MLB’s NIT: A look ahead

Though we’re all excited about the Dodgers in the playoffs, don’t forget that Major League Baseball has another thrilling postseason tournament coming fast toward us (in my imagination).

Barring any changes over the final three days of the regular season, the top seeds for the MLB National Invitational Tournament will be the Texas Rangers in the American League and the Washington Nationals in the National League. But before those best-of-11, neutral-site series begin, we have two cross-country play-in showdowns shaping up between the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Angels in the AL and the San Francisco Giants and the New York Mets in the NL.(The play-ins, of course, are one inning each, taking place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil no more than 18 hours after the regular season ends and televised by the FXXXXX network.)

So print your brackets and make your picks!

Coming soon: the MLB Invitational, where the Houston Astros and Miami Marlins eye their one shining moment.

 

  • Adam Luther

    I like this Jon. What are everyone’s thoughts on the current mind boggling tie-breaker? http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130904&content_id=59527184

    • btimmer

      Mind is not that boggled.

      • Adam Luther

        I lost it somewhere around the scenario where there is a three way tie for the division and for the two wildcards. Seems like a lot of trouble for what I will call a forced “one-game” play in. Perhaps I’d have a different attitude if that one-game playoff was within the western division.

        • btimmer

          Since there is a one-game playoff for the two wild cards, MLB doesn’t want that to be decided by a tiebreaker.

          • Bumsrap

            Or a jawbreaker for that matter.

      • RBI

        Speak for yourself.

  • davidpinto

    I’m all in.

    • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

      Thanks for the link, David :)

      • davidpinto

        Any time. I remember growing up and my dad telling me the NIT was more important than the NCAA tournament. Times change.

        • btimmer

          Was your father Al McGuire?

          • davidpinto

            Happily, no. Dad just turned 93 yesterday.

          • http://www.linkmeister.com/wordpress/ Linkmeister

            A belated but hearty Hau’oli La Hanau to him, David!

          • btimmer

            Congratulations to him! After McGuire bailed on the NCAA tournament for the NIT back in 1970, the NCAA prohibited teams from doing that. If you are offered a spot in the NCAA tournament, you either take it or go home.

  • btimmer

    The Angels-Rangers game on Saturday has been switched from a 7:05 pm CT start to an 11:05 am CT start because of expected bad weather. 9 am baseball on the West Coast!

    • http://www.linkmeister.com/wordpress/ Linkmeister

      One more reason to despise Bud Selig.

      • WBBsAs

        The reasons are infinite.

      • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

        How is this a Selig issue?

        • http://www.linkmeister.com/wordpress/ Linkmeister

          I’m assuming the time switch had to be run past his office. And yes, okay, it’s the end of the season so there’s no time to reschedule a makeup game. I just find baseball before noon a little unfair to the players.

          • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

            I imagine it beats waiting out a storm. In any case, I doubt Selig was involved in this decision, and hardly a reason to despise anyone.

            OK, I confess – moving the game to the morning was my idea.

        • stolenmonkey86

          Well, there is the extra wild card (which makes the game relevant in the first place). Otherwise it could have been a meaningless rainout, which . . . isn’t really better.

          But if under Selig’s tenure the playoff pool never expanded, St. Louis would be leading the NL East and the Dodgers would have to win out and hope the Braves were swept this weekend to force a tiebreaker for the NL West.

  • RBI

    I just tried to read the rules for the wild card playoffs in case of ties, and my head exploded after the first two scenarios. I guess I’ll have to just wait and watch.

    • Adam Luther

      Exactly my sentiments. Just seed the top four – but no baseball had to “create” the suspense filled one game wild card game (which is in fact included in the post-season). Presumably the ratings would be off the chart – if say that Baltimore won the East and NYY and the BoSox had the extra “loser-go-home/elimination” game. Some wanted the wild card match-up to be a best two of three…but then I suppose we’d have the World Series decided on Veterans Day.

  • gobaers

    If it were up to me, the Astros and Marlins would play a 7-game series where the loser goes to AAA.

    • btimmer

      The Astros AAA team has made the PCL playoffs so under this scenario, the Astros could get relegated and replaced by their own farm team

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Dodgers lineup:
    Puig RF
    Crawford LF
    Kemp CF
    Gonzalez 1B
    Uribe 3B
    Ellis C
    Ellis 2B
    Punto SS
    Kershaw P

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Los Angeles Dodgers ‏@Dodgers49s
    Updated #Dodgers lineup:
    Puig RF
    Crawford LF
    Kemp CF
    Gonzalez 1B
    Uribe 3B
    AJ Ellis C
    M Ellis 2B
    Gordon SS
    Kershaw P

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    NPUT