Stark On Edwin Jackson, Royals, Playoffs

The latest from ESPN's Jayson Stark

  • Stark writes that Mark Buehrle is "widely expected to re-up with the White Sox," leaving a thin free agent market for starting pitchers next winter if Roy Oswalt and Chris Carpenter have their options picked up and C.J. Wilson re-signs with the Rangers.  As I suggested last month, Scott Boras client Edwin Jackson could move to the head of the non-Sabathia class.  One NL executive said to Stark, "Scott will make him sound like Walter Johnson.  But how many teams has this guy been on?"
  • The Royals' payroll could eventually rise as the Twins' did if all goes according to plan, team officials have been telling people in the game.
  • Regarding the current labor negotiations, Stark hears that owners want a one-game playoff between the two wild card teams, while the players want a best-of-three.  Which would you prefer?


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54 Comments on "Stark On Edwin Jackson, Royals, Playoffs"


4 years 4 months ago

a one game playoff would be better since we already have a 3, and two 7 game series. I love the idea of two Wild Card teams, but if they made it a 3 game playoff they’d have to cut down the season at least 7-10 games

4 years 4 months ago

i think you meant a 5 and two 7 game series

jordan4giants
4 years 4 months ago

Can’t we just do what the Premier League does in Football (soccer)? Let’s drop the 2 worst MLB teams and send them to the minors, and turn the 2 best AAA clubs into Major league teams. Have the 2 worst teams in each league face off and the winner stays in the majors. Same for the minors, 4 best teams play and 2 are promoted. That should help TV ratings.

So long Pirates!!!

0bsessions
4 years 4 months ago

Schedule wise, three game is better, but I just don’t like the idea of it breaking over one game. I think I prefer the three game series in terms of fairness with home field going to the better record. Still a crapshoot, but slightly less of one.

cmock
4 years 4 months ago

The only thing Edwin Jackson has shown through his major league career is a consistency to be inconsistently good. If he puts together a good year, I could see him getting getting 4/$60 Mil with Boras as his agent, but in reality he should get 3/$30.

Smrtbusnisman04
4 years 4 months ago

He’s gonna get alot more if Sabathia chooses not to opt out of his contract.

SoCalAngelsFan75
4 years 4 months ago

One wild card is enough. Leave it as is.

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

says the fan of a team in a 4 team division

Redbirds16
4 years 4 months ago

And affirms the fan of a team in a 6 team division.

Your point?

Encarnacion's Parrot
4 years 4 months ago

The same 6-team division that includes the Pirates and Cubs?

Redbirds16
4 years 4 months ago

Over the last decade, the Cubs, Cards, Brewers, and Astros have all had their moments. Only the Pirates are perennial bottom-dwellers. But every year every division seems to have at least one really bad team. The thing with the NL Central is that there’s been a reigning loser for nearly two decades…

The NL Central might be the weakest division today, but early in the 00’s it was considered the strongest. What’s with the short-sightedness?

WhiteSoxHomer
4 years 4 months ago

People need to realize that divisions change all the time. 2005-2006 the AL Central was the division to beat, then they became very poor, now they are a decent division. It has only been 6 years.

Encarnacion's Parrot
4 years 4 months ago

The objective of baseball is to be the best, thus, win the WS. The Cubs haven’t done it in over 100 years, so, they are historically bankrupt. Brewers have won nothing in the NL Central, and nothing needs to be said about the Pirates. It’s not short-sightedness, but fact.

Redbirds16
4 years 4 months ago

Perhaps, but then every team pales in comparison to the Yankees, so we might as well not have the major leagues at all…

The Rangers have never won the world series… What a terrible organization. They should just fold.

And the Cubs, well, they’re the Cubs. You can’t fault them for trying to win, because they do try, they just don’t get results. Ever.

iorekk
4 years 4 months ago

then you wouldn’t mind if it was changed to the 4 best teams instead of one from each division?

Redbirds16
4 years 4 months ago

If all the teams played the same amount of games against every other team in the league, then maybe yea… It’d be like just having one huge division and taking the top four to the playoffs. I suppose that would be ‘fair’, but I think the classic rivalries would start to fade a bit, which would be unfortunate.

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

I think a 3 game series is better for 1 reason

It provides a better advantage to the teams who finish first overall because the wildcard teams will have had to use there 1st best, 2nd best and possibly 3rd best pitcher..

Depending on schedule, their 3rd/4th best pitcher would have to go against the division leader’s best pitcher.

