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What if the MLB had promotion and relegation?

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On 7/17/2019 at 10:19 PM, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

 

Are there such organisations? This is mostly a canard.

 

Let's realise that the Royals and the Texas Rangers each recently won consecutive pennants — and even the Tampa Bay Rays won a pennant! 

 

Not long ago, people would talk of the Detroit Tigers as though they were hopeless; but they went from racking up historically prodigious loss totals to winning the pennant in only three years. Nowadays people often mention the Pirates as the example of a team that isn't trying. But we mustn't forget that they recently we're one of the wild cards for three seasons in a row.

 

Not every team is going to reel off first-place finishes like the 1950s Yankees or the 1990s-2000s Braves. But that doesn't mean that they're not trying. If they win a pennant once in a generation, that justifies the whole thing.

 

Additionally, I will offer the view that parity is not such a good thing. While each team having hope seems desirable, the truth is that a league's identity is derived from its dominant teams. 

 

Major League Baseball in the 1970s is defined by the A's, Reds, Yankees; the NFL of the 1970s is defined by the Steelers, Dolphins, Cowboys, Raiders; the NBA of the 1980s is defined by the Celtics, Lakers, Pistons. These periods have a feel to them, almost a taste. By contrast, a period during which any team can win is a period that is nondescript and featureless.

 

You had me until the bolded part.  Dynasties do provide a sense of identity to certain eras*.  However, if other teams believe they have no realistic shot of competing, they will eventually tune out.  Rooting against the Evil Empire will only get you so far.

 

* -- I'll add the late 60s-early 70s including the Orioles because it makes me feel good.

 

On 7/18/2019 at 1:09 AM, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

 

Please note that team does not have to be from a small city in order to be out of contention for long stretches of time, examples being the Cubs and the White Sox.

 

Also, in the 1970s, both the Giants and the Jets were strictly nowheresville.

 

Every fan wants his/her team to win, of course. But most of the championships go to the elite teams; and this is not a bad thing, as just about every team will have the occasional championship or finals appearance that will become part of the team's lore and will keep the team's fans warm for decades  

 

Sometimes it's not even necessary to get all the way to the finals. The 1983 White Sox are a beloved team despite not having reached the World Series. And the Nets' first-round victory over the defending champion Sixers in 1984 will always be a cherished moment for the (few) fans who care about that team. The point is that even those teams that don't win titles invariably have rich histories.

 

To me it seems obvious that the presige of a league is enhanced when elite teams emerge. No one would deny that the NBA was transformed by the Lakers and Celtics from a low-status entity whose finals were shown in late-night tape delay to a very big deal comparable to Major League Baseball and the NFL. The best state of being for any league is to have a small set of elite Celtics/Lakers-type teams, a handful of teams in the next tier who are striving to enter the elite class, and then a large mass of longshot teams. 

 

For a fan looking for interesting and memorable stories, that sort of arrangement is a lot better than parity, in which each season offers a new set of dominant teams.

 

This time I agree with the bolded part (except maybe the "warm for decades" part, per BBTV's post that appeared while I was typing).

 

I obviously enjoyed watching the Orioles reach the World Series in 1979 and win it in 1983 (yes, I'm old enough to remember both).  However, two of my other favorite Orioles seasons are 1989 (when they didn't even make the playoffs) and 2012 (when they lost in the ALDS).

 

What made both of those seasons so memorable was that they were completely unexpected.  The 1988 Orioles started the season 0-21 and finished 54-107.  To make it until Game 161 in 1989 with a chance to at least force a playoff for the AL East championship was completely out of the blue and made for one helluva ride.  Going from 69-93 to 93-69 in 2012 and making the playoffs after 14 straight losing seasons was just as fun.

 

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1 hour ago, Gothamite said:

That’s all fine and good, but alternate histories can and some do glorify the losing sides.

 

And it sure seemed like you were advocating pro/rel here, which is why people extended you the courtesy and respect of a discussion.  

 

"Discussion"

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Parity can be both good and bad.  It's good because (theoretically) every team has a shot.  It's exciting if your team finished last one year and then wins the division the next year (even if they get thumped the next week.)

 

It's bad because it can reduce a season to a crapshoot, where any team can win and it's just either luck-of-the-draw or chance that determines games.  I tuned out of the NHL for many reasons, but one was that the playoffs had become almost a random simulation, where any mediocre team could win the cup, and building a dynastic-level team stopped mattering as much (I know this isn't the case every year.)  

