Class Warfare Blog

October 30, 2019

WTF? (World Series Version)

Filed under: Sports — Steve Ruis @ 8:42 pm
Tags: , ,

I have been listening to, watching, or following in the news the World Series of Major League Baseball (MLB) for about 65 years. Setting aside the misnomer of calling an American national tournament the “World” Series, there are basic views of these contests currently being shredded.

Most obviously, the concept of “home field advantage” is being ridiculed. The so-called home field advantage is that the team playing in their home stadium has an advantage. The advantage is substantial. The “home team” bats last and the team with the most runs after nine innings (five minimally but rain sometimes truncates games) wins. So, no matter what the visiting team does, the home team has “last licks” and a chance to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. If the home team is ahead after eight and a half innings, they don’t even have to play the bottom of the ninth inning; they just win.

In addition, the home team is more intimately aware of the quirks of their ball field (all MLB fields are unique and all have quirks for which there are lists of official “ground rules” that only apply at those stadia), players and coaches get to sleep and eat at home. The home team’s locker room is often quite lavish and the visiting team’s room is often a dump. And the home team isn’t jet-lagged from travel or getting kinked up from sleeping on poor beds or eating poor food or. . . .

The home field advantage is so substantial that teams struggle mightily to acquire it through the quality of their record. MLB, to great uproar, thought that giving the league that won the All-Star Game the home team status in that year’s World Series. Purists were outraged, that such a valuable thing, such as home field advantage, would be awarded based upon the outcome of an exhibition game, and not upon the records of the teams playing in the Series. The practice of alternating years between leagues to receive the advantage was considered more fair in assigning home field advantage, than that travesty.

So, explain to me why in this year’s World Series, between the Washington, D.C. Nationals and the Houston Astros, the home team has lost every game of the six played so far. WTF?

I can remember chatter between series announcers discussing what happened to the home field advantage as the series advanced. If the home team lost a game, the advantage switched to the other team as a majority of the remaining games were played on the other team’s field or at least those games were played first. The usual pattern was 2-3-2, although others were tried, with the team with the advantage getting the first two games and the last two games at their field. If the team with the advantage lost either of the first two games, then the other team could win the series (it takes four wins) at their home stadium by winning all of those “home” games. So, the minimal goal for the visiting team was to win one of the first two games and “steal” the home field advantage. If this were to happen the team which had lost the advantage then had a goal of winning at least one of the next games and “stealing” the advantage back. This was a tried and true discussion topic for every World Series I can remember . . . until lately.

So, when the Nationals beat the Astros on their field . . . twice to start the Series, some commenters said “This Series is over.” implying that their advantage was now too great to overcome. Then the Nationals lost all three of their home games. Amazing.

Currently there seems to be no discussion of home field advantage at all. I wonder what has changed. Have modern athletes with modern training and modern diets overcome this basic advantage? I don’t think so, statistics still show the better teams win more games “at home” than they do “on the road.” That is the basic manifestation of the home field advantage. If I had the energy I could do a study to see if home and away records of teams have changed much over the years.

This is one of the joys of baseball, that there are statistics available going back centuries. This is one of the pains of baseball, that there are statistics available going back centuries.

Thus ends my annual baseball post.

~30~

25 Comments »

  1. Hahahahaha! 😆 I love this Steve! Every word, every sentiment, every question, every perplexing question made more complicated (every off-season) by Commissioners, team owners, management, player unions, and fans regarding CONSTANT obsession with perfection of every millisecond of the game by Video Reviews and yearly rule changes. Then this super hyper complicated game is quite flawed, as a purely team sport, that paradoxically is mostly controlled by one and ONLY one position/player: the pitcher. And of course subsequent pitchers in each game—pitchers touch the baseball more than any player on the field for both teams, other than their catchers. You’ve asked some questions that I constantly ask American baseball fanatics and contrast MLB (or NCAA Baseball) our Western Hemisphere of various sports and those fans. Bottom-line? At least the bottom-line in my sporting opinion?

