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-   -   New MLB Playoff Proposal (Stupid) (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=890070)

Jim Taggart 02-14-2020 02:34 PM

New MLB Playoff Proposal (Stupid)
 
Almost gagged when I heard it.

As I understand it there will be 14 playoff teams (out of 30), 7 in each league. Idiotic.

If I read this right the top 2 seeds in each league get a bye (not the greatest thing in baseball)...the second seeds get to "choose" their opponent out of the bottom 3. (reality show stupid).

They're also talking about adding the DH to the NL which I oppose.

Slowly and methodically ruining the sport.

JT

russian heel 02-14-2020 07:03 PM

I actually find the idea intriguing though I think you can do the same thing with only 12 teams and 4 getting the bye.

I’m a little confused on the “pick ‘em” deal I thought whoever got the bye also got to pick their opponent. I agree the rest period is problematic but there is an advantage in getting to rest your arms after a long season.

In many ways it’s a callback to the old timey days where only the best team in the standings from each league went to the World Series as it gives those teams a HUGE advantage in the playoffs and makes the regular season mean even more.

As for the DH, I’m a purist but I also have accepted that it’s going to happen sooner or later. It hasn’t ruined the AL and won’t ruin the NL either.


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asahi 02-14-2020 07:35 PM

Baseball will either have to accept that it's will be increasingly antiquated in a world that's moving faster and faster, or it will have to eventually adapt.

If the complaint is that the game is too long, maybe we should just say that the game ends at 3 hours - end of story, whether we've played 9 innings or 5.

asahi 02-14-2020 07:36 PM

Does the top seed also get to choose which technology it uses to steal signs?

russian heel 02-14-2020 08:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by asahi (Post 22139746)
Baseball will either have to accept that it's will be increasingly antiquated in a world that's moving faster and faster, or it will have to eventually adapt.



If the complaint is that the game is too long, maybe we should just say that the game ends at 3 hours - end of story, whether we've played 9 innings or 5.


I was thinking that too but I’m worried about managers using “stalling” tactics when they have a big lead and making the game actually move slower.


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P-man 02-14-2020 09:38 PM

If they don't cut the number of regular season games, I don't think they should make the playoffs last longer. I love baseball, but I don't think it should go into November.

P-man 02-14-2020 09:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by asahi (Post 22139748)
Does the top seed also get to choose which technology it uses to steal signs?

If they play the Nationals, the technology may not be enough.

asahi 02-14-2020 10:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by P-man (Post 22139913)
If they play the Nationals, the technology may not be enough.

I forget where, but there's a great article on how the Nats were prepared for Houston's cheating. Players from all over MLB were talking, texting with Nats players to tip them off. The Nats were super-prepared for it. So prepared that they actually won all four of their games in Houston.

RickJay 02-14-2020 10:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by asahi (Post 22139746)
Baseball will either have to accept that it's will be increasingly antiquated in a world that's moving faster and faster, or it will have to eventually adapt.

They've said this about baseball for sixty years.

Anyway, I don't see what problem the new playoff format is supposed to solve. If you want more playoffs, just go all the way to 16 teams. Expand, too.

Oredigger77 02-15-2020 08:40 AM

More baseball is a good thing. I'm ok with the playoffs expanding as long as I can watch the games. I didn't watch the AL half of the playoffs last year since I think they were on ESPN or some other channel I don't watch. My only concern with this plan is that it will turn into college bowl season where I can only watch 3 games and not the championship.

I really hate the DH and I see no reason not to drop it from the AL rather than add it to the NL. There are plenty of runs in the NL so I find it hard to believe they are looking to increase scoring and if anything having the pitcher bat speeds up the game slightly. I can buy fixes to speed up the game like the pitch clock but a lot of this is just making changes for the fun of it.

