Trevor Noah Should Say Yeah To This Proposed Baseball Broadcast
The Central was the center of Major League Baseball a few years ago, as Midwest cities captured back to back World Series Championships in 2015 and 2016. Since then, however, baseball's middle divisions can aptly be described as the Comedy Centrals.
Kansas City was the feel-good story by winning the pennant in 2014, and then another the following season. The second one led not only to a repeat of a World Series trip, but the team's first Championship in thirty years.
A season later the American League was once again represented by the Central Division, as the Cleveland Indians claimed the pennant. They lost in seven games to the Chicago Cubs, another testament to the dominance of the Central divisions.
A half decade has passed, and so has the fortunes of the teams in the central divisions of both leagues. They have managed to win just one postseason series since 2018, culminating in an embarrassing 1-14 record during the 2020 playoffs.
This season, which returned to the traditional format, proved not much better for the Centrals. The Cardinals lost the Wild Card game against the Dodgers, while the Brewers and White Sox mustered just one win a piece in their eight playoff games.
Signs of the Central collapse came well before the 1-14 embarrassment of 2020, for the preceding season saw the Cardinals swept by the Washington Nationals and the Minnesota Twins swept by the Yankees. The fact the Twins have lost 23 straight postseason games is a clear indication of just how weak the Central Divisions are, when their top team cannot produce a single win in October.
Minnesota is not solely to blame for the ineffectiveness of the Centrals, which have teams currently suffering through long Championship droughts. Pittsburgh has not appeared in the World Series in over forty years, and have the Cincinnati Reds in over thirty years.
The Brewers have a similar drought, having last reached the Fall Classic in 1982. The Indians over in the Junior Circuit have gone the longest time since winning the World Series, as their last came way back in 1948.
Part of the futility can be attributed to market size, even though more than half of the Centrals fall in the middle of baseball in that category. Two of the clubs in fact play in Chicago, the third biggest market in the majors.
Whatever the reasons may be for the inability of these Midwest teams to advance in October, they are almost to the point of being irrelevant past the first 162 games. Should the Centrals cease to sink, there really is only one solution for Major League Baseball.
The Central Division teams should have their own playoff system, perhaps a bracket akin to the one employed by the NCAA for their basketball championship. You simply seed the teams according to their records, requiring the four worst teams play in Wild Card elimination games.
After those one-game affairs, eight teams remain to play best of three with the winners reaching the semi-finals. The two survivors then of course would meet for the Central Series Championship, sort of like baseball's version of the NIT used in college basketball.
Naturally, the TV rights would go to Comedy Central, perhaps with Trevor Noah doing play by play. Telecasts of the Chicago Flubs against the Cincinnati Dreads would be inane enough to fit right into the COM Central lineup, wedged between reruns of The Office and South Park.