Tracy Ringolsby is having trouble squaring the expanded playoffs with the fact that the MVP and Cy Young Awards are based solely on the regular season:
The BBWAA presents the Most Valuable Player.
The ultimate value in baseball is winning, and if the award is based on a player’s value the decision should rest on how valuable he was to his team’s success. Winning the World Series is the ultimate sign of a team’s success.
That aspect, however, has been diminished in terms of the annual presentation of the Most Valuable Player awards in the NL and AL each time the post-season has expanded.
This year, for example, the BBWAA announced the three finalists for the AL and NL MVPs, and none of the six players participated in the World Series.
Or, one could argue that the regular season has been diminished by a tournament-style postseason in which success is determined under fairly radically different circumstances than those which prevail from March through September.
The regular season is the regular season. The playoffs are the playoffs. If you have a problem with a non-World Series player winning the MVP, God help you coming to grips with the fact that 20 teams play games all year and never make the playoffs. Maybe we should just eliminate the regular season altogether, turn baseball into nothing but a 30-team tournament with five and seven game series. We could probably wrap the whole thing up between May and July, leaving us more time to think about football training camps and stuff.