As the sun sets on another baseball season, rethinking the future of wild card teams

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With the World Series featuring an 84-win team, we share some thoughts on the MLB wild card and the impact of bye weeks on postseason results since Rob Manfred and the owners started rewarding mediocrity with October opportunity.


teams, ravens, baseball, year, move, game, win, quarterback, people, watch, week, derrick henry, wildcard, second round pick, series, super bowl, postseason, orioles, players, sellers


Luke Jones, Nestor Aparicio

Nestor Aparicio  00:01

Welcome back at W N S, T, Towson Baltimore and Baltimore positive we are a positive taking the Maryland crabcake tour back out on the road beginning next week. You know sometimes you go into a place and you’re like give me double cakes too too quick, like it’s a little expensive these days, especially if you’re making a big the way they do over Coco’s, but you were going to do like double duty. We’re going to do double crabcake tours later on in the month because it’s Thanksgiving and pumpkin pie and good football and ravens are 62 It’s all brought to you by our friends at weathernation 866 90. Nation you buy two you get two free 0% financing for five years as well as Jiffy Lube, multi care locations everywhere in and out nice quick that’s the way they do it there as well. This week is kind of special because it’s the end of the baseball season. I thought I knew it was a special week when I woke up on Sunday morning and I had to re remember that the Houston Oilers were coming back out of the closet. And it sounded like a good idea until I saw Oilers all over the Tennessee field. And then it made me itch a little bit. But look Joe joins us now we’re gonna talk some sports. We talked a lot of football. We’ve talked trading deadline we talked ravens offense we’ve talked but there’s other things going on in the league. Certainly with that oiler jersey. I think you had more to say about that. I know I did as well. As well as it’s been a week since we got we can be less than we got together that the Phillies were going to the World Series. What happened to

Luke Jones  01:29

the bats went went asleep. But a credit the Arizona Diamondbacks. And we’ll we’ll talk about the World Series. But yeah, there’s I think we focus so much on the ravens and inconsistency or okay, they look great against Detroit, they didn’t look as great against Arizona. They’re six and two, the Forum One on the Road, they’re in good shape. And then when you look around at the rest of the league, and you realize even the other teams that you view as contenders. It’s it’s choppy, it’s a week to week League. It’s weird. For every signature game or statement game there. There’s a lot that goes on on a week to week basis that you forget about in a matter of a week or two or three weeks. But, you know, I think that’s where we already talked about the trade deadline. But you look at the landscape of the AFC just for example, where, okay, you got four teams that are six and two, but buffalo is five and three and people have been down on them, but they look like maybe the best team a month ago. You know, they get they get a Thursday night when I mean you’ve you’ve already mentioned how your disdain and not just your Vandersteen. But how mediocre to bad Pittsburgh and Cleveland looks. Well, they’re still in playoff spots right now. So what does that tell you? In the context of talking about the trade deadline, we could talk about these teams being sellers, but there are teams that are right there. You know, you don’t have a quarterback.

Nestor Aparicio  02:53

Why are you a seller? You don’t I mean, like it’s very obvious. Pittsburgh doesn’t have a quarterback Cleveland didn’t have a quarterback they can rely on. And even if that kid gets on the field to think that he’s going to be a world beater in this system. Like, I mean, the Redskins were excuse me commanders running around with this, this guy that I mean, look at the Giants situation and a thoughts for our friend Tyrod Taylor, who I know we both have a great fondness for Tyrod I saw him at the Super Bowl a year and a half ago, he looked great and he’s back in the league he gets a chance to play and then winds up in the hospital. So I mean, the quarterback position when I said to you, there might be 12 teams, you’re like there’s not 12 quarterbacks

Luke Jones  03:33

Yeah, in terms of teams that can but you got to remember not every team’s thinking Super Bowl or bust. That’s not how this works. I mean, you have teams there are teams in the league right now that would give their right arm to be the number seven seed in the AFC or the NFC because they haven’t been to the playoffs in three years or four years or five years or whatever it might be so you have to remember that this is all tiered and I agree with your overall sentiment but at the same time you have teams that say well you know what? We yeah we’re looking for that quarterback or we’re trying to develop our guy but our the best solution for us isn’t necessarily to trade away three of our other best players or trade away our two other best players because then what are we doing there? We’re just moving further away so I mean there’s there’s different ways to view this and as much as you might have forward thinking teams that are apt to make more trades whether we’re talking about teams like the Ravens who have been buyers pretty consistently for three or four years now at the trade deadline or whether you have teams that are selling off pieces and you know we saw Tennessee sell off their their longtime safety you know what a week week and a half ago so


Nestor Aparicio  04:42

and by the way one game to bring back the Oilers jerseys kid loves Kosan plays that might be the thing that makes Derrick Henry not a raven or not something else this week because if you get a quarterback that in a minute I mean Brock Purdy where we see this time last year, right? Like I mean I And I guess the weather changes on some of these guys, whether it’s Dak Prescott, Josh Allen, these guys that are elite guys don’t always look elite either.

