Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Monday, February 10, 2020

MLB expanding playoff system?

this one may make the Petco thread look like a brief, casual conversation…

“Imagine a team picking its playoff opponent. Think about Brian Cashman and the Yankees deciding whether to face the Red Sox or avoid them in the first round of the postseason. All on live TV.

Well, it is probably coming soon to the major leagues.

MLB is seriously weighing a move from five to seven playoff teams in each league beginning in 2022, The Post has learned.

In this concept, the team with the best record in each league would receive a bye to avoid the wild-card round and go directly to the Division Series. The two other division winners and the wild card with the next best record would each host all three games in a best-of-three wild-card round. So the bottom three wild cards would have no first-round home games.”

Howie Menckel Posted: February 10, 2020 at 05:16 PM | 128 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: playoffs

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 
   1. JimMusComp likes Billy Eppler.... Posted: February 10, 2020 at 06:11 PM (#5923297)
#### no, Manfred.

Jesus, did he watch the first weekend of XFL and get more stupid ideas? The owners need to remove him ASAP.
   2. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: February 10, 2020 at 06:16 PM (#5923300)
This might even be a more idiotic idea than the "Ghost Runner on 2nd in extra innings" idea, and I didn't think that could possibly be topped.
   3. Itchy Row Posted: February 10, 2020 at 06:17 PM (#5923301)
Also, the first round of the playoffs would be decided by games of H-O-R-S-E. The second round will be flag football. The third round will be an evening gown competition, and the World Series will be decided by the electoral college.
   4. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 10, 2020 at 06:21 PM (#5923303)
But enforcing the existing ####### pitch clock rule would be too radical and disruptive of a change.
   5. Tin Angel Posted: February 10, 2020 at 06:21 PM (#5923304)
IMO the first round could just be a home run derby. Maybe have cheerleaders and light a bunch of fireworks for the longest home run to keep people interested?
   6. SoSH U at work Posted: February 10, 2020 at 06:22 PM (#5923305)
I'm really looking forward to the one-game playoff between the top wild card and the tied second wild card to determine who gets to host all three games. Of course, since such a valuable prize is at stake, they'll probably need to host a preliminary one-game playoff to determine who hosts the one-game playoff.

On Fox.

   7. Itchy Row Posted: February 10, 2020 at 06:23 PM (#5923306)
Once a game: licorice ball

Or, to really get the kids to watch, Werther's Originals.
   8. DL from MN Posted: February 10, 2020 at 06:23 PM (#5923307)
Division winners should not have to play a 3 game playoff series.
   9. Howie Menckel Posted: February 10, 2020 at 06:36 PM (#5923310)
I realize there is sarcasm in post 6, but from TFA:

"there would be no more tiebreaker 163rd games. To make the regular-season more meaningful, the team that won the season series against its opponent would benefit whether that is to have the top seed or to simply be the final wild card. Thus, if two teams finish as the fourth wild card and both have 84 wins, then the team that won the season series will get into the playoffs."
   10. Banta Posted: February 10, 2020 at 06:36 PM (#5923311)
If this goes through, how long until the regular season is meaningfully reduced in games?
   11. Jeff Frances the Mute Posted: February 10, 2020 at 06:37 PM (#5923312)
What a great idea. Everybody loves having 88 win teams in the playoffs so why not let 80 win teams join in the fun too?
   12. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: February 10, 2020 at 06:39 PM (#5923313)
Thus, if two teams finish as the fourth wild card and both have 84 wins, then the team that won the season series will get into the playoffs."

People love the NFL.
The NFL has tiebreakers.
Ergo, MLB needs tiebreakers!
   13. JJ1986 Posted: February 10, 2020 at 06:44 PM (#5923314)
What the literal #### is wrong with Rob Manfred?
   14. SoSH U at work Posted: February 10, 2020 at 06:45 PM (#5923315)
"there would be no more tiebreaker 163rd games. To make the regular-season more meaningful, the team that won the season series against its opponent would benefit whether that is to have the top seed or to simply be the final wild card. Thus, if two teams finish as the fourth wild card and both have 84 wins, then the team that won the season series will get into the playoffs."


And how would they decide when those two wild card teams split the season series 3-3?

I like the idea that they're going to make the regular season more "meaningful" by getting rid of the system that tacks on a full game to the end of the regular season that actually unties tied teams, and instead employing a tiebreaker system that may or may not reward the proper team.

Rob's Man Fred is really determined to get me to stop caring about MLB.
   15. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: February 10, 2020 at 06:52 PM (#5923316)
I'm honestly shocked it's taken MLB as long as it has to add more playoff teams. When they implemented the play-in game I was sure it was just a brief intermediary step toward adopting the NFL system of six playoff teams, top two get first round byes.

