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Are expanded playoffs coming to baseball?


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#51 Rasputin


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Posted 23 April 2011 - 08:06 PM

You're the one throwing out arbitrary numbers as fact. You're suggesting you have a 50% advantage by lining up your rotation in a series. It's nowhere near that much.


Nope, didn't do that.

If you take eight teams to the postseason and everything is a coin flip, each team has a 12.5% chance to win. If four of those teams have to go through an additional coin flip, they are 6.25% to win. That's where the half comes in. Obviously they aren't coin flips but the difference between having to play an extra round and not having to play an extra round IS FUCKING HUGE!

If you're tied on the last day of the season and either you or your opposition is going to win the division with the other winning the wild card you're going to try really hard to win that game. It's going to be a compelling game as are all the games of the previous week or so. If the first round is a one game playoff you might not pitch your ace in the regular season game but if it's a three gamer, you very well might.

If you are concerned about the best team not having a big enough advantage then put fewer teams in the playoffs, not more.


I'm not remotely concerned about it. I am pointing out that the proposed system would enable the best teams to win more for those who care about such things.

#52 dynomite

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 09:46 PM

I'm not remotely concerned about it. I am pointing out that the proposed system would enable the best teams to win more for those who care about such things.



Exactly. It baffles me -- many of the people who oppose this change do so in part because they're worried about having the "best" team win... when in fact this system is much more likely to encourage just that!

In this system, teams with the best record in their respective leagues, who worked all season to win 97, 98, 99, 100+ games, are rewarded to a significantly greater degree for their season-long performance, getting to face an opponent who has had to battle through a whole other game/series to face them. Shouldn't people who are worried about a 98-win team losing to an 88-win team in a Wild Card playoff be even more upset about a 98-win Division Winner losing 3 games to an 88-win Wild Card team who was able to rest their players for the last week because they'd clinched the one and only Wild Card spot?

I'm not sure you would see that much of a race for the bye.


At the moment, you have none. In the new system, you'd have some. I'll take the latter.


Especially given the fact that the #2 team would be facing the #5, so the path for the team that does not get the bye is pretty easy also.



I also don't get your point about #2 against #5? Maybe I'm being dense and missed this point, and if so I apologize. But the way I see it, you have the #2 (a Division winner) against the #3 (another Division winner), and then you have the #1 (yet another Division winner) against the winner of the #4 vs. #5 Wild Card game. Right?

#53 cannonball 1729

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 12:54 AM

Shouldn't people who are worried about a 98-win team losing to an 88-win team in a Wild Card playoff be even more upset about a 98-win Division Winner losing 3 games to an 88-win Wild Card team who was able to rest their players for the last week because they'd clinched the one and only Wild Card spot?

Sure - if it ever happened.

In the last ten years, there have been twenty wildcards. Twenty of them had a record at least as good as one of the division winners. Eighteen of them had a record at least as good as one of the division winners in their league (i.e. AL/NL). The only two that didn't were the '04 Astros, who, at 92-70, were exactly one game back of the NL West winning Dodgers (but had the same record as the AL West and Central Champion Angels and Twins) and the '02 Giants, who, at 95-67, were two games back of the Central-winning Cardinals (but better than the AL Central-winning Twins)

What is far more likely to happen is that the wildcard is the second-best team in its league and was forced into the wildcard by virtue of being in a division with the best team in the league. This has happened four times in the last ten years: the 2001 A's, 2010 Yankees, and 2004 Red Sox all had the second best record in the AL, and the 2005 Red Sox were tied for the second-best record in the AL with the Angels and Yankees. In 2001, the 102-win Oakland A's would have been consigned to a 1-game playoff with the 85-77 Twins for the right to play the 95-win Yankees with Tim Hudson unavailable until at least Game 3.

In this system, teams with the best record in their respective leagues, who worked all season to win 97, 98, 99, 100+ games, are rewarded to a significantly greater degree for their season-long performance, getting to face an opponent who has had to battle through a whole other game/series to face them.

This isn't how divisions work. The Padres once won a division with 82 wins. The Cardinals won with 83. 11 of the last 36 division winners have won 90 or fewer games. Six have won 88 or fewer, and four have won 85 or fewer. No wildcard in that span has won fewer than 89 games, and that only happened once.

Edited by cannonball 1729, 24 April 2011 - 05:06 PM.


#54 Sampo Gida

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 02:45 AM

Baseball is a sport that really does not lend itself to 1 or 3 game series since it is a sport with 5 quarterbacks or goalies over the regular season. Your team is quite different depending on which pitcher you throw out there. If it is a 1 game series it is possible you could have a playoff game where one teams # 3 starter is going against the other teams # 1 starter. It would be more fair to flip a coin or have a HR derby than play a 1 game playoff.

That said, since technically, WC teams didn't win anything and have no right to complain, I would prefer a 1 game series. A 3 game series would mean division leaders have a week off, and I would hate to lose a DS with a WC team winner because the teams bats were cold for the first couple of games and some pitchers were not sharp due to long rest while the other team was sharp.

The big positive as mentioned by others is that if the division title is in sight, no more settling for a WC spot to rest your players for the playoffs. You would have an incentive to go 100% until eliminated to win the division.

#55 Rasputin


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Posted 24 April 2011 - 03:06 AM

Baseball is a sport that really does not lend itself to 1 or 3 game series since it is a sport with 5 quarterbacks or goalies over the regular season.


I completely agree with this but there's a major unstated assumption that we want the best team to have the best chance to win. I said this is in the thread last fall and got laughed at but I am absolutely right. Baseball doesn't really give a shit if the best team wins the World Series. If they did, they would do things differently.

If they valued having the best team win over a greater number of compelling regular season games there would be no divisions and you'd have league winners play in the world series like the old days.

If they valued having the best teams reach the postseason they wouldn't have the unbalanced schedule that makes it virtually impossible to compare teams from different divisions with any accuracy. Does ANYONE think that an 82 win team in the 2011 AL West is better than an 81 win team in the 2011 AL East? Of course not. If everybody played everybody else ten times and the top four teams made the post season there's a decent chance that there's three AL East teams in there.

They value compelling regular season games more than having the best team win the series. They value having a compelling tournament more than having the best team win. They value getting games on in the right TV spots more than having the best team win.

They want excitement and as much as I would rather have it otherwise, the way to do that is one game playoffs.

And I gotta say, that's going to be a fun day.

#56 Saby

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 07:08 AM

My suggestion: Why not make it a 2-game playoff? No, there'd be no idiotic aggregate scoring system (which works well for soccer but is not practical for the way baseball is played). The higher seeded team would come into the series with an automatic 1-game lead in a best-of-three format. So the higher seeded team only needs to win one of the two games to get to the next round. The lower seeded team would have to win BOTH games to get to the next round.

