Thursday, August 22, 2013

ESPN should take a lesson from Yahoo! with the Wild Card standings

To the right are the American League Wild Card standings as posted on this morning.  A quick glance would make you think that Tampa Bay and Oakland are tied; but after looking more closely at the records you can see that the Rays (Wild Card team #1) are actually 1.5 games ahead of the A's (Wild Card team #2).

A couple weeks ago I saw multiple Sportcenter anchors struggle with this on the air, misreading the standings on each occasion.  That was the moment when I thought of a simple idea to avoid this confusion.

Sportscenter has since decided to report two separate sets of standings depicting "first Wild Card" and "second Wild Card."  I got slightly annoyed with myself for not writing this post before then, but I still thought my idea was a much better one.  Because I had used a photo of standings for my post last week on the ridiculously hot LA Dodgers (who at one point won 42 of 50), I decided today for variety to use Yahoo's instead.  However, when I got there I discovered they were already doing exactly what I wanted:

Good work Yahoo!  This should be the standard going forward, and not just for baseball.  It would also be useful for NBA and NHL standings late in the season when showing the race for the final playoff spots.  Sportscenter please take notice.

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