#Hot Corner

Help MLB rename the second round of the playoffs

Doug Pensinger

In case I haven't mentioned this already, I really, really, really don't like the term "Division Series."

Yes, it makes some sense: Every Division Series includes at least one division-winning team. And yes, there's precedent in at least one other sport: The National Football League's postseason includes Divisional Playoff games. But it all just seems so ... clumsy, you know? So inelegant?

ALDS sounds like a disease. A bad one. NLDS sounds like ... I don't know. Another disease, maybe not as bad but still something you really don't want to get, because it might be really itchy. Or a religion where they make you wear electric socks, even in the summertime.

Tuesday afternoon, I met a clever friend of mine for lunch, and we tried to come up with something better. Which I mention here only because I know that we've got friends at Major League Baseball who actually see this page. Hey, you never know. Maybe the next Commissioner dislikes Division Series as much as I do.

The problem is coming up with something that's actually better, if not even worse, than Division Series.

My first thought was to name them after a person ... But, you know, whom? Derek Jeter's played brilliantly in Division Series(es), batting .343 and scoring 47 runs in just 66 games. But if you're the Boston Red Sox, do you really want to be playing in a Jeter Series? If you're the Mets, do you really want to be playing in the Chipper Jones Series?

No, you probably do not.

Might we look to other sports? I don't know many other sports. The National Football League, with a similar setup, calls the second round Divisional Playoffs. The National Basketball Association, calls its second round the Conference Semifinals. So that's an option for Major League Baseball: League Semifinals. But boy, I sure don't like the idea of emulating the NBA if it can possibly be avoided.

Which leaves us back where we started: a lousy name, but bereft of better ideas.

So I'm going to throw this open to the floor ... Whaddaya got? Major League Baseball is listening!

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