No additions to the playoffs, please

Replacing Jerry Hairston
How much is that playoff berth in the window?

On any given day, any one baseball team can beat any other. Over the course of the season we often see a basement dwelling team beat a first place powerhouse. Just this season the Washington Nationals took two of three from the Yankees. This is why the season is 162 games long. It helps weed out those anomalies. After such a large sample, double that of the next-closest major American sport, it’s fairly clear which team is the best.

In the past, this large sample was enough. The team with the best record in the AL would play the team with the best record in the NL. That was it — 154 or 162 games was deemed enough to determine the best of the leagues, and then the leagues, which didn’t face each other during the regular season, would face off in the World Series. It made perfect sense. Why throw out the results of so many games with a drawn-out playoff system?

Every September, as season’s end approaches, we hear baseball writers bemoan the current playoff structure. Baseball needs more playoff teams, they write. Recently, both Peter Gammons and Joel Sherman shared this opinion. One more Wild Card team, they argue, would really spice things up. That would not only add another team to the October mix, but would penalize teams for winning the Wild Card and not the division, since the WC teams would face off before the other teams start postseason play. While this would certainly create an incentive to win the division, it is far from the optimal solution.

Adding more playoff teams brings two consequences. First is that it makes the season longer. Even with Gammons’s suggestion, that they start the season early and then play the best of three series through what would have been the season’s final weekend, it would be a scheduling problem. It would also put the WC at such a disadvantage — having to play straight through a playoff round and then straight to the LDS — that even having a Wild Card would become questionable. I don’t like it, but it’s manageable, and is certainly the lesser of the consequences.

Teams get hot, teams get cold. Over the course of a162-game season, luck tends to even out. Adding another non-division-winning team would just add to the crapshoot nature of the playoffs. If the season ended today, Boston and Texas would be the AL Wild Cards. If Texas gets hot at the right time, they can upset Boston and then possibly their first round opponent (the Yankees in this scenario). Then they either continue their hot streak, or fall back to earth and become easy prey for the other LDS winner in the LCS.

This scheme works for fans who like the unpredictable nature of the playoffs. But it doesn’t work at all for those of us who like to see the best teams square off in the World Series. The only way to accomplish that is to abolish divisions and interleague play. It’s the AL vs. the NL, winner take all in each league in anticipation of a final showdown in the World Series. The teams that proved themselves best able to handle the baseball season would be rewarded for their hard work.

No one is going to adopt this, and I can imagine most people reading this would be opposed to such a scheme. For starters, it would probably mean mass contraction. Having fifteen teams in a league with no divisions would mete out the poor teams a bit quicker, and fans of those teams would probably lose interest early in the season. To this end, even going back to the two-division scheme would be an improvement. Then you have a manageable seven teams per division, maybe eight, and can still keep the playoffs short.

As currently constructed, the playoffs favor luck. More teams means a bigger chance of a lesser team getting hot and beating a better team. While I understand the thrill in that for some, it certainly doesn’t lend itself to a World Series pitting the best in the AL against the best in the NL. It’s the luckiest in the AL vs. the luckiest in the NL. Or, rather, the team best built for the playoffs, rather than the team best built for the regular season. If baseball isn’t going to reward the team that played the best over 162 games, then why even play that many?

Doubtless many of you will disagree, and I’d like to hear arguments other than the one I laid out — i.e., that the playoffs as currently constructed are unpredictable. I just think that if you’re playing 162 games, you should reward the teams that played the best in that span, not the teams that played third and fourth best in that span.

email
Replacing Jerry Hairston
How much is that playoff berth in the window?
  • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

    +1

    However, a while ago I wrote about a proposed system in which MLB returns to two divisions per league. The division winners get playoff berths and the two teams with the next best records (regardless of division) get in. That is, three teams from one division could make the playoffs. However, this system could make travel hard on the teams in the current AL/NL Central that would be moved into the West divisons.

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside
  • Lardin

    Go back to two divisions with the top two teams in each division winning playoff spots, balance out the schedule and get rid of interleague play. The 2nd seeds will play the opposite’s division #1 seeds. Keep the same amount of teams, Cut the divisions from 3 to 2, and have a balanced schedule.

    • Mac

      I agree. I would really like to see interleague play abolished. I don’t understand the appeal in it, beyond the obvious gimmick factor. I’d prefer they kept the leagues separate so as to emphasize and broaden their differences. It would make the World Series a whole lot more interesting.

      • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

        I agree. I would really like to see interleague play abolished.

        +1

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

          I wish for it every year on my birthday.

          • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

            My birthday is always smack dab in the middle of Interleague Play.

          • Jose

            Great, now that you said that, it won’t come true. *sigh* Another wasted wish. Now we have to wait till next year.

            • yankeegirl49

              Count me in as someone who does not like interleague..I also do not like the wild card.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                I disagree with all of you.

                I like both interleague play and the wildcard. Both are good, solid additions to baseball that widen the appeal of the sport and make the game better.

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

                  Great. Now we have Bud Selig posting under tommie’s name.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  No, I’m serious.

                  Interleague play has allowed each team to play all the other teams in the sport. I fail to see what a horrible development that is.

                  And the wildcard allows a third and fourth team into the playoffs. The LDS is a good and compelling round of playoffs. Again, I don’t see what’s bad about one more round of playoffs and the chance to see all the other teams in the league. What exactly are bad about these things, other than not being “traditional old-school”?

                  I liked baseball before interleague play and the wildcard. It was good. I like it with interleague play and the wildcard. It’s also good. I think it’s a little better, and I don’t see what negative effects either thing has.

                • Chien Ming Wang

                  I also dislike interleague play.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Chien Ming Wang says:
                  I also dislike interleague play.

                  http://www.sadtrombone.com

                • Sweet Dick Willie

                  I don’t see what negative effects either thing has.

                  The negative effect of expanded play-offs is as Joe stated: The best team can lose in a short series, so the team that distinguished itself over the course of the regular season could wind up watching, instead of playing in, the WS.