RickJay 02-15-2020 09:20 AM

Scoring will likely decline in 2020; the balls will be back to normal. Since a huge percentage of scoring now is home runs - hitters are othgerwise not actually doing especially well - scoring might be very low. Last year the average NL team hit 220 homers, an incredibly high number without any historical precedent, but the league only batted .251, which is, historically speaking, unusually low. In almost every element of the offensive game OTHER than hitting home runs, today's MLB hitters are losing the battle to the pitchers. It is fact that the baseball was different (the stitches weren't raised as much, making the ball fly further) ad so the change that allegedly happened during the playoffs, and which is expected to happen this year, could see pitching really dominate, to the point there will be calls to cut down in strikeouts, which are totally out of control now.

https://www.theringer.com/mlb/2019/1...s-deadball-era

My position on the DH is that I'd would rather that the enormously valuable currency of MLB at bats go to professional hitters, men who dream of getting that chance, rather than guys flailing away and looking scarcely better than some of the people in the stands would. Anyway, the NL will adopt the DH within ten years, and that will be that.

Uncle Jocko 02-15-2020 09:31 AM

Here’s the actual proposal, which isn’t any less stupid than has already been portrayed:

- Seven teams in each league will make the playoffs, three division champions and four (four!) wild-card teams.
- The division champion with the best record gets a bye for the wild-card round, which would now be a best-of-three instead of a one-game winner-take-all affair.
- The two remaining division champions get to choose which of the wild card teams they prefer to play in the wild-card round, with the two leftover wild-cards facing each other. The highest seeded team in each pairing (the two division champs and the highest-finishing remaining wild card) would be home for all three games in that first round, so the three lowest wild card teams would get zero games at home in that round.

So the plan is, add teams to the playoffs, add games to the wild-card round, and finish the World Series by Thanksgiving, maybe?

I realize there was a lot of complaining about the one-game wild-card play-in system when it was introduced “one-game playoffs aren’t real baseball, you have to play a series, grumble grumble”), but my god, you can’t beat the drama. It gave division winners a real benefit, as even the winner of the wild-card game is going to have their pitching staff strained going into the divisional round. For those complaining about the unfairness of the wild-card game, my answer is, “win your division and you won’t have to worry about it.”

Anyway, this proposal is bad is so many ways, so much worse than the current playoff setup. At least this is only a proposal and probably has very little chance of being included in the next CBA.

Now, about this three-batter minimum bull crap that IS going into effect this season ...

RickJay 02-15-2020 11:34 AM

The only thing I really dislike about it is that it pushes the season into November. Other than that I think it's kind of cool. The season length problem could be solved by shaving a few games off the regular season, but that'll never happen.

If I were King of Baseball I'd expand to 40 teams, totally realign into two conferences of four five-team divisions, reduce the regular season and have 16 playoff teams.

Atamasama 02-15-2020 12:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RickJay (Post 22140388)
My position on the DH is that I'd would rather that the enormously valuable currency of MLB at bats go to professional hitters, men who dream of getting that chance, rather than guys flailing away and looking scarcely better than some of the people in the stands would. Anyway, the NL will adopt the DH within ten years, and that will be that.

I agree, watching pitchers go to the plate and either embarrass themselves or not even try and take the strikeout is awful baseball. I canít see how anyone in their right mind doesnít want a DH. But thatís just my opinion.

FlikTheBlue 02-16-2020 07:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RickJay (Post 22140388)
Scoring will likely decline in 2020; the balls will be back to normal. Since a huge percentage of scoring now is home runs - hitters are othgerwise not actually doing especially well - scoring might be very low. Last year the average NL team hit 220 homers, an incredibly high number without any historical precedent, but the league only batted .251, which is, historically speaking, unusually low. In almost every element of the offensive game OTHER than hitting home runs, today's MLB hitters are losing the battle to the pitchers. It is fact that the baseball was different (the stitches weren't raised as much, making the ball fly further) ad so the change that allegedly happened during the playoffs, and which is expected to happen this year, could see pitching really dominate, to the point there will be calls to cut down in strikeouts, which are totally out of control now.

https://www.theringer.com/mlb/2019/1...s-deadball-era

My position on the DH is that I'd would rather that the enormously valuable currency of MLB at bats go to professional hitters, men who dream of getting that chance, rather than guys flailing away and looking scarcely better than some of the people in the stands would. Anyway, the NL will adopt the DH within ten years, and that will be that.

