Author Topic: MLB plotting playoff expansion — with reality TV twist  (Read 90 times)

Offline Murph

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MLB plotting playoff expansion — with reality TV twist
« on: February 10, 2020, 04:56:07 PM »

MLB plotting playoff expansion — with reality TV twist

By Joel ShermanFebruary 10, 2020 | 4:50pm | Updated



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.

The division winner with the second-best record in a league would then get the first pick of its opponent from those lower three wild cards, then the other division winner would pick, leaving the last two wild cards to play each other.

To use the AL last season as an example, the Astros with the best record would have received the bye. The Yankees, with the second-best record, would have had the choice to pick from among the Rays, Indians and Red Sox. Boston had the worst record of that group. Would the Yanks pick them or avoid the baggage of a series with their rival? It would create a ton of strategy and interest, and this is what MLB wants to sell. The Twins would then pick next as the other division winner, and then the A’s with the best wild-card record would play the team not chosen by the Yankees or Twins.

The plan is to have this all play out on a show on the Sunday night the regular season ends and have representatives picking teams on live TV — think the NCAA selection show, but just with the teams making the selections. The rights to that show is part of the enticement to potential TV partners.

Enlarge ImageWild changes could be headed toward the MLB's postseason.
Wild changes could be headed toward the MLB’s postseason.AP
Fox’s new deal with MLB to remain exclusive broadcaster of the World Series, two Division Series and a League Championship Series runs through 2028. But MLB’s deals with ESPN and Turner run through 2021. So MLB can time expanded playoffs as a lure for new deals with one of those networks — remember that ESPN can offer network television with ABC, as well — both networks or neither at a time when streaming powerhouses such as Amazon, DAZN, etc. could also enter bidding.

This satisfies what the networks want which is 1) postseason inventory and 2) as many clinching scenarios as possible. There would be six best-of-three series. Game 1 would be playoff inventory, Game 2 would be a clinch scenario for one team and if there were a Game 3, it would be sudden death for both clubs. The three winners in the round would join the No. 1 overall seed in the Division Series. In addition, many team officials had complained since the onset of the wild-card sudden death in 2012 that no team should be eliminated in one game. So, this system would at least give a chance to a team to rebound from one poor performance.

Any change in playoff format must be collectively bargained with the union; the CBA — like the TV deals with ESPN and Turner — expires after next season. In theory, though, additional playoff teams should provide elements that the union has been wanting. More playoff openings would motivate more teams to try, which should mean less tanking.

If more teams are viable for the playoffs, they will spend more to chase a spot. A club that projects itself internally to, say, 81 wins would think about adding to get to 84-85 and have a chance of being even one of seven playoff teams per league. In addition, teams that have been in play for a wild card have been hesitant to spend because of fear of the one-and-done format making any increase in payroll feel too risky. Will the chance to be in a series — even one that is just best-of-three — encourage greater spending?

MLB is also hoping that more playoff openings drives greater fan interest. In 2019, attendance was down for a seventh straight year. Many factors have led to the dip, but clearly one is so many teams surrendering playoff objectives before or during seasons. MLB wants to have as many regular-season games matter as possible.

In this format, there is a great benefit to finishing with the best record in a league and avoiding the first round, so teams will keep playing hard to the end to get that. There are great advantages to winning a division because you get to play that first round exclusively at home and pick your opponent. And there is an advantage to having the top wild-card record because you get the first round at home. Also, 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.

MLB also understands it is in a constant fight now to not only expand its fan base, but to keep what it has. The NFL is moving closer to encroaching on the beginning of spring training if it goes to a 17th game with a third bye week. The NBA has weighed midseason tournaments or reducing the number of pre-Christmas games to escape the shadow of the NFL, which could push the NBA playoffs back, perhaps into July.

All of this has MLB thinking about increasing its playoff content with the belief it will boost interest among fans and broadcast partners.

Offline markj

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Re: MLB plotting playoff expansion — with reality TV twist
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2020, 07:14:38 PM »
Gonna be tough to play baseball in the snow.
Worst => First => Worst => Worst => ALE Champs => ALE Champs =>First

Offline longgame

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Re: MLB plotting playoff expansion — with reality TV twist
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2020, 09:23:38 AM »
Just seems like a terrible idea, especially the gimmicky part of picking opponents.  Keep it simple!

Offline Bill-806

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Re: MLB plotting playoff expansion — with reality TV twist
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2020, 11:09:26 AM »
Just seems like a terrible idea, especially the gimmicky part of picking opponents.  Keep it simple!
  AS MLB continues to SLIDE from must see games, they are REACHING to rebound (that's basketball) from all the great things that "hi teck has brought them !! iono iono iono iono

Offline SeaBeachFred

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Re: MLB plotting playoff expansion — with reality TV twist
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2020, 02:48:01 PM »
I suppose this hair brained scheme is designed to inject interest in the game for people under 25, but those same people be come baseball fans when they  reach 35 or 40 anyway so to me this is some stupid gimmick.  Are they still going to play 162 games?   Then we will have to start in freezing weather in March and shiver from the cold weather in November.  The only way this would work would be to shorten the  schedule fo 150-154 games so as to avoid those extreme cold sdnaps in early Spring and into Mid-Autumn, but I never heard that part of the plan mentioned. Dumb, dumb, dumb unless shoetening the schedule is part of the plab.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2020, 02:50:35 PM by SeaBeachFred »

Offline Murph

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Re: MLB plotting playoff expansion — with reality TV twist
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2020, 03:07:29 PM »
They can shorten  it by all the games they want. THE IDEA IS STUPID.
The game is becoming  a JOKE.
 

