MLB plotting playoff expansion — with reality TV twist

soxhop411

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Imagine a team picking its playoff opponent. Think about Brian Cashman and the Yankees deciding whether to face the Red Sox or avoid them in the first round of the postseason. All on live TV.

Well, it is probably coming soon to the major leagues.

MLB is seriously weighing a move from five to seven playoff teams in each league beginning in 2022, The Post has learned.

In this concept, the team with the best record in each league would receive a bye to avoid the wild-card round and go directly to the Division Series. The two other division winners and the wild card with the next best record would each host all three games in a best-of-three wild-card round. So the bottom three wild cards would have no first-round home games.

The division winner with the second-best record in a league would then get the first pick of its opponent from those lower three wild cards, then the other division winner would pick, leaving the last two wild cards to play each other.

what the fuck is Manfred doing to baseball?
 

DeadlySplitter

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that headline makes me want to smack Manfred hard.

at least the WC round would become 3 games. but they should keep it to 10 teams, of course, which is already bordering on too many.

also, the #2 seed can EASILY be ousted by the 7 seed in a random 3-game series, even at home, and suddenly a seriously flawed team like the 2019 Sox is still alive. happens all the damn time in the regular season. teams should be against this outright.
 

54thMA

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"The division winner with the second-best record in a league would then get the first pick of its opponent from those lower three wild cards, then the other division winner would pick, leaving the last two wild cards to play each other."

Do they give out roses to whoever they pick, asking for a friend.
 

johnmd20

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"The division winner with the second-best record in a league would then get the first pick of its opponent from those lower three wild cards, then the other division winner would pick, leaving the last two wild cards to play each other."

Do they give out roses to whoever they pick, asking for a friend.
I think they actually snuff out the torches of the scrub wild card teams that are picked first.
 

E5 Yaz

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Story doesn't say, but I'm guessing teams would be re-seeded after the wild card round (in case of upsets)

the tie-breaker scenarios will be be intense, though

what happens if there are 2 or three teams tied for the final WC spot?
 

DeadlySplitter

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what happens if there are 2 or three teams tied for the final WC spot?
. Also, there would be no more tiebreaker 163rd games. To make the regular-season more meaningful, the team that won the season series against its opponent would benefit whether that is to have the top seed or to simply be the final wild card. Thus, if two teams finish as the fourth wild card and both have 84 wins, then the team that won the season series will get into the playoffs.
 

EvilEmpire

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I really hate the wildcard play-in game. I don't know if I hate it enough to want to see all these other changes.
 

E5 Yaz

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I really hate the wildcard play-in game. I don't know if I hate it enough to want to see all these other changes.
Yeah, in general I'm against expanding the playoffs in any sport. MLB already goes to November; two extra games doesn't seem like much -- especially since they'll all be played at the home of the higher seed -- but with weather and reconfiguring for the next round, it's really starting to risk it weather wise
 

E5 Yaz

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Thanks for finiding that, but it still doesn't work out. The Red Sox played 6 games against some AL Central and West opponents last season -- a 3-3 split doesn't solve the tie
 

OurF'ingCity

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Yeah this is dumb. Why play 162 games if almost half the teams are going to make the playoffs? Does anyone really want to see a bunch of 84-86 win teams duking it out in the "first round"?

And as DeadlySplitter notes, this effectively punishes the two division winners that don't get the best overall record. Last year, for example, the Yankees and Twins each won over 100 games but in this system they would still have to play a risky best-of-three against the Indians and Red Sox, respectively.

This would lead to all sorts of unintended consequences, including very likely much less activity at the trade deadline because way more teams will have a shot at the playoffs and thus see no real need to become either "sellers" or "buyers."
 

Ale Xander

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Thanks for finiding that, but it still doesn't work out. The Red Sox played 6 games against some AL Central and West opponents last season -- a 3-3 split doesn't solve the tie
If there's a tie, the managers of each team square off in a fire-making challenge.
 

johnmd20

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Yeah this is dumb. Why play 162 games if almost half the teams are going to make the playoffs? Does anyone really want to see a bunch of 84-86 win teams duking it out in the "first round"?

