Thursday, November 17, 2011

Astros Moving! But Also Two New Wild Cards in MLB Playoffs :(

So, believe it or not, in a previous post, I advocated moving the Astros to the AL West to even out divisions.  And now it is happening.  Well done!  Now about the Pirates and Braves... (see "Common Sense Division Realignment..." post)

Unfortunately, along with the realignment announcement came another declaration from the commissioner's office that as soon as next year, there will be two new wild card teams in the playoffs, and the two wild card teams per league will meet in a one game playoff.  My complaint about the MLB playoff system has always been the initial round of divisional playoff series is too short at the present best of five format.  The unique thing about baseball is that it is an 162 game grind, where over the course of many months the cream rises to the top.  It always seemed cheap to have two of the top four teams in each league eliminated in a series that is so brief when compared with the duration of the regular season.

But now something even more absurd is being introduced.  A one game playoff.  After pushing through a grueling 162 games, filled with highs and lows, a team now has four hours to decide its playoff fate.  Keep in mind, this isn't the NFL in which a one game playoff makes sense because it is 1/16 of the regular season. For  baseball, a one game playoff is a minuscule 1/162 of the season.

Will the ratings be high?  Probably.  Will MLB make a lot of money?  Definitely.  But the net result is that the league is further cheapening the regular season.


  1. why not make it an extra incentive for winning the "1st" wild card by making the wild card series a best of 3, the "1st" wild card team gets home field meaning all 3 games (if necessary) are played in their home park. Game 1 on Friday, Game 2 Sat, and Game 3 Sun hell even go a day-night doubleheader for games 2 and 3.

  2. I think that going from a one-game to a three-game series would be better, but its still too short. I have always chafed against the shortness of a five-game series, but a one or a three seems outrageous to me.

    The nature of baseball is that nearly every team in baseball wins at least 60 games and loses at least 60 games. That is why it takes all of 162 games to sort out the best from the worst. A one-game or three-game (or five-game, in my opinion) playoff is too small of a sample size to really determine which team is better.

  3. If they are adding 2 wild cards, they should reduce the regular season by 1 week, to a 154 game schedule.

    Of course the owners would never agree, but it is the correct thing to do!

  4. If MLB is set on adding the extra wild cards, I like the idea of shortening the regular season schedule. That would provide the opportunity for more legitimate-length playoff series.

    However, it might also cause a playoff season that is painfully long. They would probably have to eliminate most of the off-days for teams between games.