Offline SeaBeachFred

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Re: MLB plotting playoff expansion — with reality TV twist
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2020, 03:20:23 PM »
They can shorten  it by all the games they want. THE IDEA IS STUPID.
The game is becoming  a JOKE.

Well someone had to take on the role of being the "might work guy" so I took on the mantle even though it was a far cry from my suspicious and sarcastic self, but you're right Murph. When you weigh the pros and cons,there are a ton of of cons and very little in the way of pros.

Offline longgame

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Re: MLB plotting playoff expansion — with reality TV twist
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2020, 07:58:56 AM »
To me it doesn't make sense to play 162 games and basically have a chance to win the WS if you play .500 or worse.  Makes no sense at all. 

Offline Murph

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Re: MLB plotting playoff expansion — with reality TV twist
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2020, 01:43:05 PM »
They can shorten  it by all the games they want. THE IDEA IS STUPID.
The game is becoming  a JOKE.

Well someone had to take on the role of being the "might work guy" so I took on the mantle even though it was a far cry from my suspicious and sarcastic self, but you're right Murph. When you weigh the pros and cons,there are a ton of of cons and very little in the way of pros.

Fred, I can`t see 1 single thing good about it. Manfred's sole job IMO is to ruin baseball . Seems to me he is doing a good job of getting it done.

Offline elktonnick

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Re: MLB plotting playoff expansion — with reality TV twist
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2020, 05:52:02 PM »
Another idiotic idea from MLB.

Offline SeaBeachFred

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Re: MLB plotting playoff expansion — with reality TV twist
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2020, 06:24:06 PM »
They can shorten  it by all the games they want. THE IDEA IS STUPID.
The game is becoming  a JOKE.

Well someone had to take on the role of being the "might work guy" so I took on the mantle even though it was a far cry from my suspicious and sarcastic self, but you're right Murph. When you weigh the pros and cons,there are a ton of of cons and very little in the way of pros.

Fred, I can`t see 1 single thing good about it. Manfred's sole job IMO is to ruin baseball . Seems to me he is doing a good job of getting it done.

Well Murph it looks like you're in good company because no one else seems to like either.  My take is if they go through with this scheme, and it looks like Manfred is determined to heed the call of sponsors and their money, the only way this could fly is to shorten the wchedule buy about ten or twelve games.  Starting the season in March and ending it in November is horse shit.  But it does look like money and pressure from thw owners down to the Commishioner is going to negate whatever we fans think of the plan/

Offline longgame

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Re: MLB plotting playoff expansion — with reality TV twist
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2020, 09:43:34 AM »
I may have seen an article or two half-heartedly explaining how great it would be for a team like Pittsburgh to basically lose 3 games once every 7 years in the postseason, but it really is hard to find anyone who supports this idea.  Baseball is the only sport where you have to usually play pretty well to win it all.  I don't care who the best team is in a big playoff in October.

Offline SeaBeachFred

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Re: MLB plotting playoff expansion — with reality TV twist
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2020, 10:14:40 PM »
I may have seen an article or two half-heartedly explaining how great it would be for a team like Pittsburgh to basically lose 3 games once every 7 years in the postseason, but it really is hard to find anyone who supports this idea.  Baseball is the only sport where you have to usually play pretty well to win it all.  I don't care who the best team is in a big playoff in October.

Wel Ted, the MLBPA will have a say in that when negotiations come up in 2021 concerning this playoff schedule among other things.  If enough players and GM's and owners see how this plan rests on a castle of sand it will go away very quickly.  I have heard NOTHING in this plan about shortending the schedule so the idea of adding two more playoff series to the season sounds ludicrous in the extreme.  When something is not broken you shouldn't want to try to play around it or tinker around with a game that, as you say, is the only sport where you  have to play well for three series to win it all.  This game isn't for losers and since all teams have money from the TV contracts it is up to the owners to be willing to put d their mo ney where their mouths are and spend to try and put together a winning team.  My take is that this revenue sharing is a pack of shit as well.  All it does to me is allow owners of horse dung teams to  take the money and bank it and then try to sell their fans the idea that they are in to win when in fact they are not.  Today I read in the LA Times how Angels owner Arte Moreno is trying to tell the fans of his team that they did all they could to sigh a  top notch quality starter but didn't say how he wouldn't go the extra 100 miles to put up  the extra cash to bring it about.  His mantra has always been this is as far as we can go.  He was lucky he did get Rendon this winter.