The Houston Astros don’t deserve a first-round bye

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With the playoffs fast approaching and the standings almost complete, it seems like a good opportunity to highlight a flaw with the new six team format (other that increasing the number games per round). You should give first-round byes to the top two teams from each league if you are going to do so. The Yankees’ championship drought continues The Rays and Orioles have been locked in a deadlock for the AL East title, but their main motivation is to win the No. The Rays and Orioles are locked in a deadlock for the AL East crown, but the bigger motivation for these two clubs is the No. The third seed gets an extra round of baseball. My thinking is the same as what the NBA

did for its divisions. The division winners of the NBA used to automatically be the top four seeds. So, when the Southwest was loaded, only one out of Dallas, San Antonio Memphis, Houston etc. would get home court in the first round. In the first round, teams would be given home court advantage. The division winners are no longer important, as the NBA’s regular season is largely meaningless. However, I would not seed the bracket based on best record in MLB

as divisions still matter. If I were a nihilist, I would also suggest correcting the AL Central’s Minnesota twins, who have the 7th-best record in the AL. Since I am not Karl Hungus I do agree that divisions matter because baseball fans love dirt and divisions definitely fall into this category. Give the bye to the second best team, regardless of whether it won its division. The Rays and Orioles have a guaranteed playoff spot. They would not oust an undeserving team. The Astros would still have home-field advantage in this scenario but are not two series from the World Series. I’m sure Yankee fans and baseball fans in general would welcome a more difficult path for the Astros. I also think that AL East supporters might even concede that Baltimore fans deserve at least a bye. The 162-game baseball schedule is a very important part of the game, but it can be a bit tedious. My fix will preserve that meaning even if the argument seems absurd. The other reality of what I’m suggesting is it would inevitably benefit top-heavy divisions like the AL East, and NL West, and if I may appeal to Rob Manfred for a second, don’t you want better chances of the Red Sox, Yankees, Dodgers, or Giants making the World Series?

Perhaps if the league office was focused on perfecting its new playoff system, and not debuting a virtual ballpark, they would’ve been a little quicker on the uptake. Rob Manfred, please don’t do that. Instead, play trivia with a headset to promote something other than watching games. Sorry, this is a tangent that will be covered in a future piece. Let’s get back to Manfred and his playoff system. Rob, I’m sure I got all the vitriol from that newspaper. So, yeah, I guess I did. Alabama turns to Tyler Buchner

Notre Dame Transfer Tyler Buchner will take over the Crimson Tides’ offense. Jalen Millroe will be back at the clipboard. Nick Saban is on Plan B. He’s paired Buchner up with Tommy Rees who is also from South Bend. The QB carousel is one of the most interesting aspects of the portal. Sam Hartman is one example of a player who moved to the Irish. But Notre Dame had high hopes for Buchner, before an injury disrupted his 2022 season. It’s a great spot for a young quarterback. Most of them are still so young, that a slight change in system or coaching could make a huge difference. My guess is that Buchner will do a great job, so Milroe can become a free agent at the end of the season. There’s a coach who would love to have his skills and be better able to utilize them.