    America’s three major multi-trillion dollar sports leagues—NFL, NBA, and MLB—ultimately care about just ONE dual thing: revenue/profits. Period. And when TV-revenue contracts and a fan-base (domestic and world-wide) begin to fizzle out, drift away and become less interested in funding these sports and leagues, the NFL, NBA, and MLB will stop at NOTHING to retain a steady upward trend of fan growth, revenues, and profits. This leads me to your thoughts/questions about the modern myth of home-field advantages.

    Because league/sport “growth” for upward revenues/profits into ALL available markets domestically and world-wide, over time that forces the sport’s elite players to become international and less domestic only. The NBA is the prime example of this over the last 2-3 decades as the American “Dream Teams” of basketball are no more. We do not dominate that sport any longer. The MLB has become increasingly international (Latin players especially) because in order to maintain those lucrative TV-contracts/revenues and the fan-base (who want only the world’s best), American-born players/managers home-field advantage is essentially a misnomer, especially in this modern age of free-agency, trades, etc. Players, and managers especially, come and go from several/many teams throughout their entire careers. There’s no true deep sense of loyalty for more than 2-4 seasons, if that. It’s really just about the money. Period. This goes for all 3 major sports in the U.S.

    Now, your dig/jab about “World” championships, series, cups, etc? Basketball is the closest American sport that comes to a PURE World Championship. The NFL and MLB claims are simply American nationalistic hype, arrogance(?), and propaganda. And the ONLY reason why those 3 top major American sports leagues/teams are the wealthiest in the world is once again… very, VERY simple to figure out:

    Constant game stoppages for everything imaginable—that ultimately generates corporate commercial and sponsorship advertising… which fuels the monstrous money machines while very, very LITTLE flowing, perpetual sporting action hardly takes place. Over the last decade these incessant stoppages only make the leagues, owners, and players that much richer… times 10!!! Lol 😉

    Great stuff Steve, as usual.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Professor Taboo — October 30, 2019 @ 10:42 pm | Reply

    • Btw, did you know a study on the NFL games, about 2-3 years ago, found that for an average NFL game of 3.5 to 4-hours, only approximately 11-12 minutes of ACTUAL PLAYING TIME—i.e. players moving, ball moving, etc—took place! Bwahahahaha! 🤣

      Yep, only 11-12 minutes of actual game-play!!! That outrageous, and sad actually!!! Lol

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Professor Taboo — October 30, 2019 @ 10:52 pm | Reply

      • Hey, gotta leave time for ads! It is probably less for baseball, which used to be one of its charms. Spectators could discuss nuances of the game between pitches/plays. Well, it was back when games were about two hours long. (I attended a Giants game that was finished in 1:30 back in the day. Pitchers pitched to contact, batters only swung at good pitches, and the batter’s goal wasn’t to hit a home run with every swing. But that was “back in the day.”

        On Wed, Oct 30, 2019 at 10:52 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Steve Ruis — October 31, 2019 @ 8:36 am | Reply

        • Not in futebol/soccer. That doesn’t happen until halftime—about 50-mins of uninterrupted game-play—then before and after the match. 😁

          Like

          Comment by Professor Taboo — October 31, 2019 @ 12:24 pm | Reply

    • As a youth … up to not that long ago, I thought those games meant something … and now I know what they mean … $$$. I worked for about 35 years in my chosen profession and made about $2 million, $4 million if adjusted for inflation. “Ball players” are making on the order of $30-40 million per year now (at the top, of course) and all I can say is … I wanna be a ballplayer toooooo! (I gag ever time a player holding out for a better contract says “I gotta take care of my family!” right …. and if these jive-ass turkeys are making that kind of money, what are the fricking owners making? (I recall Chris Rock’s tiff on “wealthy and rich” … namely “if you rich and someone else is signing your checks, well then he wealthy.”

