Sure, as fans it stinks to watch our favorite teams tank.
But it doesn't mean that we need a crackdown on tanking teams. Sometimes, tanking happens and it's not necessarily on purpose. (Okay sometimes it is, but not always!)
Sports Illustrated published an article Tuesday that proposed the idea of instituting a relegation system to punish baseball teams that tank too bad. (Think Premier League, but for MLB).
The argument hinges on a number of teams who are currently playing some not-too-pretty baseball, with a specific focus on the Orioles.
Yeah, in a three-game series earlier this week Baltimore gave up 32 runs and 16 homers to the New York Yankees.
And yeah, there were some pretty rough moments over those three games (as there have been over the course of the season.
But isn't calling the Orioles "a group of kindergarteners masquerading as a baseball team" as the SI writer did going a little far?
Yes, watching teams like the Orioles go 39-81 (with a -242 run differential) isn't fun for fans (except of the opposing team. The same goes for watching the Tigers go 35-81 and the Blue Jays and Royals possibly put up their own 100-loss seasons.
The thing is, when teams tank it makes those rare, illustrious wins that much more fun to watch. (Like when Rio Ruiz hit that walk-off bomb against the Astros on Sunday). And gives fans hope for the future (we're looking at you Adley Rutschman).
Teams already take a hit from tanking. Just look at how much attendance at Rays and Orioles games has declined.
And, as mentioned in the article, creating a system for relegation in MLB isn't really feasible. (The plan SI proposes would involve the three worst teams from the AL and NL each being sent down to Triple-A).
Sure, that would make it a lot more interesting to see MLB-level (and salary) players face those players who make their careers in the minors.
But we already see enough of that as is. Just look at that Orioles-Yankees series from earlier this week.
Even announcer Gary Thorne was fed up with the level of play Baltimore produced. And that level of play in turn provided with one of the funniest moments of announcing this week--that Thorne call of Gleyber Torres' 13th home run against the Orioles.
So, sure, it's not fun when pro teams tank. But it's also part of the game. And honestly, it can be pretty funny.
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