Blog Entry

Selig may have overstated playoff expansion

Posted on: April 26, 2011 12:57 pm
By Matt Snyder

Last week, MLB commissioner Bud Selig set off a firestorm of discussion when he said that baseball was moving "inexorably" toward expanding the playoffs to 10 teams. The format of which dominated discussion in the ensuing days -- one-game playoff for two wild card teams? Three-game series? More? -- but the player's union doesn't seem to think they're even close to agreeing on anything.

"We've had healthy discussions at the bargaining table about a lot of different schedule formats," union chief Michael Weiner told . "Included in those discussions were several formats which expand the playoffs in one form or another. But neither side has made any proposals. So it's just too early in the bargaining process to predict or guess where it's going to land."

Weiner further told that the players were open to playoff expansion, but the schedule of the playoffs and the regular season schedule would all have to satisfy the union. The collective bargaining agreement for baseball is set to expire in December.

It would appear Selig was a bit too quick to discuss the matter, though he did say he thinks the MLB is "moving toward" playoff expansion. To be fair to the maligned commish, he definitely qualified his statement.

Don't expect things to get hammered out specifically until the CBA is renewed in December -- and it will be, this isn't an NFL situation -- but definitely expect loads of discussion on the matter for the whole season. Especially when we get to the actual playoffs and people can use examples of what teams would be involved or left out.

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Category: MLB

Since: Aug 6, 2008
Posted on: April 27, 2011 1:35 pm

Selig may have overstated playoff expansion

Dan, didn't read the website, your URL messed up, but

Sure make 3 divisions of 10 teams each, EAST MID WEST.  Each team must announce at Nov meetings if it is going to use a DH in the following year.  Home team choice determines how visitors must play (no DH or with).  Lots of fun here, when some pitcher has to hit to help himself or a team like Pittsburgh turns DH to make use of it's surplus of bats.

Teams play only 3 game series, playing everyone in their division of course.  You want to establish a divison winner, so intra-divisional play needs at least two series.  The season length is shortened up, depending on how the non-division games are selected.  8 teams to the playoffs, pretty easy to see how to select them.  First round of playoffs is 3 games, it's good enough for the season and plenty good here (will stop the BS number of days off between series).  I favor 3 games in the second round too.  World Series would start fast then, players still in season-ending form, and be worth watching for a change.

The big factor here that is of interest is bringing teams like the Yankees, that usually sell out a stadium, to places like Pittsburgh (that can use every sellout they get).  A better mix of teams in 10 per division would stop the crap nowdays where a small division allows a GM to build a team that is only capable of beating two teams in it's division - which is enough to make the first round playoffs (i.e. Dodgers).

Since: Jan 12, 2007
Posted on: April 27, 2011 9:04 am

Selig may have overstated playoff expansion

Right now under the current scheduling system the only way to avoid going deep into November with an expanded playoffs and still play 162 games is to back the start of the season into March.  Then the geniuses who do the scheduling have a lot of northern games scheduled even earlier in March that get snowed out:  White Sox, Cubs, Rockies, Red Sox, Yankees, etc.

How about bringing back a taste of the old time and have SCHEDULED double headers?  I know the "2 for 1" would never happen anymore because god forbid the Rays or Marlins not collect from a new batch of 9,000 fans for both games, but they could still do "day-night" 7 times for each team over the course of the regular season - that takes 1 full week off the regular season right there.

Maybe then we won't see 20 pitching changes per game, managers would actually have to think a little about saving someone for the next game rather than have them come in to pitch to only one batter. 

IMO 10 or even 12 teams would be fine for playoffs, and if the season was cut back from 162 to 154 games so be it.  Its an incentive for the owners to recoup the revenue from 4 less regular season games by making the playoffs.  For those concerned about having the best teams get in, then do away with the divisions and use a conference-seeding format like NHL/NBA.

Since: Jul 14, 2008
Posted on: April 27, 2011 8:17 am

Selig may have overstated playoff expansion

Spot on Mikester. If it ain't broke - don't fix it.

There are certainly issues to be addressed, but these require individual consideration such as the value of the inter league games, WS home field advantage and so on. The suggestion of cutting the regular season for more playoff games makes no sense. The top 8 teams qualify on merit. I'm in England and the European Soccer governing body did something similar with the Champions League. Originally the best team in each country qualified for a knockout competition the next season. Now the best leagues have 4 representatives, generating more games and more TV money, but ultimately the title could (and has) been won by the third or fourth place team.