This insures that A) There is a til-the-end battle to win each division because no one wants to have to be part of that playoff; B) it gives the higher seeded wild card team a distinct advantage in making it over the lower-ranked wild card play-in team so that there is a very real incentive in being the league's #4 seed over #5 which, again, creates more exciting baseball in the last couple of weeks of the regular season.
Basically, it gives a very real advantage in being the #3 seed over #4, #4 over #5, and #5 over #6 instead of the current format in which most teams really don't care all that much as long as they're #4.



#57 Rasputin


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Posted 24 April 2011 - 07:44 AM

My suggestion: Why not make it a 2-game playoff? No, there'd be no idiotic aggregate scoring system (which works well for soccer but is not practical for the way baseball is played). The higher seeded team would come into the series with an automatic 1-game lead in a best-of-three format. So the higher seeded team only needs to win one of the two games to get to the next round. The lower seeded team would have to win BOTH games to get to the next round.

This insures that A) There is a til-the-end battle to win each division because no one wants to have to be part of that playoff; B) it gives the higher seeded wild card team a distinct advantage in making it over the lower-ranked wild card play-in team so that there is a very real incentive in being the league's #4 seed over #5 which, again, creates more exciting baseball in the last couple of weeks of the regular season.
Basically, it gives a very real advantage in being the #3 seed over #4, #4 over #5, and #5 over #6 instead of the current format in which most teams really don't care all that much as long as they're #4.


I don't see any point in giving the four seed a huge advantage over the five seed when you have no way of actually making sure the four seed is a better team than the five seed. and really, giving a team a game outright just isn't going to fly.

#58 dynomite

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 02:05 PM

This isn't how divisions work. The Padres once won a division with 82 wins. The Cardinals won with 83. 11 of the last 36 division winners have won 90 or fewer games. Six have won 88 or fewer, and four have won 85 or fewer. No wildcard in that span has won fewer than 89 games, and that only happened once.



No, I was referring to the best Division winner, the #1 seed -- not the 82-win Padres, but the 96-win Rays last year, or the 103-win Yankees the year before.

In an expanded playoffs, that #1 seed would have the extra reward of facing a team fresh off a 1, 2, or 3 game playoff, which I think should assuage those who feel like the expanded playoffs invalidate the importance of a regular season. In this respect, at least, having the best regular season record means more in the new system than it does in the current one.

#59 BucketOBalls


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Posted 24 April 2011 - 04:11 PM

I also don't get your point about #2 against #5? Maybe I'm being dense and missed this point, and if so I apologize. But the way I see it, you have the #2 (a Division winner) against the #3 (another Division winner), and then you have the #1 (yet another Division winner) against the winner of the #4 vs. #5 Wild Card game. Right?


I'm sorry. We are talking about different systems. I was addressing the idea of the #1 seed getting a bye, so you would 2 vs 5 and 3 vs 4.

I think having a wild card game would be a sever disadvantage to the wild cards. Especially in the case where the wild card has the second best record in the league, forcing them to go through a sudden death game just for being in the wrong division seems unfair. You could re-seed based on record(like the NBA does, division winners are guaranteed only a top 4 seed), that would help.

#60 cannonball 1729

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 10:29 PM

I completely agree with this but there's a major unstated assumption that we want the best team to have the best chance to win. I said this is in the thread last fall and got laughed at but I am absolutely right. Baseball doesn't really give a shit if the best team wins the World Series. If they did, they would do things differently.

I agree to an extent. I think that where baseball crosses the line here is that every team should be given the same opportunity to win in each series. While disadvantages may occur (baseball can't prevent two division winners from tying and forcing a one-game playoff, burning their aces in the process), I disagree with actively creating rules like this where one team is disadvantaged in much the same way that I would disagree with a rule where the wildcard had to play the division round without a center fielder.

Above all else, baseball is the one sport that can claim that everything is settled on the field; it's the only sport where division ties are broken by having the two teams play each other. Giving one team an actual, on-the-field disadvantage is (in my opinion) something that is antithetical to how baseball playoffs work.

Besides, who wants to watch a Giants series with Lincecum unavailable for most of it or a Mariners series where King Felix is on the shelf until at least Game 3? Let's be honest - one of the biggest things that the division series has going for it is that the pitching matchups are sometimes awesome, since the fact that teams have time to set up their rotations means that you usually get ace vs. ace twice a series.

If they valued having the best team win over a greater number of compelling regular season games there would be no divisions and you'd have league winners play in the world series like the old days.

I think baseball (and, really, every sport other than English soccer) tries to balance the fairness of trying to get the best team to win with the excitement of the playoffs. Playoffs are fun and exciting, but baseball doesn't go the NBA and NHL routes of putting every team in the playoffs, so they do care more than some sports about actually having one of the best teams win.

Really, baseball tries to balance three things: the excitement of the playoffs, the excitement of having real division rivalry (the NFL certainly does this, too), and the fairness of trying to get the best team to win. Adding the wildcard (instead of just going to four divisions) was supposed to counterbalance the fact that introducing divisions meant that the second-best team in the league would often be sitting home come playoff time, making the playoffs a less exciting product (like the 1988-1990 ALCS where the A's went 12-1 against the mediocre Red Sox and Jays while better teams like the Twins, Royals, White Sox, and Angels stayed home). The one-game playoff between the two wildcard teams increases the likelihood that we're in that position again because a one-game playoff is such a crapshoot.

No, I was referring to the best Division winner, the #1 seed -- not the 82-win Padres, but the 96-win Rays last year, or the 103-win Yankees the year before.

In an expanded playoffs, that #1 seed would have the extra reward of facing a team fresh off a 1, 2, or 3 game playoff, which I think should assuage those who feel like the expanded playoffs invalidate the importance of a regular season. In this respect, at least, having the best regular season record means more in the new system than it does in the current one.

OK. But what about all the instances where the best and second-best teams are in the same division (which has been the case of four of the last ten years in the AL, including last year)? Should we punish the 116-win 2001 Mariners by having them play the 102-win 2001 A's (even if they're shorthanded) instead of the 91-win Indians? Do we punish the A's by having them play shorthanded against the 116 win Mariners because they happened to be the second-best team in a ridiculously hard division? Or should we randomly foist the shorthanded A's on the 95-win Yankees, forcing the A's to play a team that was significantly worse than them at a disadvantage?

Edited by cannonball 1729, 24 April 2011 - 10:31 PM.


#61 Saby

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 10:33 PM

If there has to be a series, I'd rather it was a one-game playoff. That way, there's a greater chance the higher seed will lose, hence providing greater incentive to win the division.