Luke Jones  05:09

Right, right. I mean, it’s, you know, the difference between three and four and four and three is one game. But that’s that one game separating being, you know, we’re talking about seems like Tennessee oh, maybe they should be a seller, or one game out of the final playoff spot. And, again, if you buy into the lower of will Levis, and look he played a great game, but this first game, you know, I think if you’re looking at a big picture standpoint, if I’m in the front office for the Titans, I’m probably not drastically changing how I view the trade deadline today, compared to how I viewed it last Thursday, for example, but we also know teams, we talked about this with the angels in baseball, this past trade deadline, look at what they decided to do and how, how much of a disaster that turned out to be So

Nestor Aparicio  05:55

complexity when you are a bad team, that’s three and four that’s never done anything let’s let’s call it what it is. The Tennessee Titans as just as an example of this, get an owner that’s half crazy, you know, already bringing out old markings that don’t mean anything a tendency to sell stuff, right? You’ve got a fan base that’s sort of indifferent, or college football fan base for a lot of these Tampa, Atlanta, Jacksonville is good this year. But in those places where people their attention span goes to some other place, throw in the towel in is different for the general manager, or the head coach for the young players on the team or even the veteran players on the team. But it always does come down to ownership at this point, right like and which way the wind is blowing with your ownership.

Luke Jones  06:44


Yeah, and I mean, a sport like football, we’ve also seen the teams can turn around really quickly. I mean, and maybe this isn’t the best time to say this, because we’re currently watching a World Series in which you have two teams that last 100 games plus two years ago. So maybe it applies in other sports, but the NFL, I mean, you’re one really good draft away from turning things around, even if you’re pretty lousy right now. So at the same time, you have teams that they’re reluctant to move on from players because they have unrealistic demands from ownership or a head coach and a general manager that are saying, you know, what, sneaking in, even if we don’t have a shot in you know what, winning the Super Bowl, sneaking in as the number seven seed in the AFC or the NFC probably gives us another year with our jobs.

Nestor Aparicio  07:32

Give it a chance on that. How about the jets on that? Right? Like their foreign three they stay probably right? For three and that you know, they’re rarely foreign free so that they’re a buyer when they’re four and three even though the quarterbacks a mess.

Luke Jones  07:48

Yeah, I mean, and I don’t think the Jets stink I think their quarterback stinks. But when your quarterback stinks, that’s gonna you stay you basically stink. But but they’re foreign three. So again, you know, it’s easy to point at a team like the Cardinals and say, okay, Cardinals selling I don’t know if they have a whole lot to sell at this point. But sellers, Carolina sellers, patriots at this point at two and six crazy to say it because it’s Bill Belichick. But sellers are they should be at least

Nestor Aparicio  08:15

in Indianapolis, when you have a crazy owner across glass to bring the running back and back in when it’s too late. Yeah,

Luke Jones  08:23

but well, not just that, but also their, their top five quarterback that they drafted out for the year who, you know, he showed some promise early on, but also got knocked out of three games because of injuries, you know, and kind of the, as played out in the way that people feared Lamar Jackson would you know, at the beginning of his career, I mean, he he actually was getting hurt and getting knocked out of games with regularity talking about Anthony Richardson, of course. So, so but, you know, you look at those seams at the bottom and Okay, those are easy decisions to make. I mean, they clearly should be looking to move. veteran players who have an expiring deal if you can get a fifth round, pick next year’s draft or get a fourth round pick two years from now or whatever. You know what?

Nestor Aparicio  09:04

Dude, Washington, the Giants, the Packers, the bears, the Panthers, the Rams, the Cardinals, they all there, they’re all done. I mean, literally, that’s a lot of teams and a lot of players that we’re talking we’re focused on Derrick Henry or a pass rusher. I think there’s gonna be movement just on that, on that basis alone that that there isn’t desperation, you know, and inspiration to some degree at this point, right.

Luke Jones  09:33

Yeah, but I’ll go back look at Minnesota who is done now because Kirk Cousins tore his Achilles they’re the number seven going into Monday Night Football they’re the number seven seed at foreign for

Nestor Aparicio  09:44

so to chase keep them away from 10 wins. But I’m just

Luke Jones  09:49

you’re talking about some you’re lumping some teams in there and saying they’re done. And I agree that they’re done in the sense that I don’t view them at all as a Super Bowl contender, but those teams are still in the wildcard race. So This is what happens when you expand the playoff field. And that’s why I’m, I’m always and I’ve talked about this a lot with baseball the last couple of years since we’ve expanded and add a third wildcard team. I mean, the Arizona Diamondbacks are in the World Series after winning 84 games, think about that. So

Nestor Aparicio  10:19

the Orioles winning games next year, we’re gonna burn the city down, right.