Now they're just skipping that step and going to seven.

The march toward half the league being in the playoffs, as in other North American sports, is inexorable. 12 playoff teams is a When question, not an If.
   16. DL from MN Posted: February 10, 2020 at 06:53 PM (#5923317)
And how would they decide when those two wild card teams split the season series 3-3?


Runs scored - runs allowed.
   17. JJ1986 Posted: February 10, 2020 at 06:58 PM (#5923318)
Ken Rosenthal is in favor of this so MLB has already gotten some reporters in line to push the idea.
   18. Howie Menckel Posted: February 10, 2020 at 07:04 PM (#5923320)
part of this is how willing a sport is to accept a lesser team becoming champion.

the two worst Super Bowl winners probably are the two Eli Giants, but both times they beat the dynasty Patriots for the title and one time the Patriots were undefeated, so that's a huge credibility boost of course. the worst almost was the Kurt Warner Cardinals, who went 3-7 in the regular season but won all six 'contests' against the worst division in NFL history. they had no business being in the playoffs, yet came up just inches short of a Super Bowl title.

if an 82-80 team beats a super team - heck, the 1973 Mets were 82-79 - then it still might be palatable for fans. those Mets went seven games against Oakland, which was in the midst of winning three straight World Series. so there the Mets didn't even win.

if neither World Series team won 90 games and if the lesser of those teams won... wait, has that happened yet? possibly.

but the specter of a team with a losing record becoming champ - even if unlikely - is not pretty.
   19. SoSH U at work Posted: February 10, 2020 at 07:09 PM (#5923321)
if neither World Series team won 90 games and if the lesser of those teams won... wait, has that happened yet? possibly.


Yes, the 2014 World Series.
   20. SoSH U at work Posted: February 10, 2020 at 07:12 PM (#5923322)
but the specter of a team with a losing record becoming champ - even if unlikely - is not pretty.


The AL would have sent two sub-.500 teams to the playoffs in 2017 (though I can't tell you which teams, because there would have been a three-way tie for the final two spots).

In 2016, the 79-win Marlins would have qualified (and, let's face it, had they made the playoffs, we know they would have won the whole thing).

   21. reech Posted: February 10, 2020 at 07:17 PM (#5923323)
these are horrible ideas and i suspect that once they are ridiculed sufficiently, these ideas will vanish
   22. Howie Menckel Posted: February 10, 2020 at 07:17 PM (#5923324)
of course. the Marlins have never won a division - nor lost a postseason series in ringing up 2 WS rings.
   23. JJ1986 Posted: February 10, 2020 at 07:18 PM (#5923325)
The extra teams are stupid, but conferring some incredibly special status on the #1 seed is dumber. Why not go right to 16 playoff teams? And maybe with some realignment.
   24. Khrushin it bro Posted: February 10, 2020 at 07:20 PM (#5923326)
4 wild card teams? That's atrocious.
   25. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: February 10, 2020 at 07:39 PM (#5923328)
30 divisions! Everyone's a winner! Everyone goes to the playoffs! This time it counts!
   26. AndrewJ Posted: February 10, 2020 at 07:40 PM (#5923329)
4 wild card teams? That's atrocious.

Some of us still aren't enthused about even one...
   27. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 10, 2020 at 07:42 PM (#5923331)
As long as Manfred is in a tinkering mood, MLB is overdue in providing basic fairness to its right-handed hitters, who have long been penalized by starting out two steps further from 1st base. The obvious solution would be to allow right-handed hitters to run the bases clockwise (home->3rd->2nd-1st->home). Sure, it’d be a bit more complex, especially with multiple baserunners going different directions, but that’s a feature not a bug. If Manfred expanded the playoffs and ended centuries of left-handed privilege, he’d be a historic Commisioner.
   28. Barnaby Jones Posted: February 10, 2020 at 07:53 PM (#5923333)
The 83 win Cardinals as champions was bad enough.
   29. AndrewJ Posted: February 10, 2020 at 08:02 PM (#5923334)
The 83 win Cardinals as champions was bad enough.

When they expand to 32 teams, I could live with four eight-team divisions where the 1st and 2nd place teams make the playoffs. Have a more unbalanced schedule and you'll be less likely to have 83-win teams clogging up the postseason.
   30. greenback Posted: February 10, 2020 at 08:11 PM (#5923335)
As long as Manfred is in a tinkering mood, MLB is overdue in providing basic fairness to its right-handed hitters, who have long been penalized by starting out two steps further from 1st base. The obvious solution would be to allow right-handed hitters to run the bases clockwise (home->3rd->2nd-1st->home). Sure, it’d be a bit more complex, especially with multiple baserunners going different directions, but that’s a feature not a bug. If Manfred expanded the playoffs and ended centuries of left-handed privilege, he’d be a historic Commisioner.

