Even before the World Series began, folks were saying the Detroit Tigers were going to have a tough time because they swept the New York Yankees and had several days off before the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals wrapped up the NLCS. To me, there's some half-truths in there.
Even before the World Series began, folks were saying the Detroit Tigers were going to have a tough time because they swept the New York Yankees and had several days off before the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals wrapped up the NLCS.
Other teams were sited, like the 2007 Colorado Rockies who had many days off waiting on the eventual AL Champion Boston Red Sox. The Rox were swept by the Sox and Boston had their second World Championship in four years since breaking their long, long curse.
To me, there's some half-truths in there.
Yes, time off before playing in a championship game can make players a little too rested, but I certainly don't think it's enough to place blame on a World Series loss. The 2007 Rockies ran out of gas and the 2012 Giants were just on fire the moment they entered the postseason.
Now the Tigers, to avoid too much rest and relaxation, did have some workouts between their instructional league teams, and I applaud their efforts in doing so. But they knew how hot the Giants were, they saw what the Giants were doing to the Cardinals and it just boiled down to poor preparation. I saw that footage of the Tigers in their little scrimmages and it looked more like Spring Training, just laid back and too casual. I don't know if Detroit was aware they were the AL Champions and were about to play in the World Series, but they did not look like any kind of surging team playing for baseball's championship.
Forget the instructional league, these guys should have gone international. Take note baseball franchises, keep your players up on their toes and in a competitive mode by bringing in or sending them out to play some games against a Japanese or Dominican team. Those are teams that would love to go head to head with a team waiting for the World Series to begin, and since everyone likes money, think of the profits.
Major League Baseball and the teams that did something like this would make a lot of money whether a couple international games were held in another country or here in the U.S. The fans would come out, the merchandise and giveaways would have endless possibilities and perhaps a new international sensation would be discovered. It's a win-win for everyone. The off-team stays active, money comes in, fans get more baseball, and an international team gets in on the mix.
Is there a fear in pitcher usage? A fear in possible injury? Well sure, but exceptions could be made.
It could be treated like Spring Training where different players are used over nine innings. Pitchers need rest, so maybe a minor leaguer and/or those who would benefit from a few pitches or an inning or two of work would be used in these games.
It's not the time off that hurts these guys, I think there's some psychology to it all. Their heads swell and they figure they have an advantage because they swept the LCS a battle against international players who would do anything to come to America to play baseball would certainly keep a potential World Series winner loose and prepared.