#62 dynomite

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 12:34 AM

I agree to an extent. I think that where baseball crosses the line here is that every team should be given the same opportunity to win in each series. While disadvantages may occur (baseball can't prevent two division winners from tying and forcing a one-game playoff, burning their aces in the process), I disagree with actively creating rules like this where one team is disadvantaged in much the same way that I would disagree with a rule where the wildcard had to play the division round without a center fielder.



The kind of disadvantage you're talking about it is already a structural part of the game. At the start of the playoffs some teams are fresh off a brutal Pennant race while others spent September resting. During the playoffs somes teams have to play longer series while others rest.


OK. But what about all the instances where the best and second-best teams are in the same division (which has been the case of four of the last ten years in the AL, including last year)? Should we punish the 116-win 2001 Mariners by having them play the 102-win 2001 A's (even if they're shorthanded) instead of the 91-win Indians? Do we punish the A's by having them play shorthanded against the 116 win Mariners because they happened to be the second-best team in a ridiculously hard division? Or should we randomly foist the shorthanded A's on the 95-win Yankees, forcing the A's to play a team that was significantly worse than them at a disadvantage?


First, to be clear, MLB probably still wouldn't allow the Wild Card team to play a Division rival in the ALDS because of the "rivalry" and ratings aspect (basically, to maximize any potential Sox/Yanks, Cubs/Cards, Giants/Dodgers series). But generally I don't see how what you're saying is a change from the current system.

Second, those A's lost their Division. Under (my) new system they would have needed to win one game at home against the 85-win 2001 Twins. Note that this is the most acutely "unfair" scenario (I can't recall such a gap between a #4 and #5) and yet I still don't have a problem with it. In NCAA March Madness No. 1 seeds like Kansas (35-3) spend a whole season dominating the league and then get beaten by No. 11 VCU (28-12). It's frustrating, it's unfair in some ways, and it's a hell of a lot of fun to watch. Yeah yeah basketball isn't baseball, but the fundamentals are the same -- sports aren't a computer game. The "best" team doesn't win -- the team that wins in October does. (And in the end, neither the '01 Mariners or the '01 A's earned that distinction anyway. The 92-win Diamondbacks did)

#63 dynomite

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 12:38 AM

If there has to be a series, I'd rather it was a one-game playoff. That way, there's a greater chance the higher seed will lose, hence providing greater incentive to win the division.



I think it makes the most sense.


Pros:
- Ratings (per game)
- Drama
- Incentive to avoid
- Scheduling

Cons:
- Ratings (best of 3 would mean at least 1 more game of ad revenue)
- Unfairness (a slightly weighted coin-flip)

#64 Lose Remerswaal


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Posted 25 April 2011 - 07:55 AM

Lincecum is against the additional series

Personally I think it's kind of funky, just because the game has been this way for so long. Why mess it up, other than for monetary purposes, and that's probably what (Selig) is looking at. That's like, 'OK, don't worry about us as human beings or players.'

"It doesn't seem very fair, and personally I don't know where his head is at. It doesn't seem right to me."

"Nobody wants to have to worry, 'Oh (expletive), now I've got another (expletive) team in the (expletive) mix. Now we have to worry about what that takes and what they're going to do.' What if the (second) wild-card team is not deserving of getting in?



#65 NoXInNixon

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 09:45 AM

In my opinion, a playoff system should be big enough so that includes, with rare exception, at least every team with a legitimate argument for being the best team in the league. As a playoff system must be objectively determined ahead of time, most years it will have to include several teams who are clearly not the best, but the system should be structured so as to minimize the average number of these teams.

The NFL system is just about perfect. This year a #6 seed won the Super Bowl, and they were a pretty good team to boot.
The NBA is either the right size, or maybe too big by half. Very rarely are the #5 or #6 seeds ever thought to be serious playoff threats.
The NHL is probably just about right.
And baseball is perfect just the way it is. I can't ever think of a time when the team that finished second in the wild card deserved consideration as the best team in baseball.

#66 Buzzkill Pauley

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 10:14 AM

In my opinion, a playoff system should be big enough so that includes, with rare exception, at least every team with a legitimate argument for being the best team in the league. As a playoff system must be objectively determined ahead of time, most years it will have to include several teams who are clearly not the best, but the system should be structured so as to minimize the average number of these teams.

The NFL system is just about perfect. This year a #6 seed won the Super Bowl, and they were a pretty good team to boot.
The NBA is either the right size, or maybe too big by half. Very rarely are the #5 or #6 seeds ever thought to be serious playoff threats.
The NHL is probably just about right.
And baseball is perfect just the way it is. I can't ever think of a time when the team that finished second in the wild card deserved consideration as the best team in baseball.


Hello -- 2002 AL Wild Card?

Boston performed 7 games under its pythag of 100-62, based on its 3.75 team ERA (3rd in AL) and 5.2 RS/G (2nd in AL).

There at least as much a chance that Pedro (2.26 ERA, 1st in AL), Lowe (2.58, 2nd), and Wake (2.81, 4th) could have pitched the team to a World Series win as was seen by the Giants' remarkable run last year, or the Cardinals' improbable championship after an 83-win season. Especially when backed by Manny (6.0 oWAR, 6th in AL), Nomar (5.1, 10th), and Damon (4.4, 18th).

Of course, they had Gump that year, too...

But heck, that year Seattle (93 wins, against division competition with a .564 wPCT division) also had better claim than the Twins (94 W, against .420 wPCT), to be considered as one of the best in baseball.

#67 Spacemans Bong


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Posted 25 April 2011 - 01:01 PM

Hello -- 2002 AL Wild Card?

Boston performed 7 games under its pythag of 100-62, based on its 3.75 team ERA (3rd in AL) and 5.2 RS/G (2nd in AL).

There at least as much a chance that Pedro (2.26 ERA, 1st in AL), Lowe (2.58, 2nd), and Wake (2.81, 4th) could have pitched the team to a World Series win as was seen by the Giants' remarkable run last year, or the Cardinals' improbable championship after an 83-win season. Especially when backed by Manny (6.0 oWAR, 6th in AL), Nomar (5.1, 10th), and Damon (4.4, 18th).

Of course, they had Gump that year, too...

But heck, that year Seattle (93 wins, against division competition with a .564 wPCT division) also had better claim than the Twins (94 W, against .420 wPCT), to be considered as one of the best in baseball.

They are really the exception that proves the rule. I think if you go back and look at the entire history of the wild-card era, they're the only team that really has a legit argument as perhaps being the best team in its league. For example, the 1999 Reds are one of the few "second wild card" teams in the ballpark of the best team in wins, and I don't think a lot of people consider that team to be as good as the Braves were that year. They just had some fluky seasons.

Plus, emotionally, it just didn't seem like a lot of people at the time were frustrated that Sox team didn't make it. They weren't considered a clutch team, were mediocre at Fenway Park and never really mounted a strong challenge for the playoffs. If that's the best "second wild card" team in 15 years of the wild card era, then count it as another reason for "wild card 2" being a useless innovation.