It has been said that the short series at the start of the play offs are a bit of a lottery. More teams would just increase this, with the chance that a 0.600 team is rolled over by a 0.500 team over a 3 or 5 game series. So the performance over the regular season then counts for nothing?

Maybe Bud is looking for some lasting legacy - being responsible as the man who shook up the baseball WS? I think he's already etched into history, but not for the reasons he would wish. 

Since: Jan 1, 2009
Posted on: April 27, 2011 7:46 am

Selig may have overstated playoff expansion

Your off your rocker lumpoco. Baseball can't cut the season of 3 weeks. Explain how a game that promotes its past history every season and lives by numbers will kill its game by making sure no one will ever break a record again. There has to be a min of 154 games in a season. I doubt we'll even drop to that number. 158 games would be perfect since its the middle of 154 and 162. They need a number of games where players could still have a realistic shot at breaking the records of old without making the record breaking too easy. They never should've gone more than 156 or 158 games to begin with and maybe Ruth or Maris record would still be intact. Of course steriods had a little bit to do with my past statement. They don't want to become basketball or hockey and make the whole season about the playoffs either. Thats why most people dont' even turn on a hockey game till the playoffs start. The alignment right now is perfect and adding one wildcard team to each league makes everything better for races in September. If they started the season on April 1st every year and finished the season on the last day of September and didn't leave much space between games for tv they could easily finish the WS before November 1st. One of the things that works for the NFL is the fans don't have to think. They know exactly when the playoff games are and when the Superbowl is going to be played every year. MLB needs to do something similar with scheduling.

Since: Feb 1, 2009
Posted on: April 27, 2011 5:41 am

Selig may have overstated playoff expansion

Whatever type of expansion they settle on, I am for it!  For once, Bud is winning!  To make room in the schedule, they should shorten the regular season back to 154 games.   

Since: Mar 21, 2010
Posted on: April 26, 2011 11:30 pm

Another "bright" idea from Bud Selig

When does Bud Selig's term as commissioner come to an end? (That was just a rhetorical question). It just seems like an ongoing nightmare of one bad decision after another. He has been commissioner for almost 20 years now and he seems to come up with one hair-brained scheme after another. 
I don't know if Bud noticed it or not but regular season National Football League games are now beginning to draw more viewers to it than the World Series games. Case in point was the Hallloween night game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and New Orleans Saints which outdrew Game 4 of the World Series between the Texas Rangers and the San Francisco Giants in the Nielsen ratings. So now he wants to expand the playoffs which would probably push the end of the World Series into mid-November. Brilliant move Bud.Yell

Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: April 26, 2011 10:28 pm

Selig may have overstated playoff expansion

There just scared if they do this, the lame divisions where teams go 5 games above .500 & make the playoffs won't have as much representation... GOOD...if you can only win like 5 games more than you lose in a 162 game don't deserve to make the playoffs....The Blue Jays have had better records than some of these lame playoff teams....I know people are emotional over this, but if your not a Yankees,Red Sox,Twins,White Sox fan in the AL for example...there are months & months of meaningless baseball.....I know fans in Toronto (among others) know it, that's why no one shows up to the games after a certain point in the season.

Since: Apr 26, 2011
Posted on: April 26, 2011 9:04 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: April 26, 2011 9:02 pm

Selig may have overstated playoff expansion

R8derfan.....LOL I gave u a 5.... He is the commish because he is in the palm of the owners...Replay? Makes the umpires admit they are wrong, drags the game outside of the "baseball tv window"....WS in November? Money....2nd best team on the road? Concocted rivalries...Interleague games? Bad idea that gets worse of a bad idea every year.....Balanced schedule? Travel time, uh, money....PetebRose? He wasn't serious when he kissed the commishes arse during "the appology".....

But then, all your comments were profound and tongue in cheek... Way to go.

Since: Jul 28, 2007
Posted on: April 26, 2011 8:24 pm

Selig may have overstated playoff expansion

I was planning on writing a response to the original article, and then you said EVERYTHING that was on my mind.  THANK YOU RAIDER FAN. 

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