Blog Entry

Baseball hits grand slam with new playoff system

Posted on: February 29, 2012 6:18 pm

The new slightly expanded playoff system was always going to pass. There never was a doubt. And there is an easy way to explain why that is: what Bud wants, Bud gets.

But there is another good reason in this case. It makes sense.

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig wanted to add two more teams to the playoff mix, two play-in teams, actually, that will vie to become the wild-card team in a one-game playoff. Selig's support all but guaranteed it would happen eventually.

Though even with Bud's backing, the other thing you know is that these things always go right down to the deadline. Tomorrow is the official deadline to change the playoff format, though this is in reality a soft deadline, meaning it may take another day or two past the deadline to finalize things. But it will pass in time to make it happen for the 2012 baseball season.

Another reason it will pass is that there is no real opposition to the concept. The only reason it's taken right up until the deadline is that there are complicated scheduling and TV issues to be worked out. MLB needs to satisfy its TV partners as well as the players, who are the ones who will be performing in these extra games.

The new rule will put a greater premium on the regular season. Now it will be a bigger advantage to win the division as opposed because it means avoiding the winner-take-all play-in game.

Adding the ninth and 10th teams to the postseason mix opens things up a bit, too -- though not too much. Baseball -- and Bud -- are striking exactly the right note here.
Category: MLB
Tags: Bud Selig

Since: Nov 2, 2011
Posted on: March 1, 2012 9:28 am

Baseball hits grand slam with new playoff system

This just makes winning left even more to chance than before.  The best team doesn't win, just the luckiest.  You want a whole season to fall on one game?  One bad hop or wind blown ball to decide a 162 game effort?  MLB just wants more money; they could care less about the game.

Since: Oct 21, 2006
Posted on: March 1, 2012 9:09 am

Baseball hits grand slam with new playoff system

"puts a premium on the regular season".... 

That statement may be very slightly true for a division winning team.  Depending on how pitching matchups go down at the end of the season, the 2 Wild Card Team's aces may get used up in the play-in game.  That would benefit the Division winner.  However, it is not a certainty the ace would be able to pitch that play-in game unless it starts 4 days after the regular season ends.

On the other hand, the statement is absolutley untrue for the #1 Wild Card Team.  Now after struggling 162 games to win a Wild Card, (maybe even have 4-5 game separation between themselves and the #2 Wild Card) they have a 1 game take all.  I'm not seeing much premium being put on the regular season there.

If you want to put a premium on the regular season without this silly Gimmick, the first round of the playoffs should have the highest seeded teams get to play on their homefield for all 5 games.  This would have an extra benefit of shortening the first round (no travel days) so maybe we can actually play the World Series before it snows.

Since: Sep 21, 2006
Posted on: March 1, 2012 7:58 am

Baseball hits grand slam with new playoff system

Again with the salary cap argument?

Salary caps are for sports leagues that are either A) startups in need of cost controls and certainty in order to have any hope of staying alive; or B) overexpanded and thus in pursuit of "competitive balance," by way of forced distribution of talent, in order to keep fans in marginal markets clicking the turnstiles and tuning in (and, more important, local cable tv properties and corporate sponsors throwing money at the ballclub with the aim of attracting consumers).

Even if the Yankees (and Boston, and the Angels, and the C*bs, and Philly) could spend every last penny that they'd like on player salaries, they'd still be constrained by both the 25-man and 40-man rosters and rules and practices associated with them. Take that away, too, and the fact would remain that you only need a starting rotation of five (or maybe six) and somewhere between six and eight regulars in your everyday lineup.

And even if you could afford to carry the three best at every position on your roster, you can't offer the most money and expect an All-Star to take it if it means spending most of his time on the bench counting his bazillions.

Since: Feb 10, 2007
Posted on: March 1, 2012 2:14 am

Baseball hits grand slam with new playoff system

Rich .. couldn't agree more.

However, there would have to be a Cap CEILING .. AND .. Cap FLOOR, so the greedy bottom feeders that never spend a dime on their teams would have to open their wallets up.   This would close the gap significanly from the spenders and the cheap skates and create parity throughout the league, thus making more playoff races, which would put more butts in seats and make more $$$ overall.

Look at the parity in the NHL right now with that exact system .. NOUGH SAID

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: March 1, 2012 2:05 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Feb 10, 2007
Posted on: March 1, 2012 2:04 am

Baseball hits grand slam with new playoff system

More emphasis on the regular season .. you sure about that?

Think about this scenario .... the 1st wild card team has 97 wins cause they are in a division with the Yankees who won the division.  The AL Central has 94 wins ... the AL West winner has 92 wins ... and the 2nd wild card team ends with say 88 wins.  

Lets say this 2nd wild card team that squeaked in is Seattle and has the likes of Felix Hernandez.   You're telling me a ONE GAME playoff format is fair for a team that potentially could win 9 more games.  NOT

This new system makes even more of a mockery of the regular season than without it.   It is a very very very BAD idea.

The only way this could be avoided is if the teams that get in are RE-SEEDED in order of their record.   Thus a team that didn't win it's division, but had a better overall record than the weaker teams wouldn't be subjected to such a moronic system.

And for that matter, the 1 game playoff should be nixed and be at least a best of 3 making it at least somewhat of a series.  The 3 other teams Aces would only have to wait out a max of 3 games allowing em to play right to the end of the regular season if they want.

Selig is a clown.  All this does is ensure the Yankees have a better shot at winning it all by avoiding the other team's ace twice in a short series.   Very very transparent and horrendous.

Since: Jul 22, 2008
Posted on: March 1, 2012 1:59 am

Baseball hits grand slam with new playoff system

A play-in game is unnecessary. The wild card has been very effective at keeping alive multiple teams' playoff hopes late into the regular season. A noe-and-done game obviates the rest of a team's rotation. And, as mentioned by another poster, the 'winner' then enters the next round sans their ace. 

Bud: Please don't attempt to fix what's already working.

Since: Jan 14, 2010
Posted on: March 1, 2012 12:32 am

Baseball hits grand slam with new playoff system

I don't think it's a Grand Slam.  I think it's rewarding mediocrity.  Stop screwing with baseball.  People like it because it's nostalgic. 

Since: Nov 24, 2008
Posted on: February 29, 2012 11:54 pm

Baseball hits grand slam with new playoff system

I miss the four team format.  Sigh.  

Since: Dec 19, 2010
Posted on: February 29, 2012 11:48 pm

Baseball hits grand slam with new playoff system

Baseball is telling you now this will be it, no more additional teams in the playoffs. But, in the years to come baseball will end up being like the NHL and NBA. Half the the teams in the league will make the playoffs. It will be a joke. Not a joke for MLB though because its all about the money.The more teams in the playoffs = more games=more people in the seats and more tv time = MORE $$$$$$$$$

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