I have nothing against the San Francisco Giants—in fact, I don’t particularly care about them one way or the other. I’m sure they’re nice people, and they’re certainly a very good baseball team.
But, while San Francisco’s successes and failures don’t rouse my passions as an Indians and Red Sox fan, their victory Sunday afternoon irked me as a baseball fan because of the domino effect it had on the playoff scene.
Had Miguel Tejada homered in the seventh inning instead of striking out and the Padres rallied to win in extra innings, Major League Baseball would have gone to Game No. 163 for the fourth year in a row.
But that’s not all: for the first time in almost 50 years, it would have forced Game No. 164.
If the Friars had emerged victorious, they would have tied the Giants for first in the NL West and the Atlanta Braves for the wild-card spot. That would have meant that the California foes would have squared off again tonight for the division, with the loser duking it out with the Tomahawks for the consolation slot.
Just imagine—a winner-take-all showdown on Monday followed by a loser-goes-home duel on Tuesday. Then, on Wednesday, the playoffs start.
It would have been the first time fans could see multiple tiebreakers since the series were reduced from three games to one, and the only time in baseball history that tiebreakers would be played between two different teams.
You can say that our current playoff system is too inclusive or that the postseason is too long. But don’t even try to tell me that that wouldn’t have been awesome.
But alas! The Giants had to go and ruin it by winning.
As someone who picked the Braves as the World Series winner before the season and said the Padres had a chance to be contenders, I would have preferred to see San Francisco miss the playoffs altogether. But if they were going to clear one of my preferred teams' schedules for October, they could have at least waited 24 hours to do it.
So if you’re bored and feeling baseball-deprived these next two nights, just remember that you would have had a pair of fantastic games to watch if it wasn’t for the Giants.