 

At least in the NFL, despite the 'parity', the truly best teams tend to win out.

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59 minutes ago, BringBackTheVet said:

Parity can be both good and bad.  It's good because (theoretically) every team has a shot.  It's exciting if your team finished last one year and then wins the division the next year (even if they get thumped the next week.)

 

It's bad because it can reduce a season to a crapshoot, where any team can win and it's just either luck-of-the-draw or chance that determines games.  I tuned out of the NHL for many reasons, but one was that the playoffs had become almost a random simulation, where any mediocre team could win the cup, and building a dynastic-level team stopped mattering as much (I know this isn't the case every year.)  

 

At least in the NFL, despite the 'parity', the truly best teams tend to win out.

 

I agree with everything except what is in bold, the hard salary cap forces this with teams frequently having to dump players which, in theory, does balance the league out more. In that light, it's a matter of the club signing the right players to fit their system and with their other players which means it falls more on good team management and less on individual player talent. I would also say, imo, that hockey is a sport where luck is very present in how a player performs on a night-by-night basis, so sometimes it can feel like a random simulation. However, if you're more a fan of the league and less of a specific team, this comes off as more enjoyable. I love the Blues, but I love the sport of hockey more; so I watch not just Blues games, but any game that is on, and I'd rather see all the teams doing "well" then just a handful of top-market teams dominate everyone else.

 

On the note of the NFL, there's mostly parity, but it really comes down to good coaching and management. The Patriots are the ultimate example of not always having the best talent, but having a coach that knows how to utilize their players to their fullest potential to win. Now that the Browns are being coached well and management seems competent, they have a higher chance to win despite having had just as talented teams in the past.

 

One final note is that IF the MLB & NBA had hard caps, I believe it'd create the same dynamic that the NHL has experienced since 2012.

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1 hour ago, BringBackTheVet said:

It's bad because it can reduce a season to a crapshoot, where any team can win and it's just either luck-of-the-draw or chance that determines games.  I tuned out of the NHL for many reasons, but one was that the playoffs had become almost a random simulation, where any mediocre team could win the cup, and building a dynastic-level team stopped mattering as much (I know this isn't the case every year.) 

 

Yeah, for all the talk of how random the Stanley Cup is every year, it pretty much always made sense by the end, where the team with multiple players bound for the Hall of Fame wins the Cup. But this year, I dunno, I guess Tarasenko is all right and Ryan O'Reilly is good when he's not driving his car into a building, but... : /

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4 hours ago, Bowski said:

 

"Discussion"

 

Yes. Discussion.  As your subsequent response proves.  And thank you for that, by the way. 

 

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10 hours ago, Ice_Cap said:

 

The real issue references something @Gothamite mentioned earlier. About pro/reg supporters being a minority amplified by social media. Why is pro/reg so romanticized? Why is it such a dewy-eyed fantasy that even someone admitting it's untenable in North America is still ruminating over how it could work while trashing the system we have in place?

The fact is...it's exotic. That's all. It's different, and the grass is always greener. We're used to the way things are in North America and so this weird way of doing things seems appealing. Add in the novelty of seeing the Montgomery Biscuits playing for the World Series or the Chicago Wolves playing the Chicago Blackhawks in NHL action and you have an easy mix of variables that leads to people romanticizing the practice.

I think that it's exotic/different is part of it.  Another part is that people probably think it's the answer to tanking in the NBA or selling off high-paying players in MLB.  I think there could be some value there...but I'd still argue the bad would outweigh the world (not to mention the even more pronounced degree to which the impractical outweighs the practical.

Gothamite point was directed to me when I said (in exageration) that I'm in the minority among US sports fans in not wanting it.  And his point is taken; there's probably a lot more barking that "we need european pro/rel" than "just say no to pro/rel" since  the latter is not necessary and won't be unless pro/rel somehow gains traction.  It's kinda like seeing people that believe the earth is flat...you notice that.  Nobody really feels the need to just post, out of the blue, "the earth is round!"

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11 hours ago, BringBackTheVet said:

I'm not [sure] if we live in the same world. 

 

Well, perhaps not. Maybe it's a matter of times having changed.

 

I can speak from authority as an informed baseball fan only up through 1996, after which I retired and became focussed purely on history. (My attention to current baseball is only on the uniforms. This explains why I will say something like "this guy knows how to wear his socks" — because I typically don't know the player!)

