Tuesday, February 11, 2020

MLB's Proposal to Expand the Playoffs is a Terrible Idea

The article below was written by Mark Feinsand and was published on MLB.com.  I think it is a terrible idea to expand the number of teams making the playoffs from 10 to 14.  If it is implemented, almost half of MLB teams would make the playoffs.  Thus, it is possible that a mediocre team could win the Worlld Series.  MLB would likely have to cut the number of regular-season games from 162 to 154 or else the World Series could extend until the middle of November.  The article states that the Commissioner and owners are receptive to this idea.  My suggestion is that the playoffs remain the same as long as there are 30 MLB teams.  If MLB expands to 32 teams there would likely be a realignment of MLB into two leagues with four divisions.  At that point, there can be a change in the playoff format, but please not with 14 teams in the hunt for the World Series.  I can remember that until 1968 there were no playoffs and just a World Series between the AL and NL pennant winners.  Obviously, the owners make more money when more playoff games are played and shown on national TV.

Article by Mark Feinsand

Could Selection Sunday be coming to Major League Baseball?

MLB is considering a significant restructuring of its playoff format, one which would begin with a dramatic live television show during which two teams from each league would have the ability to select their first-round opponents.

The proposed format, which has been gaining traction among owners and within the Commissioner’s Office, would see the total number of playoff teams in each league increase from five to seven, with the Wild Card round expanding from a one-game playoff to a best-of-three series. The new format could go into effect as early as the 2022 season.

The league’s potential plan was first reported by the New York Post.

Here’s how the new format would work:

The team with the best record in both the American and National League would receive a first-round bye, automatically advancing to the Division Series. The other two division winners would host all three games in a best-of-three Wild Card round, as would the Wild Card team with the next-best record.

Three other Wild Card teams would also advance to the best-of-three round, though none would host a game.

The division winner with the second-best record in the league would then get to decide which of the bottom three Wild Card teams it wants to play in the opening round -- a decision that would be aired on live television on the final Sunday night of the season, just hours after the regular season concludes.

Last season, the Astros would have been the AL’s No. 1 seed based on having the best record in the league, while the Yankees, Twins and Athletics would have hosted three-game Wild Card series.

The Yankees, by virtue of their No. 2 seed, would have then been charged with the assignment of picking their opponent from the grouping of the Nos. 5-7 seeds, which would have been the Rays, Indians and Red Sox.

Once the Yankees had chosen their first-round opponent, the Twins -- who would have been the No. 3 seed based on winning their division -- would then have chosen between the remaining two teams to set up their best-of-three series. The remaining team would then be matched up with the No. 4 seed, who would host all three potential games in the opening round.

Last season, the Mets and D-backs would have been the Nos. 6 and 7 seeds in the NL, respectively, as both teams ended the year on winning streaks that pushed them past the Cubs in the final standings.

The addition of two more postseason teams in each league would keep more teams in the race throughout the season. It would also give teams more incentive to fight for the best overall record in their league, which would be the only way to advance to the Division Series without playing in the Wild Card round.

The best-of-three format in the Wild Card round would set up the potential for as many as 18 first-round games, 12 of which could be elimination games. Every Game 2 would be an elimination game, while a Game 3 would then serve as a win-or-go-home series finale.

As part of the change, MLB would also eliminate any Game 163 tiebreakers, using the season series between clubs to break any ties.

Mark Feinsand, an executive reporter, originally joined MLB.com as a reporter in 2001.

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