Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ausmus blames 1998 on the schedule

In a Wall Street Journal article on how stupid a five-game opening series is, they have the following statistics:

-The team with the better record wins only 48% of the time.
-100-win teams have won 10 of 19 Division Series

Then this:
Brad Ausmus, a former Houston Astros catcher, said his team's 1998 loss to the San Diego Padres was partly driven by the schedule. The first three games of the series were played over five days, which enabled San Diego to use its ace pitcher, Kevin Brown, twice. San Diego won both games and took the series. "When the schedule allows you to pitch the best pitcher in the league twice in the first three games, I wouldn't say that's the best system for judging who the better team is," says Mr. Ausmus, now with the Dodgers.

"I couldn't be happier. When I instituted the wild card, it was controversial. Some were saying, 'He's going to ruin baseball.' But what a great history."

That's, uh, not exactly answering the question. We're not talking about the Wild Card, but making the playoffs more fair.

Any changes in the works?
All the criticism aside, Mr. Selig says no changes are planned to the format. He disagrees with the idea that teams with the best records aren't properly rewarded. He points out that the division winner with the better record during the season gets to play the first two games at home, plus the potential fifth and deciding game. "That's a pretty good advantage," he says.

1 comment:

Ryan Sides said...

One of my statistical baseball books said something similar about home-field advantage. Something like only 51% of teams with home-field won the series. So Selig's rambling meant basically nothing. (Of course, the book also goes on to detail that any team has roughly a 1/8 chance of winning the World Series no matter what, so I'm not sure what he can do outside of 13 game series...)