#68 BucketOBalls


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Posted 25 April 2011 - 01:19 PM

Plus, emotionally, it just didn't seem like a lot of people at the time were frustrated that Sox team didn't make it. They weren't considered a clutch team, were mediocre at Fenway Park and never really mounted a strong challenge for the playoffs. If that's the best "second wild card" team in 15 years of the wild card era, then count it as another reason for "wild card 2" being a useless innovation.


Agree here. I think excluding 1 worthy team every 25 years or so is better than inflicting unworthy teams every year. This is the same reason I'd rather not put some sort of big hurdle in the path of the lower seeds, like a game playoff or 3 game series. It basically gets to the point where you know the lower seeds going to do anything.

The other problem with 1 game playoff(and really short series(3)) is that, while they are exciting at first, if they happen every year, you start to realize how fluky they are and, well, coin flips arn't exciting.

#69 ivanvamp


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Posted 25 April 2011 - 01:30 PM

Agree here. I think excluding 1 worthy team every 25 years or so is better than inflicting unworthy teams every year. This is the same reason I'd rather not put some sort of big hurdle in the path of the lower seeds, like a game playoff or 3 game series. It basically gets to the point where you know the lower seeds going to do anything.

The other problem with 1 game playoff(and really short series(3)) is that, while they are exciting at first, if they happen every year, you start to realize how fluky they are and, well, coin flips arn't exciting.


Personally, I think it's good, if they're committed to adding another playoff team to the mix, to make it a one-game playoff. Put a premium on winning the division. You win your division, and you won't have to put up with the "coin flip" of a one-game playoff. It really rewards being the better team over 162 games.

That said, while the Red Sox would almost be assured of a playoff spot (they would have been in even last year, as hard as that is to believe), this system would make it actually *harder* for the Red Sox to advance. Why? Because they play in an incredibly tough division. At least with the current wild card format, if they get in they stand essentially as good a chance as anyone else. But not with this format.

#70 cannonball 1729

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 01:58 PM

The kind of disadvantage you're talking about it is already a structural part of the game.

Not as much as you'd think. Teams pretty much all have three or four days before the end of the postseason to set their rotations. That's why you see so many ace vs. ace matchups in the first two rounds.

Besides, so what? Just because the world isn't equal doesn't mean we have to actively legislate rules to make it more unequal. I mean, sometimes a team may lose their starting center fielder going into the playoffs, but I'd be opposed to a rule where the wildcard had to play a series without their starting center fielder just to make the regular season "count" more.


First, to be clear, MLB probably still wouldn't allow the Wild Card team to play a Division rival in the ALDS because of the "rivalry" and ratings aspect (basically, to maximize any potential Sox/Yanks, Cubs/Cards, Giants/Dodgers series). But generally I don't see how what you're saying is a change from the current system.

I don't see how it's a remedy, either, to randomly reward the second best division winner (note: NOT the one that won 97, 98, or 100 games, but the next one down that won 93-95 in a weaker division) with a weakened opponent.

Second, those A's lost their Division. Under (my) new system they would have needed to win one game at home against the 85-win 2001 Twins. Note that this is the most acutely "unfair" scenario (I can't recall such a gap between a #4 and #5) and yet I still don't have a problem with it. In NCAA March Madness No. 1 seeds like Kansas (35-3) spend a whole season dominating the league and then get beaten by No. 11 VCU (28-12). It's frustrating, it's unfair in some ways, and it's a hell of a lot of fun to watch. Yeah yeah basketball isn't baseball, but the fundamentals are the same -- sports aren't a computer game.

First, let me say that the one thing that the NCAA does have going for it is that it determines the champion on the court, in that neither team has a legislated disadvantage once the games begin. That's one of the things I object to about this new MLB proposal.

That said, you've correctly identified why the NCAA tournament, though a whole lot of fun, is really a pretty stupid way to determine the national champion. For one thing, it makes the regular season completely meaningless. I mean, completely meaningless. If you started the season in February, no one would notice the difference. For another thing, it puts the entire idea of national champion at the mercy of six 40-minute games, meaning that a couple of weird bounces can give you an absolute dog of a national championship game with two teams that couldn't hit water if they fell out of a boat (UConn/Butler, anyone?). As much fun as the first couple of rounds may be, it generally sucks when your national championship is something like a 3 seed vs. a 5 seed. Sure, any sport can have a bad national championship game or series, but the NCAA actually gives you the possibility of having bad teams play for the national title.

If I have to watch the 85-win, not ready for prime time 2001 Twins (who drunkenly stumbled to an 85-77 record after going 30-45 in the second half) get blown out 800-3 by the Yankees again or by the Mariners because the A's randomly ran into a brilliant pitching performance by whoever the Twins ace was at the time (Brad Radke? I don't even remember, and I'm too lazy to look it up), I'm spending my early October enjoying the fall foliage instead of watching crappy baseball.

#71 cannonball 1729

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 03:03 PM

They are really the exception that proves the rule. I think if you go back and look at the entire history of the wild-card era, they're the only team that really has a legit argument as perhaps being the best team in its league. For example, the 1999 Reds are one of the few "second wild card" teams in the ballpark of the best team in wins, and I don't think a lot of people consider that team to be as good as the Braves were that year. They just had some fluky seasons.

Plus, emotionally, it just didn't seem like a lot of people at the time were frustrated that Sox team didn't make it. They weren't considered a clutch team, were mediocre at Fenway Park and never really mounted a strong challenge for the playoffs. If that's the best "second wild card" team in 15 years of the wild card era, then count it as another reason for "wild card 2" being a useless innovation.

You could add the 2005 Indians to that list.

That said, your second point is the big one. Those few teams that had great Pythagoreans but would have been the second wildcard tended to be choke-tastic or unclutch. I understand the Pythagorean as useful for measuring the true talent of the team, but it's not a substitute for wins and losses (or even opponent-adjusted wins and losses); hitting and pitching in the clutch do and should count for something, and a team that has consistently failed to do that to the point where it is out of the playoffs has no right to tout its Pythagorean crown as justification for its playoff worthiness.

Edited by cannonball 1729, 25 April 2011 - 03:03 PM.


#72 BucketOBalls


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Posted 25 April 2011 - 04:34 PM

Personally, I think it's good, if they're committed to adding another playoff team to the mix, to make it a one-game playoff. Put a premium on winning the division. You win your division, and you won't have to put up with the "coin flip" of a one-game playoff. It really rewards being the better team over 162 games.

That said, while the Red Sox would almost be assured of a playoff spot (they would have been in even last year, as hard as that is to believe), this system would make it actually *harder* for the Red Sox to advance. Why? Because they play in an incredibly tough division. At least with the current wild card format, if they get in they stand essentially as good a chance as anyone else. But not with this format.


