Gothamite

North American Pro Soccer 2019

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52 minutes ago, Brian in Boston said:

 

In my opinion, 58% of league membership qualifying for the post-season is too generous a playoff field. 

I agree, maybe 6 per conference could be included instead of 7 and give the top 2 byes

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I get the theoretical advantages of the two-legged thing, but I see this tournament similar to the international tournament knockouts, e.g. there isn't enough time for that many two-legs. I don't think the new scheme is perfect either, but the current hybrid system has been confusing and lacked momentum and away-goals are always a fluke risk too.

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50 minutes ago, sohiosportsfreak said:

Hm... Maybe they are trying to build a playoff structure that will last for years to come. This would be a good format with 28 teams.

 

Oh, I don't doubt that the league is looking to the future. That said, I'd still think that a playoff field comprised of 50% of 28 teams was too much. I'm a "less-is-more" sort when it comes to making the playoffs, so I'd be perfectly happy if - one day - we saw the post-season of a 32-team MLS being contested by a 14-team field. To my mind, a team should have to do more than simply finish amongst the top half of franchises in its league in order to earn the right to contest the playoffs.     

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Expanded playoffs mean the regular season means more for more franchises. And because pro sports are for entertainment, I think that's a good thing.

 

Major League Baseball needs to expand its playoffs in the worst way. MLS adding a team in each conference is just fine.

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2 hours ago, Brian in Boston said:

In my opinion, 58% of league membership qualifying for the post-season is too generous a playoff field. 

 

That's only for one year, and then two more clubs (at least) come in for the 2020 season.

 

They're setting up a system that can last beyond the existing 26 clubs.  Even past the planned 28 clubs.  This system could work well into the 30s, which I believe they'll hit sooner rather than later.

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50 minutes ago, DG_Now said:

Major League Baseball needs to expand its playoffs in the worst way.

 

Since this is a soccer thread I don't really want to go into detail here, but I'll just say I fundamentally disagree in every way possible with this idea.

 

If there's something MLB needs to address, it's the degree of tanking going on in the sport right now. Anywhere from 7-12 teams are flat out not giving a :censored: heading into 2019 and that affects playoff races as well as free agency alike. There's been talk before about building individual rosters using a "scrubs-and-stars" approach and we seem to have reached the point in that league now where the entire league is a "scrubs-and-stars" template. 

 

Furthermore, as I wrote about, a lot, about four years ago, the playoff system in MLB has a terrible tendency of not seeing the best teams winning the competition in the end. Last few years have turned out well enough - Cubs, Astros, and Red Sox have all had very good claims as being the best teams in the sport in their respective championship seasons - but before that we had a long spell of the best teams being knocked out early and having poor championship matchups. I would rather see MLB beef up the meaning of the regular season compared to expanding the playoff field. Regular seasons are 162 games per team, 2930 games total. If we're going to have that many games, find a way to make them matter. And I think a lot of what I said can be applied to MLS idea as well.

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7 minutes ago, Kramerica Industries said:

 Last few years have turned out well enough - Cubs, Astros, and Red Sox have all had very good claims as being the best teams in the sport in their respective championship seasons - but before that we had a long spell of the best teams being knocked out early and having poor championship matchups. 

 

As a Giants fan, :censored: that noise.

 

I’ll give you 2014 and maybe 2010 (the non-pitching roster), but talk like this basically boils down to “your team’s championship doesn’t matter” and “you don’t deserve it.” I get how it might not be as interesting from an outsider’s perspective, but it just comes off as trying to discredit and dismiss teams.

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That's why the Premier League doesn't have playoffs and MLS has the Supporters Shield and NHL the President's Trophy. That we attach different meaning to different sports is a function of sports being sports.

 

MLS will always have the Supporters Shield, which isn't worthless since it grants access to Concacaf Champions League and it gets you a well deserved banner. If you want one, true champion for MLB, maybe add points to standings and do a pre-playoff trophy as well.

 

But in general, for gate-driven leagues, I think more playoff participants is better. Playoff chaos doesn't bother me, especially since my Sounders won a title as a "less deserving" team.