 

11 hours ago, BringBackTheVet said:

Phillies won the WS in '08.  The first Philadelphia championship that I remember in my lifetime (i was very early 30s at the time.) 

 

This alone illustrates the gap in our perceptions. If someone asked me who was in the World Series in 2008,  I would have to look it up. Whereas, I can usually name from memory the World Series participants for nearly every season going back to the 20s. My personal experience takes me back to 1972; and the rest comes from having studied the history and having heard so many stories.  Through 1996, each season has a unique feel; after that, they all run together for me.

 

So all of that preamble to say that the Phillies title that I remember is 1980. Despite my being an American League fan, I was strongly pulling for the Phillies, primarily on account of Tug McGraw, who was a beloved figure in New York whom even Met-hating Yankee fans couldn't hate, but also because of Pete Rose (generally hated in New York, but not by me), Mike Schmidt (during his career he was respected more by New York fans than by Philadelphia fans) and Steve Carlton (how I wish I could un-know what I now know about him). What's more, the f-ing Royals had just swept the Yankees, the Rick Cerone-led Yankees. And I was piiiiiissed. George Brett was always the opposing player whom I hated/feared the most; and I never hated him more than during the 1980 post-season.

 

The lingering effect of the Phillies' 1980 World Championship (which was their first — hard to believe for a team that dates back to the 19th century) certainly lasted eleven years. That 1980 title was a point of pridebfir Pgillies fans and a major component of in their identities of right up until the 1993 pennant.  And then the harshly disappointing way that that Series ended for the Philllies only threw the 1980 title into sharper relief.

 

Only then did Schmidt begin to get his due, and be acknowledged by the teams fans as an all-time great. I get this impression from listening to plenty of call-in on WCAU (or whatever the call letters had changed to by 1993; for me 1210 will always be WCAU), and noticing a softening of the tone around Schmidt.

 

At the time that I retired after 1996, the 1980 title still loomed large. Now, did any fan verbalise consciously the thought "Ah, I don't care if the Phils don't win, because they won in 1980"? Doubtful. But pride in this history served as an after-the-fact assuaging of the losing seasons (including a few last-place finishes) of the late 1980s and early 1990s. The feeling was along the lines of "Our team sucks; but no one can never take that glory from us. We'll always have 1980".

 

This was the dynamic that played out in all fanbases.  Well, all except the most thug-like corners of the Yankees' fanbase, where the absurd idea that anything short of a World Championship counts as a failure is actually taken seriously. But I will assert that, apart from those embarrassingly goony Yankee fans, most fans in my day felt in the way I am describing.

 

Maybe this is not so anymore. You would be a far better judge than I on this question.

 

P.S. — I am in Philadelphia now! I rode my bike down here today from New York, the fifth time I have done that. And on Tuesday I shall endeavour to complete my fourth round-trip by bike.

 

When I was here last year, I picked up a Mike Schmidt plush doll at the Phillies store, and i also snagged a 1930 Phillies cap that was, for some reason, being offered for sale at Forman Mills. In previous years I bought a 1930 Philadelphia Athletics cap at Shibe Sports. I figure tomorrow I'll visit that place, as well as the Mitchell & Ness store. 

 

I might get down to the ballpark area and check out the Phillies store. I like that they let me just walk my bike in; by contrast, at the Yankees' team store not only can't you get a bike in there, but you cannot even lock it anywhere near the store! I went there once prepared to spend $70 on a particular hat I liked; but the unnecessary difficulty regarding my bike put me off. I told the people there "You guys sure make it hard to give you money", and then I left. (It felt profound to me; but I realise that the people at the Yankee store most likely didn't care.)

 

P.P.S. — One of these days I am going to bring a Nets hat to put on that beautiful Dr. J statue. I rooted for him to win with the Sixers (even if I loved the Nets' defeat of the Sixers in 1984 — fo fi fo no mo, bro); but Julius is first and foremost a New York sports hero. Yet I do love the statue. But what really cheeses me off about it is that the plaque in it doesn't even mention the Nets! It says "two-time ABA champion", but leaves out the team! Grrr. Sixer dirtbags.

 

Anyway, sorry to ramble on so much. I blame you.

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14 hours ago, Bowski said:

I have an interest in alternate history, especially explorations of different outcomes of war. Saying a world where say the Nazis won is an interesting concept to explore, doesn't mean I advocate or endorse Nazism, just that as an avid historian I enjoy exploring alternate paths to their fullest.

