Cardinals' Pujols reacts to making an out on Phillies' Rollins to end the eighth inning of their MLB baseball playoff game in Philadelphia

Dramatic Cards-Phillies contest shows why five games isn’t enough

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It doesn’t get a whole lot better than that. Roy Halladay versus Chris Carpenter in a dramatic game that was 1-0 almost the entire way. It was enough to make one wish there was a Game 6 between the Cardinals and Phillies and maybe even a Game 7 on the way.

But there isn’t, and it really makes no sense at all.

A seven-game series doesn’t give a definitive answer to which baseball team is better, but it’s quite a bit more likely to give an accurate result than a five-game series.

Which is why seven-game series were the norm for baseball throughout most of its history, at least up until Bud Selig introduced us to the wild card.

And it should be seven-gamers all of the way. It’s not like these wild card series are between teams of wildly different qualities. This isn’t the NBA. In baseball, all eight teams that advance to the postseason in a given year have a legitimate chance of becoming the World Series champs. And all eight should be allowed to put their best feet forward by starting off with a seven-game series.

If that means the postseason has to end two days later, well, I can live with that.

Diamondbacks sign Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million deal

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 21:  Fernando Rodney #56 of the Miami Marlins pitches during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on August 21, 2016 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
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Confirming a report from Tuesday, the Diamondbacks officially signed right-hander Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million contract on Friday. The 39-year-old stands to receive up to $4 million in incentives, per Jack MacGruder of FanRag Sports, with $250,000 kicking in when the veteran reaches 40, 50 and 60 appearances and $500,000 if he reaches 70.

Rodney came three games shy of the 70-appearance mark in 2016 during back-to-back stints with the Padres and Marlins. He put up a cumulative 3.44 ERA on the year, which effectively disguised the extreme split during his performances in San Diego and Miami. The Diamondbacks aren’t anywhere close to contending in 2017, but Rodney should stabilize the back end of their bullpen while providing Arizona GM Mike Hazen with a potential trade chip during next year’s deadline.

Hazen issued a statement following the signing:

With Fernando, we’re getting an established Major League closer and a veteran presence in the bullpen. It is helpful to have someone with his experience on the back end to slow the game down and get the final three outs.

Cardinals, Dexter Fowler agree to a five-year, $82 million deal

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Dexter Fowler #24 of the Chicago Cubs reacts during the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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The Cardinals have officially signed outfielder Dexter Fowler to a five-year, $82.5 million contract. Fowler will also get a full no-trade clause.

The Cardinals gave Fowler a bigger deal than many speculated he’d get, as some reports predicted he’d get something in the $52-72 million range. His skills, however — he’s a fantastic leadoff hitter who plays a premium defensive position — definitely earned him some major dough. Fowler hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI and 13 steals over 125 games in 2016 for the World Series champion Cubs.

For the Cardinals, this will allow Matt Carpenter to move down to the middle of the batting order and will shift Randal Grichuk to left field. It also takes a prime piece from the Cardinals’ biggest rival. For their part, earlier this offseason the Cubs signed former Cardinal center fielder Jon Jay. So that’s fun.