Wednesday, September 9, 2009

if you're not a contender, you're a spoiler

At this point of the baseball season, teams are getting eliminated from the playoff race right and left. In the opinion of some, elimination makes their games meaningless and the players have nothing to play for.

Not true.

Yes, teams that have been eliminated don't have the playoffs to play for, but they get to play spoiler to those teams that still are in the race. These spoilers can make or break the postseason for other teams. The Yankees all but have the AL East wrapped up, but the Red Sox, while in the Wild Card lead, are being closely trailed by the Rangers. Two or three losses can make all the difference in that race, and who can make that happen? The teams they play, even those teams that have no hope of the postseason.

Now, I'm not saying that, say, the Orioles should sit there and consider whether they want to play hard or lackadaisically based on whether or not they want a certain team to have a better or worse chance in making the postseason...but it would certainly be interesting if they did!

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