Down the stretch they come! No, this isn't the Kentucky Derby but the final week of the Major League season is supposed to be a drama filled week with many twists and turns along the way.
This year has been anything but, with seven out of the ten playoff teams already clinched and two others on the fringe of clinching any day now, this final hurrah has been fairly boring
However, the one race that will likely come down to the final day of the regular season is looking like the 2nd Wildcard spot in the National League. The Colorado Rockies hold a two game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals are right behind them breathing down their neck at three back.
There is no guarantee that the race comes down to the final day of the regular season, I'll put my money on Colorado going through. This is the third year in a row MLB has gone to a shotgun start for the final day of the regular season.
It begs the question, is this fair? Both games are 12:10 PT 3:10 ET on Sunday afternoon. More importantly though the two games will kick off at different local times that will favor the Rockies.
Denver is in the Mountain timezone and 12:10 translates to 1:10 a normal Sunday afternoon start time. On the other hand, Milwaukee plays in the Central timezone on Sunday and that translates to a 2:10 local time start time which is a rare start time through out the baseball season.
To me there is a big advantage for Colorado because Milwaukee has to adjust their daily schedule during a day they have to win a must win game. Or what happens if there is a rain delay in Denver or St. Louis on Sunday? The shotgun start theory is flawed.
I totally get it why baseball did this, I'm not arguing about that but to me it doesn't make sense to change a baseball players routine during a crucial last game of the season.
The idea to put every game on the last day of the regular season comes from soccer. Soccer is known to do this from the EPL to CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying. That's soccer though. A sport that has no time stopping and therefore will end at the exact same time as well.
This is baseball, a sport where a game might take 2 hours to finish or could take as long as 4. Starting the games at the same time doesn't fix everything and I'm not sure it is the best option.
None of the other Top three leagues does this, NFL has a flex schedule but that's based on what are the priority games between CBS, FOX and NBC.
NBA does a semi shotgun start with the East Coast and West Coast, which because of how baseball divides their leagues isn't realistic.
NHL does nothing at all. They play out the schedule with how it was drawn up the previous Summer. The surprising thing is, no one complains.
Why did baseball change? Why did baseball have to mess with tradition in a sport that doesn't like to mess with tradition.
Baseball needs to find a better solution because the shotgun start to me is too odd.