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — October 31, 2019 @ 8:32 am | Reply

      • 😄 I love Chris Rock! Tambourine on Netflix is hysterically funny. I’ve watched it twice now, probably a third soon. But that routine Rock does is not only hilarious, but essentially true on all his topics, right?

        But you know what Steve? The addicted sports fans both in the stadiums and on TV’s must take their share of responsibility to over-feeding the leagues’, commissioner’s, owner’s and management’s, coaches, and player’s extreme, obese wealth. For example, my boyhood NFL team starting with the Tom Landry, Tex Schramm, Gil Brandt era up to Jimmy Johnson’s departure, I was an impassioned loyal fan. This all changed when Jerry Jones took over. Now since 1997 the product on the field has been mediocre AT BEST!!! Everyone knows exactly why (until this year) the Cowboys have been so horribly mediocre and yet one of the richest sports franchises IN THE WORLD!!! Riddle that one!

        I have NEVER understood why Dallas Cowboys fans—season ticket holders especially—whether TV fans or spectators in the gaudy, excessive spectacle of the $1.3-billion AT&T Stadium, over the last 21-22 seasons still keep cramming Jerry’s wallet and bank account with insane profits for consistently mediocre products of entertainment on the field… that either barely makes the playoffs or is eliminated in the first round playoffs season after season after season. The Dallas Morning News has reported over those last 21-22 seasons sellouts after sellouts—should I even get into the TV-contract revenues Jerry gets year after year? HOLY FREAKIN MOLY I should’ve gone into Sports Management/Ownership!!! 🤯 Look how easy it is to become a billionaire with average-to-crappy mediocre product!!! Wow. Worse still, look at how STUPID football/Cowboys fans are to keep buying Jerry’s product every game, every season!!! That is super embarrassing to be THAT gullible!!! 😮

        The NFL is certainly not the only American sport to gain SO MUCH excessive wealth (for 100 years total I think?) for only an average total of 11-12 minutes of actual play on the field… over 3.5 to 4-hours per game!!! Do the math on one season then over 2-3 decades. That’s how much time and money an NFL fan has wasted of their life. 🤣

        Like

        Comment by Professor Taboo — October 31, 2019 @ 12:11 pm | Reply

        • I am with you. (I used to be a fan of the Cowboys when they only came close to winning things … and then they decided they were “America’s Team.” What a turn off. Since then I can’t quite understand why an 8 and 8 team attracts so much attention … somebody is getting paid off.)

          I have been a lover of baseball since I started Little League and have attended way more professional baseball games than any other professional sport. And I am not poor, by any stretch of the definition, but I may have seem my last game in that for the two of us to go to a game is a $250 proposition and I find that problematic. For the last ten years I have been attending one game a year as a way of managing my love of the game, but I think the steam has gone out of that train.

          On Thu, Oct 31, 2019 at 12:11 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by Steve Ruis — November 9, 2019 @ 10:43 am | Reply

          • $250!!!? 😲 Woah! And I’d wager $250 would be a MINIMUM approximation? IOW, those are Bob Uecker seats, 1 basic hot dog per person or 1 bag of peanuts, and a small drink, that’s it? MAYBE a foul ball that’s 3-sections over? Or possibly lower deck… behind the foul ball net, that runs not only from home-plate, but way past the dugouts to (approx) 5/8th’s down the baseline!? 😉

            Like

            Comment by Professor Taboo — November 9, 2019 @ 12:17 pm | Reply

            • What I find incredible are the “fees” attached. If you buy online (saving them the clerks and paperwork involved) you pay a “Convenience Fee” making it sound as if we are the one’s being convenienced. There are a half dozen fees that make the tickets 50% more expensive than face value. So, our $55 seats end up being over $80 each. And, of course, beer for “only” $48 a six-pack is a treat. Argh!