I think this just moved in front of your RV recommendations.
   31. Walt Davis Posted: February 10, 2020 at 08:25 PM (#5923337)
I like it. RHB on 3rd, LHB singles, RHB tries to advance two bases to 1B. So two runners on first, GB to SS and he has to decide whether to throw him to get the runner from first or go to second to force the runner from first with the 2B having to remember whether he throws to 1st or 3rd to complete the DP. Presumably you want a LHT 1B and 2B to make plays to 3B easier but you don't want your 1B to be an oaf anymore. But then making the turn on a DP for a ball hit to the left side is nearly impossible (the SS making the turn on a GB to the right is no fun either). So now we need IFs/OFs of both RH and LH throwing variety and swapping IFs and OFs on a regular basis. Fun, fun fun!

Meanwhile, imagine the ratings for the exciting half-hour (hour?) show where the Yanks and Dodgers take 10 seconds to reveal to us which exciting team they want to play first.
   32. winnipegwhip Posted: February 10, 2020 at 08:49 PM (#5923340)
I'm really looking forward to the one-game playoff between the top wild card and the tied second wild card to determine who gets to host all three games. Of course, since (quote)such a valuable prize is at stake, they'll probably need to host a preliminary one-game playoff to determine who hosts the one-game playoff.

On Fox.

Her DAD is the commissioner of baseball!!!!!
   33. winnipegwhip Posted: February 10, 2020 at 08:54 PM (#5923343)
You want reality tv....have a selection show like FBS football.

Can you imagine....yes the Twins have a better record than Tampa but 5 losses in 6 games to Detroit over the last two weekends while Tampa just won 3 of 4 in the Bronx. You gotta pick the Rays.

Leave it to the baseball writers and Reusse can keep the Twins off his postseason ballot.
   34. TJ Posted: February 10, 2020 at 09:56 PM (#5923349)
Why doesn’t Manfred just go whole hog and embrace the slo-pitch softball world tournament model? Add two more teams to get to 32. Play the whole season to get the seeds 1-32. Throw everyone into a long weekend, double elimination tourney. Have all 32 teams show up in a city and play at the same time. That way every team makes the postseason and the entire postseason finishes before November...

Why not? MLB is already addicted to launch angles and spin rates, things we worked on back when I was playing high-level slo-pitch back in the 80’s...
   35. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: February 10, 2020 at 09:59 PM (#5923354)
New plan: let's just eliminate the regular season. Let each league immeately play their own post season (every team qualifies). It'll be 162 games long. The post season will be followed by a post-post-season, the best "western", "central", and "eastern" teams from each league participate, as do the next two teams with the best record. And finally the post-post-season culminates in a "World Series" pitting the team that won the post-post-season of each league against the other.
   36. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: February 10, 2020 at 10:01 PM (#5923356)
Also, I nominate #3 for a Primey. That was a work of genius.
   37. Darren Posted: February 10, 2020 at 10:04 PM (#5923357)
these are horrible ideas and i suspect that once they are ridiculed sufficiently, these ideas will vanish


Narrator: The horrible ideas did not vanish.
   38. greenback Posted: February 10, 2020 at 10:05 PM (#5923359)
I do think it would be cool to have something like a league cup, or whatever the Europeans call their in-season tournaments, which some clubs take seriously and some not-so-much.
   39. SoSH U at work Posted: February 10, 2020 at 10:10 PM (#5923361)

I do think it would be cool to have something like a league cup, or whatever the Europeans call their in-season tournaments, which some clubs take seriously and some not-so-much.



I've been calling for a Baseball Cup for awhile, one that would incorporate the minors.

As I described it the other day:

You start the Single A season with two 15-team, single-elimination tournaments. The winners of each advance to the Double A event, from which the two winners advance to two 16-team Triple A winners. The two winners there join the 30 major league teams in a single elimination, 32-team tournament held each Monday over the course of late-July/early August.

From what I can tell, it doesn't seem to have much support.


   40. Red Voodooin Posted: February 10, 2020 at 11:06 PM (#5923365)
Trevor Bauer weighs in:
@BauerOutage
No idea who made this new playoff format proposal, but Rob is responsible for releasing it, so I’ll direct this to you, Rob Manfred. Your proposal is absurd for too many reasons to type on twitter and proves you have absolutely no clue about baseball. You’re a joke.
   41. Mayor Blomberg Posted: February 11, 2020 at 12:22 AM (#5923369)
The AL would have sent two sub-.500 teams to the playoffs in 2017 (though I can't tell you which teams, because there would have been a three-way tie for the final two spots).


