Unfair. Ridiculous. Awful.
Those were some of the phrases espoused on social media Tuesday night when the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates played one game to determine who would advance to the next round of the Major League Baseball playoffs. The cry was how could baseball have its teams play 162 regular-season games and then have one game determine who advances in the playoffs where chance can have such a significant role in the outcome.
I love it.
Matter of fact, I wish they’d shorten the Chase to four races. Let them run at a short track, 1.5-mile track, 1-mile track and either a road course or restrictor-plate track. Or add both and make the Chase a five-race event. I’m flexible.
Yes, chance would play a greater role. What I like about a shorter Chase is that it increases the intensity. I want teams to sprint to a title, not run a marathon. Look, everybody seems to think the NFL playoffs are fine. After a 16-game season, the San Francisco 49ers needed to win only two games to get to last year’s Super Bowl. Two games.
So, why is it OK in the NFL to have a short playoff path to the title? Yes, I get the point that in the NFL it’s only two teams and in NASCAR there are 43 cars out there together. Still, I don’t have a problem with that.
You want to put emphasis on winning? Well, you better win one of those four or five races in the Chase or you might not win the title. Yes, a team could get hot in a shortened Chase and steal the title. Guess what? That happens all the time in sports.
Hey, if NASCAR can increase the Chase field this year, why not shorten the Chase and learn something from Major League Baseball.