And as DeadlySplitter notes, this effectively punishes the two division winners that don't get the best overall record. Last year, for example, the Yankees and Twins each won over 100 games but in this system they would still have to play a risky best-of-three against the Indians and Red Sox, respectively.

This would lead to all sorts of unintended consequences, including very likely much less activity at the trade deadline because way more teams will have a shot at the playoffs and thus see no real need to become either "sellers" or "buyers."
Here's the reason why baseball loves it.

It makes September games important for probably another 15-20% of the league that wouldn't have important games otherwise. That's why they expand, because it keeps more teams in the hunt, which might keep more fans interested.
 

DJnVa

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This would lead to all sorts of unintended consequences, including very likely much less activity at the trade deadline because way more teams will have a shot at the playoffs and thus see no real need to become either "sellers" or "buyers."
More teams playing meaningful games seems better to me than cool trades.

And as to the picking your opponent idea--I'll reserve judgment but imagine some team losing player late in season due to injury....be interesting to see that team get picked and then smacking the other team. Maybe insert some rivalry hate.
 

E5 Yaz

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this part made me laugh

The plan is to have this all play out on a show on the Sunday night the regular season ends and have representatives picking teams on live TV — think the NCAA selection show, but just with the teams making the selections. The rights to that show is part of the enticement to potential TV partners.
Against a SNF game? ... Let's go see a half-hour show where the Braves pick between facing the Rockies or the Reds
 

The Gray Eagle

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that headline makes me want to smack Manfred hard.
Haha, I had the same reaction, then looked at it more and don't hate it. I really like the higher seed choosing its opponent.

This plan would be good only if they cut the season back to 154 games, and never start before April and always end the last week of September. Teams would lose some gate money, but the extra playoff games should make up for it.

And they also would need to reduce interleague games, since you're giving such and advantage to the team with the best record in the league, but they are playing different teams in the other league. I'd do away with all interleague play, but MLB won't.

Of course, if they do this, they will NOT cut back to 154 games and will NOT reduce interleague games, and will add some other awful changes, because MLB is pretty stupid.
 

amfox1

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I have no problem with expanding the playoffs to 7 per league. NBA and NHL is also close to half the league.

I also have no problem with having the better teams pick their opponents. Give the winners an incentive to win.

Give all playoff teams at least one home game. Reward the fans for the team making the playoffs.

Move the trade deadline back to August 15 or August 31. July 31 is dumb.

Don't change the roster rules for September 1 forward. If you want September to be meaningful, treat it like the rest of the season.
 

OurF'ingCity

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I have no problem with expanding the playoffs to 7 per league. NBA and NHL is also close to half the league.
They also play half as many games. There should be a direct relationship between number of playoff teams and number of regular season games played, because the more games you play the more you can be certain that the teams with the best records are actually the best teams, and therefore it isn't "unfair" to leave other teams out.

As recently as 2017 this setup would have resulted in two 80-win teams making the playoffs. There should be no scenario where a below-.500 team even sniffs the MLB playoffs, come on.
 

NJ_Sox_Fan

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They also play half as many games. There should be a direct relationship between number of playoff teams and number of regular season games played, because the more games you play the more you can be certain that the teams with the best records are actually the best teams, and therefore it isn't "unfair" to leave other teams out.

As recently as 2017 this setup would have resulted in two 80-win teams making the playoffs. There should be no scenario where a below-.500 team even sniffs the MLB playoffs, come on.
Why? Happened in the NFL a lot ... and there have been some really shitty division winners in MLB MLB before as well
 

Hank Scorpio

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So using 2019 as a template, and assuming each team chooses the opponent with the worst record, the first round of the playoffs would have been...

Astros (107 wins) - Bye
Yankees (103 wins) vs Red Sox (84 wins)
Twins (101 wins) vs Indians (93 wins)
Athletics (97 wins) vs Rays (96 wins)

Is that right?