I'm sure there's a round robin for such eventualities.
   42. manchestermets Posted: February 11, 2020 at 04:40 AM (#5923379)
Rugby league in the UK has tried having teams choose their playoff opponents as one of its many convoluted and weird playoff systems. That one lasted a whole six years, before being replaced by one that was rejected, presumably for being too simple after four years.
   43. The elusive Robert Denby Posted: February 11, 2020 at 07:21 AM (#5923382)
And how would they decide when those two wild card teams split the season series 3-3?

Which mascot would win in a fight. The future's gonna be tough for the Red and White Sox.
   44. cookiedabookie Posted: February 11, 2020 at 07:43 AM (#5923384)
At that point, just get rid of divisions, take the tip six teams, with the top two getting first round buys.
   45. TJ Posted: February 11, 2020 at 09:03 AM (#5923396)
If Manfred really wants engrossing TV, play the regular season and then give each team a varying number of ping pong balls based on their record. Dump said balls into a giant rolling drum. Have some scantily-clad playmate draw six balls out. Those six teams get to play for the title.
   46. . Posted: February 11, 2020 at 09:20 AM (#5923397)
This is obviously an incredibly stupid idea, but the real takeaway should be that MLB's internal market survey numbers must be absolutely dreadful.

The one trend to note is that the sports marketplace's conception of "meaning" in a game is getting more and more narrow as time goes on, which is why, e.g., college football bowl games have much less interest now. That's a bad trend for baseball, with its long summer slate of games meant to winnow out relatively small differences between teams. The idea of subtle differences between teams being played out that way, and the idea of excellence being forged in a longish crucible of competition rather than over a few "meaningful" games, is becoming more and more passe in US sport.
   47. Lassus Posted: February 11, 2020 at 09:32 AM (#5923400)
Die die die die die die die die die die.
   48. Rusty Priske Posted: February 11, 2020 at 09:35 AM (#5923401)
4 wild card teams? That's atrocious.

Some of us still aren't enthused about even one...


As true as that is, two Wild Cards is much better than one. It actually gives a real advantage to those that win the division, unlike the one Wild Card system.
   49. Greg Pope Posted: February 11, 2020 at 09:39 AM (#5923403)
Why are people so opposed to tie-breakers? If the answer is "tradition", that's fine, but is there a more concrete reason? It seems that some sort of tie-breaker system would reward the better team more often than a one game playoff. We know that baseball is the most random sport. Plus, if a team happens to have their #1 line up for the playoff game while their opponent is forced to use their 4th starter, we know it's not an accurate reflection of team quality.
   50. KronicFatigue Posted: February 11, 2020 at 09:46 AM (#5923408)
Why are people so opposed to tie-breakers? If the answer is "tradition", that's fine, but is there a more concrete reason? It seems that some sort of tie-breaker system would reward the better team more often than a one game playoff. We know that baseball is the most random sport. Plus, if a team happens to have their #1 line up for the playoff game while their opponent is forced to use their 4th starter, we know it's not an accurate reflection of team quality.


If the tie breaker is head-to-head, it's quite possible that it still comes down to one or two games, except those games happened months ago, without either team realizing what was on the line. "Hey, the Cardinal have a 4-2 record against the Phillies, so they win the tie breaker" vs "holy crap, they are tied after 162, they have to play one more with everything on the line"

"Team quality" is decided in those 162 games. So a #1 vs #4 isn't fair, no, but any kind of tie breaker is going to be a glorified coin flip anyway. Ideally, with an exclusive playoff system, a coin flip to get in isn't an issue. Two pretty much deserving teams are fighting for one spot to get in.

   51. Lassus Posted: February 11, 2020 at 09:48 AM (#5923409)
And fuck Robothal.
   52. Lassus Posted: February 11, 2020 at 09:52 AM (#5923410)
What the literal #### is wrong with Rob Manfred?

He grew up 10 minutes away from my hometown. The place is a fucking stupid gestation machine. (Yes, I'm aware of the comebacks.)
   53. SoSH U at work Posted: February 11, 2020 at 09:53 AM (#5923411)
It seems that some sort of tie-breaker system would reward the better team more often than a one game playoff.


Why would you assume the tiebreaker system that will be employed (HtH as the first) will reward the better team more often? Moreover, why would a system that takes some random measure to decide between two tied teams that will remain tied be preferable to one that uses a baseball game to untie two previously tied teams?

The nice thing about the one-game playoff is it rewards the team that deserves it, by winning a ball game. A tiebreaker is just as likely to reward the lesser team as the better, one who didn't really do anything to earn that spot over its foe.


