Sports Illustrated Kids

Kip’s Mailbag

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Tate writes: Hi, Kip. I am a big baseball fan, but I am not a fan of the wild-card game. You take two teams, ranked fourth and fifth in their leagues, and have them play one winner-takes-all game. I think this is ineffectiv­e, because you could have a team that is much better than the other lose because they had one bad day. Why don’t they expand the playoffs and make it like basketball, letting the top eight teams per league be in the playoffs?

Hi, Tate. I agree with your qualms about the wild-card games, though I have a different solution. Winner-takes-all does seem too extreme in baseball, in which single games are too often decided by bad luck, weather, or available pitching. But expanding the MLB playoff format would de-emphasize the September pennant races that have always made baseball special. So why not go back to just a four-team playoff? That way, no lucky teams can threaten the cream of the crop that has risen after 162 grueling contests.

J.D. writes: Why don’t longer field goals give you more points, like three-pointers in basketball? Thanks.

I like this idea, and you’re not alone in proposing it. The now-defunct NFL Europe gave teams four points for hitting a field goal longer than 50 yards. Legendary kicker Adam Vinatieri wanted the rule in the NFL. The league probably hasn’t done it because it knows my kicking prowess would dominate!

Oliver writes: Hi, Kip. Your article about team design was really good. Speaking of that, I was wondering what your favorite sports jerseys are?

Thanks, Oliver. Since you have such good taste in articles, I’m sure you have equally good taste in uniforms and will agree with my current top five, which is as follows:

1. Miami Heat “City” alternate 2. Paris Saint-Germain away 3. Pittsburgh Steelers home 4. Vegas Golden Knights home 5. Oakland A’s green alternate

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