Iím probably wrong about this regarding the home runs, and would like to hear why this hypothesis is not correct. What I heard was that batters are purposely trying for home runs and that they donít care if they strike out more often if that means a greater proportion of their hits are home runs. In the long run this supposedly leads to more runs scored. Sure, a juiced ball will add to that, but the underlying explanation is that batters are purposely swinging away, even with two strikes.

Oredigger77 02-16-2020 07:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Atamasama (Post 22140638)
I agree, watching pitchers go to the plate and either embarrass themselves or not even try and take the strikeout is awful baseball. I canít see how anyone in their right mind doesnít want a DH. But thatís just my opinion.

Because the good pitchers realize that they can help their team by actually taking hitting seriously. The Dodgers' pitchers focus on driving the pitch count as high as possible to knock out the opposing starter as early as possibl3 and then occasionally magic happens. That may have been the most talked about Dodger home run this season (or get it out of the ocean) and by adding the DH all you get is overweight old sluggers who can't play baseball any more swinging away.

Munch 02-16-2020 09:33 PM

There were more primary DHs under the age of 25 than there were over the age of 30 last year. The idea that the DH is still the refuge of the unathletic old timer is as misguided as believing that the double shift is some Gordian Knot that Alexander himself couldn’t decipher.

Dale Sams 02-16-2020 11:04 PM

I kicked my fanhood in the trash when Mookie was traded.

Didn't take MLB long to implement ideas that would make me retch...if i still cared.

Freddy the Pig 02-17-2020 03:37 PM

I don't like expanded playoffs because they devalue the regular season. I want meaningful baseball in June, July, and August, when the weather is nice (in Chicago) and I can actually go to a game. I don't want the only meaningful games crammed into late October and November, when the weather sucks and I'd rather stay inside and watch football and basketball.

Munch 02-17-2020 05:38 PM

I think the idea that the higher seed gets home field advantage for every game is significant, and counteracts the dilution of the regular season extremely well. Despite the anomaly that was last year’s World Series, playing around home is a major advantage that I see teams playing for.

RickJay 02-17-2020 09:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FlikTheBlue (Post 22141779)
Iím probably wrong about this regarding the home runs, and would like to hear why this hypothesis is not correct. What I heard was that batters are purposely trying for home runs and that they donít care if they strike out more often if that means a greater proportion of their hits are home runs. In the long run this supposedly leads to more runs scored. Sure, a juiced ball will add to that, but the underlying explanation is that batters are purposely swinging away, even with two strikes.

That is unquestionably part of the general historical trend, but does not explain the huge increase in home runs that specifically happened in 2019.

Hrnac 02-25-2020 04:00 PM

How about just not having the pitcher hit? No DH, no pitcher at bats. Position players would get a few extra at bats as the 27 outs would be distributed over 8 players versus 9. I also wonder why MLB doesn't just expand the Wildcard series to a best of 3 games with each team getting a home game. That might be a better first step on the ladder of playoff tinkering than the current proposal.

Atamasama 02-25-2020 04:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hrnac (Post 22158782)
How about just not having the pitcher hit? No DH, no pitcher at bats. Position players would get a few extra at bats as the 27 outs would be distributed over 8 players versus 9.

Seems sensible to me.

mjmlabs 02-25-2020 05:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Freddy the Pig (Post 22144195)
I don't like expanded playoffs because they devalue the regular season.

One could argue -- and I shall now do so -- that the proposed playoff tweaks actually return the value to the regular season that the first two versions of the Wild Card Era eliminated.

