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Marques Pfaff
Marques Pfaff
News and thoughts about sports from Marques himself.

Baseball's playoff structure less than ideal but no perfect solution exists

Wednesday, Oct, 7 2015

The pros and cons of MLB's current playoff structure have been debated and will continue to be debated for a long time. We'll here calls for extending the wild-card play-in to a three-game series, elimination of divisions and other ideas that somehow make everything more fair. The fact of the matter is that no perfect solution exists. No matter what you do, something else will suffer. You want to make the wild-card game a series? Kiss the drama (and TV ratings) of a one and done scenario goodbye. The argument, of course, centers around playing a 162 game schedule only to see it come to an end thanks to one bad outing. Fair enough but I could easily refute that argument by suggesting you go out and win your division. Then you could say some divisions are others and the argument goes 'round and 'round again. Eliminating divisions could provide a viable solution. You simply take the top five teams from both leagues and have the fourth and fifth square off in that same one-and-done play-in situation. But in doing that, you would need to balance the regular season schedule for everyone which would require more travel and cost cost teams more money -- not to mention the loss of certain heated divisional rivalries (i.e. Cubs/Cardinals). So we continue on, looking for the perfect solution, all the while knowing there isn't one out there to be found. No matter what ultimately comes of this, someone, somewhere will fine it insufficient. At some point, we have to accept that and simply enjoy the current structure. When it's all said and done, the good teams will find a way. 

posted by: The Big One with Marques Pfaff 3 days ago Comment On This Post

Despite lack of points, Packers prove a lot in win over 49ers

Monday, Oct, 5 2015

While I would have never complained had the Packers gone to San Francisco and won convincingly with their usual blend of offensive theatrics, the defensive manner in which they ultimately dismissed their week four opponent could prove more beneficial in the long run. We've long since known how great Green Bay's offense can be. The question, for several years now, has been can they stop anyone. The last three weeks have gone a long way in answering that question. The Packers exercised some demons in stuffing Marshawn Lynch and followed that up with a terrific performance versus the always scare Jamaal Charles. While the current 49ers team is far less imposing than those of recent memory, Green Bay was still forced to deal with a man -- Colin Kaepernick -- who has been a thorn in their side on more than one occasion. I don't mean to suggest Green Bay has arrived and will now handle all opponents with ease. I'm simply pointing out they appear to have matured a football team and have the ability to win on days in which their offense is not performing at its peak. B.J. Raji has been a Godsend while Clay Matthews appears as comfortable as ever switching between the inside and outside position. All this bodes very well for the Packers come January in their quest to gain a second Super Bowl ring under Aaron Rodgers.

posted by: The Big One with Marques Pfaff 5 days ago Comment On This Post

Array of injuries and still no problems in Green Bay

Wednesday, Sep, 30 2015

It's inevitable that with the sheer volume of injuries sustained by the Packers to this point in the season, there's going to be a sense of apprehension regarding the effect they'll have on the team and its Super Bowl aspirations. Have no fear! While injuries are typically a good way to kill any team's chances in a particular season, it's clear that as long as No. 12 remains upright, Green Bay will be fine. Consider the fact this team played last week without its No. 1 wide receiver (Jordy Nelson, its No. 3 wide receiver (Davante Adams), its starting right tackle (Bryan Bulaga) and a starting safety (Morgan Burnett), yet still found a way to win convincingly tells me all I need to know. The thing is, the Packers didn't even look out of sorts versus Kansas City -- in fact, they looked quite comfortable. Don Barclay filled in nice for Bulaga -- not perfect, but solid -- while guys like Ty Montgomery, Micah Hyde and James Starks all stepped up to help fill the void at their respective positions. In the case of Starks, he was simply assisting an ailing Eddie Lacy. When a team is able to overcome that many losses and still perform the way they did, it tells me two things. No. 1 - your depth is fantastic. No. 2 - Aaron Rodgers is the only player you simply can't afford to lose (although I would accept an argument for Clay Matthews, too). Bottom line is that this team has finally gotten out to the fast start so many have asked for the last few years and they should have a golden opportunity at 4-0 when they face a struggling 49ers squad this Sunday. All of that with a beat up roster!

posted by: The Big One with Marques Pfaff 10 days ago Comment On This Post

Brewers make a great call with hiring of Stearns

Tuesday, Sep, 22 2015

On Monday, the Brewers announced the hiring of 30-year-old David Stearns to be their next General Manager. Now, there will undoubtedly be questions about Stearns age but upon closer examination, Stearns appears to be everything I wanted in the Brewers next GM. He brings an impressive resume featuring stints with at least four different major league clubs as well the league office -- not to mention his degree from Harvard. The last thing the Brewers needed was another like-minded individual from inside the organization, keeping the team on the same track it's been on these last three years. It's not that Doug Melvin didn't do a lot of great things during his tenure. It's just that it's time for a change; a change in philosophy and how this team is constructed. Stearns brings that. He's part of the new wave of analytics-centric executives that like to back up their moves with empirical evidence. While I still think there's room in the game for instincts or a "gut-feeling," having a system in place that grades out players based on numbers should bring the club into the modern era and ready to compete on the same level as a number of other clubs.

posted by: The Big One with Marques Pfaff 18 days ago Comment On This Post

Saturday Strange at The Camp

Sunday, Sep, 20 2015

Saturday's Wisconsin/Troy contest at Camp Randall Stadium was easily one of the strangest games I've seen live at the venue since I began attending games there in 1994. For starters, there were two targeting penalties and subsequently two ejections of Badger players, following alleged violations of a rule I'm still not sure I understand. Adding to the bizarre day was a fourth quarter fire alarm -- yes, I said fire alarm -- that left all fans wondering whether to rush for their nearest exit or remain seated for the problem to solve itself. Eventually Camp Randall staff began telling fans to remain in their seats as their was no fire and that was later confirmed via an announcement over the stadium's public address system. And then there was the game itself. Wisconsin was supposed to handle Troy but never seemed to find its groove offensively. The final score would indicate the Badgers won convincingly -- and it's not as though they were ever really threatened -- but you just expected more. I don't mean that as a real knock on the team. It just seemed to be the nature of the day. Paul Chryst and his team will have one final non-conference tune-up this weekend versus Hawaii before the grind of the grind of the Big Ten schedule begins. Let's hope for better day all around this Saturday. 

posted by: The Big One with Marques Pfaff 20 days ago Comment On This Post

The pros and cons of MLB's current playoff structure have been debated and will continue to be debated for a…
posted by Marques Pfaff 3 days ago
While I would have never complained had the Packers gone to San Francisco and won convincingly with their usual blend…
posted by Marques Pfaff 5 days ago
It's inevitable that with the sheer volume of injuries sustained by the Packers to this point in the season, there's…
posted by Marques Pfaff 10 days ago