Blog Entry

Players, managers react to new playoff format

Posted on: March 1, 2012 1:46 pm
Edited on: March 1, 2012 4:46 pm
By Matt Snyder

MLB Playoff expansion
With the news spreading throughout baseball that playoff expansion is very likely for the 2012 season, some reactions from players and managers have started to trickle out of camps. As one would expect on a divisive issue, the reactions are all over the map.

For a very brief recap to those who haven't read about it yet, it's extremely likely that starting this season, MLB will have two wild card teams play one head-to-head game, with the winner advancing to face the division winner with the best record in the LDS. The second and third division winners will face each other. The new collective bargaining agreement established that this system would begin by 2013, but it's likely it will begin this season.

Anyway, here are some of the reactions we've gathered thus far:

Blue Jays manager John Farrell ('s Danny Knobler)

"I think it's great for baseball. Hopefully, we're in the mix to land one of those spots."

Mets third baseman David Wright (Andy McCullough via Twitter)

"That would have been nice five years ago."

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel (

“It’s hard to swallow sometimes if you play all year and win a lot of games and somebody who did not play as good as you consistently all year gets in and wins. But that’s the way it goes and that’s the process that we live with.

“I understand everything about that and I’m not knocking that. That’s what it is. But at the same time, I look at it as I’m not a second-place guy or third place or fourth place. Basically that’s the part – for me, personally, you shouldn’t get nothing for second or third. That’s the American system.”

Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen (

"Anytime you involve more people, it's good for the game. I think the Commissioner is doing a tremendous job adding people to have a chance to see playoff games, and I think that's great for the fans. This game, we play for them."

Red Sox DH David Ortiz (ESPN Boston)

“One game? That’s kind of crazy. You know how many things we’ve got to move around and pack for one game? It’d make more sense for two wild cards to play at least a two-out-of-three series while the other teams take a break for three days because they won their divisions.”

Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (

"I think it's exciting. It's exciting for all of us. ... I think the goal was to allow more teams to have a chance in the end, to hold on to those playoff hopes for longer.''

"I think it was pretty unanimous around the league that the more playoff spots the better. Once you get into the playoffs it's more revenue for the ballclub, it's more excitement for the players, so I think it would be a no-brainer for everybody.''

"I don't think anybody's 'comfortable' with [one-game playoff] -- it's an uncomfortable feeling going into any game that you know you could go home, your season could end. But at the same time, it's exciting -- you're in the playoffs now.''

Braves third baseman Chipper Jones (

"I'm not for it. I think the elite teams deserve to make it to the playoffs. Pretty soon, Major League Baseball is going to be like the NBA. There will be more teams that make it than don't. The season is too long as it is. Now you're going to give teams more travel. I don't agree with it, but we're just a piece of meat. We do what they tell us to."

Braves backup catcher David Ross (

"I like the one game for all of the marbles kind of thing because it's either put up or shut up," Braves backup catcher David Ross said. "It's going to be fun. The fans are going to be tuned in. It will get a lot of media attention. It will be a lot of fun."

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly (ESPN Los Angeles)

"I like it because it forces those two teams to use their best pitcher, so they have to use that guy to get in (to the next round). On paper, that gives the advantage to the team that wins the division because they can line up their rotation the way they want it. It seems fair to me that the team who wins the division gets that advantage.''

White Sox pitcher Chris Sale (

"Obviously, it’s exciting. Two more teams into the playoffs. At the same time, you want to be one of those teams for sure in there. You want to win the division. "They said it today, you are not playing for second place. It would be great if that did happen, but from here on out, we are going for that No. 1 spot."

White Sox manager Robin Ventura (

“In the past, when they added (the wild card), it created excitement and even last year, the last day of the season it added fun. You never know. It just depends on how the season goes. But it’s exciting for teams to get in. That’s for sure.”