If they do this, they should go to the NBA like system where you just seed by record(you could give division winners a top 4 spot, but it's not a big difference). The wild card has had the second best record in the league a number of times and is often better than at least one division winner. That also can make the races better as a team in a sucky division can't just slack off an avoid the 1-game playoff.

#73 snowmanny

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 08:03 PM

This seems like a horrible idea. Look at recent history in the AL. Last year the Red Sox would have had the second Wild Card spot wrapped up in mid-September.
Despite being clearly weaker than the Rays or Yankees, the Red Sox would have had two weeks to rest players and get Lester and/or Buchholz lined up while the other two teams killed each other trying to avoid the extra round.

A similar scenario could have played out in 2008 when it was the Yankees left in the dust. The 2009 Red Sox and 2007 Yankees would have been forced into an extra playoff despite being much better than the second WC team. Don't get me started on 2004.

It also seems to me that the team most likely to be hurt by this is Boston (Last year notwithstanding). They have the 800 pound gorilla in their division and as a result have been the Wild Card entrant more than any other team. Suddenly they are forced to play another crapshoot round while some other team rests and has their ace ready for Game 1. If this goes through John Henry should request realignment.

#74 Kramerica Industries

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 08:57 PM

It also seems to me that the team most likely to be hurt by this is Boston (Last year notwithstanding). They have the 800 pound gorilla in their division and as a result have been the Wild Card entrant more than any other team. Suddenly they are forced to play another crapshoot round while some other team rests and has their ace ready for Game 1. If this goes through John Henry should request realignment.



Excellent point, but do you really believe that mlb would seperate the Yankees and Red Sox? The entire basis of adding another round is money. Isn't Yankees-Red Sox the closest thing to an add-revenue machine that baseball has? It seems silly that baseball would ever seperate the two, even though the rivalry is not what it once was.

#75 Saby

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 10:28 PM

This seems like a horrible idea. Look at recent history in the AL. Last year the Red Sox would have had the second Wild Card spot wrapped up in mid-September.
Despite being clearly weaker than the Rays or Yankees, the Red Sox would have had two weeks to rest players and get Lester and/or Buchholz lined up while the other two teams killed each other trying to avoid the extra round.

A similar scenario could have played out in 2008 when it was the Yankees left in the dust. The 2009 Red Sox and 2007 Yankees would have been forced into an extra playoff despite being much better than the second WC team. Don't get me started on 2004.

It also seems to me that the team most likely to be hurt by this is Boston (Last year notwithstanding). They have the 800 pound gorilla in their division and as a result have been the Wild Card entrant more than any other team. Suddenly they are forced to play another crapshoot round while some other team rests and has their ace ready for Game 1. If this goes through John Henry should request realignment.


You're definitely right in that Boston will be the team most often affected by any new legislation. They have been, and will continue to be, the most common wild card in the AL because of the presence of the Yankees. It will be particularly brutal if it is a one-game playoff and the second AL wild card has their spot wrapped up in time to align their ace. However, for a very long period of time, Boston would not even have had that shot had they not won the division. And it just comes down to whether you strongly oppose the unfairness of the second best team in all of baseball, at times, being penalised for being in a strong division. Or if you believe in the old-school win your division or go home mentality.

And Selig will never even think of separating the NYY-BOS. Without that rivalry, baseball loses a lot of its non-local appeal. In fact, MLB are probably envisioning a scenario where Boston and New York go into a series in the last week, separated by a game or two, and they must win in order to avoid being at the wrong end of the weighted-coin flip that is the one game playoff.

#76 snowmanny

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 10:41 PM

Excellent point, but do you really believe that mlb would seperate the Yankees and Red Sox? The entire basis of adding another round is money. Isn't Yankees-Red Sox the closest thing to an add-revenue machine that baseball has? It seems silly that baseball would ever seperate the two, even though the rivalry is not what it once was.


Would MLB do it? Probably not. Is John Henry abdicating his responsibility to the fans if he doesn't protest? Absolutely.

Under this system, if the Red Sox and Angels put out similar products year after year averaging say 93 wins, the Angels have much better odds to win the World Series. The Angels are in a four team division with three up and down mid to low payroll teams. The Red Sox are stuck with New York and three teams that generally are the equal of the rest of the AL West.

If the Angels have a decent but not great season they have an excellent chance to win their division. The Red Sox having the same -or a slightly better- season are much more likely to be stuck in a coin flip game to make the playoffs. How is that reasonable? I'll be furious if Henry lets this go without a fight.

#77 dynomite

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 10:52 PM

This seems like a horrible idea. Look at recent history in the AL. Last year the Red Sox would have had the second Wild Card spot wrapped up in mid-September.


At the end of the day on Sunday, September 26, 2010, the Red Sox were 3 games ahead of the White Sox as they headed to Chicago for the start of a 4-game series.

After this series, the Sox flew home to face the Yankees for 3 games at Fenway to end the season. Instead of having the second Wild Card wrapped up, the Sox could have dropped 2 or 3 of the games in Chicago and flown home for a dramatic finish with the Yankees: the Sox attempting to stay ahead of the White Sox, and the Yankees attempting to stay out of the Wild Card game by winning the Division.

That said, you've correctly identified why the NCAA tournament, though a whole lot of fun, is really a pretty stupid way to determine the national champion. For one thing, it makes the regular season completely meaningless. I mean, completely meaningless. If you started the season in February, no one would notice the difference. For another thing, it puts the entire idea of national champion at the mercy of six 40-minute games, meaning that a couple of weird bounces can give you an absolute dog of a national championship game with two teams that couldn't hit water if they fell out of a boat (UConn/Butler, anyone?).


I used the NCAA tourney as a general example, with limited applicability.

First, the regular season in college basketball isn't "completely meaningless." It might be to you, but try telling a Kansas/UConn/Duke/UNC/Pitt/etc. fan that it doesn't matter, or watch one of their games on TV sometime. It matters.

Second, the NCAA tourney is larger by orders of magnitude than the MLB playoffs. 64 teams > 10 teams, so there'd still be no VCU in the baseball playoffs.

Third, I don't think the results of the Wild Card game will shatter the importance of the World Series. I don't think people look at sports championship games/series with that kind of hindsight: "Well, such and such team was better than the team that actually won, so I hated that World Series." As was pointed out earlier, neither the 116-win Mariners and 102-win A's made the World Series in 2001, and it still produced one of the best World Series in history. How many people have you heard say "Yeah, that Yankees-Diamondbacks series was okay, but it just didn't feel right because the two best teams in the American League didn't make it, y'know?"

Edit: This format hates Google Chrome.

Edited by dynomite, 25 April 2011 - 10:54 PM.


