This was originally going to be a preachy post about how MLB owners are the ones who should be playing for the love of the game, since they’re the ones playing the sport we actually love most. (I’m going out on a limb assuming few of us actually play baseball but we all like to play baseball owner, arguing about what the rules should be, how the postseason should be structured, and constructing our ideal teams for hours on end.)
But then I realized most of our reader probably already leans pretty heavily in favor of the labor side of these negotiations, so I scrapped it.
This in-the-balance season just kind of hanging around waiting to be decided upon did get me to thinking about 1981, the year a strike interrupted the MLB season and ended up splitting it into two mini-seasons.
The strike nixed games after June 12 through the end of July, leaving the country baseball-less until an August 9 All Star Game and a 1981 Part Deux commencing August 10.
Much like this season, should it happen, is likely to do, that ushered in an extra round of playoffs that postseason. Disregarding the season totals, the leader in each division (each league had an East and West division at that point) as of June 12 faced the division leaders of the second half in an opening round.
As a result, the two NL teams with the best overall record in the 1981 season, the Reds and the Cardinals, both failed to make the playoffs. The Reds actually finished with the best record in baseball, finishing second in both half seasons (just a half game out of first behind the Dodgers who had won, and played, just one more game than the Redlegs).
So, it had been a few months. There’s your post, reader. See you in September.