You say interesting, I saw horrifying. Tomato, tomato am I right?

 

Anyway Goth's right. Alternate history is often used to romanticize/glorify lost causes and people who engage with that sort of speculation need to keep that in mind. We're getting dangerously close to off-topic stuff so I'll just say that no one was out of bounds to assume your "speculation" was in fact a form of advocating for pro/reg.

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5 minutes ago, Ice_Cap said:

You say interesting, I saw horrifying. Tomato, tomato am I right?

 

Indeed. 

 

5 minutes ago, Ice_Cap said:

Anyway Goth's right. Alternate history is often used to romanticize/glorify lost causes and people who engage with that sort of speculation need to keep that in mind. We're getting dangerously close to off-topic stuff so I'll just say that no one was out of bounds to assume your "speculation" was in fact a form of advocating for pro/reg.

 

Yeah, using a pro/rel simulation as a pathway to parity in your proposal (as I read it) invites that assumption.

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Sorry FC, but none of your post changes my mind that championships can satisfy fans for decades.  The more I think about that, the more strongly I feel it's wrong.

 

14 hours ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

I can usually name from memory the World Series participants for nearly every season going back to the 20s. My personal experience takes me back to 1972; and the rest comes from having studied the history and having heard so many stories.  Through 1996, each season has a unique feel; after that, they all run together for me.

 

 

While I'm younger than you, I can relate to this.  Just based on my childhood love of reading baseball history books and collecting baseball cards from not only the current year but previous ones, I could name you every world series matchup (and at one time, every playoff matchup) from 80-early 00s.  Then, life set in and priorities changed, and other than the ones that the Phillies were involved in, I have no idea who was in what.  It's all a blur.  All the same.  

 

14 hours ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

how I wish I could un-know what I now know about him

 

I know he was a real weirdo and never talked to reporters and barely even to his own teammates... but what else?

 

14 hours ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

At the time that I retired after 1996, the 1980 title still loomed large.

 

To who.  I was 20, that 80 title meant nothing to me.  It meant nothing to the pissed off people at the Vet who wanted to light Mitch Williams on fire and murder his family.    The only situation I've ever seen where a championship buys you decades of good will is with the Flyers, who's fans - even ones who weren't born yet - celebrated the mid-70s cups pretty much up until recently, when it sunk in that those were forty years ago.  Flyers fans are weird though.  That team can do nothing wrong in their eyes. 

 

The '93 team was magical to young Vet.  I can still remember the whole roster, even fill-ins and callups, and their uniform numbers.  That team was the first of my lifetime that won anything (I was too young to remember the Sixers title and wheeze kids Phillies pennant.)  If there was any team that would be beloved forever, it was them.  Guess what - by 1996 it was "fire Fregosi" (he actually got assaulted for saying that "people who listen to WIP are a bunch of guys in South Philly that F their sisters, and people that work at WIP F their mothers"), Greg Jefferies needs to die, the GM Lee Thomas needs a screwdriver in his ear, etc.  Got even worse after that when the Terry Francona bs era started.  If the '93 team can only buy 2 seasons (one of them being strike shortened), then there's no way any team can buy a decade.

 

14 hours ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

Shibe Sports

 

I like that place a lot - way better than M&N.  M&N frustrates me because I can instantly spot the inaccuracies in almost everything they sell.  They closed the Forman Mills that was next to the ECW Arena, but I never actually thought to look for old-style caps there.  Always thought it was an oversized cargo sweatpants and hoodie depot.

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6 hours ago, BringBackTheVet said:
21 hours ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

how I wish I could un-know what I now know about [Steve Carlton].

 

I know he was a real weirdo and never talked to reporters and barely even to his own teammates... but what else?

 

He is an advocate of many ridiculous conspiracy theories along the lines of the Elders of Zion and so forth. Also, he has made several expressions of hatred towards Jews and gays.

 

(Sigh.) If only he had maintained his policy of not talking to reporters.

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On 7/19/2019 at 8:48 AM, Bowski said:

 

I agree with everything except what is in bold, the hard salary cap forces this with teams frequently having to dump players which, in theory, does balance the league out more. In that light, it's a matter of the club signing the right players to fit their system and with their other players which means it falls more on good team management and less on individual player talent. I would also say, imo, that hockey is a sport where luck is very present in how a player performs on a night-by-night basis, so sometimes it can feel like a random simulation. However, if you're more a fan of the league and less of a specific team, this comes off as more enjoyable. I love the Blues, but I love the sport of hockey more; so I watch not just Blues games, but any game that is on, and I'd rather see all the teams doing "well" then just a handful of top-market teams dominate everyone else.

