Blog Entry

Deciding Home Field in the World Series

Posted on: July 14, 2009 1:55 pm

As we all know, MLB now decides home field advantage from the winner of the All Star game, set to be played tonight.  MLB is peculiar in that it is the only major sport that decides home field advantage, or anything else for that matter, based on the outcome of its All-Star game.  The NFL plays the Superbowl at a neutral site.  Both the NBA and NHL give home court, or home ice, advantage to the team with the better record.  MLB's method does provide more excitement to the game and does give more incentive for players, particularly those from contenders, to play harder and really try to win.  I suppose the managers should be more motivated to win as well more than make sure everyone gets in the game.  This is just as good, and better in my opinion, than the old way of alternating home filed advantage every year.  However, it does seems a lot to base on an exhibition game. 

Within the past few days I heard Bud Selig talking about this very subject on Mike and Mike in the Morning.  During that conversation, the different methods of deciding home field advantage were discussed.  They talked about the old way, the current method, and the potential of having home field in the World Series decided by best record.  Selig spoke against this and seemed to say that it would be too difficult and too much of a hassle to do it that way.  One thing in particular he talked about was the hotel rooms and transportation that really need to be booked in advance.  He said that these plans really needed to be made ahead of time and due to this, home field could not be decided based on best schedule.  What?  Unless I am completely off base here, it seems like you could not really firm up your plans for travel and hotels until after the League Championship Series to begin with.  The only way you could make those plans more in advance than that is if you knew in advance which teams were going to win the AL and NL championships before they happened.  Doesn't make much sense to me.  Even under the old plan of alternating years, you would not know what teams and cities would be involved until after the league champions were decided as well.  Assuming the AL wins tomorrow night, where is the MLB going to start booking rooms tomorrow?  Do we go ahead and book rooms for LA and New York, Boston and Chicago, or LA St. Louis?  If this method makes everything so much more simpler, i sure don't see it.  I am sorry Mr. Selig, but your argument just failed on this front.

Maybe Selig should go talk to the NBA and NHL.  After all, they have found a way to make home field to the best record work.  As with baseball, they do not know who will be playing in their respective finals until after their conference championships.  Then it is just a matter of comparing records and giving home field to the better team accordingly.  At that point you start booking hotels and travel.  This has worked in the NBA and NHL forever, why is it too complicated for MLB?  Is it too difficult to compare records and see who has the better winning percentage?  I am sorry Mr. Selig, but again your argument just does not hold water.

I am not necessarily saying that the method of deciding home field advantage should necessarily be changed, but it would not hurt to consider it.  What it really boils down to, is that the argument that Selig gave about hotel and travel bookings seems to be calling us fans stupid, and i hate to be called stupid.  So MLB if you want to keep deciding home field the way it is done now, fine, just give a plausible reason that does not insult the intelligence of your fans.


Since: Apr 2, 2008
Posted on: March 28, 2010 10:57 pm

Deciding Home Field in the World Series

Best regular season record!  Hands Down!

Since: Jan 11, 2010
Posted on: March 19, 2010 1:06 pm

Deciding Home Field in the World Series

It's a joke ! Why not just give home field advantage to playoff team with the prettiest uniforms? Or , whoever hit most HR's during the season. Or , in this economic time,play the part Robin Hood and give home field to the team with lowest payroll. That was meant to sound ridiculous but if MLB saw this they might just consider it . Seriously though,how can you not give it to the team with best regular season record? MLB talks about how it gives the players something to play for in the ALL-STAR game. Well, what motivation does the Pirates or Nationals representative have to play for ? Why would they care ? It may even be counter productive, the teams who know they wont be in playoffs could try to prevent a division rival from getting it. I wouldnt put it past a Mets all-star !

Since: Dec 2, 2008
Posted on: July 15, 2009 6:19 pm

Deciding Home Field in the World Series

So, if a team goes 162-0, they're league loses the All-Star game and every other team in their league gets swept in every interleague series, that teams doesn't deserve homefield advantage in the WS?

Why stop at the WS?  Why not include the LCS and Divisional Series?  If an 81-81 Wild Card team's division performed better against a 110-52 division champ's division, that Wild Card team deserves homefield advantage in their LCS of Divisional series, right? 

