2011 World Series: Was It Fair That Cardinals Had Home-Field Advantage?

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2011 World Series: Was It Fair That Cardinals Had Home-Field Advantage?
Pool/Getty Images
The World Series trophy

The Texas Rangers won their division. The St. Louis Cardinals did not. Yet, the Cardinals had four of the seven games it turned out to be necessary to decide the winner of the 2011 World Series at home.

Isn't something wrong with this picture?

The way the series went, it can be plausibly argued that, had the Rangers had the odd home game, there would be a different world champion in baseball today.

Of course, the reason the Cardinals had the home field advantage is because the National League won this year's All-Star Game—a procedure that has had more than its fair share of critics, and justifiably so.

Among those critics is the Major League Baseball Players Association—that's the union, for those of you in Rio Linda and West Palm Beach!—which would prefer that the team with the better regular-season record be awarded the home-field edge. 

The union and others cite the fact that two teams not in the same league, and which did not play one another in interleague play, will have still played approximately one-third of their games against common opponents. This is more than enough of an overlap to justify awarding the home-field advantage in the series based on regular-season records.

Either way, an exception could be made in cases where a division champion won the pennant in one league and a wild-card team won the pennant in the other league. That is to say, a wild card could never have the home-field advantage in the World Series unless both of the pennant winners were wild cards.

In this case, either the team from the league that won the All-Star Game, or the team that had the better record during the regular season, would get the extra home game.

Or, Bud Selig could even be a wise guy about it, and decree that if the two pennant winners finished with the same record, and either both of them or neither of them won their division, that the team from the All-Star Game-winning league would host four games.

But no matter what, the current system is broke. It must be fixed.

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