Consider:
  • In each league, only the team with the best record gets a bye for the initial 3-game series.
  • The division winner with the 2nd-best record gets a 3-game home series against their choice of the three lower Wild Card opponents.
  • The division winner with the worst record of the three gets a 3-game home series against their choice of the two remaining lower Wild Card opponents.
  • The winner of the top Wild Card slot gets a 3-game home series and no choice of opponent.
  • The three not-top Wild Cards have to travel to a 3-game series and have no choice of opponent.

So every playoff seed from #1-#4 carries additional benefit, which helps make the end of the regular season more meaningful. Even teams "locked in" as division winners will have incentive to keep winning, in order to improve their seeding. And with additional WC slots, more teams will remain "in the hunt" longer, so we could expect to see fewer of the late-season games where a team is already eliminated and so has no incentive to win.

But I concur, unless we put retractable roofs on all the ballparks, complete with HVAC, then there aren't enough baseball-weather weeks in the year for a 162-game regular season plus expanded playoffs. If MLB made every ballpark weather-proof, though, a bunch of fans would get cranky about "doing away with rainouts." :rolleyes:

RickJay 02-28-2020 10:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hrnac (Post 22158782)
How about just not having the pitcher hit? No DH, no pitcher at bats. Position players would get a few extra at bats as the 27 outs would be distributed over 8 players versus 9. I also wonder why MLB doesn't just expand the Wildcard series to a best of 3 games with each team getting a home game. That might be a better first step on the ladder of playoff tinkering than the current proposal.

That would dramatically alter seasonal standards for hitting records.

Having a DH is much preferable to that.

UltraVires 03-06-2020 10:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim Taggart (Post 22139187)
...the second seeds get to "choose" their opponent out of the bottom 3. (reality show stupid).

Agreed. This is WWF bullshit. So a team chooses its opponent, then we get to hear days of "Oh, they wanted to play US because they thought we were the easier team? Well, we'll show them what a mistake they made" chest thumping for each three game series each and every year.

I know these extra games mean extra revenue for MLB, and there was nothing wrong with the playoffs pre-1994, so let's not pretend that this is something good, but simply acknowledge that once again money wins out.

But, hey, at least after this goes into effect, ticket prices will be cheaper and beers will no longer be $11....right?

RickJay 03-06-2020 10:40 AM

Why would ticket prices be cheaper? I know you're being sarcastic but I don't even understand the moral point.

MLB has problems but "too many teams in the playoffs" is not one of them.

That Don Guy 03-06-2020 12:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RickJay (Post 22175101)
Why would ticket prices be cheaper? I know you're being sarcastic but I don't even understand the moral point.

Presumably, any additional money made would go to the teams, which, in turn, would go to the fans in the form of reduced ticket prices. No, wait, it would be spent in not demanding ridiculous amounts of money from cable companies to carry the team's games on the team's new regional sports network (I didn't mention any names, COUGHcomcastHACKmarqueeWHEEZE), wouldn't it?

RickJay 03-06-2020 01:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by That Don Guy (Post 22175256)
Presumably, any additional money made would go to the teams, which, in turn, would go to the fans in the form of reduced ticket prices.

But, again, you don't seriously think that even makes sense on any level, right? I mean, I realize it's fun to joke about the league being greedy, but that wouldn't be not-greedy, it would be stupid. It's as if I won $500 in poker and so I said "I should tell my employer to pay me less."

OTHER revenue streams have nothing to do with what tickets should cost.

Atamasama 03-06-2020 02:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RickJay (Post 22175375)
But, again, you don't seriously think that even makes sense on any level, right? I mean, I realize it's fun to joke about the league being greedy, but that wouldn't be not-greedy, it would be stupid. It's as if I won $500 in poker and so I said "I should tell my employer to pay me less."

OTHER revenue streams have nothing to do with what tickets should cost.

Yes, business doesnít work that way. You donít just lower prices when you start making more money.

