A single game is all you need
Imagine it coming down to one game. All season your team works its tail off to win games and fight for a spot in the playoffs. You’re barely clinging to the opportunity of a postseason ride. Can you survive in the heat of the nation’s best teams clashing for a chance to win the most prestigious sporting event in baseball, the World Series? The Braves think they can. And on Friday they will get their one-game chance.
Many consider it unfair that a single game decides who falls and who progresses, but I think it’s the fairest opportunity for a team in the Braves’ situation.
The argument goes like this: Something as big as a postseason opportunity should not ride on one game when a series, preferably three games, would give the teams more room for error. One game is too quick. Any team, no matter how bad, can have one hot game and change everything.
Sure, I understand that point, but there isn’t time for the luxury of a three-game series. The teams who have already clenched their divisions are ready to get the postseason underway. It wouldn’t be fair to sit back and let the stragglers duke it out. One game is a privilege, and the Braves are lucky.
But we need to look at something even bigger here. Do teams like the Braves, who have been outperformed by better teams in their division, deserve more than one game? My answer is no.
I love the Braves. I love chopping the house. I love watching the big man himself, Chipper Jones, slamming a fastball over the outfield fence. But as much as I’ve rooted for them this season, I have to realize that they haven’t won as many games as they should have. And whether that’s the players’ faults or not, I still think they are being given an incredible opportunity with this last give-it-all-you’ve-got effort to push forward.
On Friday, the Braves will face the St. Louis Cardinals at Turner Field in Atlanta. If they fail here, then they should step back and re-evaluate their season performance and work on fixing any problems they have. (I’m looking at you Dan Uggla; work on your consistency, man.)
But if they win, Turner Field will light up like the Fourth of July in celebration. And I’ll be proud that they wanted it badly enough to pull it off.
Since I like the idea of a one-game matchup to advance into the playoff season, I’d really enjoy seeing the Peach Belt Conference incorporate it in some way. I understand that the MLB playoff system and that of the PBC are dramatically different, but I can’t help but wonder how the Bobcats would fare if it all came down to one game. Could they pull it off? It’s difficult to predict. The PBC is home to so many great collegiate baseball teams that anyone could beat another team given the right circumstances.
One game might seem like a sliver of a chance, but in the end it’s 50-50. If you want it badly enough, then make it happen.