#78 BucketOBalls


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Posted 26 April 2011 - 09:41 AM

If the Angels have a decent but not great season they have an excellent chance to win their division. The Red Sox having the same -or a slightly better- season are much more likely to be stuck in a coin flip game to make the playoffs. How is that reasonable? I'll be furious if Henry lets this go without a fight.


Like I said, the solution here(which the NBA actually does) is to seed purely by record. Even in the non-ALE, in 2001 the 102 win A's would have been forced into a 1 game playoff with the twins while the 91 win Indian's got a free pass. You could even guarantee division winners a top 4 spot, although it doesn't matter much, and I'm not even sure we should reward teams for barely winning a crappy division.


A second wild card is still stupid, although depending on how it's done, it could get real stupid.

#79 CoolPapaBellhorn

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 11:35 AM

Could someone please make a convincing argument as to why it's so important to place a premium on winning your division, or preserving the sanctity of the pennant race? These concepts were effectively neutered when the six-division/wild card era began 17 years ago. Why, now, is it so important to go back and try to remedy that by fixing a system that isn't broken?

Why is it so important to put a potential 97-win wild card team in a more at-risk position than a potential 87-win division champ?

#80 maufman


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Posted 26 April 2011 - 12:08 PM

I see the appeal of having two wild-card teams play a one-game (or best-of-three) playoff. If MLB is hoping to make significant money from the telecasts, however, they're misguided. The financial reasons to do this are to increase interest in September baseball, by increasing the number of teams competing for a playoff spot and (to a lesser extent) making divisional races meaningful. Because any significant economic benefit would be indirect, I think the owners will quickly cede this point if the players are opposed. (I have no idea of Lincecum speaks for anyone but himself.)

#81 Sampo Gida

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 03:19 AM

It is said that the additional revenues for a MLB team making the playoffs (one that does not make it often) is as much as 30 million (same year and carryover to next year). Thats up to 60 million between the 2 leagues, or about 1% increase in total revenue.

Furthermore, the one additional WC team means that the number of wins teams can target and reasonably expect to make the playoffs is 90, instead of 95. So if you are a 85 W team, you just might spend an extra 20 million for a given year on a FA to get you those 5 wins, but would pocket most of that if you needed 10 additional wins. A big gripe of the players is that not enough teams are competing for top FA, so this is a bone to throw them. So this might have a few teams spend more money than they would under the old system.

Player opposition is mainly from players on teams expected to make the playoffs under the old system, and their concern is if the WC series is too long forcing them to play after a long delay which might impact their teams performance against a WC team in the DS. I think if it is a 1 game series the players support it.

Given the Red Sox have made a habit of getting to the playoffs as a WC (2007 excepted), having to play a 1 game playoff ala 1978 brings back bad memories. The solution is to win the division more often, but thats tougher to do when the team ahead of you spends 30-40 million more for players each year.

Edited by Sampo Gida, 27 April 2011 - 03:20 AM.


#82 Saby

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 03:48 AM

It is said that the additional revenues for a MLB team making the playoffs (one that does not make it often) is as much as 30 million (same year and carryover to next year). Thats up to 60 million between the 2 leagues, or about 1% increase in total revenue.

Furthermore, the one additional WC team means that the number of wins teams can target and reasonably expect to make the playoffs is 90, instead of 95. So if you are a 85 W team, you just might spend an extra 20 million for a given year on a FA to get you those 5 wins, but would pocket most of that if you needed 10 additional wins. A big gripe of the players is that not enough teams are competing for top FA, so this is a bone to throw them. So this might have a few teams spend more money than they would under the old system.

Player opposition is mainly from players on teams expected to make the playoffs under the old system, and their concern is if the WC series is too long forcing them to play after a long delay which might impact their teams performance against a WC team in the DS. I think if it is a 1 game series the players support it.

Given the Red Sox have made a habit of getting to the playoffs as a WC (2007 excepted), having to play a 1 game playoff ala 1978 brings back bad memories. The solution is to win the division more often, but thats tougher to do when the team ahead of you spends 30-40 million more for players each year.


No, quite a few players have expressed their dislike for a system which potentially, in their opinion, invalidates their season in a single afternoon.

#83 JakeRae


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Posted 29 April 2011 - 01:10 AM

It is said that the additional revenues for a MLB team making the playoffs (one that does not make it often) is as much as 30 million (same year and carryover to next year). Thats up to 60 million between the 2 leagues, or about 1% increase in total revenue.

Except, one can easily assume that making a 1-game playoff and losing provides less revenue gain. How much less can be argued. That it would be less seems obvious.

Furthermore, the one additional WC team means that the number of wins teams can target and reasonably expect to make the playoffs is 90, instead of 95. So if you are a 85 W team, you just might spend an extra 20 million for a given year on a FA to get you those 5 wins, but would pocket most of that if you needed 10 additional wins. A big gripe of the players is that not enough teams are competing for top FA, so this is a bone to throw them. So this might have a few teams spend more money than they would under the old system.

This paragraph describes exactly why ownership support for this proposal might be seriously misguided. Adding a 5th playoff team will almost certainly increase league revenue. Leaving aside the degree of increase, it seems entirely unclear if this move would actually increase league profitability. It adds additional teams to the FA market every offseason, which will increase payroll. It also increases competition between top payroll teams in the same division, which will have an inflationary impact on salaries and payroll. The net result of increasing revenues and increasing costs from a profit perspective seems unclear. In contrast, a 7-game division series increases revenue without significant inflationary impact on payroll. Expanded divisional series almost certainly means greater league profitability.

Player opposition is mainly from players on teams expected to make the playoffs under the old system, and their concern is if the WC series is too long forcing them to play after a long delay which might impact their teams performance against a WC team in the DS. I think if it is a 1 game series the players support it.

Given the Red Sox have made a habit of getting to the playoffs as a WC (2007 excepted), having to play a 1 game playoff ala 1978 brings back bad memories. The solution is to win the division more often, but thats tougher to do when the team ahead of you spends 30-40 million more for players each year.

I haven't followed player sentiments at all. Based on the potential impact on payroll of this move, they should support it. Based on the unfairness, many players, who care about such things much more than ownership does, might oppose it. It will be interesting to see how this plays out and I hope the players end up siding with Lincecum, but I'm not concinved they will. I'm holding out hope that the MLBPA ends up pushing this to the result that many of us want to see, a compromise of an expanded divisional series that enhances rather than degrades the integrity of the playoff competition.

As for the Red Sox, do we really think the Red Sox and Yankees will maintain current payroll levels under the new system? I see both teams pumping even more money into the AL East arms race given that winning the division would close to double the odds of winning a World Series and that neither fan base will accept losing in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. This result is a significant part of the reason why I think this proposal could ultimately be bad for baseball.