                  The negative effect of inter-league play is that each league plays by a different set of rules, and the major compromises made by each league bastardize the game they normally play.

                • http://www.workwithpete.com Pete

                  I agree with you tommie – only thing I would change is the way that the interleague schedule is currently setup.

                  IMO we don’t need two series worth of games against each of these teams. Make it one, and just alternate the home location every other season.

                  Replace the other series with more games from that team’s league, but don’t automatically fill them in with division games- do as in the NFL, where they would play more games with opponents from the other two divisions.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  The negative effect of expanded play-offs is as Joe stated: The best team can lose in a short series, so the team that distinguished itself over the course of the regular season could wind up watching, instead of playing in, the WS.

                  Okay, but let’s not act like if the Cardinals get knocked off in the ALCS, that means the Nationals or Pirates will represent the NL in the World Series. There’s only 4 teams that make it from each league. All 4 teams are good teams. Maybe not the best team, but what separates the best team from the 4th best team, like 8, 9 games at most? Not a horrible travesty of justice.

                  The negative effect of inter-league play is that each league plays by a different set of rules, and the major compromises made by each league bastardize the game they normally play.

                  And that’s a DH problem, not an interleague play problem. By that logic, we shouldn’t have the World Series either, since it has the same DH/non-DH problem that interleague play has.

                • Ed

                  I agree with Tommy.

                  Letting all the teams play each other just makes things a little more interesting. Yeah, it sucks a little to have AL pitchers batting, but it’s not that big a deal.

                  I don’t think 4 playoff teams is unreasonable. It’s about 13% of the teams making the postseason. If you go back to when it was 8 teams per league and just the World Series, you had 12.5%, so it’s about the same now. 3 divisions plus a wild card does a little to balance out the inequality of the divisions.

                  And I think the unbalanced schedule actually makes sense with the current setup. The playoff setup favors being good enough to win your division over being good overall, so it makes sense that you should have to test yourself against your direct opponents more than the other divisions. If you went with a balanced schedule, I think you’d have to go with strictly the 4 best records in the postseason to keep it fair.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  I don’t think 4 playoff teams is unreasonable. It’s about 13% of the teams making the postseason.

                  Your math is off. It’s 4 per league, not 4 in total. It’s 26%, not 13%.

                • Ed

                  Doh. Thanks for correcting me.

                • Sweet Dick Willie

                  but what separates the best team from the 4th best team, like 8, 9 games at most? Not a horrible travesty of justice.

                  Usually, yes, it isn’t a problem. But sometimes (2003 Braves were 10 games > Marlins; 2005 Cardinals 11 > Astros; 2006 Mets 14 > Cardinals) it is. If it happens in the WS (and it does), at least the best team in each league was there.

                  And that’s a DH problem, not an interleague play problem.

                  But the whole problem w/ interleague play is the two leagues play by different rules. It would be akin to the NFL playing the CFL.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  So then fix the DH problem. Don’t fix the interleague play problem, that’s not a problem.

                  Or, eliminate the World Series.

                • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  I don’t like interleague play because I don’t like unbalanced schedules, not because one league has the DH and one team doesn’t, but that may be straying a bit too far from the topic being discussed here. I think complaints about different rules in the leagues miss the point.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  NOBODY CARES WHAT YOU LIKE, FATTY!!!!!!

                • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  I eat because I’m unhappy, and I’m unhappy because I eat. It’s a vicious cycle. Now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s someone I’d like to get in touch with and forgive… myself.

  • Jose

    I honestly like how it is right now. I don’t see the need for any changes. Maybe add the World Series of Losers (trademark pending). The two teams with the worst records in the NL and AL play in a best of 7 series. The winner gets the first draft pick the next year. The loser has to endure glove beatings issued by Bud Selig. I’m already selling tickets to this years inaugural game of Baltimore versus Washington. The television rights belong to ESPN “The Ocho”.

  • Captain Bawls

    The ONLY way I’d extend the playoffs is making the LDS best of 7. Best of 5, the weaker team can hit a 3 game hot streak and upset the better team.

    • Upstate Nick

      Agreed, my only real beef with the current system is the shortness of the LDS. That’s where bad luck can really screw you over.

      • Bo

        Like say Jaret Wright starting a close out game?

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

    I vote that we let all 30 teams make the playoffs. That way teams with small payrolls have a chance to win year in and year it, and it completely dilutes the talent pool in the postseason. I also suggest we go to a single game elimination with four days off between rounds so that the teams with depth aren’t rewarded at all.

  • wilcymoore

    This was a totally asinine suggestion by Gammons. The reasons he gave for this idea were that 1) there are no close races this season and this has diminished fan interest in September baseball, and 2) baseball loses fan interest in the fall to college and pro football.

    First, the fact that there are no really close races this year is a random event. It’s foolish to make major changes to the playoff format because in 2009 there were few teams in the mix at the end of the season. We could have six close pennant races next year. Second, it is fact of life that, come September, baseball will lose some fan interest to the new college football and NFL seasons.

    Don’t want to compete with the NFL for fan appeal? Then make the the MLB season shorter.

    Obviously, that’s not going to happen. But adding another level to the playoffs – even a “play-in” game – further extends an already long season. As it is, this year’s World Series is projected to last into November. This is just a dumb idea, which would have an effect contrary to Gammons’ expressed purpose.

  • Coach6423

    Anyone see Starks new article, rating pitching staffs for the playoffs??

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      How the Cardinals aren’t at 1 is beyond me.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Do they play in Boston? No? Well, there’s your answer.

      • Coach6423

        Because Bucholtz has a 1.74 ERA in the last month (he fails to say its against the Blue Jays and Orioles), and DICE K BEATS THE ANGELS!!11

        • Bo

          Pretty much all the playoff teams have warts with their 3-4 starters. Bucholz and Dice K are average. But lester and Beckett can go toe to toe with anyones front two.

