It doesn’t matter how you start, only how you end matters. This notion becomes especially accentuated with the new playoff format giving teams more time to figure it out.
Entering the Wild Card requires you to win two out of three games and one additional team from each league has a chance to compete. The top two teams end up with a week off and extra rest, but the extra playing time might be all the teams need to find their spark.
Andrew Friedman explained how MLB’s complex playoff style of play allows teams to catch fire at exactly the right time. That, with any luck, can be exactly what a team needs to win the World Series (quotes via AM 570 LA Sports).
“So that means when things happen in a small series, there’s more randomness and things that can come up by definition. And does that make it skill, luck, lack of effort You know there’s a lot of different reasons people can cite but I think it’s pretty clear if you look back over the last 10, 15, 20 years the best team doesn’t necessarily win the World Series And that’s part of the frustrating thing about what we do. But it’s also part of the excitement and the exhilaration of these games in their tension, but that’s different from other sports.
Rather than it sounding like a complaint for the new format, Friedman wants to take it as a challenge and won’t use it as an excuse for a bad end to the season. The Dodgers did everything right in the regular season to secure the best path to the World Series and were unable to execute.
Unlike basketball, in baseball the best team usually doesn’t win according to Friedman. The Dodgers need to rise to the challenge more than ever, unless they want to continue to be a disappointment.
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