#84 Sampo Gida

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 03:34 AM

Except, one can easily assume that making a 1-game playoff and losing provides less revenue gain. How much less can be argued. That it would be less seems obvious.


This paragraph describes exactly why ownership support for this proposal might be seriously misguided. Adding a 5th playoff team will almost certainly increase league revenue. Leaving aside the degree of increase, it seems entirely unclear if this move would actually increase league profitability. It adds additional teams to the FA market every offseason, which will increase payroll. It also increases competition between top payroll teams in the same division, which will have an inflationary impact on salaries and payroll. The net result of increasing revenues and increasing costs from a profit perspective seems unclear. In contrast, a 7-game division series increases revenue without significant inflationary impact on payroll. Expanded divisional series almost certainly means greater league profitability.


I haven't followed player sentiments at all. Based on the potential impact on payroll of this move, they should support it. Based on the unfairness, many players, who care about such things much more than ownership does, might oppose it. It will be interesting to see how this plays out and I hope the players end up siding with Lincecum, but I'm not concinved they will. I'm holding out hope that the MLBPA ends up pushing this to the result that many of us want to see, a compromise of an expanded divisional series that enhances rather than degrades the integrity of the playoff competition.

As for the Red Sox, do we really think the Red Sox and Yankees will maintain current payroll levels under the new system? I see both teams pumping even more money into the AL East arms race given that winning the division would close to double the odds of winning a World Series and that neither fan base will accept losing in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. This result is a significant part of the reason why I think this proposal could ultimately be bad for baseball.


IIRCC most of the revenue gain for teams that make the playoffs come from the regular season (same year, next year). Even teams that just miss out on the 5th spot should see a revenue jump. Between the MLBPA, players and MLB take of the gate, not to mention all the free tickets they have to give to MLB, and the fact that TV revenue goes entirely to MLB (no games on NESN, YES), there is not that much revenue for teams in the post season unless they go all the way to the WS and play long series in each round.

In recent years, the amount spent on salaries as a percentage of revenue has declined. This will be addressed in the new CBA and MLB knows they need to offer the players something that might address that decline.

As for the potential arms race, with the Red Sox already up against the salary tax threshold the past 2 years, I doubt they will spend more, and the Yankees have shown they have budgetary constraints in recent years. There is not much difference between losing in the ALDS and losing a WC series to most fans. It's not making the playoffs that is their biggest concern, which is why you see the Red Sox and Yankees spending big after years they do not make the playoffs. I am skeptical there would be an arms race.

I could see the Red Sox and Yankees actually cutting back a bit knowing they really only need to win 90 games to make the playoffs with the expanded playoffs instead of 95. Theo has always said he builds a team to make the playoffs and not win the World Series since the playoff system is not designed for the best team to win.

I would like to see a 7 game ALDS, and even a 9 game WS, but that lengthens the playoffs which would be opposed by the players and would prohibit adding additional teams to the playoffs which MLB seems committed to. The only way to do both would be to shorten the regular season and that is unlikely to happen since it would cut into revenues of all 30 teams and probably players salaries over time.

Edited by Sampo Gida, 29 April 2011 - 03:35 AM.


#85 JakeRae


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Posted 29 April 2011 - 06:11 PM

My argument is that playing in one playoff game and going home would not garner the same fan excitement as playing in a real playoff series. There is no data in this discussion, so I can't support that statement. But, it makes sense that a portion of the fan base of every team would feel the way that I do about the 1-game play-in and that would discount the value of merely making it to that round. The Wild Card team that loses would be treated like a second class citizen in the playoff structure, and that is bound to be reflected in the marginal revenue gained.

I also believe this effect would be particularly profound in New York and Boston. Both teams fan bases have higher expectations than a mere playoff birth for their teams. Playing one game after the end of the regular season would be a significant disappointment for either fan base. It would create no excitement surrounding the next offseason and might not have a terribly different response than not making the playoffs currently garners. Right now, Theo's goal is to make the playoffs every year because success in the playoffs is largely a product of luck. The proposed structure would change that and would make the new goal to win the division.

#86 Sampo Gida

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 03:50 AM

My argument is that playing in one playoff game and going home would not garner the same fan excitement as playing in a real playoff series. There is no data in this discussion, so I can't support that statement. But, it makes sense that a portion of the fan base of every team would feel the way that I do about the 1-game play-in and that would discount the value of merely making it to that round. The Wild Card team that loses would be treated like a second class citizen in the playoff structure, and that is bound to be reflected in the marginal revenue gained.

I also believe this effect would be particularly profound in New York and Boston. Both teams fan bases have higher expectations than a mere playoff birth for their teams. Playing one game after the end of the regular season would be a significant disappointment for either fan base. It would create no excitement surrounding the next offseason and might not have a terribly different response than not making the playoffs currently garners. Right now, Theo's goal is to make the playoffs every year because success in the playoffs is largely a product of luck. The proposed structure would change that and would make the new goal to win the division.


I think if the Red Sox won a WC spot by winning 95 games, fans would understand that losing a 1 game playoff to an 88 W team would be bad luck and a product of the playoff system. Also, in 1978 we won 99 games only to lose a 1 game playoff to the Yankees. That was an exciting game and over 30 years later I still wake up some nights in a cold sweat cursing Bucky Dent. I am sure Yankee fans still have wet dreams about that game. Tough luck for the losers, but joy for the winners.

As for the new goal being to win the division, if that happens, I think it would be a good thing for Red Sox fans. Even if Theo did not spend the money to construct a team to win more than 95 games, Tito would manage like the division counted down the stretch.

Frankly, I would prefer that division winners not get a bye from the 1 game playoff, and instead the top 5 teams in each league are ranked by W-L record and the bottom 2 have to play the playoff, even if one of them one their weak division. This would be a defacto scrapping of the 3 divisions per league, but they will still keep that for regular season scheduling purposes to reduce travel and keep the unbalanced schedule.

#87 dynomite

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 03:47 PM

Sorry if there's somewhere else this should be, but apparently Selig is running into scheduling problems for 2012 playoff expansion.

Wednesday was supposed to be the day the commissioner's office finished a proposed schedule for the 2012 postseason and shipped it to the players' association for consideration. But sources told ESPN.com that deadline wasn't going to be met -- not because talks have broken down, but because fitting two extra wild-card pieces into the postseason puzzle has proven to be more involved than the commissioner has been willing to acknowledge.

...

The Regular Season is scheduled to end Wednesday, Oct. 3 and the Division Series are now tentatively scheduled to begin Saturday, Oct. 6. So the schedule-makers have to figure out a way to jam two one-game wild-card showdowns, plus potential tiebreaker games and/or rainout makeup games, into the two days in between.


Lots of considerations here, including reluctance to move games on the last day of the regular season to daytime or schedule more daytime ALDS games.