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6 hours ago, MJWalker45 said:

Me too . . . Probably won't happen since Snakebite FC will be an hour away.

 

Well, it’s probably closer to two hours, if you’re really cruising. That’s an interesting nickname for the Quakes, BTW ;) 

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7 hours ago, Kramerica Industries said:

If there's something MLB needs to address, it's the degree of tanking going on in the sport right now. Anywhere from 7-12 teams are flat out not giving a :censored: heading into 2019 

 

That is absolute garbage. 

 

What incentive does a GM have to tank?  A manager?  In baseball, that way only leads to a firing.

 

Teams can tank in the NBA.  Teams can tank in the NFL.  Because those teams can then draft higher (or have a better shot at drafting higher) in sports where one good player can turn you around instantly.  Baseball just isn’t like that. The players you draft will take years to make an impact at the major league level.  By which time the GM and manager in charge during the losing will long have been replaced. And even then they’re only one part of a much larger team that also has to be good around them.

 

And that’s why the claim of tanking is pure rubbish.  In order for an MLB team to tank, everyone involved would have to know that ownership will give them sufficient time to turn it around a half-decade later.  Which doesn’t happen. 

 

Don't confuse failure, the inability to win in a

sport that’s tougher to win than any other, with “tanking”.  One is understandable, if frustrating.  The other is a myth. 

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23 hours ago, DG_Now said:

Expanded playoffs mean the regular season means more for more franchises. And because pro sports are for entertainment, I think that's a good thing.

 

Major League Baseball needs to expand its playoffs in the worst way. MLS adding a team in each conference is just fine.

Hard pass re: baseball. My team won 91 games this year and it was a wholly soulless, boring experience because they were practically guaranteed a playoff spot on Opening Day. The pennant race, and the fact that you actually have to be good to contend in baseball, is the best part of the sport.

 

But to get back to MLS...

 

On 12/18/2018 at 11:21 AM, Digby said:

I get the theoretical advantages of the two-legged thing, but I see this tournament similar to the international tournament knockouts, e.g. there isn't enough time for that many two-legs. I don't think the new scheme is perfect either, but the current hybrid system has been confusing and lacked momentum and away-goals are always a fluke risk too.

Re: "there isn't enough time for that many two-legs" -- that's MLS' decision. In the international tournaments, you have a month. MLS has, what, 8-9 months to crown a champion. They're choosing to shoehorn the entire playoffs into a four-week stretch. That's not to say that I think it's unwise, but if MLS wanted to have a three-month playoff stage, they totally could.

 

I think you could, even when working in that four-week window, create a playoff system that much better rewards the regular season's best teams than the current one (but that probably requires getting away from the whole "more than half the league qualifies" thing). I understand why MLS has done what they've done (we can debate whether hyper-parity has been a good thing or a bad thing for the NHL), but I personally don't like the format.

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5 minutes ago, crashcarson15 said:

Re: "there isn't enough time for that many two-legs" -- that's MLS' decision. In the international tournaments, you have a month. MLS has, what, 8-9 months to crown a champion. They're choosing to shoehorn the entire playoffs into a four-week stretch. That's not to say that I think it's unwise, but if MLS wanted to have a three-month playoff stage, they totally could.

 

I think you could, even when working in that four-week window, create a playoff system that much better rewards the regular season's best teams than the current one (but that probably requires getting away from the whole "more than half the league qualifies" thing). I understand why MLS has done what they've done (we can debate whether hyper-parity has been a good thing or a bad thing for the NHL), but I personally don't like the format.

 

Bolded part is the crux of the matter, I think. But, like jersey ads and private ownership, it's one of those things that I begrudgingly and masochistically take for a given when evaluating the rest of it.

 

I don't mind stretching things out for the Champions League type of tournaments that are running in parallel with regular leagues. But I view MLS Cup playoffs as akin to the American playoff systems; in those I vastly prefer a compressed, quick playoff tournament, and I find the NBA and NHL playoffs to drag on entirely too long, so that's where I'm coming from to be reasonably content about a monthlong chaos knockout.

