The Mets want to wear special caps next 9/11 and every 9/11 after that

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Absolutely no one is happy with Major League Baseball’s decision to disallow the Mets’ first responder caps on yesterday’s 10th anniversary of 9/11. And the Mets are chief among those who are displeased. But they’re not just sitting and stewing. They’re pushing Major League Baseball on the issue. But the last sentence makes me feel somehow less moved by it all:

Mets player representative Josh Thole hopes to come to an agreement soon with Major League Baseball on a policy that would allow his team to wear emergency service-department caps during games on Sept. 11 every year. Thole called the players’ association Monday, a day after the Mets were denied their request to wear caps honoring first responders on the 10th anniversary of the attacks. He said he wanted to discuss marketing and licensing possibilities but had not heard back.

Well, if marketing and licensing possibilities are on the table I assume someone will actually listen now.  Sure, bring in New Era and Majestic and Bud Light and everyone else and I’m sure that someone will see fit to allow Mets players to wear FDNY and NYPD caps. Why didn’t you say so? Not that I’m blaming Thole or the Mets here. They probably realize that marketing is the only language baseball speaks on this matter and are doing the best they can within the system.

Sometimes I hate humanity. And that’s most of the time.

The Japanese playoffs are super unfair

Hiroshima Carp
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I know a little about Japanese baseball. Not a lot, mind you. Like, I couldn’t hold my own with people who actually watch it or report on it or whatever, but I could explain some of the broad differences and similarities between the NPB and the U.S. majors.  I can say a few things about how the two leagues compare competitively speaking. I can name some stars and (I think) all the clubs. But there’s, quite obviously, a ton I don’t know.

A thing I did not know until today: the NPB playoffs are really messed up.

The NPB is divided into two leagues, the Central and the Pacific, with the winner of each league facing off in the Japan Series. Like the U.S. majors, they have preliminary playoff rounds in each league. Each league has three playoff teams, with the second and third seed teams playing a series first, and the winner of that series playing the top seed — the team with the best record in the league — in what is called the Climax Series.

Here’s the weird part: the higher-seeded team in the Climax Series — the team which won the league in the regular season — gets every single playoff game at home. What’s more, that team begins the Climax Series with an automatic 1-0 advantage. So, yes, it’s a seven-game series on paper, but one of the teams only has to win three games to advance to the Japan Series.

Oh, in Japan, they also have no problems ending a playoff game early if it rains. That’s what happened in the Central League Climax Series last night, where the lower-seeded Yokohama BayStars took on the league champ Hiroshima Carp. Here’s the report from Jason Coskrey of The Japan Times:

The rainy conditions in Hiroshima caused the umpires to stop play for over 30 minutes and ultimately call the game after five innings, minutes after the Carp put three runs on the board. Just like that, it was over. The Carp won 3-0, with Yokohama robbed of the four innings (at least) it would’ve had to try and rally.

Even better: as Coskrey notes, there are five days in between the end of the Climax Series and the beginning of the Japan Series, so there is no reason they could not suspend a game and resume it the next day. They just choose not to. The upshot: the Carp were staked to a 2-0 series lead despite the fact that they had only played five innings of baseball. UPDATE: they played a full game today, the BayStars won, so now it’s 2-1 Hiroshima.

Imagine if that happened in the NLCS. Imagine if the Dodgers began the series with a 1-0 lead over the Cubs and played all of their games in Los Angeles. Imagine there was a freak L.A. storm and it ended one of the game in the fifth inning, right after Justin Turner hit a homer. I’m pretty sure people would riot.

Kinda makes our complaints about the replay system seem rather quaint, eh?