The Tuesday Discussion: Our Thoughts on the Newly Proposed Playoff System:
Derek McAdam – Rob Manfred is bringing more to baseball, but that is not necessarily a good thing to say. I have said for a while now that the Wild Card should be a three game series, and I like that aspect of it. What I do not like is that more teams are becoming involved. Baseball is one of those sports where to be in the playoffs, you have to have a solid season. The top three division winners make it in each league, plus the next two best teams. It seems that this proposal is just a chance for baseball to make more money, which is fine. But overall, I do not like this proposal.
Lincoln Mitchell – The proposed new playoff system is an absurdity, wrapped around a joke surrounded by a farce. It is a terrible idea that both renders the regular season less important while making the postseason less watchable. If you asked an AI program to come up with a worse idea it probably would be unable to do so.
Mike Whiteman – As a self-described traditionalist, the proposed playoff format is really a non-starter for me. Adding two more playoff teams to each league rewards mediocrity (a look at this system if in place over the past five years reveals some years with playoff teams with losing records) and the first round three game series’ adds more of a chance that a lesser team could knock off a team that was twenty games better during the season. Allowing teams to pick their opponents and having it on live TV gives an amateurish feel. I really hope this doesn’t happen.
Ed Botti – It’s so absurd that I honestly do not know where to start. It dilutes the regular season. It makes a mockery of the integrity of the playoffs. It will add teams that may not even be at .500 to the playoffs. And the reality TV aspect is completely ridiculous.
All in all, it is just a poorly conceived money grab on the part of the Commissioner. Looking at the timing of this, I wonder if this was “leaked” simply to distract everyone from Manfred’s failure to discipline the Astro players and the unexpected outrage that followed? MLB’s version of an overton window!
It didn’t work.
Andy Singer: The proposal MLB floated to change the current playoff system can only be described as a joke. This proposal cheapens the regular season by adding too many teams to the playoff pot. Under a new system, it is conceivable that a team could reach the playoffs with a record below .500. That’s just wrong.
Additionally, I’m not a fan of turning the playoffs into a reality show selection process. MLB has a lot of work to do if this is the best idea they had for the playoffs.
John Nocero – Things evolve. In 1995, people complained about the new playoff proposal involving the wild card. Then the Yankees made it into the playoffs for the first time in Don Mattingly’s career and had one of the most epic playoff series ever with the Seattle Mariners. Now, with playoff byes and a reality-based Sunday night program with teams picking their opponents. People are up in arms, wishing for the the golden age of Spike Eckert as commissioner: 2 hour games, complete games, two teams in playoffs, great pennant races, exciting world series, building a winner based on smarts and not checkbook, affordable tickets.
If they only had a lawn to yell at some kids.
I know I’m in a very small minority among this group (maybe a minority) but I like this idea. I’m in favor of more playoff teams and keeping more teams alive later in the season. And playing all the first wildcard round games the same days would be a lot of fun – 6 very meaningful games a day would be awesome.
This is a sport where people are fine with some franchises payroll on a single player being what some pay for a 9 man lineup. But putting more teams in playoffs is the real issue? This is a sport where people said they would never come back, after strikes, after steroids, and they came back.
Look, there are have teams and have-not teams. this has always been the case. I think we all realize that there are have and have-not teams, and this has really always been the case. The battle for the playoff spots in both leagues has never been as tight and as exciting so deep in the season. If this change helps baseball achieve that tension into the final month, its likely a plus for many reasons, and this is better than a three-batter minimum.
There is no doubt that MLB many years ago decided to do away with its pristine tradition of only having champions in the post season. but it also did away with the uniqueness of keeping two separate leagues. this just seems like another step in the overall evolution, which includes the number of franchises competing. So since that has already occurred, I don’t think i’m as opposed to more changes now.
I’m not sure what the problem is. Everything evolves. Sometimes best to appreciate the past but let it go for something new to come along.