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Thursday, October 03, 2019

Building a Better Postseason | Ryan M. Spaeder

Sixteen teams in the postseason? No thank you.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 03, 2019 at 08:47 AM | 43 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: playoffs

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   1. bfan Posted: October 03, 2019 at 10:47 AM (#5885835)
Or "I have been trying for weeks to devise a system where the Cubs and Red Sox make the play-offs, and this is what I have come up with."

I am assuming the author has some connection to ESPN.
   2. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: October 03, 2019 at 10:50 AM (#5885837)
My favorite fanciful way to organize a baseball postseason puts everyone in the playoffs.
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 03, 2019 at 11:08 AM (#5885842)
No. Terrible idea. For beating the Rangers by 29 games, all the Astros get is an extra home game in a 3-game series?

Here's the system, when they inevitably expand to 32.

4 8-team divisions, same two leagues. In each league two division winners and 4 wild cards advance. Division winners get a bye to the LDS. The WCs play a 3-game series to determine who advances to the LDS. 5-game LDS, 7-game LCS, 7-game WS.
   4. PreservedFish Posted: October 03, 2019 at 11:23 AM (#5885851)
My favorite fanciful way to organize a baseball postseason puts everyone in the playoffs.


Good call, it's certainly the fairest plan, and most engaging for fans all across the country. What would you say to something like 162 games?
   5. jmurph Posted: October 03, 2019 at 11:42 AM (#5885867)
What would you say to something like 162 games?

You throw in a couple rounds of head to head battles with the best teams, and you're on. Like a post-playoffs, something like that.
   6. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: October 03, 2019 at 11:42 AM (#5885868)
4 8-team divisions, same two leagues. In each league two division winners and 4 wild cards advance. Division winners get a bye to the LDS. The WCs play a 3-game series to determine who advances to the LDS. 5-game LDS, 7-game LCS, 7-game WS.


Resulting in the greatest Christmas present ever for baseball fans...

EDIT: actually, I thought of something like this a bunch of years ago, but with the twist of playing your 8-team Division exclusively, the way it was from 1901-68. Top 3 teams in each "League" make the playoffs.
   7. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: October 03, 2019 at 11:45 AM (#5885870)
For beating the Rangers by 29 games, all the Astros get is an extra home game in a 3-game series?


Nah--they get to be at home in a one game playoff, which the Athletics will enter with a tired pitching staff from playing the Rangers yesterday--if they beat the Rangers. Otherwise the Astros get to play a Rangers team with a very tired pitching staff from their games against the Athletics yesterday and the Angels the day before.

I think it's a cool idea--the intradivisional ladder--that probably works smashingly in an alternate universe where baseball developed in a different direction from ours. Casual fans would absolutely love it, it would be baseball's version of March Madness, and as a beneficial side effect, almost every team would still be playing meaningful games in September, because finishing 3rd in your division is very significantly better than finishing 4th.

Never going to happen, of course. But--and I say this as a stubborn traditionalist at heart who, if I had my personal druthers, would go back to four divisions and straight to the LCS--and only that much because there are too many teams to just have two leagues and go straight to the World Series--but a ~144 game regular season followed by the intradivisional ladders and then the playoff series proper would be fantastically fun and monstrously marketable, and if you work through the math it's barely more likely than the current system to produce a weak champion.



Good call, it's certainly the fairest plan, and most engaging for fans all across the country. What would you say to something like 162 games?


Can we compromise on 154? :)
   8. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 03, 2019 at 11:46 AM (#5885872)
Resulting in the greatest Christmas present ever for baseball fans...

It adds like 2 days to the schedule.
   9. Ithaca2323 Posted: October 03, 2019 at 11:49 AM (#5885876)
Or "I have been trying for weeks to devise a system where the Cubs and Red Sox make the play-offs, and this is what I have come up with."

I am assuming the author has some connection to ESPN


None of things are remotely true. Spaeder is famously known for being a tireless advocate for Edgar Martinez to make the Hall
   10. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: October 03, 2019 at 11:49 AM (#5885877)
Resulting in the greatest Christmas present ever for baseball fans...

It adds like 2 days to the schedule.


Hmmm...
   11. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 03, 2019 at 12:17 PM (#5885891)
Hmmm...

All I'm doing is increasing the WC from 1 game to 3, and having 4 WC series, instead of two play-in games. The rest of the postseason functions exactly as today.
   12. cookiedabookie Posted: October 03, 2019 at 01:10 PM (#5885921)
I'd love expansion, with 8 four team divisions, no wildcard.

But under the current system, I'd make one change. Add two wildcards per league. The four wildcards play in one game eliminations - three games total over two days. More teams get a theoretical chance, it further hurts the chances of wildcard teams winning it all, and puts more value on winning a division.
   13. SoSH U at work Posted: October 03, 2019 at 01:13 PM (#5885926)
When the league does expand to 32, I would be in favor of snapper's plan. It truly makes winning a division more meaningful, something the current system pays lip service to but only does in a limited way.

