[I hate you, Bud Selig!](I hate you, Bud Selig!) I strongly oppose expanding the baseball playoffs. 162 games in a season is enough to determine who the best teams are. You’ve already got a wild card slot. Adding additional -layoff games will just push the season earlier into March or back into November. I have no idea how’d you work out in years with a World Baseball Classic. This stupid idea will have more late March/early April doubleheaders being played in 40 degree weather to make up for snowouts or a Colorado/Minnesota World Series being played in November.
I agree with the OP’s basic impulse. But just for fun–
If you agree that non-winning teams don’t really belong in the postseason to begin with, making two “wild cards” prove themselves against each other might be seen as a reduction of that impropriety. You still get a non-first-place team in the next round, but at least they’ve faced an additional qualifier. Since schedules are imbalanced between divisions, a head-to-head meeting is the only way to judge the relative standing of teams in different divisions.
Also, I take a possibly perverse pleasure in watching baseball played in difficult conditions, so a Colorado-Minnesota WS in November sounds intriguing.
They said the Wildcard playoff series might be only 1 game, but no more than best of 3. I don’t see a problem with it, it’s being done for extra cash of course.
I like it. It’s for money, but also to have baseball matter in a couple more places late in the season.
In addition to the aesthetic failure here, said series have very difficult logistical snags to overcome. One game seems like almost a waste, but 3 would be very hard to shoehorn in without destroying any momentum/groove that the bye teams would enjoy (okay maybe that’s overrated), as well as being hairy when you decide who plays where. 1-1-1 means 2 plane trips in 2 days, likely cross-country. 2-1 means the deciding game is played at the inferior team’s park. 1-2 means the inferior team opens the series. It’s just ughh all the way around.
My vote is also a loud NO! (BTW, this thread should be a poll.) Baseball is my favorite sport but it is a spring/summer game that should not be playing its showcase event–the World Series–as Thanksgiving approaches. It’s bad enough the season’s crept past Halloween into November.
As for generating more fan interest, I doubt extending the season well into November will do it. There’s too much going on that month. November is the heart of the NFL season and when the final regular season games for college football occur. Also, you have the NBA and NHL starting up.
More baseball = happier me. I’m also fine with adding some more playoff excitement for more cities.
But I’m struggling to understand how the logistics would be pulled off. As it is the season starts awfully early and ends really late.
Hate it. Many of my reasons have been mentioned, but you can really get an idea of how bad it is by looking at what would have happened in the past couple years:
Giants played the Padres for the division on final day of season. Giants win, Padres miss playoffs.
With 2 wild cards, both teams would have clinched well before the final day.
Boston finishes 6 games behind the Yankees, misses playoffs.
With 2 wild cards, a 6 game lead in the same division becomes meaningless, and Boston is given a chance in a 1-game playoff (UGH!) or a 3-game playoff which further extends the season and delays games for the rest of the teams.
Rockies finish 4 games ahead of Giants in same division. With 2 wild cards, that lead becomes worthless.
Texas finishes 8 games behind Boston, despite Boston playing in a tougher division. Yeah, 1-game playoff sounds great for those two.
The cat is already out of the bag with the wild card. Since it is there, I like this. An extra wild card team makes winning your division a lot more valuable. Baseball’s home field advantage isn’t that strong, so currently the wild card isn’t that different from the division winner. Now, the wild card team has to play an extra series to face one of the division winners. It’s a bit better.
My preference: contract 2 teams, go back to four divisions. East winner plays West runner-up/vice-versa, (best of 5) winners in LCS.
Don’t forget, a wild card playoff would also screw up the winning team’s rotation for the ensuing divisional series.
In the last 10 years, of the 20 wild card teams, only 2 have not had an equal or better record than a division winner in their league.
Those 2 had exactly 1 more loss than a division winner.
7 of those 20 had the 2nd best record in their league.
In those same years the 2nd wild card would have finished 6, 8, 4, 6, 6, 5, 3, 7, 4, 6, 4, 3, and an astonishing 17 games behind the first wild card.
No. I already poo the Wild Card.
It could just as well make baseball matter in fewer places late in the season. It adds a race to be fifth best in the league but takes away the significance of the race to be fourth best.
Or everyone could make the playoffs. That works too. 1-game eliminations until you get to 8 or 9 teams left.
Don’t give Bud any ideas!
Right, except that “fourth-best” and “fifth-best” here are approximations at best. With unbalanced schedules, even a two-wildcards-per-league format, strictly speaking, doesn’t even guarantee the second-best team in the league advancing, if they happen to share a division with a team who is far and away the best of all (and thus defeats the #2 team often enough in the season to push their record below that of teams that have played easier schedules).
Only if they get rid of interleague play too, and end the season a week earlier or so. This is about Fox TV revenue, not about building or maintaining fan interest.
They have to shorten the season first. The WS is already played in the winter .
I don’t watch the NBA or the NHL because the regular season is an extended audition for the playoffs. I don’t watch the NFL because I am a Raider fan and it’s just too painful. Raider stinkitude aside, any team with a better than .500 record is probably a wildcard.
College sports are no better - the BCS is a joke, and college basketball has been reduced to three weeks in March. In the last NCAA Tournament, 11 of 18 Big East teams were in.
If the MLB expands the playoffs, I am out of fandom completely.
I’ll miss it terribly, but I won’t miss paying $10 for a warm cup of beer.