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Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: March 2, 2012 4:32 pm

Players, managers react to new playoff format

The AL East Rule is now in effect -- congratulations Massachusetts. All's left is for the NBA to adopt a Celtics Policy. 

Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: March 1, 2012 7:45 pm

Players, managers react to new playoff format

Last year's down to the wire races were awesome, now they are goofing that up.  I'm a big Selig fan, but they're doing this wrong.  If they wanted expanded playoffs, they should leave Houston in the NL, go to 2 divisions in each league, in each division have 3rd place play at 2nd place in a 3 game series for right to play a real division championship v the 1st place team, then the league championships.  In this scenario, drop back down to 154 game schedule and expand by two teams when the time is right.

Since: May 20, 2007
Posted on: March 1, 2012 7:11 pm

Players, managers react to new playoff format

>starting rotations--except yours, maybe?

I don't think that will have much effect. I would think it would hurt bull pens more than starters but ??????
They used to do Sunday double headers weekly. Off days on Monday or Tuesday reset the rotation. Last double header I went to was in the 70s.

Since: May 20, 2007
Posted on: March 1, 2012 7:08 pm

Players, managers react to new playoff format

> and all that juicy revenue?

I agree that is why they won't do it. But they should. Teams like the Giants and Phills will lose money. But teams like the Buccos and A's would actually see more money because more people will go to a Sunday double header and that means more revenue from consessions and parking.

I bet a Sunday dh would draw more people in Oakland than they would draw on a normal weekend. I know I would go. But I see alot of A's games anyway.

Since: Jul 9, 2009
Posted on: March 1, 2012 6:27 pm

Players, managers react to new playoff format

Every series should be seven games. In order to fit it in by Oct 31st you play one double header every two weeks.
One ticket, two games. Back to back.
Interesting suggestion, Midget fan.  I've heard worse.  But they'll never buy it.  Think the teams want to give up those six or so home dates per club and all that juicy revenue?  And just think of the havoc it would wreak with the teams' starting rotations--except yours, maybe?

Since: Jul 9, 2009
Posted on: March 1, 2012 6:19 pm

Players, managers react to new playoff format

"Very likely"?  "Extremely likely"?  When the heck are they going to decide?   Aren't  the teams and their players entitled to know before the season starts?

As to the comments, I like Chipper's. 

Since: May 20, 2007
Posted on: March 1, 2012 4:34 pm

Players, managers react to new playoff format

Lets settle a marathon with a 20 metter dash. Dumb! Almost as dumb as the DH.
Every series should be seven games. In order to fit it in by Oct 31st you play one double header every two weeks.
One ticket, two games. Back to back.
Too simple for the pea brains in charge to understand I know.

Since: Jun 3, 2010
Posted on: March 1, 2012 3:45 pm

Players, managers react to new playoff format

The Cardinals were 12 games worse than the Phillies last season, but entered the playoffs on equal footing. Did they "deserve" to be?

- Matt

Since: Sep 4, 2007
Posted on: March 1, 2012 3:32 pm

Players, managers react to new playoff format

I find little faith in a One Game series, with the staggering number of regular season games, what happens when a wild card team has a record that far surpasses the other wild card team.  If the team with a worse record wins a one game playoff i do not feel they deserve to move on.  At least make it a 3 game series.  Yeesh.

Since: Jun 3, 2011
Posted on: March 1, 2012 3:07 pm

Players, managers react to new playoff format

Ortiz misses the point.  BECAUSE it is so hard to move all of your stuff twice in two days (assuming you win), it gives the league #1 a clear advantage.  If you just wanted more playoffs like the NHL or NBA or NFL, then sure, you create additional series.  But if you want to reward the 162 games (as opposed 80 or just 16), then you should make it difficult on the wildcard teams.

Also, I'm a Phils fan, and I love that Chah-lee has taken us to multiple pennants of various types...but his comments are always illiterate, and this one is no exception.  Reporters should stop asking him for quotes...go talk to J-Roll or Shane or Hunter---please!!!!!    

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