Until we reach 32 teams, what I'd really like to see is a midseason U.S. Baseball Cup. You start with two 15-team tournaments in A ball (one each for AL and NL teams). The winners advance to two Class A Tournaments (again, AL and NL), and then to the Triple A. Finally, you have a midseason single-elimination tournament, played on Mondays in July-August, involving all 30 big league teams and the two winners that emerged from the minors tourney. I think that would be a neat addition to the long regular season.
   14. Rusty Priske Posted: October 03, 2019 at 01:16 PM (#5885931)
The current system is great.

The Wild Cards give team that can't win the division something to shoot for, while also giving the division winners a HUGE advantage over the Wild Card teams.

Great system.
   15. bfan Posted: October 03, 2019 at 01:22 PM (#5885941)
None of things are remotely true. Spaeder is famously known for being a tireless advocate for Edgar Martinez to make the Hall


Then I stand corrected. Having watched ESPN gleefully and relentlessly comfort and promote all matters Cubs; Red Sox; Duke basketball; and LeBron over the years, I am immediately suspicious of any matter than favors any of the 4. I was wrong on this one.
   16. villageidiom Posted: October 03, 2019 at 02:02 PM (#5885963)
Then I stand corrected. Having watched ESPN gleefully and relentlessly comfort and promote all matters Cubs; Red Sox; Duke basketball; and LeBron over the years, I am immediately suspicious of any matter than favors any of the 4.
I don't know how you could make such a statement about ESPN and leave out the NFL in its entirety. The amount of NFL talk during the NFL off-season alone is greater than their talk on Cubs and Red Sox combined during the MLB season.
   17. bfan Posted: October 03, 2019 at 02:19 PM (#5885969)
The amount of NFL talk during the NFL off-season


The NFL has an off-season?
   18. jmurph Posted: October 03, 2019 at 02:28 PM (#5885978)
The NFL has an off-season?

Only if you don't count Organized Team Activities, and Unorganized Team Activities, and Mandatory Mini Camp, and Non-Mandatory Mini Camps, Semi-Mandatory Regular Camps, etc.
   19. DL from MN Posted: October 03, 2019 at 02:29 PM (#5885981)
Seconding snapper's suggestion
   20. Karl from NY Posted: October 03, 2019 at 02:30 PM (#5885982)
4 8-team divisions, same two leagues.

32 teams is inevitable eventually, but this configuration won't happen. They'll either keep the 6 divisions or go to 8 4-team divisions instead. Owners love more divisions, so that twice as many of them can claim to have a first-place team, and fourth place sounds way better than eighth place.
   21. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 03, 2019 at 02:36 PM (#5885986)

Only if you don't count Organized Team Activities, and Unorganized Team Activities, and Mandatory Mini Camp, and Non-Mandatory Mini Camps, Semi-Mandatory Regular Camps, etc.


And the NFL Draft, and weeks worth of Mock Drafts. The NFL off-season is February.
   22. jmurph Posted: October 03, 2019 at 02:41 PM (#5885989)
32 teams is inevitable eventually, but this configuration won't happen. They'll either keep the 6 divisions or go to 8 4-team divisions instead. Owners love more divisions, so that twice as many of them can claim to have a first-place team, and fourth place sounds way better than eighth place.

Yep. The NFL format seems inevitable.
   23. jmurph Posted: October 03, 2019 at 02:42 PM (#5885990)
And the NFL Draft, and weeks worth of Mock Drafts. The NFL off-season is February.

All kidding aside, the Super Bowl is now in February every year, right? So it's really only the last 2-3 weeks of February. Madness.
   24. McCoy Posted: October 03, 2019 at 02:57 PM (#5885996)
Eliminate 42 games to the regular season and let 12 teams compete in the playoffs.
   25. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 03, 2019 at 03:08 PM (#5886001)
Eliminate 42 games to the regular season and let 12 teams compete in the playoffs.

You're going to eliminate 25% of revenue for all 30 teams to allow one more series between mediocre teams? That seems like a huge money loser for MLB.
   26. bfan Posted: October 03, 2019 at 03:15 PM (#5886004)
The NFL off-season is February.


But that's combine season, my favorite time of the year! (or is it private work-out season, because if I am going to run 40 yards and have you time me, I am doing it at my place and not yours).
   27. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 03, 2019 at 03:18 PM (#5886005)

I like snapper's proposal. My only concern with a bye is will the division winners complain about "rust" issues having so many days off after the regular season? A 3-game Wild Card series, with a day off before and after, and probably one day off during the series for travel, means up to 6 days off for the division winners. You could reduce that to 5 if you don't give the WC teams any days off during the series.
   28. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 03, 2019 at 03:25 PM (#5886007)
I like snapper's proposal. My only concern with a bye is will the division winners complain about "rust" issues having so many days off after the regular season? A 3-game Wild Card series, with a day off before and after, and probably one day off during the series for travel, means up to 6 days off for the division winners. You could reduce that to 5 if you don't give the WC teams any days off during the series.

I'd go three straight days for the WC series. Season ends Sunday, off-day Monday for tie-breakers, WC series Tues., Wed. Thurs., of-day Friday, LCS starts Saturday.