Heck, why even reward better records with playoffs opportunities?  Take the Top 8 records in both leagues and let them play in the playoffs.  Or maybe if the Nationals have the best record against their division foes, they should win the division.  Who cares if they stink against, literally, every othr team in baseball.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: July 15, 2009 1:49 pm

Deciding Home Field in the World Series

I couldn't get behind alternating.  Its all about competition and I think that alternating leaves it too much up to fortune.  I might be ok with a neutral site or even a different neutral site for every game.  They could rotate from AL parks to NL parks for every game and have it be like a cross country tour.  I think it would be really cool to see maybe a Red Sox and Dodgers matchup play at Yankee stadium one game and Wrigley the next.  It will never happen, but I think that would be a lot of fun.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: July 15, 2009 1:41 pm

Deciding Home Field in the World Series

I had thought for a long time that this system is unfair, but I have recently changed my mind.  I think that we are used to systems like the NBA and NHL being the norm, but there is a big difference between these leagues and MLB.  Baseball is unique in that its two leagues are so different in their styles and rules.  In the NBA, NFL, and NHL while one side might tend to be more dominant from year to year the playing styles are not vastly different and all the rules are the same.  Also in baseball a team in one league doesn't get to play most teams in the other and certainly not on a consistent basis.  I think the best current example I can come up with would be to look at the Yankees, Red Sox, And Dodgers.  While you can make a compelling argument for whether the Red Sox or Yankees are better it is much harder to tell with certainty where the Dodgers belong in that ranking because they don't play enough common opponents.As far as home field advantage being decided by an exhibition game, I think that is the whole point.  MLB doesn't want it to be just and exhibition game.  I think with most exhibition games it would be easy to lump the word "meaningless" into the equation, but if the players take it seriously then it is not just a meaningless game.  My opinion is that the AL and the NL should have the same rules, either everyone gets a DH or nobody does, and the number of interleague games should be increased so that it would be fair to decide home field by record.  I would then be happy to let the All Star game go back to being a meaningless but fun spectacle.

Since: Dec 9, 2008
Posted on: July 15, 2009 12:29 pm

Deciding Home Field in the World Series

I agree best record = home field advantage

Since: Oct 4, 2006
Posted on: July 15, 2009 12:01 pm

Deciding Home Field in the World Series

Absolutely: best regular season record.  It would add some excitement late in the season when there are runaway division or league leaders, and it puts the home-field advantage outcome back where it belongs -- with the teams and players who will actually play in the Series, not the overall league which has much less of a personal stake in it.  Let the teams themselves decide this, instead of a loose collection of all-stars in an exhibition game who have much less reason to care!

Since: Mar 9, 2007
Posted on: July 15, 2009 11:28 am

Deciding Home Field in the World Series

The American Leauge is the better league and more difficult leauge (by far) to play in.... so it is very unfair to have the world series to be decided by teams record alone...  I do really like the idea of the home field advantage from allstar game... but people seem to have a problem from that... so why not have the interleague games determine homefield advantage... the leauge with the most wins in interleague should deserve to have homefield advantage.... homefield advantage is a lot to throw on one game... but the prize makes it much more interesting... definatley why i pay attention... as a sox fan i am always looking for the AL to win so the sox can get homefield advantage... then again... in the 6 years of its existence... the AL is 3-3 with homefield advantage... the best team in the world series will win regaurdless of where they play...

Since: Jun 11, 2008
Posted on: July 15, 2009 7:02 am

Deciding Home Field in the World Series

It is not fair to put so much on an exhibition game.  It is just fun and a mid season break.  That is all it should be.  The home field advantage shoue be alternated every year.  That way it is fair for both sides.  Also the fact that the AL has won 13 years in row.  Shouldn't that raise some eyebrows about fairness.  Deciding by records may not be fair as well.  I've known teams to have the better record and struggle through the playoffs and barely squeeze in the World Series to get blown away.  So my decision is alternate it every year.  Money mouth

Since: Dec 2, 2008
Posted on: July 15, 2009 6:30 am

Deciding Home Field in the World Series

Without a doubt.  Aside from the bitterness left in my mouth about the Cardinals getting the shaft and not receiving homefield in the 2004 WS, you have to respect the best record in the WS despite the league's performance in the pseudo-All Star Game.  I just recently heard it best on ESPN tonight, what if the key player in the All-Star game win gets traded?  What if they're playing for the opposite league?  What does the win in the midsummer classic really prove?  We're determining homefield advantage in the WS based on what?  The best players during the MIDDLE of the season?  Based on what fans vote for?  A load of BS I tell ya. 

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