Friday, 16 April, 2021

MLB flirts with playoff format change

Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. points at first base umpire Ben May after being called out on strikes during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays Friday Sept. 6 2019 in St. Petersburg Fla Report: MLB weighing major changes to postseason, would allow teams to pick their opponent
Cary Erickson | 14 February, 2020, 13:43

Instead of expanding the number of mediocre teams to reach the series ("Playoff field could grow to 14 teams", February 11), I suggest Major League Baseball go back to the pre-division days of baseball whereby only the two best teams entered the series at the end of the season. Each league's best team would get a bye into the Division Series, while the other two division winners and the top wild card would host all three games of a short series against the remaining three wild cards. The division winners with the second-best record in each league would get to pick their opponents from the winners of the three-game wild card matchups.

The division victor with the worst record would then choose its opponent from the remaining two wild-card teams.

It's unclear why exactly Bauer hates the alleged proposal - he wouldn't elaborate - but the new rules reportedly wouldn't take place until at least 2022.

Currently, two teams from each league play a winner-take-all wild-card game, and the victor faces the team with the league's best record.

Sherman reports that the regular season series between teams would be used to solve tiebreakers at the end of the season, eliminating the need for a 163rd game. In theory, though, additional playoff teams should provide elements that the union has been wanting. If this proposal was in effect the last four years, three teams with losing records would have made the playoffs.

Cincinnati Reds star pitcher and blabbermouth Trevor Bauer wants no part of MLB's radical plan to overhaul its postseason.

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Bauer blasted the reported proposal and Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred after the news broke.

If history is a guide, it's likely that the net result of MLB's proposed post season expansion will be a less fair playoff format with weaker teams who have less incentive to spend money on payroll.

However, this new playoff system comes off as a money grab by Manfred and the top management of Major League Baseball.

With the advent of the baseball playoff system came the destruction of the integrity of the World Series.

Why would average teams pursue expensive superstars if they could reach the postseason with a win total in the low 80s?

And it's worth mentioning this could open the door to a sub-.500 World Series victor. If all of the proposed changes are implemented, that would be one of the least dramatic.