#88 BucketOBalls


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Posted 01 February 2012 - 05:25 PM

Sorry if there's somewhere else this should be, but apparently Selig is running into scheduling problems for 2012 playoff expansion.

Lots of considerations here, including reluctance to move games on the last day of the regular season to daytime or schedule more daytime ALDS games.


Here is hoping this somehow dies. I don't think it will happen, but I hope it does.

#89 dynomite

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 06:12 PM

Here is hoping this somehow dies. I don't think it will happen, but I hope it does.


At first I thought you said "Here is hoping he somehow dies" -- seemed a bit extreme.

In any event, if there is a reprieve for scheduling reasons in 2012 the article makes clear that there won't be similar problems in 2013+: this would only delay implementation for a year. Essentially, it seems that television contracts and schedules had been set for 2012 before the 2nd Wild Card proposal, but when they do the 2013 schedule they'll budget enough room for it.

(Also, with a month to sort this out and Selig's commitment, I'm almost certain it will happen)

#90 Saby

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 06:18 PM

Another wrinkle is that now the division winner and the first wild-card spot are determined by a one-game playoff if two teams are tied for the division lead rather than head-to-head.

But with a month to go, I'm hopeful we'll be able to get it in.

#91 Sampo Gida

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 07:24 PM

My argument is that playing in one playoff game and going home would not garner the same fan excitement as playing in a real playoff series. There is no data in this discussion, so I can't support that statement. But, it makes sense that a portion of the fan base of every team would feel the way that I do about the 1-game play-in and that would discount the value of merely making it to that round. The Wild Card team that loses would be treated like a second class citizen in the playoff structure, and that is bound to be reflected in the marginal revenue gained.

I also believe this effect would be particularly profound in New York and Boston. Both teams fan bases have higher expectations than a mere playoff birth for their teams. Playing one game after the end of the regular season would be a significant disappointment for either fan base. It would create no excitement surrounding the next offseason and might not have a terribly different response than not making the playoffs currently garners. Right now, Theo's goal is to make the playoffs every year because success in the playoffs is largely a product of luck. The proposed structure would change that and would make the new goal to win the division.


I dunno, that last game in 1978 seemed pretty darned exciting, and losing did not dampen interest in the Red Sox in 1979. Also, for every loser there is a winner, so the number of teams with satisfied fans is at least the same . There is a 1 game series next week in another sport generating a bit of excitement too.

Is losing a 1 game playoff series any more disappointing than losing 3-0 in the DS?

As for the proposed structure making winning the division a priority over winning the WC, well, thats a good thing IMO. Also. a playoff for tying for the division lead is great news.

WC teams for the most part are 2nd class citizens, but have gotten upgraded to first class under the previous format. No more upgrades. Of course, looking at it from the Red Sox viewpoint, we are in the same division as the Yankees and winning the WC with 95 W's was often more W's than other division leaders. So from the Red Sox viewpoint, the new format is a mixed bag. The new format means 90 W's gets you a playoff spot, even if only a 1 game series. WE would have made the playoffs last year with a 1 game series against the Rays. Exciting stuff. OTOH, we may not have seen a ring in 2004 if we had got knocked off in a 1 game playoff by the A's.

#92 Rice4HOF

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 09:09 PM

I've always like the idea that the team with the overall best record gets an advantage over the other playoff teams. Makes winning the pennant (in regular season) mean something. Last year, NY, Texas and Detroit all had similar records, but none of them had any incentive to go all out the last week. (Sure, maybe you get an extra home game in the ALCS, but would the Yankees, say, pitch CC the last day of the season, and not have him available until Game 3 of the LDS? Doubtful). I have proposed an idea... somewhat radical... that rewards the team with the best overall record, and does away with the arbitrary divisions and unbalanced schedules. http://rsnalberta.bl...ll-changes.html I know it will never happen for practical reasons, but let me know what you think - preferably in the comments section of the blog.

#93 Plympton91


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Posted 05 February 2012 - 10:15 PM

To me, tonight was exhibit A in why expanded playoffs suck donkey balls. A 9-7 regular season shouldn't qualify you for anything resembling the playoffs. And now baseball is going down the same farcical road as all the inferior professional sports. The World Series is dead; I guess I'll get used to hoping the Red Sox can win the postseason exhibition tournament.


#94 buzzard21

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 07:56 AM

To me, tonight was exhibit A in why expanded playoffs suck donkey balls. A 9-7 regular season shouldn't qualify you for anything resembling the playoffs. And now baseball is going down the same farcical road as all the inferior professional sports. The World Series is dead; I guess I'll get used to hoping the Red Sox can win the postseason exhibition tournament.


Except that 9-7 team won their division, no wild card came into play but on the bigger point I agree baseball really doesnt need anymore playoff teams IMHO.

#95 Rasputin


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 10:54 AM

See, I think the NFL games perfectly demonstrate how the MLB playoffs could be improved.

Nobody gives a shit that teams play different schedules. It's accepted as just the way things are.

There is something to play for after simply securing a berth.

#96 Rice4HOF

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 07:34 PM

This is why I like my proposal that I linked to a couple of posts above. Every team plays the same schedule, no winning an easy division BS, shitty teams don't have a chance to win it all, but most stay in a meaningful pennant race throughout the season. If my proposal had been applied to the NFL, the Giants would not have made the playoffs. (again, with the disclaimer that the teams would have won the same number of games even though they would have all played a vastly different schedule then they actually did).

#97 Foulkey Reese


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Posted 29 February 2012 - 02:16 PM

Sox chances just got better.

Sources: Additional wild cards a "go" for this season. Playoffs to expand from eight to 10 teams. Announcement tomorrow. #MLB



https://twitter.com/#!/Ken_Rosenthal

#98 soxhop411


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Posted 29 February 2012 - 02:16 PM


Ken Rosenthal @Ken_Rosenthal

Sources: Additional wild cards a "go" for this season. Playoffs to expand from eight to 10 teams. Announcement tomorrow. #MLB





#99 Kilgore A. Trout


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Posted 01 March 2012 - 06:48 PM

So is this going to be a one game playoff or a best of three? I haven't seen anything definite one way or another.
I'd like the best of three series, games one and three at the higher seed, game two at the lower seed, day off between games one and two, no day off between two and three. Unless there's a rainout that's four days, with a day between the end of the reg season and game one, and another after game three, that's six days. That's not terrible.
I just don't like the one game playoff idea. Its fine in other sports, but baseball is not other sports. If for no other reason then a major part of your team in a game is on five day rotation.

#100 tims4wins


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Posted 01 March 2012 - 06:52 PM

I'd prefer it a best of three, with all 3 games at the higher seed, so that the higher seed gets a more tangible benefit. Plus it reduces travel and shortens the schedule so the series can be completed in 3 days, barring weather.