          • Riddering

            But lester and Beckett can go toe to toe with anyones front two.

            …too easy.

            /TSJC’d

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              (golf clap)

  • Bo

    Theres just too much money in having an extra team make it. Its bound to happen.

  • Mike bk

    if we made any changes it would be to make the DS 7 games i think instead of 5 kind of like nba change from a couple years ago to change the first round.

  • YankeesJunkie

    the fair way is the one division per league. If not at least have the four best records go to playoffs. no wildcard.

  • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    I agree with this entire post. MLB plays a 162 game schedule, a schedule meant to determine who are truly the best teams, and then doesn’t reward the teams that perform best over the grueling long-haul. The MLB regular season/postseason combo is built on an inherent contradiction.

    I always like to look at the interests of the parties involved to try and come up with the best solution… Under the current system, MLB has a competing interests: 1) The traditional interest is to determine, over the course of an incredibly long season, who are the best teams, and then reward those teams; and (2) the more modern interest is to offer teams/fans the glimmer of hope, annually, that the postseason can be reached and keep a number of teams in contention late enough in the season that you get a number of teams involved in playoff races.

    With those interests in mind, I think the best way to achieve all of those goals is a system that draws inspiration from the British soccer system. Take the 15 teams with the worst records, put them in the lower league… let’s call it the “National League” (wink wink), and take the best 15 teams and put them in the superior league… let’s call it the “American League.” (More winking.) The teams in the National League play for promotion to the American League. Take, maybe, the top 2-4 teams in the National League each year, put them in a playoffs format, and promote the best 2 or so to the American League the following season. At the same time, you take the bottom 2-4 teams in the American League, put them in a playoffs format, and demote the losers to the National League for the following season. The top 2 teams in the American League play in the World Series every season. Or, while I prefer just letting the top 2 teams play for the championship, take the top 4 teams and let 1 play 4 and 2 play 3 for the right to play in the World Series.

    (Ideally… This will sound crazy… The regular season should just be crowned the champion. But we have to deal with the reality of a sports culture ingrained with playoff-itis. That being the case, the amount of variability should be reduced to its lowest level – either one playoff series between the top 2 teams or 3 playoff series (1 vs. 4 and 2 vs. 3 for the right to play in the World Series).)

    None of this will ever happen and I just wasted a lot of words on a pipe-dream… But the system outlined above, or a similar system, would accomplish the competing goals of (1)rewarding the very best teams and crowning the most deserving champion and (2) providing a competitive and exciting atmosphere for more than just the very best teams. The best teams, in all likelihood at least 6-8 of them, would spend the season fighting over those 4 playoff spots. The lower-division teams in the American League would spend the second half of the season fighting against relegation to the National League. The best teams in the National League would spend the season fighting to gain promotion to the American League. Playoffs galore, and the best teams are rewarded. Everyone’s happy.

    Blast away, I’m sure this entire post was dripping with crazy.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Mmmm… I just burned my tongue.

      • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        I don’t get it. :-(

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          It’s Mike Pop’s thing. It’s what you say when you have no response for someone’s really long and rambling (or really short and incredibly dumb) statement. I’m just teasing your audacity with a non-statment.

          Your ideas are interesting, but… Jesus H. Montero, talk about re-inventing the freakin’ wheel there. Good luck with all that.

          • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            Dude… The more I think about it… My plan is genius. Not surprising, of course, but still. That plan is amazing.

            Burn your tongue on that, Popavero.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              It is genius.

              Now go build a time machine, go back to 1903, and make it happen.

              • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                You know what, smart guy? Maybe I will. If you ever see this casino/hotel suddenly appear in the middle of Central Park, come on in and say hi. I’ll comp you a buffet dinner and we can watch the Blue Jays and the Astros duke it out for the National League title and the coveted promotion to the American League.

    • Mattingly’s Love Child

      I love this idea. But I agree it is crazy. The hardest part would be the transition to this format. How do you select which teams start in the NL? And I’m not confident that fans of NL teams would pay for expensive season ticket packages if they had no chance to move up to the AL. It could be a plan to disaster or an amazing plan the reinvigorates the game.

      • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        “And I’m not confident that fans of NL teams would pay for expensive season ticket packages if they had no chance to move up to the AL.”

        Totally valid concern, but here’s why it’s not a problem: In my system, the worst teams are much closer to games that matter, playoff games and a pennant race, than they are under the current system. Under my system, the worst teams are competing in a league of 15 teams, and all they have to do to get themselves into an exciting pennant race and playoff scenario is be one of the best 4 teams of the worst 15 teams.

        As far as getting fans to pay for tickets… I think people would be just as likely, if not more likely, to pay for tickets if their team has a chance at an exciting pennant race and postseason play than they would be if their team is perennially in the basement of the NL Central.

        • Mattingly’s Love Child

          In my system, the worst teams are much closer to games that matter, playoff games and a pennant race, than they are under the current system.
          I’m not sure I agree. The Pirates suck, yes. But they only have to beat out 5 teams in one of the crummiest divisions in baseball to make the playoffs in the current format. If they are in the bottom third of the 15, well they are further from contention. Granted they are playing other similar crappy teams, but there is more to leapfrog.

          I think this plan works fine for teams in the middle of the suckitude. They have a chance to really improve their fortunes in a short period of time. Teams on the very bottom, well not quite so much. I still love the plan, but I just can’t see it working.

          • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            First of all, they only play the others of the worst 14 teams all year, so they don’t suck but are really just one of the gang.

            But more importantly, look at it this way… The comparison’s a bit screwy because in the current system they play everyone and not just the other worst 14 teams, but this year the Pirates are 31.5 games out of first place in their division and 29 games behind the NL Wild Card leader. If you look at the Pirates against just the other worst 14 teams, and say they have to be the 4th worst team to get into the National League playoffs under my plan, then the Pirates are only 15.5 games out of the playoffs. They are considerably closer to postseason play under my plan than they are under the current system.