That's only one more off-day than the Astros and Yankees are currently getting. I can't see 5 days off vs. 4 being a big issue.
   29. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 03, 2019 at 03:27 PM (#5886009)
Hell, just let the teams with the highest attendance and TV ratings into the postseason. Since it's all about the money, why would anyone object?
   30. McCoy Posted: October 03, 2019 at 03:35 PM (#5886014)
Why do i care about mlb revenue?
   31. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 03, 2019 at 03:35 PM (#5886016)
But that's combine season, my favorite time of the year!


The Super Bowl was held earlier this year on February 3. The NFL Combine started on February 26. So we have pinpointed the exact dates of the NFL off-season:

February 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25. Twenty-two days.
   32. jmurph Posted: October 03, 2019 at 03:38 PM (#5886017)
The Super Bowl was held earlier this year on February 3. The NFL Combine started on February 26. So we have pinpointed the exact dates of the NFL off-season:

February 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25. Twenty-two days.

Oh right, like I'm just going to walk into the live coverage of the combine without weeks of preparation. Come on!
   33. bunyon Posted: October 03, 2019 at 04:01 PM (#5886032)
Current system with this change:

Each year, the team with the best regular season record is crowned "League Champion".

Then, the following season, if the previous year's winner didn't make the playoffs, they get to play a one and done with the WC winner. The winner advances to the playoffs.

So, this year, the Red Sox would've played the Rays today. And the Brewers would've played the Nationals again yesterday.

You get an added game (and penalty against the Wild Card team) and you would have an entire year of people caring about who won the regular season the year before.
   34. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 03, 2019 at 04:04 PM (#5886036)
Why do i care about mlb revenue?

Because everyone involved in the games does, and any proposal that disregards it is just silly.
   35. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 03, 2019 at 04:53 PM (#5886062)
FTR I was being sarcastic with #29. I'm perfectly fine with the current setup, although I'd rather make the WC 2 out of 3, with the team with the better record getting all 3 home games as a further incentive not to coast.
   36. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: October 03, 2019 at 05:04 PM (#5886071)
The current system is great.

The Wild Cards give team that can't win the division something to shoot for, while also giving the division winners a HUGE advantage over the Wild Card teams.

Great system.


Concur. This is the perfect way to do it in a three division/two league setup. It incentivizes division winners.
   37. McCoy Posted: October 03, 2019 at 05:27 PM (#5886082)
Oh, I'm sorry i didn't realize the comment section section of a blog where MLB files they're official playoff possibilities.
   38. Sunday silence Posted: October 03, 2019 at 08:42 PM (#5886194)
All I'm doing is increasing the WC from 1 game to 3, and having 4 WC series, instead of two play-in games. The rest of the postseason functions exactly as today.


Its logical and it really looks great in theory. However two things:

Pitching is already being stretched rather thin by the first week of the playoffs. Having Wc team play 3 games before the 5 game series might see them run out of good pitching half way through the series. A couple of blow out games and fans and primates will probably complain.

On the other hand, I think there is a very real belief that teams need to keep playing to stay to hot. Im not sure how many champion teams are going to want to take a 4 day break. Actually that's not really that much, I dont think they'll go ice cold in less than a week. So this is just a possible issue.

I do think this is a very workable and exciting way to do it.
   39. Howie Menckel Posted: October 03, 2019 at 09:18 PM (#5886257)
My favorite fanciful way to organize a baseball postseason puts everyone in the playoffs.

there has been semi-serious discussion of doing this for NCAA March Madness.

even though you are talking about 300 teams or so,after Round 1 you're down to 150 or so and after Round 2 you're down to about 75. March Madness currently has 68 teams, so in theory you could start the "real event" on the first weekend rather than Thurs/Fri.

I mean, I find it ridiculous, but it's not logistically impossible. it's not like these players need to go to class or anything.
   40. DL from MN Posted: October 03, 2019 at 10:22 PM (#5886279)
there has been semi-serious discussion of doing this for NCAA March Madness.


Just give the top 48 teams a bye and let the rest fight for the final 16 spots. 256 -> 128 -> 64 one weekend before and 32 -> 16 during the week.
   41. Howie Menckel Posted: October 03, 2019 at 10:44 PM (#5886286)
a minor variation of that was one of the pitches.

and the NBA is now talking seriously about either a "mid-season tournament," or greatly expanded play-in rounds before the real playoffs. or both.
   42. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: October 03, 2019 at 11:03 PM (#5886295)
Here's my proposal. No one else likes it. But here it is. One league, one division, 145 games (balanced schedule, five games against every other team, or 174 games if you want to do 3 home and 3 away). Give the trophy to the team with the best record. Post season tournaments strike me as silly gimmicks, and I dislike them on those grounds. Of course 9/10ths of the teams will be out of it by July and their fans will stop paying attention. But, eh.
   43. Astroenteritis Posted: October 04, 2019 at 12:46 AM (#5886326)
Here's my proposal. No one else likes it. But here it is. One league, one division, 145 games (balanced schedule, five games against every other team, or 174 games if you want to do 3 home and 3 away). Give the trophy to the team with the best record.


What the hell, are you trying to give the championship to the best team? That'll never fly.

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