils are the face of the National League.

As a Cubs fan, it was going to take a pretty amazing storyline to get me to watch any postseason baseball. What we got as fans of the game was quite the opposite. They Phils and Yanks were picked by many to make it to the World Series before the playoffs started. No other team seemed to pose a threat to their chances. Wild card teams were boring, the best players performed well, and solid competition was nowhere to be found. If the most exciting story is A-Rod's first successful postseason trip, I'd rather watch preseason basketball.

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