 

On the note of the NFL, there's mostly parity, but it really comes down to good coaching and management. The Patriots are the ultimate example of not always having the best talent, but having a coach that knows how to utilize their players to their fullest potential to win. Now that the Browns are being coached well and management seems competent, they have a higher chance to win despite having had just as talented teams in the past.

 

One final note is that IF the MLB & NBA had hard caps, I believe it'd create the same dynamic that the NHL has experienced since 2012.

To the Bold, Agree BUT you also have to have the Players willing to BUY INTO what the Coach is selling!  The Steelers were an absolute Mess from Within. Antonio Brown doing his OWN thing ALL the Time.
- NOT staying with the Team during Training Camp (Players stay at the St. Vincent College Campus where the Team holds Training Camp, Brown whined about it and was allowed to stay at a nearby Hotel, Yes that's on the Coaches and Ownership BUT if Brown were a True TEAM FIRST Player, he'd suck it up like everyone else) 
- Throwing 2yr old Temper Tantrums on the sidelines, when HE felt he wasn't getting his touches
- Rumors abound how Brown would run the wrong Route
- Facebook LIVE video feed of the Steelers Locker Room immediately following a game
- Quit on his Team / Teammates by regularly skipping practices, was Benched by the Steelers during Week 17 vs Bengals and then upon not Playing, Demanded to be Traded

Personally I don't understand why More Teams don't Follow the TEAM first Approach that the Patriots have

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2 hours ago, Fitzy0220 said:

Personally I don't understand why More Teams don't Follow the TEAM first Approach that the Patriots have

 

Personally, I don’t understand why more posters don’t randomly capitalize letters. 😛

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16 hours ago, Fitzy0220 said:

Personally I don't understand why More Teams don't Follow the TEAM first Approach that the Patriots have

 

Because you can't treat all your employees like garbage if you don't win every year, and everyone can't win every year.

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17 hours ago, Fitzy0220 said:

Personally I don't understand why More Teams don't Follow the TEAM first Approach that the Patriots have

 

It’s easier to follow the TEAM first Approach when you have the GREATEST quarterBACK to Ever play the GAME.  Lots of Teams play TEAM football and lose because at the end of the day, TALENT Wins out. 

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1 hour ago, the admiral said:

 

Because you can't treat all your employees like garbage if you don't win every year, and everyone can't win every year.

True but who is Belichick treating like garbage? Who is Owner Robert Kraft treating like garbage? Patriots Organization is run on a Team first mentality, sort of a Our way or the Highway type deal

 

51 minutes ago, BringBackTheVet said:

 

It’s easier to follow the TEAM first Approach when you have the GREATEST quarterBACK to Ever play the GAME.  Lots of Teams play TEAM football and lose because at the end of the day, TALENT Wins out. 

To the bold, Yes it does but when Talent decides to go AWOL (Antonio Brown, hell even Phil Kessel) and do their own thing, that Talent alone is not helping the TEAM win

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58 minutes ago, Fitzy0220 said:

True but who is Belichick treating like garbage? Who is Owner Robert Kraft treating like garbage?

 

1) Anyone he can get away with.

2) Anyone he can get away with plus Asians being sex-trafficked

 

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1 hour ago, the admiral said:

1) Anyone he can get away with.

2) Anyone he can get away with plus Asians being sex-trafficked

 

Kraft is the ur-example of the "silver-haired, middle-aged white man" that will help athletes get away with whatever crap they want, all the while planning to throw said athletes under the bus when they can't make him any more money or go too far (e.g., Aaron Hernandez, Dave Meggett, etc.). 

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17 hours ago, Fitzy0220 said:

True but who is Belichick treating like garbage? Who is Owner Robert Kraft treating like garbage? Patriots Organization is run on a Team first mentality, sort of a Our way or the Highway type deal

 

To the bold, Yes it does but when Talent decides to go AWOL (Antonio Brown, hell even Phil Kessel) and do their own thing, that Talent alone is not helping the TEAM win

 

I think you’d have more FUN watching high school or Lower-division College SPORTS. 

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