View Single Post
Old 02-11-2020, 06:19 PM
Omniscient is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Chicago, IL, USA
Posts: 17,702
Originally Posted by FlikTheBlue View Post
Iíve been reading about the NBA wanting to add a midseason tournament and expand the playoffs. The NFL wants to add another game and expand their playoffs as well. Now I see this story about MLB and some goofy (to me) ideas about expanding their playoffs and adding an element of the top seeds selecting which opponent they play.

Whatís going on with these three leagues wanting to make major changes? Sure, every so often teams are added, and MLB added the wild card a while back. However, I donít recall ever seeing a trend for changes this major in all three leagues all at the same time, and Iíve been following them since I was a kid in the 80s. Is this due to falling TV ratings? The owners of major sports teams all simultaneously becoming more greedy? Whatís going on here?
Short, cynical answer.....they aren't. It's just noise that someone floated in order to keep the clicks coming and to stay in the news during the winter doldrums of sport.

The NFL wants to go to 17 weeks (unclear if it's adding 16 more total games or if it's just adding a second bye week to goose the TV revenue) simply to make more money. It's not a big structural change. They also will never further expand the playoffs, the NFL playoffs are near-universally considered a perfect balance.

The NBA isn't going to add a mid-season tournament either. It's just food for the bloggers. Many will concede that 82 games is too many, but no one is signing up for a pay cut. Adding a tournament doesn't really do anything to replace the ticket revenue and it doesn't fix tanking.

The MLB is just doing a bit of "me too" action. They saw the NBA getting a bunch of free press and decided the spring meetings were the time to float a crazy idea to the media. There's a very small chance that they'll add more playoff teams, but I highly doubt it. The flagging interest in baseball has way more to do with the bloated number of games, pace of play and the horrible umpiring at the plate than it does the postseason format. The only meaningful change you'll see out of the MLB will be robot umps and DHs in the National League (which is when I exit baseball, stage right, for good).