I had yet to decide whether I thought the baseball system as it is, was broken or not but after doing just some simple research, I think I am ready to say that it is okay… for now.
There is no denying that there are the lopsided salaries in just a handful of teams but there have also been 9 different World Series champions (Arizona, Anaheim, Florida, Boston, Chicago (AL), St. Louis, Philadelphia, New York (AL), and San Francisco) in the past 10 years as well as 14 different teams (add Colorado, Detroit, Houston, Tampa Bay and Texas) who have played in the World Series in that same stretch of time. That is just about half the league.
After that, make note of the fact that Minnesota, Detroit, Cleveland, Oakland, Seattle, New York (NL), Atlanta, Chicago (NL), Cincinnati, Milwaukee and San Diego have also made the playoffs in the last 10 years and that brings the total up to 25 teams leaving just the Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals, Washington Nationals, and Pittsburgh Pirates to not make it into the postseason.
That is a pretty awesome system where 83% of your league has been in the playoffs in the last decade but baseball has done a really poor job in trying to capitalize off of that. Instead all we hear in the news is of steroids, players not signing extensions and botched efforts to try and keep the all star game relevant.
I would also be interested in seeing similar numbers for other major sports and if I had to guess, I would say NBA is the worst in terms of percentage of teams making the post season in the last decade but I would think NHL and NFL are right up there with the MLB. Maybe if I get time over the weekend, I will pull up those numbers as well.
As for the 5 teams left to make the playoffs since the 2001 season, who do you think will make it there first? I will say either the Washington Nationals or the Toronto Blue Jays but I don’t think either of those two will happen this year, or the next.