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17 minutes ago, crashcarson15 said:

Hard pass re: baseball. My team won 91 games this year and it was a wholly soulless, boring experience because they were practically guaranteed a playoff spot on Opening Day. The pennant race, and the fact that you actually have to be good to contend in baseball, is the best part of the sport.

 

But to get back to MLS...

 

 

The Mariners are going on 20 years. The one year they're actually good, they got leapfrogged by a hot Oakland team. The M's lack of postseason access -- not even success -- is really killing this market. An expanded field is less good for the "purity" of the game (which I don't really care about), but better for the viability of the game.

 

MLS is doing better than MLB here.

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Precourt & Austin finalize their stadium deal. So expansion Austin FC is on target for 2021. 

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20 hours ago, Gothamite said:

 

That is absolute garbage. 

 

What incentive does a GM have to tank?  A manager?  In baseball, that way only leads to a firing.

 

Teams can tank in the NBA.  Teams can tank in the NFL.  Because those teams can then draft higher (or have a better shot at drafting higher) in sports where one good player can turn you around instantly.  Baseball just isn’t like that. The players you draft will take years to make an impact at the major league level.  By which time the GM and manager in charge during the losing will long have been replaced. And even then they’re only one part of a much larger team that also has to be good around them.

 

And that’s why the claim of tanking is pure rubbish.  In order for an MLB team to tank, everyone involved would have to know that ownership will give them sufficient time to turn it around a half-decade later.  Which doesn’t happen. 

 

Don't confuse failure, the inability to win in a

sport that’s tougher to win than any other, with “tanking”.  One is understandable, if frustrating.  The other is a myth. 

 

Did I dream about the Royals, Cubs, and Astros? Part of the problem baseball is in right now is those three teams used tanking too effectively so now too many teams are all following that blueprint at the same time. The other part of the problem is that even if it's not as effective as those three teams made it seem, it's still might be the best path to contention for a team like Kansas City or Cincinnati or Oakland or Pittsburgh. Suck on purpose, shoot for a window of opportunity, hope all your picks and acquisitions sum to a better, yet cheaper squad than the big money clubs and use your picks as trade deadline chips for rental players when you're ready to compete. If it doesn't work, sell assets before they get expensive and start over again. 

 

Let's look at the GMs of those teams - The Royals won the World Series in 2015, they hired Dayton Moore in 2009. The Cubs, 2016, hired Epstein and Hoyer in 2011. The Astros, 2017, hired Jeff Luhnow in 2011. 

 

What am I missing about your post because all 3 of those teams tanked for years under current their management before they decided they had the resources to try again. 

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On 12/18/2018 at 6:53 PM, Gothamite said:

 

That is absolute garbage. 

 

What incentive does a GM have to tank?  A manager?  In baseball, that way only leads to a firing.

 

Teams can tank in the NBA.  Teams can tank in the NFL.  Because those teams can then draft higher (or have a better shot at drafting higher) in sports where one good player can turn you around instantly.  Baseball just isn’t like that. The players you draft will take years to make an impact at the major league level.  By which time the GM and manager in charge during the losing will long have been replaced. And even then they’re only one part of a much larger team that also has to be good around them.

 

And that’s why the claim of tanking is pure rubbish.  In order for an MLB team to tank, everyone involved would have to know that ownership will give them sufficient time to turn it around a half-decade later.  Which doesn’t happen. 

 

Don't confuse failure, the inability to win in a

sport that’s tougher to win than any other, with “tanking”.  One is understandable, if frustrating.  The other is a myth. 

 

The Orioles just hired two guys from the Astros front office to run the team with the intention of being horrible for a few seasons.  It’s rare and it still needs to be done right by a well-run organization to work.  

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3 minutes ago, Camden Crazy said:

The Orioles just hired two guys from the Astros front office to run the team with the intention of being horrible for a few seasons.  It’s rare and it still needs to be done right by a well-run organization to work.  

 

That’s a deliberate rebuilding.  Not the same thing at all. 

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