Luke Jones  10:23

But they might be in the World Series, if they’re the number 16. And they they get right, or they get hot at the right time. I mean, you know, so, look, there, there are lots of teams that should operate certain ways. And we see all the time that they don’t. So that’s where all those teams you just mentioned, I’m not convinced some of those teams that you just mentioned, truly consider themselves finished to the point where they’re going to sell off players. Again, it’s easy to talk about Arizona, they’re one in seven, it’s easy to talk about Carolina’s one in six. But for those teams that are, you know, even three and five, let alone four and four, three and four, you know, there, it doesn’t take much for individuals who are desperate, who are trying to save their job, who don’t have the long term job security that you’ve mentioned that an Eric to caster or a job

Nestor Aparicio  11:13

making a third round draft pick next year, anywhere, right. But but

Luke Jones  11:16

so they have those teams that are saying, you know, let’s, and that doesn’t mean that they’re going to necessarily be buyers, either. But you’ll have some teams that’ll say, let’s let this play out a little bit more. So I don’t know. You know, I mean, we’re still in relatively new territory for the NFL to be much more of an active trade deadline after that being a punch line for years. I mean, I remember when the Ravens acquired I mean, Eugene Monroe was 10 years ago. Now. That was a point in time where when there was a blockbuster move, and that wasn’t a blockbuster. But that was a notable move, you know, former first round pick for Jacksonville getting dealt in the Ravens defending Super Bowl champs trying to salvage a disaster of an offensive line at the time. But back then, when there was a blockbuster movie, I mean, it blew you away. You were shocked now. You almost expected you know, a couple of those. I mean, we saw it last year with McCaffrey go into San Francisco and how crazy that was after he had Carolina had viewed him as the franchise so to speak. Well, that

Nestor Aparicio  12:24

for all the sorts that happened to massage it most of the year 30 years I’ve been on the radio where there were times where the NBA trading deadline meant more meant less based on the salary cap and draft picks and we’re that league is gone hockey, always tons of deals and it’s always fringe third and fourth line guys that wind up playing in June with a beard and you’re like holy hell I mean, how do they know they needed a left wing on their third line? The football is different and I think football was always different than a we’re gonna buy a pitcher he’s gonna come in and just pitch or we’re gonna buy a centerfield or he’s gonna play centerfield. He knows a position. Talk about bringing Derrick Henry in and having a run around having them learn your offense and your cadence and, and the sleight of hand of Lamar. Like all that stuff you want to work on as a team. It’s hard to plug and play, which is why the RO Quan Smith thing last year really speaks to what a special football areas.

Luke Jones  13:22

Yeah, and I think of running back and maybe in the Ravens offense because they do so much matchpoint stuff with, you know, some zone read and obviously RPOs, things like that it is a little bit different. But for the most part, that’s one of the positions where you would say the learning curve is on the easier end. Whereas you trade a quarterback, you know, and there had been talking obviously, it’s a moot point now, but you know, there’d been so much discussion on whether the Vikings were going to consider moving Kirk Cousins now they said they weren’t going to. But had they, you know, that would have been fascinating to see that. I mean, we’ve seen We’ve seen some quarterbacks here and there move during the regular season. But you know, that’s typically an offseason thing that happens. But it is interesting in terms of the learning curve, I mean, you know, wide receivers. You know, I think I made mention when we talked about the trade deadline, as much as there’s focus on running backs, you know, whether it’s a Derrick Henry Zack Moss, you know, I mean, the Giants say they’re not trading say, Quan Barkley, of course, but, you know, is there a move to be made for the ravens to upgrade at say, left guard, for example, you know, John Simpson has been fine. He hasn’t been great. Far from it. You know, is there a move to be made? That’s a little more off the radar that you don’t have to give up a whole lot. But do you think, hey, this will make us better at left guard, and that’s gonna make Gus Edwards better? That’s

Nestor Aparicio  14:37

gonna be another Kevin Zeitler on the other side, or another Morgan motion? Yeah,