To me, it seems very wrong that the decidedly mediocre Red Sox get a shot to knock off the 103 win Yankees in a sport where underdogs are never really underdogs by a ridiculous margin. Meanwhile, two of four far superior teams (Twins, Indians, A's, Rays) are going home for sure. Granted, I would have found it hysterical if the 84 win Red Sox knocked off the 103 win Yankees - but I'd be livid if the 2018 team got eliminated by the 89 win Mariners in a fluke. Hell, we lost two out of three at home to the 62 win White Sox in games started by Sale, Price, and Porcello - all of whom pitched well. Baseball is a weird sport like that. Bad/mediocre teams shouldn't be in the playoffs.
 

nattysez

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So using 2019 as a template, and assuming each team chooses the opponent with the worst record, the first round of the playoffs would have been...

Astros (107 wins) - Bye
Yankees (103 wins) vs Red Sox (84 wins)
Twins (101 wins) vs Indians (93 wins)
Athletics (97 wins) vs Rays (96 wins)

Is that right?

To me, it seems very wrong that the decidedly mediocre Red Sox get a shot to knock off the 103 win Yankees in a sport where underdogs are never really underdogs by a ridiculous margin. Meanwhile, two of four far superior teams (Twins, Indians, A's, Rays) are going home for sure. Granted, I would have found it hysterical if the 84 win Red Sox knocked off the 103 win Yankees - but I'd be livid if the 2018 team got eliminated by the 89 win Mariners in a fluke. Hell, we lost two out of three at home to the 62 win White Sox in games started by Sale, Price, and Porcello - all of whom pitched well. Baseball is a weird sport like that. Bad/mediocre teams shouldn't be in the playoffs.
In your example, the MFY could have decided they wanted no part of the Sox and chosen the Rays or Cleveland instead. If the Sox "got a shot" at the MFY, it would've been because the MFY chose to give it to them.
 
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Ah fuck it, every team should make the playoffs.
Teams with the best record, take off the entire month of October, go on a vacation, you deserve it. You played hard, now relax a bit

Come back and play who is left standing after the first playoffs, because now these are the "real" playoffs
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFOvldn_IRw
double blind round robin sounds great. perhaps the starters can be blindfolded during the first 3 innings
 

VORP Speed

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Seems like it would be better to only add 1 team per league. 6 teams, top 2 division winners get byes, 3rd division winner gets to pick their opponent, and go ahead and let the top seed pick their opponent after the wildcard round. I like the best of 3 wild card series all at one stadium, especially if it includes a doubleheader.
 

santadevil

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And now the skeptical part of my brain is thinking this is just Manfred trying to take the news away from the Astro's sign stealing scandal, as he doesn't have much on the Sox...I'm going to become a damn conspiracy theorist
 

Salem's Lot

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They also play half as many games. There should be a direct relationship between number of playoff teams and number of regular season games played, because the more games you play the more you can be certain that the teams with the best records are actually the best teams, and therefore it isn't "unfair" to leave other teams out.

As recently as 2017 this setup would have resulted in two 80-win teams making the playoffs. There should be no scenario where a below-.500 team even sniffs the MLB playoffs, come on.
I would be very much in favor of less regular season games and expanded playoffs. The games are just better. If they gave me two months of playoff baseball and a pitch clock I’d be glued to the TV every night like I am with the NHL in April and May.
 

j-man

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how I wouild fix baseball

1 DH in both leagues
2 25 sec pitch clock
3 if a team is up by 10 runs or more after 6 innings game can be called
4 extra innings starting in the 11th a team gets a runner on first to start 12th 1st and 2nd 13th on bases loaded reg season only
5 136 game season no interleage div games + 18 all other games + 6
 

PhilPlantier

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Haha, I had the same reaction, then looked at it more and don't hate it. I really like the higher seed choosing its opponent.

This plan would be good only if they cut the season back to 154 games, and never start before April and always end the last week of September. Teams would lose some gate money, but the extra playoff games should make up for it.

And they also would need to reduce interleague games, since you're giving such and advantage to the team with the best record in the league, but they are playing different teams in the other league. I'd do away with all interleague play, but MLB won't.

Of course, if they do this, they will NOT cut back to 154 games and will NOT reduce interleague games, and will add some other awful changes, because MLB is pretty stupid.
Right off the bat, this change would cost the Angels 88 games of Mike Trout over the life of his contract, at a cost of about $21M.
 

