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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Besuboru Guy—Split Season History

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***  *** 
On this day in Round and Square History 
10 September 2012—The Cortex Chronicles: Contrapuntal
10 September 2011—Styling Culture: Using Chicago Style Citation

[a] Individual and Society RF
可飛ばせ, 川口!
Let 'er rip, Kawaguchi!  OR
Fly to base, Kawaguchi!
—Common Japanese baseball chant
(Kawaguchi is a common surname, like "Anderson")

And, for one brief stretch, Japanese players let 'er rip and flew to base with changing rewards.

For a decade-long period during the 1970s and into the early 1980s, Japanese baseball experimented with what is called a split season.

[b] Split RF
This kind of season remains quite common in various nooks-and-crannies of baseball all over the world. The basic idea is this. [1] Play hard for half a season, win the half-season title, and you have a place in the playoffs at the end of the full season. [2] Play hard and lose in the first half of the season...and you still have a chance. The winner of the second three-month half-season also gets a place in the playoffs.

It sounds compelling, doesn't it?

Well, most people who watch it (while seeing its potential)...agree that it just doesn't work.

And Japanese baseball got rid of it in 1982. Like their American professional peers, they learned that letting a full-season runner-up into the playoffs (we will call this "Wild Card") works much better, no matter what the purists say.

Split seasons. Split focus. Major (League) distraction.

[If you don't read Japanese, but want to have some sense of the Japanese kana and kanji in these posts, just copy the phrases and paste them into translation software such as Babylon or Google Translate].
[c] Linkage RF
[Originally posted on August 30, 2014]

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