Blog Entry

MLB playoff expansion for '12 extremely likely

Posted on: February 29, 2012 2:25 pm
Edited on: March 1, 2012 3:16 pm

By Matt Snyder

There is "momentum" for Major League Baseball to expand the playoffs to include 10 teams, five from each league, beginning in 2012,'s Jon Heyman has learned. Nothing is finalized but a deal is "extremely likely" and expected to be done soon. A Fox Sports report says the deal is a "go," also saying that a deal is close but not finalized. 

Michael Weiner, head of the players' association, told's Scott Miller that a decision is expected by Thursday.

Playoff expansion
The expansion of the playoffs to include two wild cards per league was agreed upon by the MLB Players Association and the owners in the new collective bargaining agreement, but the decision hadn't yet been made whether it would start in 2012 or 2013. Commissioner Bud Selig had set a deadline of March 1 on when there would be an announcement, so evidently he's taking full advantage of Leap Day. Regardless, expect an official announcement by Thursday at the latest. And expect it to be expansion for this season.

The new playoff format is expansion in the number of teams, but it also puts more emphasis on the regular season, in terms of winning the division. With this new format, the two wild cards will play a one-game playoff. The winner will then have to turn around -- possibly after having to use their ace -- and play the team with the best regular-season record in the LDS.

This new format should appease most clubs. The titans will be happy that a wild card can't slip in on equal footing (see the Phillies vs. Cardinals series last season) and clubs in loaded divisions like the AL East and NL East now have a better shot at getting into the one-game wild card round.

One argument some seem to have against the new format is that if this format was in place last season, the magical last day of the season wouldn't have happened. True, but we fawned all over that night because it was one in a million. Most seasons, we aren't going to get anything close to that drama in Game 162. But now, in the new format, we get two head-to-head, do-or-die games the day after the regular season ends.

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Since: Jan 11, 2012
Posted on: May 16, 2012 8:41 am

MLB playoff expansion for '12 extremely likely

I hit the nail on the head with this one, baby!

Since: Aug 11, 2009
Posted on: March 6, 2012 12:42 am

MLB playoff expansion for '12 extremely likely

dv thomas said he agrees with a more inclusive playoff system

Many have voiced approval of having more teams in the playoffs but none seem to give a good reason why this must be so.

Back in the old days when it was a far better game, we all thought (correctly, in my opinion) that you earned your way in the World Series by excelling all season long.  You did not rely on a fluke win or wins in the playoffs to get you into the WS.  If your team had a sufficiently good lead, you rested your starters,  brought in players from the 40 man roster, and allowed those rookies to get in some valuable experience late in the season.  Then was you were fully prepped and fully rested for the Series.  An exciting series followed as the players were able to give it a 100% effort.  Today, with these unnecessarily long playoffs, the teams are exhausted and often are not at their best for the WS.  That's too bad in my opinion. 

For those who still insist that today's system is best, do yourselves a favor and watch clips of old WS on youtube or some other source.  You will see that the game was far better back then.  And it was highlighted by an exciting WS where the players were all prepped, rested, and gave it 100%.

Since: Dec 29, 2006
Posted on: March 2, 2012 3:51 pm

MLB playoff expansion for '12 extremely likely

It's a money-grubbing move by a commissioner who has never cared about the fans; or the players for that matter.  Firing Selig is the best move baseball can make!

Since: Jun 15, 2011
Posted on: March 2, 2012 12:40 pm

MLB playoff expansion for '12 extremely likely

In the long run, this new rule won't impact the playoffs as much as people think. 

You still have 6 division winners.

The team that used to win the wildcard outright still gets to host the Wildcard game, and if they lose, they might be on the other end of it in other years when they're the 5-seed knocking off the 4-seed.  That will even out over time.  The way to look at this is 6 teams make the playoffs by winning their individual divisions, and 4 other teams get a second chance game to make it in. Eight teams still make the playoffs, but 10 teams have a chance.

Unless they eliminate divisions, play a balanced schedule, and seed the teams in the right order, nothing is fair.  So putting a bigger emphasis on winning your division, and bringing more teams into the race deeper into the season will be a good thing for the business of baseball.

They do need to do the following:

If they don't change the rule about the All-Star Game determining home field advantage, they at least need to make it clear a Wildcard team can't have HFA over a division winner.  Again, if they're putting a premium on winnig the division, then a wildcard team can't have an edge in any part of the postseason.

Since: Mar 2, 2012
Posted on: March 2, 2012 11:37 am

MLB playoff expansion for '12 extremely likely

Please, please dont expand the number of playoff teams. The season is long enough now and mediocrity should not be rewarded, like in the NBA. What is the game plan MLB. A winter series between the Twins and Rockies in the snow with below freezing temps because we spent an extra week and a half eliminating teams who finished 10 games out but "qualified" for a playoff spot because the owners, players and tv execs wanted more money? It's just ridiculous. I like the playoff system just as it is. If you want to do something, make 2 divisions in each league and just go with division winners. Maybe that would get some of the "dead beat" teams off their hind ends and actually do a good job, instead of getting rewarded for mediocrity.

Since: Jan 11, 2012
Posted on: March 2, 2012 8:17 am

MLB playoff expansion for '12 extremely likely

I gott agree with this one. There are too many tweaks these days to an already great game. Next thing you know, everyone will be in the playoffs like the other major sports. It's ridiculous when you start having teams with sub .500 records in playoof games. Where's the premium on winning. If I wanted to watch a bunch of losers, I could sit home and play with myself in front of a couple of mirrors.

Pat Gray
Cavendish, Vermont

Since: Jan 1, 2009
Posted on: March 1, 2012 8:17 pm

MLB playoff expansion for '12 extremely likely

I am really happy baseball is doing this but they should do more. I love how winning a division will mean so much more but those 2 wildcard teams did play 162 games so why not play a 2 out of 3 game contest. I understand their playing one game to show its like football. Win and your in the playoffs and lose you go home. But football has 16 games. 162 games of fighting it out shouldn't come down to one game. They should cut the season down to 158 games. Only 4 games won't affect past records. Remember baseball used to be 154 games and is now 162 so 158 is perfect. Then you add the 2 out of 3 round for the wildcard teams. Then play the Division series/ League Series and World Series. Division winners still benefit from this. They get an extra 5 days to rest after the season and the other teams will have used between 2 to 3 of their starters in the round before still screwing up their pitching rotation for the division series.

Since: May 20, 2007
Posted on: March 1, 2012 4:48 pm

MLB playoff expansion for '12 extremely likely

I think every playoff series should be 7 games long. Sure this would take you into Novemeber but there is an easy way to suck a few more days out of the year.
The double header. A real double header. One ticket, two games. You would only need to find about 14-18 days. That equals one double header every two weeks. Very doable.

Since: May 17, 2007
Posted on: March 1, 2012 3:55 pm

MLB playoff expansion for '12 extremely likely

For baseball purists, this is the latest change in tradition.
Soon, regular interleague ... DH for everyone ... more games in Asia.
Replay camera at every base.
How about a reentry rule?
Or a designated runner?

Since: Nov 17, 2011
Posted on: March 1, 2012 3:36 pm

MLB playoff expansion for '12 extremely likely

Im sorry johnU11.  I read it differently. 


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