            • Mattingly’s Love Child

              Fair enough. Works for me. Since the Yankees would be at or near the top of the AL every year, it really doesn’t matter that much to me how the damn Pirates do in the NL! :)

    • http://tomorrowsnewsyesterday.wordpress.com/ jMK

      Solid piece of satire. Well done, Congressman.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Heh.

      • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        Nowhere in your short, insubstantial response did you come close to anything that could be considered a constructive thought. We did nothing but waste time when we read it. I award you no points and may God have mercy on your soul.

    • Charlie

      yea, its crazy alright.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Yeah, she was a ho… FOR SHO!

    • Giovanni

      While the idea is nice, one of the things you’ve overlooked is the abortion of MLB stats. Would stats truly have any significant value anymore? To illustrate my point, take a really good player (say Grienke) and let him play out his career in the National League on a team that never makes it to the American League. How do you compare his stats to an American League pitcher? Is his career worthless?

      • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        This is true of any player in any era. We have players who played when there were fewer teams, when there were no African American players allowed in MLB, when the mound was lower, when players got drunk and smoked cigarettes, when players got away with taking amphetamines, when players could take HgH and other PEDs without penalty, when there was no DH, when stadiums were bigger… I could go on all day.

        So… Look, I see your point. The stats would be funky, you’re right. I guess I just don’t care about stat issues that much.

        • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          “… when the mound was lower higher…”

          (fixed)

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    The only change I’d make about the playoffs is to remove as many off days and travel days as possible to make the playoffs mirror the regular season more. But I know that would dilute the TV ratings by doubling up more games, so it’s not likely.

    Everything else about the playoffs is perfectly fine as presently constructed.

    • Mattingly’s Love Child

      Instead of doubling up games, how about they play an early evening game, say 5pm. Then start the 2nd game at 8pm. Yes, there would be some overlap. If one game is on Fox and the other on TBS, fans would be given the choice to watch the end of a close game or the start of a game. More children would watch (always a good thing), and if the 1st game is a blowout, you wouldn’t necessarily lose interested tv viewers because another game is coming on soon (like the NCAA tourney).

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Go take a look at the price point for a 30-second ad at 5pm vs. a 30-second ad at 9pm. That idea is a financial non-starter.

        • Mattingly’s Love Child

          I’m well aware of the less draw for ad time, but if you’re selling the MLB Playoffs as an exciting event to be watched by tweens for the early PM timeslot, that is gold right there. Tie in something with the Little League World Series in August. Advertisers fall all over themselves to reach tweens, they can’t reach them at 9pm. They go to bed at 9pm. 5pm is their prime-time. It would take a very aggressive strategy to do this, and I would probably go crazy watching commercials for shit that my 12yr old brother-in law is interested in, but I think it could be done. Obviously business as usual is just easier.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            but if you’re selling the MLB Playoffs as an exciting event to be watched by tweens for the early PM timeslot, that is gold right there… Advertisers fall all over themselves to reach tweens, they can’t reach them at 9pm.

            Incorrect. Tweens don’t have disposable income like the 18-35 demo, which is why ad rates for tween viewing hours are deeply, deeply discounted.

            Seriously, I get your point, but there just is not money in televising games at 5pm EST. You’re leaving a ton of cash on the table.

            • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              TSJC’s right… If there was a financial incentive to broadcast games at 5, you can bet your ass that MLB would be broadcasting games at 5.

              • Mattingly’s Love Child

                The tween thing is a new phenomena. There is all sorts of research that tweens now drive the purchase patterns of their parents. They choose the dinner, they influence the car buying, they choose the cellphone plan, they inform their parents about the best types of televisions.

                No one has ever called MLB cutting edge in their marketing platform and tweens are the new frontier in marketing. But even so, the ad revenue is still not the same at 5pm as at 9pm. I understand why they wouldn’t want to make that change until there was overwhelming research, and the prices for marketing in that time slot went up.

    • Nigel Incubator-Jones

      This.. I grok.

      • TheLastClown

        /Heinlein’d

  • t

    I do agree with more teams making the playoffs more of a crapshoot but having an NBA style playoff where the top 8 teams would make the playoffs more interesting. If the mlb cut out 20-30 games (such as interleague play) we could add an extra round onto the playoffs without making the season longer. The problem is with teams getting hot you have a Colorado team in the world series that most people wouldn’t have even placed in the top 5 in the league a month prior.

    I’d also like to see interleague play cut out to build suspense for the best nl team facing the best al team for starters. That would reduce the schedule by 20 games, shortening the season.

  • cr1

    The current system makes economic sense so it’s not going away.

    But doesn’t make baseball sense, and it never did.

  • fabio

    What you fail to acknowledge is that the propposed extra wildcard team does not add to the crapshoot nature of the PS for the division winners, since they will be playing the same number of series. And it also makes the team with the best record have an advantage in the new format, since it is likely that the winner of the wildcards battle will have used their best pitchers to get there.

    If you just look at the probability the team with the best record in the league goes to the WS, and do a math model of it, I’d be willing to bet it in fact increases in the new format. It really is a way of rewarding the teams that played well for the whole season.

  • MikeD

    I’d rather they eliminate the wild card team, but since I know that’s not going to happen, I’d rather they add one more wild card team, because it will ultimately penalize the wild card winners. Here’s how:

    Have a one-game play-off between the Wild Card winners the Monday after the season ends. It increases the number of teams in the hunt for a wild card, yet guarantees the two winners nothing. The wild card winners would have to use their best pitchers to try and win that single game. Meanwhile, the division winners will have a day of rest to set their rotations, while the wild card winners will be beating each other up, while flying back and forth across the country in a single day.

    More money, more excitement, more penalties for the wild card winners.

    • Guest

      This is what I get for not looking at new posts while writing my own…

  • Guest

    Good post. We already have seen what excessive playoff pools can do to the value of a regular season *cough* NBA & NHL * cough*.