I think thereís some confusion here. There are times when a business might lower prices. For example, if there was a beer shortage forcing a stadium to charge $11 because their own costs to get the beer are high, they may lower the price of beer once the shortage ends. A business hates to be forced to raise prices; once you are required to charge more than a customer is comfortable paying to make a profit, your sales go down and youíre not making as much money. If your own costs are reduced enough that you can sell it at a price that will increase sales, and you will profit, you drop prices and enjoy the increased revenue.

You donít lower the price of a product just because your overall income increases. There is zero reason to do that. A businessís reason to exist is to make money, thatís what defines a business, and you donít do things counter to that. Thatís just basic microeconomics, as well as common sense.

UltraVires 03-06-2020 03:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RickJay (Post 22175375)
But, again, you don't seriously think that even makes sense on any level, right? I mean, I realize it's fun to joke about the league being greedy, but that wouldn't be not-greedy, it would be stupid. It's as if I won $500 in poker and so I said "I should tell my employer to pay me less."

OTHER revenue streams have nothing to do with what tickets should cost.

Yes, I agree. I'm just frustrated in general with baseball, in no small part because I am a Pirates fan. It irritates me that I drive two hours each way, take the whole family and have to spend a fortunate on tickets, parking, and concessions and the Pirates don't invest in any talent to put a quality product on the field. And haven't for years.

The players are all basically spoiled brats with no connection to the fans. Why should my kid run out a ground ball when MLB players trot down to first and make a turn to the dugout 45 feet from the base? When I was a kid you could stand outside of Three Rivers Stadium and get the players' autographs as they walked in. And back then they were mostly regular guys; some made a good salary, but most were paid upper middle class wages. Now, at PNC, there is an underground parking facility so the players don't have to interact with mere fans.

And this year they are putting up netting from foul pole to foul pole which (not to get into that debate) puts fans another step away from the players, and takes away from your chances to get a foul ball.

Pitchers don't pitch nine innings; guys get a "rest day" every so often, no more arguments with umpires because of replay which has now changed the game entirely with this "in extra slow-mo his foot came off of the base 0.3cm for .01 seconds so he is out" plays; no more intentional walks; and players don't play for the same team for any length of time, and the regular season doesn't matter because everyone, except the Pirates, makes the playoffs.

Get off my lawn and give me back real baseball.

RickJay 03-07-2020 05:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UltraVires (Post 22175628)
Yes, I agree. I'm just frustrated in general with baseball, in no small part because I am a Pirates fan. It irritates me that I drive two hours each way, take the whole family and have to spend a fortunate on tickets, parking, and concessions and the Pirates don't invest in any talent to put a quality product on the field. And haven't for years.

I would be frustrated too. The Pirates' payroll for this season is projected at $43 million, far below any reasonable budget limit even in a small market.

Coincidentally, just a few hours ago I read an argument on Twitter than MLB should have a salary floor, and the Bucs were an example. I cannot disagree.

Quote:

The players are all basically spoiled brats with no connection to the fans. Why should my kid run out a ground ball when MLB players trot down to first and make a turn to the dugout 45 feet from the base?
This I simply cannot agree with. I have been watching baseball for forty years, and my honest perception is that they work much, much harder at their craft than they used to. Baseball players are vastly more committed to excellence than used to be the case, at least on average; there were always guys who were real pros, but there are far fewer slackers now. The level of hustle looks the same to me. There's always been the odd guy who loafed.

Quote:

...are putting up netting from foul pole to foul pole which (not to get into that debate) puts fans another step away from the players, and takes away from your chances to get a foul ball.
I do see your point about this cutting down on fan interaction. I think it has to happen; safety is important, and the sheer strength of hitters now is such that people are getting hurt, and no, it's not because of cell phones. I'd love it if they came up with a system to allow for interaction and then draw the netting up for game time.

AlTraina 03-10-2020 05:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hrnac (Post 22158782)
I also wonder why MLB doesn't just expand the Wildcard series to a best of 3 games with each team getting a home game.

Because there would be too long of a layoff for the divisional winners. Yes they can get their pitching in order but most teams manage to do that in the regular season anyway.

Atamasama 03-12-2020 08:09 AM

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