The Yankees have been declared the AL East champions. They beat the Red Sox today, but that's not why they were declared champions. If they lose to the Red Sox tomorrow, the two teams finish the season with same record, but the Yankees will still be champions because they will have won 10 games against the Red Sox this year, while the Red Sox won only 9 against the Yankees. But that's still not why the Yankees were declared champions today. They were declared champions because Cleveland lost to the White Sox! WTF? The fat lady is singing "Dazed and Confused" and drinking heavily.
The three division system with the wild card playoff bid is evil! Had Cleveland won today, then there would be the possibility that if the Red Sox beat the Yankees tomorrow there could be a three-way tie between the Red Sox and Yankees in Eastern division, and Cleveland in the Central. In that case, despite the fact that the Yankees won the head-to-head competition against the Red Sox, they would have had to play a one-game playoff to determine who the division champion is -- and the loser would play Cleveland to determine who the wild card is. This makes no sense at all. If the head-to-head results are used to break a tie when the wild card isn't a factor, why aren't they good enough to break the Eastern division tie when the wild card is a factor?! I think it's kind of silly to use the head-to-head series results as the tie-breaker in either case, actually. If the Red Sox beat the Yankees tomorrow, there ought to be a playoff game between them no matter what happens in Cleveland. But if the head-to-head results are used, they should be used regardless of what happens in Cleveland, too.
Quoth the fat lady, "burp!". Then she passed out.
1. Ron Heller10/05/2005 03:19:40 PM
Actually, there is some logic to this (whether we may agree with the arbitrariness of it is another matter).
The Cardinals and Astros had this same situation happen several years ago. The basis for determining whether or not a playoff game is required is - are the tied teams both playoff-eligible or not? If there is any question, then there's a playoff game; but if both teams are assured of making the playoffs (as became the case on Saturday after Cleveland lost), then there is no playoff. In that case, if the teams finish with the same record, both teams are considered co-champions, with the tie-breaker determining which team is seeded as the division champ and which team is seeded as the wildcard.
Now, when this happened a few years ago (Houston had the tiebreaker advantage that year), you can rest assured that the Houston fans never considered the Cardinals as co-champions, since the Astros had the tiebreaker advantage. But, of course, the feeling here in St. Louis was completely different.