    But I think there is one system that could work for me and I don’t think would dilute the playoff talent pool that much, if at all. Plus, if anything, it would increase the import of winning the division and reduce the risk that a “Hot team” can win the title over teams that proved to be better over the 162 game season. Its been bandied about before in other places, but I will repeat it here.

    1. You add one WC team to each league. (So three division winners and two WC).

    2. The two WC’s in each league would play a one game sudden death “play-in” game similar to what would happen if a division tie breaker were necessary. They would play this game the very next day after the season ended. The WC team with the better record among the two WC teams would get homefield.

    3. The winning team would get one day off to travel to its division series opponent.

    Here are the advantages:
    1. One extra WC slot would, in most years, serve to keep an additional 3-4 teams in the playoff hunt for a couple of extra weeks. (Pure speculation, but I don’t think its that far off based on what we’ve seen over the last few years).

    2. It adds precisely zero extra days to the baseball season. It adds only one game to the baseball schedule.

    3. It penalizes the top WC team because a)they still have to play a sudden death game to actually get in the playoffs, and b). would have to choose whether they want to burn their ace on the pay-in game, or save him for the division series they hope to make.

    (You don’t think the Sox would have cared more about winning the division if winning the WC meant they had to use Beckett or Lester in a sudden death play-in game against the Rangers or the Rays before flying to Annaheim (if they won)?)

    4. Sudden play-in games are awesome.

    5. This doesn’t strike me as much of a logistical nightmare, since we only have to worry about making hotel arrangements in one city, rather than two, for the WC v. WC matchup.

    6. Sudden death play in games are really, really awesome.

    Thoughts?

  • JSquared

    2 Wild Card Teams… 1 game playoff!!

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    MLB: 30 teams, 8 playoff teams (26.6%)
    NFL: 32 teams, 12 playoff teams (37.5%)
    NBA: 30 teams, 16 playoff teams (53.3%)

    The NBA playoffs are too mediocre and watered down with too many bad teams rewarded, and they should probably lop off the 7th and 8th seeds and award some teams with byes or something (but that won’t happen for obvious reasons).

    The NFL playoffs are excellent.

    The MLB playoffs probably could stand to add two more teams if that’s what people wanted, but I personally think they’re excellent as constructed. But what should NOT happen is a contraction of the playoffs and a return to a 4 team or 2 team playoff. That’s just ridiculous.

    • Charlie

      agreed on pretty much everything here

    • JSquared

      Some 7 and 8 seed NBA playoff teams have won a series before. But Top 6 would be more intriguing, give 1 seeds a harder round 1 with the 6th seed playing them.

      Who deosn’t love the NFL playoffs.

      I wouldn’t add a WC team in the MLB because of the weather in November, unless it was a 1 game playoff between the 2 wild card teams, but that could be a luck factor.

    • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      “But what should NOT happen is a contraction of the playoffs and a return to a 4 team or 2 team playoff. That’s just ridiculous.”

      Playoff contraction and a return to a 4 or 2 team system would lead to more certainty that the best team is the playoff champion. It may be unrealistic because of financial concerns, but it’s not a ridiculous position to take. You just disagree with it because you like the current system. It’s still a perfectly reasonable position, even if you don’t agree with it.

      • Charlie

        No, its not a reasonable position. You could lose the interest of most of the fans of 28/30 teams not only for the playoffs, but for a decent portion of the second half of the season. You also take away a lot of the excitement, anticipation, and unpredictability of the postseason. There’s other problems with it too. its a crazy nutso idea

        • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          You do realize that until 1969 only 2 teams, the pennant winners, went to the posteseason, and until 1995 only 4 teams, the division winners, went to the postseason, right?

          • Charlie

            yea, i do. but that was 40 years ago and its different now. there’s absolutely no problem with the current playoff structure, so i don’t see the point of contracting the playoffs. if our team didn’t have the best record this year, you, joe, and anyone else in favor of this idea would all be singing a different song.

            • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              Different eras. True, true.

              “if our team didn’t have the best record this year, you, joe, and anyone else in favor of this idea would all be singing a different song.”

              I do take issue with the quote above, though. My opinions on this topic, and I’d imagine Joe’s as well, are not dictated by the Yankees’ position in the standings.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                Different eras. True, true.

                No way to compare it.

                /ghostofalexgonzalez’d

              • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                PS: If my opinions were affected by the Yankees’ postseason chances, wouldn’t I be on your side of this argument and not on the side of playoff contraction? Your side offers the Yankees a much better chance of making the postseason every year, while my side offers them a worse chance. If anyone can be accused of forming their opinion based on what’s best for the Yankees, it’s certainly not me.

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

              So you believe an issue I thought through is based only on gaining the greatest advantage for the Yankees?

              Charlie, what you said was insulting. Thanks buddy.

              • Charlie

                not that its only based on gaining an advantage for the yanks, but i do believe you may not have written this post if you didn’t subconsciously (or consciously) realize the yanks are the best team in baseball this year.

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

                  Perhaps you think this because you assume I came up with this idea this year.

                • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  So the guy who wants to make it harder, every year, for the Yankees to make the playoffs is making his decision because he’s a Yankees homer, not the guy who wants to make it easier for the Yankees to make the playoffs every year? Well that makes sense.

                  Neither side has to have made their decision based on gaining an advantage for the Yankees, but for the guy whose side makes it easier for the Yankees to make the playoffs to accuse the guy whose side makes it harder for the Yankees to make the playoffs of basing his opinion on gaining the greatest advantage for the Yankees takes a lot of chutzpah.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        It’s ridiculous because gaining more certainty that the best team is the playoff champion is NOT the goal of Major League Baseball. MLB, like all sports, has two goals when devising it’s playoff structure:

        1) Reward the best teams in the league with strategical advantages towards winning the title so that the very best teams (who will draw the most casual fans) generally meet in the title contest and to reinforce the meritocracy of the sport
        2) Make the access to the title contest wide enough that teams who are NOT the best team still have reasonable expectations of reaching the title game to avoid the stretch run becoming a foregone conclusion and losing fan interest as their team drops out of title contention.