   54. NJ in NY (Now with two kids!) Posted: February 11, 2020 at 10:01 AM (#5923413)
Well...guess I'm alone. I love this idea.
   55. DL from MN Posted: February 11, 2020 at 10:06 AM (#5923416)
where the Yanks and Dodgers take 10 seconds to reveal to us which exciting team they want to play first.


I doesn't take long for the Yankees to say "We'll play the Twins again".
   56. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 11, 2020 at 10:42 AM (#5923454)
I spend my action to disbelieve the illusion.
   57. Greg Pope Posted: February 11, 2020 at 10:43 AM (#5923455)
The nice thing about the one-game playoff is it rewards the team that deserves it, by winning a ball game.

But we know that's not really true. I mean, I guess "deserves it" is subjective, but we know how random baseball games are. If we define "deserves it" as "is the better team", well we know that one game is going to be pretty much a coin flip. If we define "deserves it" as "winning one game", then it's a tautology.
   58. Nakagura775 Posted: February 11, 2020 at 10:46 AM (#5923458)
This is a terrible idea.
   59. SoSH U at work Posted: February 11, 2020 at 10:52 AM (#5923460)
But we know that's not really true. I mean, I guess "deserves it" is subjective, but we know how random baseball games are. If we define "deserves it" as "is the better team", well we know that one game is going to be pretty much a coin flip. If we define "deserves it" as "winning one game", then it's a tautology.


This is an argument against playoffs in general. The Nats deserved a place in the NLCS because they beat the Dodgers in Game 5. It sure as hell wasn't because they were a better team.

I doubt you or anyone else had an objection to this turn of events. Why should qualification for the playoffs be determined differently?


   60. SoSH U at work Posted: February 11, 2020 at 11:01 AM (#5923470)
Furthermore, if MLB used tiebreaker methods that actually helped determine the better team (pythag or strength of schedule), I'd be less inclined to oppose it as a mechanism for determining between tied teams rather than untying tied teams. But they use inferior methods such as Head to Head or WP in intradivision games or WP in intraleague games or (this is true) WP in last half of intraleague games.

None of those methods is useful in identifying the better of two teams.
   61. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: February 11, 2020 at 11:12 AM (#5923480)
The solution to watered-down playoffs is to water them down even more.

What is the point of playing 162?
   62. . Posted: February 11, 2020 at 11:16 AM (#5923483)
Maybe no one cares anymore about identifying the best teams, but instead they care more only about winning the "meaningful" games. The drama and the "meaning" are ends in themselves.
   63. Greg Pope Posted: February 11, 2020 at 11:17 AM (#5923485)
I doubt you or anyone else had an objection to this turn of events. Why should qualification for the playoffs be determined differently?

Because we have 162 games worth of data to qualify for the playoffs. And yes, that is actually an argument for foregoing playoffs altogether. Which is a pretty sabermetric way of looking at things. We, as a group, are always talking about how a certain team was better over 162 than some other team that had a better record. Things like that. But when it comes down to qualifying for the playoffs, there is a very strong reaction about using anything other than a single game result. It seems contradictory to me.

Certainly from an excitement and interest standpoint I get it. And maybe the answer is "At that point I don't care which team is better, I want the sporting event." Which is logical to some extent since we're all here for the sports.

Furthermore, if MLB used tiebreaker methods that actually helped determine the better team (pythag or strength of schedule), I'd be less inclined to oppose it as a mechanism for determining between tied teams rather than untying tied teams. But they use inferior methods such as Head to Head or WP in intradivision games or WP in intraleague games or (this is true) WP in last half of intraleague games.

None of those methods is useful in identifying the better of two teams.


This does make sense.
   64. manchestermets Posted: February 11, 2020 at 11:18 AM (#5923487)
Why would you assume the tiebreaker system that will be employed (HtH as the first) will reward the better team more often? Moreover, why would a system that takes some random measure to decide between two tied teams that will remain tied be preferable to one that uses a baseball game to untie two previously tied teams?


What's random about head to head records? To turn your question around, why is it preferable to use one baseball game to untie the teams, than head to head, which is several baseball games?
   65. Howie Menckel Posted: February 11, 2020 at 11:19 AM (#5923488)
if teams know in advance that season series are important, then they can act accordingly.

if you're 5-4 against the contending Cardinals with one game to go in August, maybe you marshal all of your best resources for that particular game because you know it might mean something. treat it like, you know, a tiebreaker game.

I have a lot of issues with this concept, but a lack of tiebreaking games is not one of them.

