Yanks Win Tainted Title / Selig's Secret Rule
Well, its not their fault. And they probably would have won it anyway.
Here's the drill. The Yankees came into Saturday tied in the standings with the Sox. They won on Saturday, which put them one game ahead, with one more game to play. But the Yankees were proclaimed AL East Champions anyway, though the Sox had the potential to win on Sunday -which they have just done. The two teams have identical records, but the Yankees were proclaimed division winners. Huh?
Seems that there is a new rule that says in the event of a regular season tie, there's not a single winner take all game, as happened in 1978. The winner is determined by which of the two tied teams had the best record against the other.
There are at least two things wrong with this. One, this " team vs team tiebreak " rule is new I think, and many fans that I speak to were completely unaware of it. On today's Yankee tv broadcast, Michael Kay said that the Yankees' players were unaware on Saturday that a win would give them the title. And if that is the case, you can bet that Joe Torre and the coaching staff were also unaware, as you'd think that they would have passed on this fact to their players.
Second, it cheapens the integrity of the standings. Two teams can be tied and not really tied, a situation that never existed before.
But my main beef is that this was a big secret. Maybe Bud Selig thought a rule change such as this, one which violates all precedent, was unimportant. I will bet the majority of fans were unaware of it, as well as many sports journalists, though they'll all deny it now.
The geniuses that run baseball will say that this change was made in order to make the teams play harder against one another, but that is complete bullshit.
One of the greatest moments in the history of the Yankees - Red Sox rivalry was when they did tie in 1977 and there was a one game playoff. If this phony rule was in place in 1977, would this playff have taken place at all? Would need the team vs team record to know this.
The new rule stinks.
It would have really been bad if the Sox had been kept from the playoffs by Selig's Secret Rule, but they qualified as the wild card, so all is fine. Now, let the games begin, and let the Yankees commence kicking ass.
See column from NY Daily News columnist Mike Lupica. I just found this, and he takes the same postion that I have.
Writes Lupica : "Nobody who bought a ticket to yesterday's Yankee-Red Sox game at Fenway Park thought that with the Yankees and Red Sox tied, that somebody could win the division. Nobody. This whole thing should have been played out today on the field.". Right on, Mike.