        Therefore, playoff pools should neither be too large (rewarding poor teams and increasing the degree of difficulty for good teams) or too small (precluding and eliminating too many teams too soon and diminishing wide interest in the season’s end).

        Eliminating a round, or two rounds of playoffs and shrinking the number of postseason teams from 8 to 4 or 2 would mean that the fans of the Tigers, Twins, Rangers, Mariners, Rays, White Sox, Rockies, Braves, Marlins, Giants, etc. would have stopped caring about 2009 a month ago. That’s not good for baseball. No league has ever shrunken the size of their playoff pool. There’s a reason.

        • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          It all comes down to what you think is the most important interest. I get that MLB has an interest in making money, and I get why they have the playoff system they currently employ. Not once in this thread have I said that baseball should drop playoff rounds or that it’s in MLB’s best interests to drop playoff rounds, and I even acknowledged, in my crazy manifesto above, that MLB has an interest in having more playoff series because they have an interest in keeping a larger number of teams in contention.

          All I’m saying is it’s not a ridiculous thing to want, it’s not a ridiculous concept. I, The Honorable Congressman Mondesi, would prefer if there weren’t so many teams in the MLB playoffs, because I’d prefer for the regular season to have more meaning and I’d prefer to have more certainty that the best teams wind up in the World Series and that the most deserving team wins the World Series. I know MLB wants to make more money and thus wants to have more playoff rounds, I understand that MLB’s interests are not necessarily aligned with my own interests. But my interest in having a smaller, more exclusive playoff system is not ridiculous or unreasonable. That’s all.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            I know MLB wants to make more money and thus wants to have more playoff rounds, I understand that MLB’s interests are not necessarily aligned with my own interests. But my interest in having a smaller, more exclusive playoff system is not ridiculous or unreasonable. That’s all.

            Fair enough. It’s not “ridiculous”, it’s just “unwise, all things considered”. Deal?

            One final nitpick: I’m not saying baseball should want the LDS and LCS rounds of playoffs simply to “make more money”. That’s an incorrect oversimplification.

            I’m saying primarily, baseball wants the LDS and LCS rounds of playoffs to continue to grow the game by rewarding more teams and more fans with success. If the playoffs are a very, very hard thing to get into, there will be more teams who have longer stretches of not making the postseason, and interest in that team will wane. An important part of baseball growing itself as a sport is to include enough teams in the postseason so that all markets have the opportunity on occasion to get to the fan interest bonanza that is October baseball.

            The money is just the highly desirable sidecar to the overall parity engine. One of the many reasons the NFL is king right now is that fans of all 32 teams (yes, even the Lions) can feel like if they make some smart decisions and catch some breaks, they can grab at least a wildcard berth and have a shot at glory.

            • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              “Fair enough. It’s not ‘ridiculous’, it’s just ‘unwise, all things considered’. Deal?”

              Deal, with one clarification from me:

              It’s unwise from MLB’s viewpoint, yes. I’ve never disagreed with that point, and, again, I acknowledged it in my crazy long post above and even modeled my hypothetical (and perfect) league playoff system with that as one of the guiding principles. I clearly don’t disagree with that assertion.

              But from my viewpoint, it would rule. I’m not MLB and I don’t always think that MLB’s best interest are also my best interests.

  • Omar

    I like the WC, four playoff teams per league seems right…plus it makes scheduling the playoffs easier. While it does add to the SSS nature of things a team like The Red Sox with three shutdown pitchers in Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, and the new Mr. October Josh Beckett may be able to beat a better team because of their staff advantage…it also doesn’t punish teams (as badly as otherwise) for playing in a tough division. The way the current divisions are set up, The AL East teams are at a huge competitive disadvantage compared to teams in the AL West and AL Central even with the Wild Card; I can’t imagine what it’d be like without the WC. I don’t want to add more teams to the WC, but it seems that Gammons only wants to so that it will make sure his beloved Red Sox get in the playoffs every year.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Step 1: Convince Selig that baseball needs a second wildcard in order to remain exciting enough to compete with the NFL
      Step 2: Convince Selig that baseball needs the Red Sox to be automatically granted that second wildcard because Boston is the biggest media market in the country and keeping them in the playoffs every October means that the playoffs will always be more exciting than the NFL. (If he balks, offer up Milwaukee as the auto-wildcard team in the NL for strategic, anti-Green Bay Packers-marketshare reasons. If he doesn’t believe the line about Boston being the biggest media market in the country, offer up ESPNBoston.com as evidence.)
      Step 3: Polish the non-plaque that I non-earned for being non-inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      /Gammons’d

  • Charlie

    i can sorta what you’re saying a little bit, but baseball and the playoffs are fine just the way they are. there’d be little to no excitement if the teams with the best records went straight to the WS. this will never happen, and it shouldn’t ever happen. the game is gonna be partially based on luck no matter what( ie, which teams stay healthy, which signings work out, etc). if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

    • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      “there’d be little to no excitement if the teams with the best records went straight to the WS.”

      MLB had that structure from the 1880s through 1968, and it was pretty popular.

      • Charlie

        it just wouldn’t work nowadays. baseball fans are used to the current system and getting rid of most of the playoffs wouldn’t sit well with many people at all.

        • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          Oh there would certainly be some growing pains and other problems involved with contracting the playoff system, I’m not saying it would be easy… But we do know that it’d work enough so that there would still be excitement and there would still be baseball fans… And we know this because that’s the way they used to do it, for a long time. It already happened, it’s not some fanciful idea someone dreamed up. All I’m saying is – It’s not insane and we do have proof that it can work.

      • Omar

        Because it’s exactly the same thing now.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        MLB had that structure from the 1880s through 1968, and it was pretty popular.

        MLB from 1880 through 1968 wasn’t competing with the NFL and NBA for the public’s attention. It was undisputed king. Those days are over.

        • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          Obviously that’s a fair point. But I’m not saying the smaller playoff system would be as big a money maker for MLB, or that it would bring more fans into the game, or that it would help MLB compete against other sports for Americans’ entertainment dollars, or anything of the sort. Again… All I’m saying here is that it’s, at the very least, not a ridiculous idea that would kill the sport, and that one of the reasons we know that’s so is because we know that it did work, once upon a time. I think there’s a little bit of misrepresentation of my point going on here.

  • pete

    I dunno. I agree that it’s counterintuitive and frustrating that being the best team doesn’t guarantee anything come post-season, but on the other, as far as the entertainment factor (sports are, after all, supposed to be entertainment) goes, I think having it be a little more crapshoot-y is a good thing. I think it’s cool that one guy can be a postseason hero – lets say the rockies get in and Jimenez pitches five 8 IP, 10 K games to lead the rockies to a world series championship. I think that would be a cool enough story that it would be worth it, at least until ESPN started frothing all over it. I actually prefer this system in baseball to what it would be or is like in other sports, because a well-constructed baseball team will be in the playoffs 6-8 years out of 10 because of how long players can be successful.

  • bottom line

    Excellent post.

    MLB has created a lottery system that makes a mockery of the 162 game schedule. It is simply too easy for undeserving wild card teams to run the board. At the very least, baseball, should give the wild card just one home game in the division series, just two in the league championship. It’s just ludicrous that a team that has bested a rival over 162 games risks losing to them in a seven game series. I know, they do it in the other leaggues. But why emulate the NFL– a Micky Mouse League that actually creates different schedules based on the prior year’s performance. How can anyone ever be sure that the best team has emerged?

    And while we’re discussing sensible adjustments, why not abolish the amateur draft, with its ridiculous inverted drafting order that rewards incompetence and penalizes success. The biggest reason for big-market spending is that teams that have done well have to overcome their weak drafting position by securing free agent talent. And yet ass-bacwards Selig doesn’t undersytand that and continues to punish big-market teams with low draft picks, revenue sharing, luxury taxes.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      (raises eybrows, backs away slowly)

      • http://goldenrule.mlblogs.com/ Bryan V

        WTF?

        Small market teams only real chance is securing good young talent, that is under salary control, so that they can compete. Where would the Rays have been last year if they didn’t get all those top picks in previous drafts?

        Doing away with the amateur draft, at least the way it is now, would destroy small market teams that would need to spend in order to compete. And since they can’t really spend that much…they’d be gone.

        When a fool calls somebody else a fool, nobody listens.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

          That’s an oversimplified view of draft abolition.

          The draft is an artificial depressor on the market. Personally, I think it’s a sub-optimal depressor. Obviously they’re not going to let teams go hog wild. But there are other solutions, like setting a draft budget cap for every team. That way each team is on level playing field, and the good teams aren’t penalized for fielding good teams year after year.

          • http://goldenrule.mlblogs.com/ Bryan V

            I didn’t give it too much thought, because I didn’t believe the original post deserved a well thought out response.

            But you’re right. A budget cap would be better, and it would help prevent players from dropping to the teams with more money like we currently see. The best players in the draft would be taken where they should be.

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

              I’m saying there would be no draft. Each team gets, say, $5 million, and everyone has at it.

              Some teams will blow it mostly on one or two players. Other teams will sign multiple guys. Each team can then craft their own strategy, rather than base theirs on what the teams ahead of them will do.

              • http://goldenrule.mlblogs.com/ Bryan V

                Okay…that’s cool. I guess. But what about those teams that already have a good farm system. They’d be more willing to “blow their load” on a Strasburg or Harper? While a team with a so-so or bad farm will spread that money out more?

                Of course, that would all even out I guess. So that sounds good on initial thought.

            • Omar

              Budget cap would be lame, who gives a fuck about small market teams who have trouble filling the stands on weekdays.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                Who gives a fuck about small market teams who have trouble filling the stands on weekdays?

                A) Small market teams who have trouble filling the stands on weekdays
                B) Large market teams who want better small market teams so that the overall level of competition is higher and the sport becomes more compelling and more interesting and they are thus able to charge higher rates for their TV contracts

                A rising tide lifts all boats

  • http://goldenrule.mlblogs.com/ Bryan V

    I tried to get through all the comments, in order to make sure I wasn’t repeating something, but I couldn’t do it. So I apologize if I’m “stealing” someone else’s thought.

    And that thought is…

    Wouldn’t taking the team with the best record in the AL, and the team with the best record in the NL, be unfair? Seeing as how the best team in each league may have an easier schedule due to which division they play in?

    Look at last season. The Angels had the best record in the AL at 100-62. The Rays had the second best at 97-65. So if it were simply the best AL vs. the best NL, the Rays would have been done after the regular season. But that would suck, seeing as how their division foes, who they play the most, had a .522 winning percentage. While the Angels division foes, who they face the most, only had a winning percentage of .443.

    So I’d say keep things with at least 2 divisions. And the division winners facing off in the first round of the playoffs, to see who represents their league in the World Series. And actually, the current system isn’t bad. If you just left it up to the division winners, meaning only 3 playoff teams, one team will get a bye in the first round…and that team may get that bye unfairly due to the unbalanced schedule (aka divisional schedule). So adding in a 4th would even that out. Especially since that 4th team, aka the Wild Card, could have a better record than one of the 3 division winners. Like last year in the NL where the Wild Card Brewers, actually had a better record than the NL West champion Dodgers.

    The one change I’d like to see is the LDS be best of 7, instead of best of 5. I feel that the best of 5 unfairly gives a team with only 2 good starters an advantage, instead of a team with a better overall rotation (or 1-3 or 4). Making that first round almost a total crapshoot. Instead of the better team moving on…which is the way it should be.

    • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      “Wouldn’t taking the team with the best record in the AL, and the team with the best record in the NL, be unfair? Seeing as how the best team in each league may have an easier schedule due to which division they play in?”