   66. . Posted: February 11, 2020 at 11:22 AM (#5923492)
You kind of wonder now how baseball ever got people in the seats for a July or August game between two .500 teams. Pre-mallpark, even.
   67. SoSH U at work Posted: February 11, 2020 at 11:24 AM (#5923493)
Because we have 162 games worth of data to qualify for the playoffs. And yes, that is actually an argument for foregoing playoffs altogether. Which is a pretty sabermetric way of looking at things. We, as a group, are always talking about how a certain team was better over 162 than some other team that had a better record. Things like that. But when it comes down to qualifying for the playoffs, there is a very strong reaction about using anything other than a single game result. It seems contradictory to me.


I just don't understand why it's perfectly reasonable for the 91-61 team to go to the playoffs over the 90-62 team, but the 92-61 team going instead of the 91-62 team is a small-sample size problem.

   68. Karl from NY Posted: February 11, 2020 at 11:25 AM (#5923494)
Besides all the other noise, I think the upper seeds choosing their opponents is a fine idea. The purpose is to eliminate shenanigans involving seeding. We see this in the NFL and NBA on occasion, sometimes a team would prefer to lose its last game or two and take a lower seed to get a matchup it thinks is more favorable. Choosing your opponent makes the higher seed always a positive reward instead of a potential risk.
   69. PreservedFish Posted: February 11, 2020 at 11:28 AM (#5923495)
Maybe no one cares anymore about identifying the best teams, but instead they care more only about winning the "meaningful" games. The drama and the "meaning" are ends in themselves.


In every sport there's a tension between "let's determine the best team" and "let's have an exciting finish." Almost every fan wants to be somewhere in the middle of that spectrum, balancing the two factors. Baseball is obviously trending more and more towards the "exciting" side of the spectrum, which allows lesser teams to win the exciting finale.

As with everyone else here, I think it may be a mistake. In the NBA and the NHL there's a feeling that the regular season almost doesn't matter. I don't want baseball to ever get there.
   70. SoSH U at work Posted: February 11, 2020 at 11:29 AM (#5923497)
What's random about head to head records? To turn your question around, why is it preferable to use one baseball game to untie the teams, than head to head, which is several baseball games?


Because, quite simply, one method unties tied teams. The other leaves two teams tied. It's the same reason I prefer extra innings over counting which team had the higher OPS during a ballgame to choose a winner.

As for head to head, if the Cards beat the Mets 4-2 in the season series, then the Mets had a two-game edge over the Cards over the other 156 games. They're still tied. HtH, like the other methods MLB employs, does not really tell us which of two tied teams is "better."

   71. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: February 11, 2020 at 11:34 AM (#5923502)
Brewer fans are ok with any playoff system as long as the month of October is re-branded 'Extended September'

   72. . Posted: February 11, 2020 at 11:42 AM (#5923509)
Choosing your opponent makes the higher seed always a positive reward instead of a potential risk.


Choosing your opponent also pisses them off and motivates them, which could be enough to get through a short three-game series and it's absolutely, positively going to be framed by the narrators and mythmakers in those terms. That has far too much of a pro wrestling feel for comfort.

Moreover, we had all the (really ####### stupid, but I digress) stuff around the trade deadline last year where even teams close to the second wild card were saying, "Well, what's the point of getting the second wild card, we're just going to get blown out by the Dodgers anyway." This idea makes that issue way worse.
   73. craigamazing Posted: February 11, 2020 at 11:45 AM (#5923511)
Why not a "Running Man"/battle royale fight to death between the best player on each team? Division winners get first choice of weapons, of course (we don't want an 82 win team blow torching their way to the World Series),
   74. Baldrick Posted: February 11, 2020 at 12:06 PM (#5923526)
I'm going to offer a contrary opinion here and say that this is a Really Terrible Idea and I hate it a lot.
   75. Lassus Posted: February 11, 2020 at 12:09 PM (#5923527)
Division winners get first choice of weapons, of course

Nah, just game equipment. Baseball bats are the obvious choice, but a really sharp cleat across the neck might do the trick in a clinch. Rosin and pine tar in the eyes.
   76. Lassus Posted: February 11, 2020 at 12:12 PM (#5923529)
Besides all the other noise, I think the upper seeds choosing their opponents is a fine idea. The purpose is to eliminate shenanigans involving seeding. We see this in the NFL and NBA on occasion, sometimes a team would prefer to lose its last game or two and take a lower seed to get a matchup it thinks is more favorable. Choosing your opponent makes the higher seed always a positive reward instead of a potential risk.

This is a solution searching - in vain - for a problem. When has this ever come even CLOSE to happening in baseball? Come on.
   77. Greg Pope Posted: February 11, 2020 at 12:13 PM (#5923531)
Because, quite simply, one method unties tied teams. The other leaves two teams tied. It's the same reason I prefer extra innings over counting which team had the higher OPS during a ballgame to choose a winner.

