Thursday, April 21, 2011

What The Hell, Why Not Let All 30 MLB Teams Make The Playoffs

I should probably bite my tongue, since (a) I've found myself enjoying the addition of the Wild Card much more than I had thought I would (being a purist at heart), and (b) Bud Selig has won a couple of chips from me given his move yesterday to wrest back control of the Dodgers. But the news that the number of playoff teams will almost certainly expand 25% to include 10 teams next year is still a little weird to consider:

NEW YORK -- With both sides expressing support for adding two playoff teams in 2012, negotiators for baseball players and owners are considering having the new wild-card round be best-of-three or winner-take-all.

Because longer series would push playoffs deeper into cold weather, the sides are not considering have the new first round be best-of-five of best-of-seven.

"I would say we're moving to expanding the playoffs, but there's a myriad of details to work out," commissioner Bud Selig said Thursday at his annual meeting with The Associated Press Sports Editors. "Ten is a fair number."

Since 1995, eight of the 30 baseball teams make the playoffs. In the NFL, 12 of 32 teams make the playoffs. In the NBA and NHL, 16 of 30 advance to the postseason.

"I think it's great," Red Sox manager Terry Francona told the Boston Globe of adding a second wild-card team. "I wish we were hockey. I don't like hockey but the more teams the better."

Yeah, MLB should really model itself after hockey, which no one watches, and the NBA, whose "second season" of interminable playoffs is mocked.

In the new format, the two wild cards in each league would meet, and the winners would advance to the following round against division winners.

"The more we've talked about it, I think we're moving inexorably to that," Selig said.

I suppose 10 of 30 is still a smaller percentage than 12 of 32, by a hair (and 10 is still the lowest absolute number). And this would resolve the whole "wild card teams get an unfair advantage" complaint, especially if compressed schedules mandate that the advancing wild card team would likely not be able to throw their #1 starter to start the next NLDS. Okay, maybe I'm warming up to this already. Or maybe that's the scotch talking.


NicJ said...

As dodger fans I don't think we have to be worrying about the playoffs any time soon.

Josh S. said...

Wild Card 2: Wild Carder