Luke Jones  14:41

exactly. Exactly. Or, you know, someone that might have a year left on his deal. And we know that Kevin Zeitler is going to be a free agent, and he’s not getting any younger and Morgan, Moses isn’t getting any younger. So again, there are different ways to look at this thing. And that’s where I think the Ravens specifically but any team that’s in this conversation, you know, You’d rather be in a position where you don’t feel like you need to make a move. But there are certainly moves you can make to improve. Whereas you rarely want to be in a position where you’re acting out of desperation. Right. And that’s where I think these teams that are three and five, you know, with a GM or a head coach that’s on on the hot seat, or a team that’s foreign for that. Yeah, they’re sitting right there a half game out of the final wildcard spot in their conference. But yeah, that’s where you don’t want to make a foolish move. And that, you know, that’s where, you know, going back to just Derrick Henry, as an example. What Derrick Henry make 25 different teams 26 different teams running game better, probably more than that. Yes. Does that mean you should give up a second round pick for him? Or does that mean, a number of teams out there should give up a third round pick to rent Derrick Henry? No, that would be foolish for a lot of teams to do that. So you know, it comes back to Fit comes back to how healthy you are, comes back to where you are next year, in terms of the salary cap, draft picks? I mean, you, you you’ve mentioned for the Ravens talking about you know, where they are, you know, I would almost say, because they have some dead money on next year’s cap, because the void years they did this year and a number of their deals, because they’re in a position that, yeah, you have a premium top shelf quarterback that you’re paying now, and you’ve got some other guys. Yeah, you want to try to make a move to make yourself better now, but at the same time, you don’t want to do anything that’s going to derail you next year, or the year after that, either. So you know, it’s all of this is a fine balance, right. And there’s a wide, you know, there’s a wide gap between going all in and having a fire sale, and all these teams that are kind of in the middle. You know, they’re trying to figure out what exactly they want to do. And teams like the ravens, or the Chiefs told me the Chiefs couldn’t use a running or the bills can use a running back like Derrick Henry, you know, so I mean, it’s, it’s fascinating. And, you know, ultimately it comes down to, are these teams serious about being sellers? And what I mean by that is, they’re actually going to take, accept a reasonable deal, or are the Titans dreaming, saying, Oh, well, trade Derrick Henry, but it’s gonna cost you a first round pick? Well, that means you’re not really willing to trade Derrick Henry, right, because the value would be completely out of whack in terms of renting a run, I

Nestor Aparicio  17:21

think in most cases, when you’re ready to deal with a player, you’re just going to take the highest bid in the middle of a season, whatever the highest bid is, that’s going to be what the deal is. And if the highest bid on Derrick Henry is a fourth round pick, if nobody’s willing to move off of that, then you decide we’ll keep them. You know, I mean, like that, yeah, then that becomes easier. But I think if the best you could do as a third round pick, you probably do that. And if you can get a second round pick, because there really is bidding, then you get that too. I mean, and I think these general managers know each other well enough, as we learned in the offseason of whatever the collusion was that involved Lamar Jackson not even visiting another team and being available. As we watch all these turds get rolled out in the NFL and other teams had an opportunity to get him. You know, this isn’t a wake up Monday morning and learn the market. I mean, Georgia, Kenya has you know, every team has people on this all the time. And the ravens are at the top of class at all of this at picking up players when Kyle van Noy, you know, picking up players when a guy gets injured, and they get low on the depth chart, whether it’s Arthur Mallette, you know, these these guys that they wind up going in and finding and that’s part of winning, too. I mean, that’s been part of both of their championships, and every championship from the beginning of time is, how do you add football players after September 1, and fortify your team when your guys get hurt. And whether that comes from development, player personnel, trade, whatever. The league has become much more open to that. And I think it makes it more fun. Certainly more fun when you get

Luke Jones  19:01

it definitely makes it more fun at the same time. While you’re right that there are teams that are using that to their advantage. There are other teams who, frankly don’t know what they’re doing. I mean, look at the bears last year. Okay, they traded row Quan Smith, you could certainly argue that they should have kept him you’re talking about someone who’s 25 years old, but I’ll hear that and look off ball linebacker, you and I had this talk and debate about you