Thanks for your responses. I'm not sure where I fall on this, but your reasoning makes sense.
   78. Karl from NY Posted: February 11, 2020 at 12:14 PM (#5923534)
For a weapon, I'll take one of those groundskeeper rakes with the 10-foot reach.
   79. PreservedFish Posted: February 11, 2020 at 12:19 PM (#5923536)
The purpose is to eliminate shenanigans involving seeding.

You just made this up, right?
   80. Greg Pope Posted: February 11, 2020 at 12:19 PM (#5923537)
As with everyone else here, I think it may be a mistake. In the NBA and the NHL there's a feeling that the regular season almost doesn't matter. I don't want baseball to ever get there.

Adding more playoff teams is definitely a mistake. I was fine with the first wildcard, and after thinking it through I was fine with the second wildcard, as long as they have the play-in game which creates and incentive for winning the division.

But look at what's happened with the NBA. The stars sit out, what 10-15 percent of the games? They don't care about the regular season.
   81. Karl from NY Posted: February 11, 2020 at 12:26 PM (#5923539)
This is a solution searching - in vain - for a problem. When has this ever come even CLOSE to happening in baseball? Come on.

It hasn't but only because baseball's formats never created any situation for it. Pre-1994, there was no seeding. Then there was the rule that the WC couldn't play its own division winner, which often locked in the matchups anyway. The current format avoids it because a higher seed is always preferable: #1 gets to play the team that had to do the WC game, #2/#3 play each other with the higher having home field, and same for #4/#5.

But it absolutely could occur with 7 teams per league in the playoffs. You'd be perfectly happy to lose some games to drop from the #2 to #3 seed, if that meant playing the 89-win team whose best SP just got injured instead of the 87-win team who just traded for this year's Verlander.
   82. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 11, 2020 at 12:28 PM (#5923542)

I'm going to offer a contrary opinion here and say that this is a Really Terrible Idea and I hate it a lot.


MAKE THIS GUY COMMISSIONER
   83. Lassus Posted: February 11, 2020 at 12:38 PM (#5923549)
But it absolutely could occur with 7 teams per league in the playoffs.

I grok what you're saying. But the solution is not to start this idiot system in the first place as opposed to coming up with a system so crappy it requires even additional crappy things to even it out. (And I do understand that you're just going for the silver lining of the shit sandwich you're being served.)
   84. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: February 11, 2020 at 12:39 PM (#5923550)
84. Bearded Manfred Posted: February 11, 2020 at 12:40 PM (#5923546)

Behold! A terrible idea!
   85. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: February 11, 2020 at 12:41 PM (#5923552)
You kind of wonder now how baseball ever got people in the seats for a July or August game between two .500 teams. Pre-mallpark, even.


Honest question - did baseball get people in the seats for those games? Is there a way to look up the average attendance by season for games played in July and August where both teams had a winning percentage between .475 and .525 at the start of the day? We could then compare those numbers to seasonal averages (excluding that subset of games of course).
   86. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: February 11, 2020 at 12:41 PM (#5923553)
um, the <u> tag doesn't underline text?
   87. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: February 11, 2020 at 12:57 PM (#5923561)
Struggling mightily to see any positives, if run difference ever does become a tiebreaking factor then it could put an end to the farce of position players pitching because at that point it just might matter whether you lose a game 7-1 or 17-1. Small price to pay for the rest of the nonsense, but Manfred's reign of error is conditioning me to take my victories where I can find them.
   88. winnipegwhip Posted: February 11, 2020 at 01:24 PM (#5923575)
Struggling mightily to see any positives, if run difference ever does become a tiebreaking factor then it could put an end to the farce of position players pitching because at that point it just might matter whether you lose a game 7-1 or 17-1. Small price to pay for the rest of the nonsense, but Manfred's reign of error is conditioning me to take my victories where I can find them.


…..not to mention the cessation of whining of opponents running up the score.
   89. Lassus Posted: February 11, 2020 at 01:34 PM (#5923584)
um, the <u> tag doesn't underline text?

No.

   90. Rusty Priske Posted: February 11, 2020 at 01:57 PM (#5923593)
My only issue with tiebreakers is when it devolves down to runs scored. Encouraging a team to run up the score is not good. A 10-1 game should not be considered a 'better' win than a 2-1 game. If it is, it will change the way teams are built.
   91. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: February 11, 2020 at 02:04 PM (#5923597)
I like the "choose your opponent" aspect because it's one more thing to criticize the manager/GM over.
   92. Greg Pope Posted: February 11, 2020 at 02:21 PM (#5923601)
Imagine a team picking its playoff opponent. Think about Brian Cashman and the Yankees deciding whether to face the Red Sox or avoid them in the first round of the postseason. All on live TV.


