Updated: Feb 15
The proposed MLB playoff expansion, which may begin in 2022 after the collective bargaining agreement expires, is not good for baseball.
MLB is planning to allow 14 teams into the playoffs - there are 30 MLB teams which means just about half will make it in and be able to raise a flag. The proposed first-round format will be best-of-three series, with the higher seeds hosting every game. The second seed may choose to play the fifth, sixth or seventh-seeded team; then the third seed from remaining two; with the fourth playing the remaining team.
Did you see that a top seeded team will get to choose who they can play from the wild card games? Huh?
First I will acknowledge the two reason why I can see this being a good thing... The MLB has a history of being a boring sport - I personally do no think so but that's a different story. They would like to get the fans more engaged and if their .500 team has a chance to play meaningful games in September then they are all for it. Another reason is so that teams can stop taking "off" years to rebuild which is outspokenly looked down upon. The point of being a professional sports franchise is to win, right? It seems like ever since saber metrics came into MLB's vocab there have been 5-10 teams each year actually going into the season expecting to lose - It's called rebuilding.
But, I don't like this idea of letting half the league into the playoffs. I am an old school fan even though I never lived through it. from the late 1800s through the 1960s it was the winner of the AL vs. the winner of the NL competing for the World Series title. From the 1960s-1990s it was split into the Eastern and Western Divisions. Then came a flood of changes from the East, West and Central to the wild card to the expanded wild card to now potentially the even more expanded wild card. Sure, MLB expanded by 4 teams in the 90s so that has something to do with the changes but there haven't been any expanded teams since Tampa Bay Rays and Arizona Diamondbacks in 1998. Lets see some Vegas, Charlotte, Nashville, Portland teams before talking about expanded playoffs!
This is coming from a fan of baseball and I realize that owners and players are more open to the idea. If it were to go through there will be much more money to be made from television rights, player incentives and just being able to get a shot at a World Series title by having the hot hand going into October.
What do you think about the expanded playoffs? Are you for it or against it?
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