0bsessions
4 years 4 months ago

That depends upon the rest involved and the schedule. If you go with a three game schedule involving a travel day, your number one starter would likely be on regular rest by the time the LDS actually started. My solution?

DOUBLE HEADER!!! I have such an unnatural love for double headers. Lead off the series with the lesser team at home, travel to the greater record team’s park for a double header and completely screw their rotation and internal clocks. Can’t miss idea!

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

I approve of this solution.

roomwithamoose
4 years 4 months ago

the first team to reach the second ballpark gets 2 runs to start the second so we can make the travel exciting too

Rick Garcia
4 years 4 months ago

Playoffs….we’re talking about playoffs!

Encarnacion's Parrot
4 years 4 months ago

3 games > 1 game. It’s more baseball, what more needs to be said?

Sypherman
4 years 4 months ago

Leave the playoffs as is. The more teams you add to the playoffs, the less important you make it. These other leagues where 1/3 or more of the teams make the playoffs is stupid in my opinion. They are supposed to be the best of the best playing for a championship. How can 1/3 of any league be considered the “best of the best”?

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

technically still only 4 teams in each division will make the playoffs

3 division leaders and 1 wild card

If they add another wildcard its just to duke it out with the other wild card to see who gets to play the division leader.

I fail to see how that becomes 1/3rd.

4 years 4 months ago

How can 27% of baseball teams be considered the best of the best. What is your arbitrary cutoff for best of the best? not much of a difference than 1/3. Although not sure where the 1/3 comes from. NFL = 38%, NHL = 54% (and the playoffs are are quite exciting), NBA = 54%. The way it is now does not guarantee the 3rd or 4th best teams in a league gets in if they are all in the same division so any improvement would be welcomed.

Redbirds16
4 years 4 months ago

I don’t pay attention to the NHL or the NBA until just before the playoffs, because really too many teams get in. Just speaking for myself of course, but I’d hate for baseball to become the same thing.

There are other tweaks to the current system I’d make (7 game LDS, interleague play scheduled across the season to accommodate even 15-team leagues, etc…), but adding another wildcard team isn’t one of them. If your team doesn’t win enough games to make the playoffs, cry amongst yourselves (ourselves?) until next year. Then play/root hard the next summer. My sincerest apologies to the ’01 Giants, ’02 Mariners/Sawks/Dodgers, ’04 Mariners, ’05 Phillies/Indians, nearly the entire AL East of late, etc…

P.S. MLBTR Poll coming shortly?

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

but you’re not adding another wild card technically

you just having a series to determine who the wild card is..

I fail to see how that would somehow make the regular season any less exciting.

if anything more teams will be in a chase down the stretch which will increase attendance, tv ratings and general hype

Redbirds16
4 years 4 months ago

Maybe it would seem nice if San Diego would have made the playoffs last year, as they finished 1 game back of the Braves and it was close, but for many other years, it would seem foolish:

Last year, the Yanks finished 6 games up on the Sawks. I know the Eastern Sports Promotional Network would have loved it and it would have made a lot of money for the teams involved (not that the Yanks and Sox need more money, but I digress), but 6 regular season games is a lot of separation to just throw it out the window in a 1 or 3 game playoff…

Or take the ’01 AL standings, which are even more pronounced. Oakland (with 102 wins) would have ended up playing against Minnesota (85 wins). Do you really make a 102-win team play-in against a 85 win team?

If you’re concerned about attendance, ratings, hype, revenue, etc… why not just have playoffs to make it to the playoffs?

“It’s a hotpocket in a hotpocket. HOTPOCKET!”

brstreet9
4 years 4 months ago

“why not just have playoffs to make it to the playoffs?”

Kinda like the “First Four” round in the NCAA basketball tournament?

Redbirds16
4 years 4 months ago

except March Madness draws from hundreds of schools across the country. Baseball’s only got but 30 teams.

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

you cant go based on final records because when a team is out of it they do things down the stretch that compromise their win loss total

Ie, shutting pitchers down, selling at the deadline, not adding at the deadline, to in game strategy

So saying the yanks finished 6 games head is just wrong because had their been a 2nd wild card teams like the sox, jays, a’s who ever else was close would have had better records down the stretch, or atleast tried to.

Redbirds16
4 years 4 months ago

But doesn’t that line of thought go the other way as well? Teams that have all but secured a playoff spot relax a bit, rest their best players more, let young guys get some experience before the playoffs, etc…?

Didn’t the Yankees rest some of their best players down the stretch last year when they pulled way ahead in the wild card standings?

