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The Eastern Intercollegiate Baseball League stands a good chance of going down in history as the most inefficient of all athletic endeavors.
For all practical purposes league play has already ended. The final standings indicate a tie between Army and Princeton, a tie which will never be resolved. One might-add that it could quite easily have been a four-way tie. What are you supposed to know about a baseball league from the final standings? Which is the best team? Not here. A glance at the statistics will disclose to interested observers two interesting, if irrelevant facts: 1) R rains more on baseball days in Ithaca and Cambridge than it does in Princeton or West Point; 2) Army's graduation exercises are hold before Cornell's. Such a glance will not, however, disclose the true ranking of the teams.
League Commissioner Asa S. Bushnell admitted yesterday that no one is satisfied with the set-up that now exists. The main trouble with the league, according to him, is that the effort to replay postponed games has subsided since Army, Navy, and Brown were admitted to the League several years ago. The Commissioner went on to say that things will proceed as usual next year because the schedule has already been drawn up. The next meeting of the school representatives may provide for a change, but "as usual" seems to indicate that the Ivy colleges face the same confusion next season.
One possible solution: change the rule back to make mandatory the playing of all postponed games which have a bearing on the outcome of the league race. At this point, such schools as Brown and Navy, which have showed an unwillingness to abide by this type of rule, may refuse to go along, and as a result leave the league. If they choose to drop out, each remaining school could then schedule a home-and-home series with each league rival. In the event that the first game were rained out, the second automatically would be played as a double header.
If all teams remain in, leaving the league in its present unmanageable condition, it might be split into two divisions. The home-and-home principle still applies, and the winners of each division schedule a play-off game for the title.
There is one further difficulty. Under the present arrangement, the Harvard Yale game is played long after the other schools have given up the sport for the year. There is one possible solution for this: provide an "anticipatory game." This would occur if either Yale or Harvard had a chance to tie another member of the league for a championship. It would be played with this member team before the traditional H-Y game, and its validity would depend on the outcome of the Yale contest. Other teams ending late could use the same system.
Admittedly, this latter solution would eliminate the "do or die for dear old Rutgers" spirit attached to a play-off game, but at least it would be clear who won the championship. The situation as it now stands is a tribute to the lack of foresight on the part of ten athletic directors.
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