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.

Report: Royals and Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 12:  Eric Hosmer #35 of the Kansas City Royals and the American League rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the National League in the 2nd inning of the 87th Annual MLB All-Star Game at PETCO Park on July 12, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.

Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.

Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.

Yankees sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 17:  Jonathon Niese #49 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 17, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images
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Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.

According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.

Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.