Nestor Aparicio  19:24

want to give me money as you remember, right? Yeah. Was your um, you know, I

Luke Jones  19:28

mean, I, I probably would have been a little more reluctant. Sure. Sure. And you know, if I was wrong on that I was wrong on that. That’s fine. Bro. Quan Smith, a great football player. At the same time the bears got a second round pick for him and then what did they do? They go around and flip a second round pick the Pittsburgh for Chase. Claypool who’s not even on their team anymore, because he stinks that bad. So, you know, there you have a case where the bears could have made the absolute best out of a bad situation of their own doing with ro Quan Smith and how that how that relationship had disintegrated but then they go around Got a turnaround in a trade a second round pick to Pittsburgh, who had to be laughing to get rid of as much as the Steelers offense stinks. Chase. Claypool wasn’t, you know, trading him wasn’t the reason why, you know. So you see teams that don’t make moves and they clearly don’t understand how to value players so and values different. Christian McCaffrey look at the value he’s brought to the San Francisco 40, Niners and how they want to try to play football. Would that be the same for other teams that don’t play the same exact style? Probably not. But, you know, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And, you know, to go back to using bro Quan Smith as the example the Ravens have designed a defense, Mike McDonald has designed a defense that has really placed so much emphasis over the middle portion of the field. And yeah, that’s an old principle that Ozzie Newsome had years ago. But it’s been reimagined a little bit, it’s evolved. It’s certainly you know, because you play defense differently now, because it’s much more of a passing centric league. But, you know, the Ravens have designed and schemed up the defense were having to off ball linebackers like ro Quan Smith and Patrick queen have carries more value than other teams and how they try to play defense. So again, it’s a moving target. It’s all relative, and we’re gonna see how this plays out. But just because we sit here and say, well, that team should be a seller does not mean they’re going to do that. And again, in the case of the angels in baseball this past summer, everyone in their mother was saying they should be sellers, and they did the exact opposite. And they were saying, hey, you know, we’re not so bad. And then about three or four weeks later, they were a disaster. And you’re looking at that and saying, Wow, you’re gonna, you’re gonna lose Shohei Otani for nothing now, so, I mean, it’s, it’s how it sometimes plays out. And it’s gonna be really interesting to see how this, how this goes down over the next, you know, the next day or so and talk reconvene at the end of the week and see, you know, who’s really improved themselves and, you know, who are the teams that maybe stand pat and maybe only made a move that’s gonna help you on the margins?

Nestor Aparicio  22:14

Alright, so I’m gonna have you complete a sentence here. And I don’t know where you’re going with this, but the 2023 World Series is blank.

Luke Jones  22:24

What is this for you?

Nestor Aparicio  22:27

Because it really is it? I don’t, I hate the Rangers. So I you know, I sort of rooting for the Diamondbacks, even though I like bocce over the course time. So I mean, I’m sort of watching it, but like, even my wife a pint, she’s like, huh, this is a little. Yeah,

Luke Jones  22:44

yeah, it’s mad. And you know what? It’s it’s more of a systemic thing for me. Because while it’s fun to talk about that, and look, the Diamondbacks give them credit. You know, they’ve gone on a great run here.

Nestor Aparicio  22:57

It’s fun to watch Skidmore.

Luke Jones  22:58

They’ve got good young players, no doubt. At the same time, they weren’t ready for games this year. And for guys, like me, who I’m a baseball nerd, I flat out admit, and I’m sure there are plenty of people who listen and roll their eyes when I’ll start citing a certain stat here or there, citing third time through the order for starting pitchers and why teams operate and use their bullpens the way they do now, but

Nestor Aparicio  23:24

I hope that’s why people listen, by the way, but the problem

Luke Jones  23:27

with what we’re seeing with the Diamondbacks is not 2023 and it happening right now and the idea that the Diamondbacks might win the World Series. My problem is we are trending in a direction where this is going to continue to happen more and more and more

Nestor Aparicio  23:44

what happens in ice hockey all the time, over 30 years, the eight seed would wind up playing in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Luke Jones  23:50

And look, that’s great for the postseason itself. Right. But what has that done the hotkeys regular season. We talked about it all the time. Yeah, we talked about in the NBA. The 82. I mean, my gosh, the NBA is trying to spark interest in their lot too long 82 game season, they are doing a tournament at the beginning of the season, for some reason, just because it’s gonna make for good TV. By

Nestor Aparicio  24:15

the way, by the way, I was sitting at tacos and beer on Paradise in Las Vegas at a bar alone, having chips and salsa and this man and his wife were sitting in the chairs next to me. And he was he was a Laker, you know, NBA their West Coast people. He was trying to explain load management to life at the bar. Before to see you too. And I’m just the fly didn’t say anything. I’m just sitting there listening to him. Explain. Well, they don’t want these guys to get tired. I’m like, It’s August 25. Yeah.

Luke Jones  24:50

That’s funny. That’s funny. But, but so you have that and baseball, more than any other sport. But in day to day in game variance is extremely high. We know that the worst team in baseball plays the best team in baseball, and will win and win somewhat frequently. Now over the long haul, of course, the bet the better team is going to win more. But when you start to expand your postseason, and you’re allowing more and more marginal 8485 83 Win teams in which this system is going to do that, and oh, by the way, baseball wants to expand the 32 teams. Now, I don’t know if that’s going to happen five years from now, or 10 years from now, but that’s going to happen. And you know, what’s going to look, the next logical step is going to be, they’re going to structure this and it’s going to look more like the NFL, they’ll probably go to 414 divisions in each league. And what are they going to do, then they’re going to have eight teams make. So we’re gonna go from six to eight, that will happen. I don’t know if it’s gonna

Nestor Aparicio  25:53

play the World Series when it Christmas.