              On Sat, Nov 9, 2019 at 12:17 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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              Liked by 1 person

              Comment by Steve Ruis — November 9, 2019 @ 12:22 pm | Reply

              • Those are all the exact reasons why I don’t hardly attend ANY sporting event—especially the 3 big American sports!—unless it is the FIFA World Cup, or an off-season match (touring the U.S.) like the new International Champions Cup in the summer, maybe? Depends on the clubs, teams, and any Wonderkids the Manager is starting/playing.

                But you nailed it, the non-stop “fees” everywhere. Sports venues are not the only blood-suckers preying on us turnips. I could name off several other business sectors that go overboard with those tactics, e.g. Cruise-lines and Cruise ships! The last cruise I took (Xmas 2011 gift for my entire family) from Galveston, TX to Cancún, Mexico, the round trip was 4-days, 3-nights with only a fast half-day in Cancún, remarkably—we didn’t have concern ourselves with 5 passports. It wasn’t until we were on our return leg that I realized how all of us passengers were strategically herded like cattle… in subtle ways.

                Today, you see the newest cruise-liners with EVERY IMAGINABLE activity—e.g. Go-cart races & track!—crammed everywhere on the ship! Not one bit of square footage of that vessel is wasted to coax out MORE money from passengers! More and more cruise-lines intentionally keep all their passengers strictly onboard, the entire journey, if they can. Hence, on modern cruises for the middle-class, passengers are covertly imprisoned and do not want to be free to leave the ship at any destinations. Lost revenue for that ship and cruise-line! That begs the question: Why even leave port if you are never getting OFF the ship in some foreign port and culture!!!??? (facepalm) I have absolutely NO DESIRE to ever go on another cruise. How much different are cruise ships to sporting venues?

                Liked by 1 person

                Comment by Professor Taboo — November 9, 2019 @ 12:50 pm | Reply

                • I considered putting a cruise on my bucket list. After reading your remarks, I’ve changed my mind. I’ll just settle for a ride in a sailboat … which I’ve wanted to do, like, Forever! Not a big one … a smaller one that I can get all the sensations of the water and wind and waves. But since I don’t know anyone that sails … *sigh*

                  Liked by 1 person

                  Comment by Nan — November 9, 2019 @ 1:01 pm | Reply

                  • Hahaha! Nan, please travel as much as you can in your life! I won’t quote the famous profound Mark Twain explanation as to why every single human-being should travel the globe (esp Americans!) as much as is financially and humanly possible. 🙂 The trick is to do it on a private, intimate small scale (2-4 companions) or with dear friends, and preferably with a natural-born native (or 2) of that country/culture who speaks the language fluently! And if you are able to keep the trip very modest ($$$) and an itinerary that’s quite flexible, then the next best equation is to squeeze out 3- maybe 6-weeks in country, minimum? IMHO, that is the most ideal full experience one could have—I highly recommend it or a version of my tips here Ma’am. ❤

                    Like

                    Comment by Professor Taboo — November 9, 2019 @ 1:11 pm | Reply

                    • Visited Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji many years ago … and loved it! Unfortunately, at this stage of my life, that’s probably going to have to do it for me as far as “seeing the world.” Not necessarily by choice … but for reasons I’d rather not go into.

                      But that sailboat ride? ⛵ 🤞 ❤

                      Liked by 1 person

                      Comment by Nan — November 9, 2019 @ 1:25 pm

                    • Ahh, yes. Old man time is hot on my ever-flattening ass too. Gravity and time-driven degradation are royal B*tches. My chronic cortisol levels since 2009—when I was a Special Ed teacher—and chronic hypertension have aged me 10-years faster. My health now represents a 66-70 yr old man rather than a 56-yr old GQ model. Lol 😉 😛

                      Liked by 1 person

                      Comment by Professor Taboo — November 9, 2019 @ 2:07 pm

                • Well, that and their pollution record is abominable.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  Comment by Steve Ruis — November 10, 2019 @ 9:50 am | Reply

    • Also, reminds of the difference between a soccer match and a football game.

