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Effect of tie games in playoffs

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Effect of tie games in playoffs
In Saturday's Fukuoka-Seibu game, with Fukuoka up 3-0 in the series, the game was tied 1-1 in the top of the 12th Inning. Seibu failed to score in it's half of the inning, so the score was tied going to the bottom of the 12th. Evidently, Japan League games can go no longer than 12 innings, even in the playoffs. Fukuoka then scored a run in it's half of the 12th, thus winning the series 4-0, But I saw it written that because Seibu could not win this game after it failed to score in the 12th, Fukuoka had already clinched the series, even if the game had ended tied 1-1 after 12 innings. How can this be? If the game had ended tied, then there still would have been 3 games remaining in the series, which should mean that if Seibu had won the the last 3 games, the series would have been tied 3-3-1, forcing another game to decide the series. Why was this not the case?

Also, I can see the sense in having a 12-inning limit in the regular season, but to me it doesnt make sense to have this rule apply in the post-season. Is there sentiment in Japan against having this rule apply in the post-season?
Re: Effect of tie games in playoffs
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Nov 7, 2011 9:31 AM | YBS Fan ]

Some very good questions, rhdorsey-san. Thank you.

The reason that a tie would have clinched the series is because the team with the better record at the end of the season will get the championship if the series ends in a tie. At 3-3-1, the better team moves on. So at 3-0-1, SoftBank had clinched.

But what you're really asking is, why don't the playoffs continue until a winner is decided? Well, there doesn't seem to be a willingness to deal with rescheduling games in general. Just look at the end of the regular season. 2 to 3 weeks are reserved for makeup games. Sure, they could replay games on Mondays during the regular season, and they're very good at making up games during inter-league play. But for the most part, rain outs in April are finally rescheduled at the end of September to be made up in October. It's as though nobody wants to deal with the problem in a timely manner. (I think that labor laws and/or working agreements between the owners and players about consecutive days working, with rained out games still counting as work days since so little notice is given, has something to do with why the following Monday is not used.)

Furthermore, it would seem that people don't put nearly as much of an emphasis in the post season as they do the regular season. To the Central League teams, grabbing the CL Pennant is considered more important than the Japan Series Championship. It took several years of being whipped by Pacific League teams that had recently played meaningful playoff games for the Central League to even consider having a similar playoff system. The CL went into the whole playoff system grudgingly. They aren't willing to put more effort into it than is necessary, so a tied game is as good as a win for the team with the better record on the season. This holds on to CL values, that the regular season is more important than the post season.

Just as the CL teams have a reluctance to schedule more playoff games, they are also reluctant to play longer games, thus the continuation (in normal seasons) of the 12 inning tie rule for the playoffs. They do away with that for the Nippon Series, which is played to 15 innings and ties get rescheduled. The Nippon Series is a tried and true tradition, so it has more meaning than the playoffs.

So, I guess the best way to sum it all up is to say that the regular season and Nippon Series are worthy of taking the time necessary to reschedule games. But the playoffs are just viewed as a gimmick to make the regular season have meaning to more team up to the end, and are only deserving of a minimal administrative effort.

Does that kind of clear it up?
Re: Effect of tie games in playoffs
[ Author: rhdorsey | Posted: Nov 8, 2011 2:57 PM ]

Thanx for the reply, Westbay-san. That answers my questions.

Some of the Japan Leagues' rules I think are very good, and I wish that MLB would adopt some of them. E.g., automatically giving the team with the better record the first game of the Climax Series is a good way of really making the regular season count for more. Case in point was this year's MLB playoffs. Milwaukee won the NL Central beating out St Louis, which got the wild card. Milw. spent a long 162-game season proving that it was a better team than than the Cards, but then in the NLCS in order to advance it was required to beat this same team again in a short series. Of course, it turned out that it lost that series. That may provide more excitement but it strikes me as very unfair. I've never liked the wild card idea in MLB, but since we have it I think MLB should make it harder for wild card teams to advance and adopting the Japanese rule I think would help. I dont think adding a 2nd wild card team would help this enough, but that looks like what's going to happen.

That said, some Japanese rules seem curious. I've heard that even a very short, light rain can cause games to be canceled. Why not just wait out rain delays like in MLB? Is stadium drainage a problem? I would think that Japan would be even better at this than MLB.

And why have even a 15-inning limit in the final series? At the very least, you could suspend the game, and finish it another day. Why would you play the entire game over as if it were never played at all? Same thing in the regular season and Climax Series. In MLB, all games that become 'official' (5 IP) are always finished at a later date if they get interrupted, typically right before other regular scheduled games.

Also, rescheduling rainouts in October is not ideal either. Many of these games will be meaningless because the teams involved may already have been eliminated from the playoffs. Affects revenue, too, since less fans will come to these games. Why not schedule some non-Monday off days during the summer so rainouts can be played then?

It also seems curious that Japan is more lenient than the US re: maximum # of consecutive days that teams can play games. In MLB, I think the max is around 20 days. And Japan has easier conditions to play under than MLB, too, with many air-conditioned indoor stadiums, whereas in MLB most teams have to play outside in the hot summer weather.
Re: Effect of tie games in playoffs
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Nov 9, 2011 6:06 PM ]

Your questions can be answered by a mixture of the following facts.
  1. Players and fans rely on public transportation.
  2. Many games are held at non-franchise stadiums (often in remote areas).
  3. Different TV stations have broadcasting rights to different games. (cf. Almost all Orioles games are covered by MASN.)
Re: Effect of tie games in playoffs
[ Author: gotigersredsox | Posted: Nov 12, 2011 3:10 PM ]

On a related note, just wanted to confirm some rules about the Japan Series, which started today. Westbay-san already noted that 15 innings are allowed in Japan Series games. Is that still in effect this year? Or are there any time limits still considering power issues? It's hard to keep track of everything, as it seems the postseason rules change every year. Of course this year is a special case as well.
Re: Effect of tie games in playoffs
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Nov 12, 2011 3:31 PM | YBS Fan ]

If an 8th game or more are necessary, they will have no time or inning limits.

This is a site about Pro Yakyu (Japanese Baseball), not about who the next player to go over to MLB is. It's a community of Pro Yakyu fans who have come together to share their knowledge and opinions with the world. It's a place to follow teams and individuals playing baseball in Japan (and Asia), and to learn about Japanese (and Asian) culture through baseball.

It is my sincere hope that once you learn a bit about what we're about here that you will join the community of contributors.

Michael Westbay
(aka westbaystars)

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