News Columns & Blogs

MVC Tournament, Day 3

SIU and Indiana State are underway. ISU leads 2-0 after a two-run homer by Brian Jett.

  • The pod system has some negatives, and they were underlined and highlighted by WSU’s mail-it-in performance in a cross-pod game on Thursday. The payoff is today. The two final games are winner-take-all matchups with everybody throwing their No. 2 pitchers. Bullpens are in good shape. The teams that win should have their pitching staffs in good order for Saturday. That’s the main competitive reason to like the pod system.
  • Coaches all say they will take a look at the pod system over the summer. I’m sure some changes will be made. The original plan, doped out by Creighton’s Mike West and Rob Anderson, called for using standings instead of pod play. That approach would have tie-breaking challenges, but it would remove some of the “meaningless” games.
  • My thought on the format is this: If you are locked into a goofy six-team format, as the MVC apparently is, make it a goofy format that benefits the most people. Fans, coaches and players all benefit from the three-game guarantee and knowing who and when they play. If a six-team, double-elimination bracket was far superior, I would say go for it. It’s not. The silliness of Creighton playing four games in three days and facing several more had it stayed alive (2008) or SIU playing five in four days (2003 and 2004) is almost as bad as the “meaningless” games forced by pod play. An eight-team or four-team tourney is better. Those options don’t appear to get any traction with anyone of influence other than coaches.