      The soccer match has 90 minutes of regulation time and takes about 2 hours to complete. The football game has 60 minutes of regulation time and takes about 3 and half hours to complete.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by James Cross — October 31, 2019 @ 9:04 am | Reply

      • In soccer, if the ball is struck out of bounds, the other team retrieves it and throws it back into play. In NBA basketball, when the ball goes out of bounds, a referee has to touch the ball before it can be sent back into play because …

        On Thu, Oct 31, 2019 at 9:04 AM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Steve Ruis — October 31, 2019 @ 9:33 am | Reply

        • I don’t know that answer Steve because TV coverage always takes every possible opportunity to BREAK AWAY for incessant, annoying, revenue-generating commercials. 😉 😛

          Like

          Comment by Professor Taboo — October 31, 2019 @ 12:22 pm | Reply

          • But these referee touching the ball moments do not result in commercial breaks. Irritatingly, this reduces the opportunities for a less talented team beating a more talented team through extra hustle/effort.

            Liked by 1 person

            Comment by Steve Ruis — November 9, 2019 @ 10:44 am | Reply

      • James, you are a man after my own heart!!!! ❤ Yes, yes, YES!!! 😍🥳

        I've played soccer most of my life—collegiately, professionally, and semi-pro on 4 of the 6 inhabitable world continents—and I LOVE "The World's Most Beautiful Game!!!" It's no wonder at all why every four years when the FIFA World Cup tournament starts, three-quarters of the entire world population tunes in to or attends the astonishing, gorgeous sporting spectacle!!! ⚽

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Professor Taboo — October 31, 2019 @ 12:20 pm | Reply

  2. Trump’s not going to want them in the WH… Another pathetic move by this ghastly human stain.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by john zande — October 31, 2019 @ 7:47 am | Reply

    • Yeah, but the prospect of the Nationals players assembled outside of WH chanting “Lock him up!” is just too sweet not to imagine.

      On Thu, Oct 31, 2019 at 7:48 AM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by Steve Ruis — October 31, 2019 @ 8:37 am | Reply

      • Hahahahaha!!!! I so hope that really happens Steve!!! That would be history making. 😉

        Like

        Comment by Professor Taboo — October 31, 2019 @ 12:29 pm | Reply

  3. Great topic sir. Ah yes, ‘Merikkkan sports. LOL! Supposedly so very popular world wide. Um, er, uh, not quite. Yes soccer/futebol IS the absolutely world number one in popularity.
    Great take on sports and the money made for so very short time of actual playing a game.
    I personally lost interest in US football after Dad moved us to SoCal . Being born in Wisconsin, we had to be Packers fans. They did win the first two super bowl games. My maternal grandpa and I were Cubs fans for baseball. He had been a Cubs fan long before I entered this life. He never accepted the Braves, even though we were closer to Milwaukee than to Chicago. You see, the Braves had left Boston (too lazy to check this) and he had been a Cubs fan too long to switch.
    Also, once the NFL changed the rules it was over for me. Just putting a hand on the way over paid quarter back ended the down? What the he *double hockey* sticks? I remember one game on TV (yes, black & white TV) played I think was Cleveland that was so foggy even the commenters could not really see what was happening. Back in the late 1950’s early 60’s when the ball carrier was down wherever the defensive player dropped him. Oh well, tey are just games.

    Like

    Comment by Walter Kronkat — October 31, 2019 @ 4:55 pm | Reply

    • In the early days, a player was down when he couldn’t move any more, not when a knee or elbow touched the ground. There were incredible pileups.

      Many of the new rules are to protect the players from the zeal of other players. I remember the 1970’s Raiders who used to regularly “spear” other players (hit them head first) that can’t be good for anyone.

      On Thu, Oct 31, 2019 at 4:55 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Like

      Comment by Steve Ruis — November 9, 2019 @ 10:51 am | Reply


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