Luke Jones  25:58

I don’t know or will will start to see it. And they’ll talk about moving it to a neutral site, because that’s what they do with the Super Bowl. Right? So but the point I’m making is, in a sport where there is high variance, day to day, because there is the Oakland Athletics were the worst team in baseball this year, they had a seven game winning streak. That wasn’t because they were suddenly great. It’s flipping a coin, right? You flip a coin. And sometimes you might have a run where it’ll land on heads four or five times in a row. And on the flip

Nestor Aparicio  26:29

side, you’re in the playoffs and you’re in a best of five. You can steal a series very easily.

Luke Jones  26:37

And it’s not even really stealing. It’s just I mean, space. Oakland won seven games in a row. The Braves, the Dodgers and the Orioles 300 Win plus teams to share all had four game losing streaks. What does a four game losing streak equate to in the playoffs? It means you’re going home? Heck, first round the wildcard round out, you lose two you have bad a bad 27 hours. And you’re done. So, look, that’s if we all acknowledge that and everyone’s fine with that. Okay.

Nestor Aparicio  27:05


Luke Jones  27:07

wait, that makes me not want to invest nearly as much in the regular season. It makes me not want to, and not me specifically, but general baseball fan. And for me, the beauty of baseball was the day to day of the long six month regular season. And look, I’m not anti postseason, and I like a Cinderella as much as the next person. But you know, what, if Cinderella starts to happen every single year, it’s not Cinderella anymore. It’s just Oh, well, the regular season doesn’t mean anything. And then it’s just like,

Nestor Aparicio  27:36

I think we all know this though, Luke. And that’s why I beat you up every year, the team is good. You and I’ve been together 16 years now. We’ve only had a handful of these years. And every year, we’re good. I start in June by saying you better win game one, you better win game one, you better win game one. And we know what happened around here when they didn’t win game one. But at the same

Luke Jones  27:55

time, I guess my point is winning game one. Like I think the thing that bugs me more than seeing an 8014 win, or an 84 Win team in the World Series is that you see these narratives and look, I get it baseball writers have to write stories, right? But that this team is somehow like, this special. They’re special. You know, we’ve heard this a lot with the Royals back in 14, right? That they were special and like this teams come together? No, there wasn’t some master plan to only be an 84 Win team, they got hired at the right time. And I don’t think that that’s necessarily, you know, like, the best team doesn’t always win. In fact, quite often the best team doesn’t win. And if people are okay with that, then that’s fine. But at the same time, it makes me as a, you know, speaking as just as a baseball fan, it makes me not as invested in why are we playing at 162 games schedule, if we’re just going to make it more and more of a crapshoot and a coin flip in October, you know, and that doesn’t mean I wanted to go back to 1954 either, where you just have the best team in the AFL and the best team in the NFL, make the World Series and that’s it. But I guess I liked the system the way it had been, you know, which I was okay with going to the second wildcard and doing the wildcard game, because to me, it was a it’s a one game coin flip if you don’t like it when your division and we rewarded the three division winners with Hey there, they’re all in the division round, you know, Division Series. But now what we have

Nestor Aparicio  29:25

conditional play was much more located to playing each other at that point, which was not a benefit that the orals or or or the rays were given finances, but what and some, some divisions were only a couple of teams, right? We have we have 14 divisions and 16 divisions, right. So you know, all of that played out to not be as fair if you were in the NL Central, right. Yeah, but the

Luke Jones  29:50

point I was trying to make is we now have a system where the top two teams are being rewarded with this weird five days off and look at I’m not saying it’s an excuse, but it’s it’s weird. It’s very anti on baseball, like, I mean, it’s just how do you how do you navigate that. And on the flip side, then you have the third division winner, who should be rewarded for winning the division and you’re subjecting them to a best out of three, you know, against, and I get it, they’re playing at home, but it’s best out of three, you lose two games, you’re done. I mean, that’s, again, think about how many teams you know, the best team in baseball loses how many series every year against good teams, medium teams and terrible teams. I mean, it’s just it’s baseball. So I don’t like how we’ve now you know, I don’t like the expansion to the third wildcard. And the system is created, where it’s just, it’s made things even more random. And, you know, people like the randomness. And I know Rob Manfred did an interview what, prior to game one last Friday night, and, you know, he’s, he’s, he’s okay with it. And you know, why? Because the owners love postseason TV money, you know, more and more and more, more more postseason. And regular season be damned. You know, we don’t care, you know, and that’s what, oh, but we still want you to come out and, and buy our 81 game a season ticket packages, even if we’re finding that those games now are becoming more devalued. Because, well, if you win 100 games, or you win 98 games, or you win 96 games? Well, you still, depending on how it shakes out, you still might be subjected to a best of three. So, you know, that’s my long way of saying, you know, to answer your original question, net, net, I mean, it’s because I just, I guess my concern is, this is going to continue to happen. And a lot of people might be fine with that. And that’s okay. And that’s, we’ll agree to disagree. And I still love baseball, let’s be clear about that. But, you know, I don’t love the idea of making it easier for 8485 86 When teams to be playing in the World Series. And if I’m, you know, people disagree with me on that if they are

Nestor Aparicio  31:57

playing in the World Series. It’s less compelling by its very nature, because they’re not a great team. They just had a couple of good weeks.