$1519287
4 years 4 months ago

also appreciate that 1 out of 3 every americans lives in that area, nyc is 20 million metro itself.

marketing which is my real job will always focus on those markets. there is a big reason the yanks play sunday baseball a lot.

Redbirds16
4 years 4 months ago

Agreed. And, from what I hear, if MLB were considering moving a team from its current location (San Diego and Tampa are the two clubs I hear talked about a lot), the most lucrative location would be in New Jersey. Of course, the Yanks, Mets, and Phils would all object to that because a new team in the area would cut into their market…

I understand why ESPN focuses its COVERAGE on the East Coast ($$$$), and I’m fine with that. What annoys me is that their ANALYSIS is oftentimes biased towards the East Coast as well.

That said, I still picked the Phils and the Sawks to go to the 2011 WS…

4 years 4 months ago

Everything about baseball is a series so a 3 game series is much better than a one game playoff. I think those should still be reserved for tiebreakers.

Redhawk
4 years 4 months ago

Playoffs? I’d go neither, as the rest of the teams will be having to wait for the series to be played out if it’s 3 games, and if it’s one game, it’s a pure crap shoot

bosox21
4 years 4 months ago

My only question with the 3 game series would be who gets home field? Would it be the higher seed hosts all three games or would they go to an NBA format and play 1 home 1 road 1 home? If that was the case it would really drag out the playoffs. Also consider the other teams that had made the playoffs may be rusty after almost a week off from baseball, seeing as most playoff teams will rest their starters for the final game or two of the season after clinching.

Muggi
4 years 4 months ago

That’s a very good point, which I haven’t seen brought up anywhere else in the thread.

PostMoBills
4 years 4 months ago

I think what would make the most sense is having the “road” team host the opener, and then the “home” team gets game 2, and 3 if necessary.

mgsports
4 years 4 months ago

Okay 6 from each league make it so each round 2 teams get elimited.

CitizenSnips
4 years 4 months ago

Call me stubborn but I’m still a fan of having the teams with the 4 best records in each league duke it out. Would save some teams from barely missing out while other teams win their divisions with 5-10 less wins just because they’re in a lousy one.

twentyfivemanroster
4 years 4 months ago

I would think that a 3-game series make most sense if they do end up going that direction. After all, you’ll likely see some one game playoffs for that final spot anyway. Just seems too weird that a team may have to play two single game playoffs to make it to the divisional round.

PostMoBills
4 years 4 months ago

It’s outside the box, but what if the 2 best teams that would miss the playoffs by today’s standards have a 1 game playoff (last year AL would’ve been Chicago and Boston), the winner faces what would be the traditional Wild Card team (New York) in a 3-game series, and that winner faces the number 1 seed to open the traditional playoffs.

Redbirds16
4 years 4 months ago

That’s a lot of games before the ‘traditional playoffs’ start. A lot of down time for the divisional winners.

I think the ‘traditional playoff’ line is funny… I’m not that old I swear!

PostMoBills
4 years 4 months ago

If people are looking for the fairest way to determine a champion, it would resemble European soccer. 6 games vs. all 29 other teams in MLB, 3 home, and 3 away (which lends itself perfectly to having 3 game series). After 174 games, the team with the best record is the champion. No playoffs. The season is 12 games longer, but without a playoff run lasting up to 19 games, the season is actually shorter on the calendar. Then no one complains about how playoffs are determined.

Redbirds16
4 years 4 months ago

Equality?! Fairness?! How unAmerican! 😛

And how do the owners ever make money? What about playoff TV contracts? And most importantly, what’s to be the equivalent of the Champion’s League? ‘Cuz the World Baseball classic is such an attraction…

4 years 4 months ago

Bud Selig has had some good ideas and some bad ones (trying to make the All-Star game more than what it is, an exhibition). A second wild card team and accompanying play-in is the worst of them all.

twenty1thirteen
4 years 4 months ago

I would prefer a best of 3. That just means more baseball games to watch!

spokaneman
4 years 4 months ago

Id like 3 games, all at the better record’s stadium. Season ends on a sunday, 3 game series is mon-wed, regular playoffs start thurs. I think some series don’t start until thursday anyway, so we dont really extend this much further. Also, in the 1st round 5 games series, all series should be 2-2-1 with 1 off day for the first travel and no other off day. 7 game series should be 2-3-2 with off days for each travel and no other off days. I hate when baseball becomes the NBA in the playoffs and there’s 2 games a week in each series.

4 years 4 months ago

I vote for keeping it the way it is. 4 playoff teams was enough. 10 is pushing it. (Not that my vote counts for anything)