      Yes. There is no completely fair way of doing a playoff system. The only perfectly fair way is to have one league, have every team play each other the same number of times, and give the championship to the team with the best record (without a playoff system). But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t aspire to implement the most fair system we can, if we’re going to have a playoff system. (I get where you’re coming from and I’m not arguing with you, just clarifying where people on the other side of this argument are coming from.)

  • Riddering

    The problem with any playoff layout is that playoff series–no matter the number–can only offer minimal advantages to the teams that played better throughout the entire season.

    I like the WC and three division format for each league. However, I’d prefer it the DS was also 7 games. Lop off 3-4 games from the regular season so teams aren’t playing the postseason into late fall/winter (ie, anytime after September for le Tigers) and then bust out the rings, fools.

    • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      I had the same though recently, I agree with you. I hate the first round 5-game series, it’s too much of a crapshoot for my tastes. The very nature of the 5 game series is capricious, and it also lessens the effect of a team’s depth.

    • http://goldenrule.mlblogs.com/ Bryan V

      Although you may not be able to make the playoffs totally fair. What you can’t do, or what THEY SHOULDN’T do, is make the playoffs easier than the regular season. And by having a short series, you’re doing just that.

      In the regular season, having a better overall rotation tends to lead to a better overall record. But in a 5 game series, just having 2 good/great starters is all that’s needed in order to win. And that’s not right?

      Why should the first round of the playoffs be easier to win? Now THAT makes no sense.

  • bottom line

    “Doing away with the amateur draft, at least the way it is now, would destroy small market teams that would need to spend in order to compete. And since they can’t really spend that much…they’d be gone.”

    What nonsense. The Minnesota Twins are a small market team owned by one of the richest men in America. Selig has simpl made it possible for small market teams to skimp on payroll while they gobble up all the best draft picks. Then, they can poor-mouth their way to the bank as they collect revenue sharing and luxury tax payments. If the amateur draft market were open. big market teams would not be throwing as much money at free agents, actually improving the competitive chances of small market teams.

    • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi
    • http://goldenrule.mlblogs.com/ Bryan V

      Well, just by looking at the Twins you can prove your theory correct. However, not all small or even mid-market teams can spend like Minnesota can. The Royals, Pirates, Nationals, Marlins, among others would be in trouble if they were forced to spend more in order to get better draftees/amateurs.

  • bottom line

    But they would benefit enormously– and immediately– if the big market teams were less driven to spend on free agents. Given a fair crack at amatuer talent, they would not have to pay many multiples more for proven talent. The Pirates and ROyals would thereby have a better shot at keeping their own players.

    • http://goldenrule.mlblogs.com/ Bryan V

      Why wouldn’t a team like New York spend more money on the Stephen Strasburgs or Bryce Harpers, AND AT THE SAME TIME go out and get the top FAs?

      I don’t buy that a team would spend less on FAs, in order to spend more on amateurs. Those two things tend to be separate when it comes to setting budgets.

      And PLEASE use the “Reply” button. It makes these convos easier to follow. There’s a chance this could get lost in others chatting.

  • brian g

    the best things the expanded playoffs ever did was give mattingly a shot at the post season…something our dismal 80’s and early 90’s yanks could never accomplish, so i thank them. other than that..AL east and west…NL east and west….7 game LCS, 7 game world series… we will never see much contraction in the majors….only a few teams have to go anyway…(i’m talking to you florida marlins, colorado rockies, boston red sox ha!, nationals, mets!!!!hahaha) seriously, you said it best…why have the season be so long if you don’t get rewarded for having a good one?..it’s not quite a raffle now but it’s not far with another tier of play offs added. i don’t want to see it…i’ve only heard the most peripheral talk about it so i hope we never see it…the game already rules…you just have to watch it….playing helps a lot too…play ball!

  • http://ryanhandt.blogspot.com/ handtius

    I have never seen a comment section with such long posts. It’s amazing (and not in a bad way). I can’t go through all of it, because that would take a week and a half.

    I really have no major issues with the post-season. I think the team with the best record should be give a little extra push at being the World Champ though.

    -I would start with the 5 game series. Best team plays the worse in their league, regardless of division.

    -The Team with the best record needs 3 wins to move on, the team with the worst, needs 4. This tilts the advantage toward the better record team, by attempting to remove the “lucky streak” from the scenario. In essence, it makes it a 5 game series for the better team and a 4 game series for the weaker team.

    -home field in the World Series simply goes to the team with the best record.

    That’s all I’d change.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      The Team with the best record needs 3 wins to move on, the team with the worst, needs 4. This tilts the advantage toward the better record team, by attempting to remove the “lucky streak” from the scenario. In essence, it makes it a 5 game series for the better team and a 4 game series for the weaker team.

      You know what? I like that idea.

      Best team in the league has their CHOICE to play either the wildcard OR one of the other two teams. AND, it’s a best of 5 series for them but a best of 7 series for the underdog.

      We choose Detroit and only have to beat them 3 times, but they have to beat us 4 times. And, I’d say we get the first two at home, then one on the road, then two more at home, then one on the road, then Game 7 at home. Stack the deck, baby.

      That allows you to reward the best team, penalize the worst team, and still keep the present 4-team setup intact.

      • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        I don’t hate it either. I think the regular season champ needs to be given a bigger advantage in its first round series and this is a creative way to do it without upsetting the established format.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          handtius wins the Axl Memorial (again) Poster of the Day Award!

          • Jack

            The Axl Memorial Poster of the Day Award™, presented by River Ave Blues©, a member of the YES Network® Blogging Network™.

          • http://ryanhandt.blogspot.com/ handtius

            Thank you so much for the honors. I didn’t even have a speech ready. I’d like to point out the war is wrong…stop the music, I’m not done, the war, we shouldn’t be there, we never fou…..(cut to commercial)

            seriously though, I’ve thought of this idea for years now. I think it cuts the chances of a lesser team running on luck or a hot streak or whatever. It gives the team that endured all year, a better chance to make the big show.

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