Luke Jones  32:05

Yeah, well, and look, it’s it’s always been about getting hot in October. I mean, like, that’s still that’s the case, you know, for you know, that’s been the case for Texas, who was in my mind at different times this year. I thought they might be the best team in the Al for stretches of this season, even though they you know, they finished with 90 wins. But think about this is how it’s changed on Nesta. If the Phillies had won game seven or won Game Six. You know, they played two games in Philadelphia and they have no one to blame but themselves. But if this had been the rain, watch

Nestor Aparicio  32:37

all the videos it was fun watching the Phillies fans meltdown. Yeah, but if this had

Luke Jones  32:41

been Rangers against Phillies, think about how the landscape changed. Would anyone have said either of those teams are underdogs, even though it would have been wildcard against wildcard? No. So it just speaks to how this the landscape is changing. And now, A True Underdog is oh, well, you sneak in as the last wildcard and you might have only won at four games. But hey, great. We love underdog stories, Cinderella. It’s like the NCAA tournament, which, you know, great. I mean, if people like that, that’s fine. And I’m still watching the world.

Nestor Aparicio  33:14

I agree with you. Tip your cap, you beat the Dodgers, you beat the you know, you beat the teams they put in front of you. Good for you good for your fan base good for franchise. But is it really good for baseball? And I? And I would question that as I sit here and watch a less than compelling World Series. Yeah.

Luke Jones  33:33

I mean, it’s and look, it’s good for the local markets. And maybe that’s the lesson we need to take away from this. And I’ve argued this point with you a lot. You know, when we’ve had our debates about the future of baseball, the state of baseball, where it’s going, you know, being healthy, viable, long term, all those different things. Well, it’s also very local. Yeah, it’s a it’s a very regional, very local game. So from that standpoint, this might be exactly what they wanted. I mean, the Diamondbacks has been one of those teams that came up, you know, over the last couple of months in terms of the long term viability of their ballpark in their mind now, whether that’s actually how it should be or not, I mean, we’ve but we’ve talked about this and we’ve talked about here in Baltimore, of course, with the lease,

Nestor Aparicio  34:12


it’s amazing Arizona, because it’s such a baseball community, dude, like, you know what I mean? Like I go out there and spring training, it’s so much better experience than going to Florida, and kids play baseball, people talk baseball out there, it’s got the weather for it, all of that. And we just saw that the Ravens go out to Arizona and play football where it’s never really caught on although when I was out there for the Super Bowl the last time I had seen the growth from buddy Ryan and, and and you know, aluminum benches on 120 degree days at Sun Devil Stadium, but that community is a baseball community. They should be a rooted franchise. You know what I mean? They’ve won a World Series. A it reminds me of Miami, and Tampa and all these other places where baseball just didn’t catch on, and places like here and You and I will pitch about this a different day where it’s dying and it’s trying to be resuscitated. The owner is a clown. And they had tons of empty seats during the best year they could possibly have with the most exciting team they could possibly have. And I, we haven’t talked baseball three weeks here, and I don’t know the next time we’re gonna have an oral segment, you know what I mean? Like really the Orioles are going to be hot stove meaning hot, like touch the oven, it’s hot, we need to talk about it. I don’t know that it ever gets hot here. You know, and we’re a real baseball market. They’ve just failed in a lot of ways and putting on sheezy World Series is is another byproduct of all the problems the sport has had. And they pick themselves up pace of play all that stuff. When you put a World Series on. That doesn’t. on a Monday night, you’re making a decision. Do I want to watch the lions play the Raiders? And the lions? Right?

Luke Jones  35:57

That’s not a decision series. Right? What’s that’s not, that’s not a decision. Other people will say that’s not it, I will absolutely watch the World Series. I mean, that’s some of that is what check the ratings later in the week. And so I’m not I’m not arguing with you on that. But that’s become the NFL has become so dominant that it’s had it’s just habit viewing at this point, you know, for whether it’s a good game or not, people watch it, and

Nestor Aparicio  36:21

baseball will be gambling on it. When gambling on the game tonight is as much fun as gambling on the lions Raiders game, you’ll have something because baseball is great. It’s good sport, it’s moving faster. But man, if you’re not to your point, if you’re not a nerd, and you’re not into it from the beginning, and all that it entails I say to my wife get thrown out of the Ravens is one thing, daily play three hours a week. Like it’s the Orioles are a real different kind of commitment from a fan base. Sure they are for all the baseball asks a lot of all of us and put on a World Series that I don’t want to bet on, I barely want to watch. And you know, I’ll be keeping an eye on the line. And I’m not a gambler. But if I were or even a fan of the lions or an NFC and whatever it would be the fact that the World Series can’t be more compelling than that, that people are actually going to watch a Chicago Bulls game instead of it or whatever in their local market. Because baseball has become so hyper local and regional, that none of us can name five players on the rangers of the Diamondbacks. Before this happened. That’s problematic for the sport, it really is.