As Walt said in #31, this would be the worst live TV special ever. This isn't the draft. How many teams even get the choice? Just one or two. And they're not making the decision right then. In fact, the decision has been made 2 weeks ago by the data analytics staff.

   93. . Posted: February 11, 2020 at 02:35 PM (#5923603)
Plus the decision is going to leak to the papers anyway and won't even be a surprise. It's just an excruciatingly, painfully dumb idea.

In its essence, baseball really is a terrific sport; it's very unfortunate that it's being ruined and even worse, there seems to be no end in sight to the damage. The cure starts with bringing the athleticism and action and pace and energy back to the game and ridding it of TTO oafball. That would be an appealing product even in today's marketplace, which would alleviate much of the need for these silly gimmicks.
   94. Rusty Priske Posted: February 11, 2020 at 02:57 PM (#5923612)
In fact, the decision has been made 2 weeks ago by the data analytics staff.


Will it? Or will it be made by some suit picking a team that will provide them higher ratings?
   95. Greg Pope Posted: February 11, 2020 at 03:16 PM (#5923627)
Will it? Or will it be made by some suit picking a team that will provide them higher ratings?

Why would the Red Sox suit care about Fox's ratings? But regardless, the decision will be made far ahead of time. Probably towards the end of the regular season.
   96. Karl from NY Posted: February 11, 2020 at 03:21 PM (#5923632)
Just to be clear about run differential, nobody is actually proposing that. It wouldn't happen, there are plenty of other methods that would be used first. The NFL's tiebreaker sequence is head-to-head, then division record (among division teams), then conference record, then record vs common opponents, then strength-of-victory (win% of the teams you beat), and only then to points. The points tiebreaker has never been used since strength-of-victory was inserted before it sometime in the early 2000's. There's also at least one possible method guaranteed to end the tiebreaker sequence in a league where all teams play H2H at least once: most recent H2H game.
   97. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: February 11, 2020 at 03:24 PM (#5923637)
In the NBA and the NHL there's a feeling that the regular season almost doesn't matter.

In the NBA, the first two playoff rounds don't even matter.
   98. Blastin Posted: February 11, 2020 at 03:38 PM (#5923642)
The NBA playoffs last so damn long.
   99. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: February 11, 2020 at 03:40 PM (#5923645)
If it happens, the TV special to announce it would be 2.5 hours long, with the actual selection announcement in the last 5 minutes.

   100. Greg Pope Posted: February 11, 2020 at 03:51 PM (#5923652)
If it happens, the TV special to announce it would be 2.5 hours long, with the actual selection announcement in the last 5 minutes.

And nobody would watch it.
Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
The Piehole of David Wells
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogBaseball Question of the Day: Have you ever permanently changed your rooting interests?
(27 - 2:27pm, Apr 09)
Last: Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques

NewsblogOT – NBA CoronaThread 2020
(68 - 2:26pm, Apr 09)
Last: Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB)

NewsblogUS-based pro sports leagues monitoring coronavirus outbreak
(4811 - 2:25pm, Apr 09)
Last: bigglou115 is not an Illuminati agent

NewsblogDorktown: A History of the Seattle Mariners
(13 - 2:22pm, Apr 09)
Last: villageidiom

NewsblogIf 2020 season is canceled, which players would be hurt the most?
(10 - 2:20pm, Apr 09)
Last: Rally

NewsblogTexas Rangers Hall of Famer Josh Hamilton indicted on charge of injury to a child
(6 - 2:20pm, Apr 09)
Last: Itchy Row

NewsblogBaseball in Arizona: Could it Work?
(9 - 2:19pm, Apr 09)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogPosnanski: Baseball 100 Rules
(1320 - 1:09pm, Apr 09)
Last: Mefisto

NewsblogOT Soccer Thread - Spring 2020
(187 - 1:08pm, Apr 09)
Last: puck

NewsblogTaiwanese baseball team replacing fans with 'robot mannequins' to open season
(12 - 12:35pm, Apr 09)
Last: Gonfalon Bubble

NewsblogEx-MLB player finishes medical school, primes to fight virus
(6 - 11:58am, Apr 09)
Last: Blastin

NewsblogHome Run Derby, Anyone? Eight Ideas to Shorten Extra Innings
(20 - 11:38am, Apr 09)
Last: Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network)

NewsblogDo Big-Boned Position Players Age Worse Than Everyone Else?
(13 - 10:31am, Apr 09)
Last: Itchy Row

NewsblogAssessing Reliever Value in a Shorter Season
(2 - 7:42am, Apr 09)
Last: Rally

Sox TherapyThe Perfect Schedule - Games 11-20
(8 - 11:09pm, Apr 08)
Last: villageidiom

Page rendered in 0.8303 seconds
46 querie(s) executed