Thursday, August 14, 2008

Wild Cards?

I've put off the season switchover for a few days, because I want to gauge the interest in a few items.

The first one involves wild cards in the playoffs. I've had a few owners ask me about the possibility of including them in for the next season. The only real setup available to us is to have the two second place teams as the wild cards. We don't have enough teams to go to three divisions.

What do you think? Discuss, cast your vote and let us know.



I vote for it.

Cleveland Steamers
Wild Card by 2016
Is there a way in OOTP9 to give the Division winner some kind of an advantage in the wildcard playoffs? I don't like the idea of giving the second place team an equal chance at the Cup.
Los Angeles votes yes, and will win the 2013 ZL Wild Card!
Seattle enthusiastically votes for it, even though it's more likely to hurt the Monarchs than help us.


1. Nate and I have now faced off in five straight championship series, with no other teams getting to play a playoff game. With all due respect to Paul, Mark, Zev and everyone else, I'd bet that it's going to be six straight in 2013 unless something changes. I think that's unhealthy for keeping league interest and involvement high.

2. We've played with wild cards in the other league for three years now and I've been won over. It keeps more teams in the race longer. That keeps more owners more interested. It opens the opportunity for upsets, which are always fun. It just seems to work well. Sure, the best team may not win the title, but in a computer simulation baseball league, is that really the point? Heck, I don't think the best team always wins now.

In the end, wild cards are just more fun.

P.S. In response to Mike's question, I think home field advantage is about all that can be done, unless we want to have Zev sim Game 1 however many times necessary to make sure the division winner prevails. I would not be in favor of that.
I'm for it.
And dream on, Michael!
Works for me, and I like the home-field advantage for the division winner as well.
I vote for the Wild Card, especially with the point being made that the best team winning isn't necessarily the point of a fictional simulation baseball league. That's a very good point. I have to remember that we're not talking about real baseball here.
Wait this is not real...then why have I been spending so much time on my life now :)
Mike: You weren't with Mack and me at lunch last year, where we talked about our beloved OOTP players much more than the 'real' baseball teams we follow.
I think my vote is academic at this point, but I'll throw another aye on the pile.

(Although we're not really talking about a wild card, given that there are only two divisions. We're just talking about the top two teams making the playoffs. I would vastly prefer having more divisions and multiple division winners, at which point we could talk about an actual wild card, but I recognize that that's not realistic at this point. And, as a result, not topical, either, I suppose).
Mark: For what it's worth, I'd much rather have four three-team divisions than two six-team divisions and a wild card. I don't believe we're in the majority there, however.
I would be for 3 four team divisions with the best team that does not lead a division getting the wild card (if we can do this)...but I think we would have to introduce interleague play to make that happen.
And so we would. Such schedules are available, but VERY hairy. And it wouldn't just choose the best team of the second place teams. It would choose the best team from one of the leagues, not both.

Anyway, I vote FOR the wild card. For all the reasons Mack laid out.
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I'm in favour.

My question, however, is this: how do wild cards affect the fan interest rating? I would be disappointed if OOTP 6.5 or OOTP 9 didn't give fan interest boosts to teams that might be 20 games out of first place but are in the thick of the wild card race.
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