Luke Jones  37:32

To a point. And for me, it’s not even my complaint is much more about. I want the best teams to be properly rewarded. And I don’t want to reward teams that frankly, aren’t worthy of being in the postseason. And that’s more of my point. Look, everything you just laid out kind of applies to every single sport, but the NFL, you know, the

Nestor Aparicio  37:54

NBA, they don’t have this problem, because the best teams always win in the NBA. Because the best teams, mostly when you know, you don’t make an argument team gets to a Super Bowl because they were lucky wildcard team and they lucked into going to Kansas City and winning and going to Buffalo and winning or coming to Baltimore and winning. That doesn’t happen. I mean, you don’t feel cheap. And by a wildcard team in a Super Bowl, I don’t think because you watch him go kick ass for a month, you know? Yeah.

Luke Jones  38:21

Although, that, that Congress, and I don’t remember it, because I’m too young. But that conversation might have been different in the 80s, though, you know, if, and some of that is just things are gonna evolve. And this is how it works. Look, the playoffs aren’t playoff fields not getting any smaller at this point. So that ship has sailed, and it’s gonna be a matter of how much bigger it gets. Does that mean less? So we can’t do that. That’s gonna be that’s gonna be more money for MLB because the owners want postseason TV money, you know? Yeah, to me, it’s gonna come down to this. And I guess inherently this is kind of where I’m kind of been expanding upon this for a little while. But do we need a 162 game season? If we’re just going to allow more and more teams in the postseason? Or do we just need to shorten the regular season? And then you start to start the playoffs? The third week of September? You know, I don’t know, I’m spitballing here. But I guess that’s my point. You know, why do we have this 162 game marathon, this six month grind, if we’re just going to continue to let more and more teams in and that’s, that’s kind of where I hit at, you know, year to year, you’re gonna have some World Series matchups that just they’re not going to resonate in the same way. We’ve had some Super Bowls some years that are still wildly popular because everyone watches a Super Bowl but haven’t been exactly the most exciting matchup necessarily, I mean, let’s look it’s okay to admit that, you know, just because everyone watches it doesn’t always mean it’s good. So you’re gonna have that and that’s not I’m not anti Arizona. I’m not anti Dallas, you know, in terms of those markets. It you know, that’s just going to happen. I guess for me, it’s just, I don’t want to see us do Continue to reward mediocrity too much in the name of chaos in October, you know, because then it then it just becomes, you know what the NCAA Tournament is for a lot of people, which is they love the tournament, and they’ll fill out a bracket, but are they really hardcore college basketball fans? Many of them are so on. And I guess for me, I don’t want baseball to morph into that. But hey, the owners would say oh, we’ll make more money that way. And, you know, who am I to argue with a bunch of billionaires who are I guess so much smarter than everyone else? I guess. You know me

Nestor Aparicio  40:35

I’m always quick to fill out Xavier in the pool even though I’ve never seen him play. Look, Jones is here he is Baltimore look, you can find him out on the interwebs you can also find them on the backfield so Owings Mills, all week long. He’ll be out there in preparation for all things. Seattle Seahawks, they’ll put those ugly lime green things back on those hideous things that they want Super Bowls in and forego the gyms aren’t Steve large and era although that was a mistake. I thought that was the throwbacks. We’ll talk more about that at some point. But the throwbacks are beautiful, but the Euler thing and they’re my team, I just, I itched a little bit overall of it. So we’ll see how that goes. That’s enough of the Get off my lawn segment with Luke and I today, we’re gonna get the crab cakes, we’re back out on the road, courtesy of our friends at the Maryland lottery. We’re gonna give away some ravens scratch offs are friends with their nation and 866 90 nation also making deals all winter long, and Jiffy Lube MultiCare. The crabcake tour is going to be it I’m gonna gain weight this month, I think because we’re going to get it out. We’re going to be double crabcake in in some weeks, to what stimulates a better conversation, lots of things going on and we’re redoing the Inner Harbor. We got this lease situation with the Orioles. I’m going to be talking a lot about that in the Maryland stadium authority and what’s going on. Wes Moore is going to be joining us the Governor as well. So we’re putting things together. Stay tuned. There’s more happening here on Nesta. He’s Luke we are wn SDA and 1570 Towson Baltimore and we never stop talking Baltimore positive

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