Joe D Reid

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They are floating this so that it can get screamed down and they can unleash the real proposal: bumping the WC play-in to three games and installing bullpen monorails to speed up pitching changes.
 

joyofsox

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It's official. I miss Bud Selig, who I despise.
So MLB takes the next step in its guaranteed-to-fail plan to convince people who have never cared much about baseball to care a lot about baseball.
When will MLB realize the obvious - Not everyone cares about baseball! - and stop dreaming up new ways to destroy the game?
 

j-man

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also I wouild contact OAK TB MIA add Nashville

and do it like this
al east NYY BOS BALT DET TOR
AL Cent MINN CHI WITHE SOX CLE MILE
AL WEST TEX HOU SEA COL KC
NL EAST ATL WASH NYM PHILLY
NL CENT CHI CUBS CINY ST LOUIS PITT NASH
NL WEST ARIZONA LAD LAA SF SD
 

SemperFidelisSox

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Why would you want your team to have a bye? Time off seems to effect baseball players more than other athletes, given the routine of playing everyday. I wouldn’t want Red Sox hitters getting a week off before their first playoff series.
 

Reardons Beard

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The creativity is a marvelous idea on merit. Not sure this is the best way to do it, need to think it over, but overall the game has to do something to spice it up.
 

grimshaw

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Until they make the schedule balanced and realign teams, which IMO is one of the biggest issues in the sport, you will never have the closest representation of the worthiest playoff teams.

Baseball badly needs boosts in ratings and tv viewership. If it waters down the product slightly, so be it. The worst teams have the odds stacked against them anyhow in this proposed change..

In terms of lengthening the season, I think starting it earlier helps mitigate playing into November.

I'd do 7 games each against every AL non division team, 4 4 game series in the division, 2 4 game series against your closest NL opponents, and 3 each against 5 others. Makes the schedule 155 games.
 
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JimD

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Granted, I would have found it hysterical if the 84 win Red Sox knocked off the 103 win Yankees - but I'd be livid if the 2018 team got eliminated by the 89 win Mariners in a fluke.
The 2018 Red Sox would have had the bye in this scenario.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Right off the bat, this change would cost the Angels 88 games of Mike Trout over the life of his contract, at a cost of about $21M.
Not it wouldn't. He doesn't play every single game-- not even close. Trout has missed 28, 22, and 48 games the past 3 seasons alone. He's never played 162 games and hasn't played as many as 159 games since 2016. He's missed 137 games over his eight full seasons.

What it would do is help Mike Trout play a lot more meaningful games. He might someday add to his career total of one postseason hit, or if not, he would probably play more pennant race type of games in September.

It would cost the Angels 4 home games per season, while increasing their chances of playing postseason games.

There would likely be more people going to and watching Angels games if they are in the postseason hunt compared to when they aren't.
 

scottyno

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I like the idea of letting the top team pick who they play, because often the wild card winner is much better than a division winner, hate the idea of the 2nd seed getting basically no advantage in the playoffs if they go to 14 teams. Why not just keep the current system, and let the 1 seed choose between which of the remaining 3 teams they want to play
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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Here's the reason why baseball loves it.

It makes September games important for probably another 15-20% of the league that wouldn't have important games otherwise. That's why they expand, because it keeps more teams in the hunt, which might keep more fans interested.
Except that those teams are really not playing more important games.

The baseball season is a six month marathon. Teams play virtually every day, schlep around the country, force fans to have their wives moan at them, "you're watching baseball AGAIN?!" And what is the payoff for this six month devotion? Oh, two or three games and the team in which you just invested six months is done. Sorry! Never mind!

What's the fucking point of playing EVERY DAY for six months if everyone over .500 is in the post season and even the very best team can then be eliminated because they're unlucky for a few games? The "important" games mediocre teams would be playing are not that important because most mediocre teams are not going to go deep into the playoffs anyway and those few that do don't deserve to be there anyway.

And what would this do nothing to make the September games that a team like last year's Twins play important? They're in either way, who cares? And while it would have created supposedly important games for last year's crappy Red Sox team struggling to make it over the finish line, wouldn't that have made the September games for the actual 2019 wild cards unimportant because they'd have qualified that much more easily?

This would pretty much ruin baseball for me.
 
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