Major League Baseball Re-engaging To Expand Playoffs

Jon Heyman is reporting that Major League Baseball and the players union are working to expand playoffs from 10 playoff teams to 16. The deal has until Thursday night’s first pitch, which stands at about 25 hours from now. 

The idea of expanding the playoffs has been a sore subject on social media as fans worry about team spending. Rightfully so.

Common sense would tell a team like the Arizona Diamondbacks’ front office that they don’t need to catch the Dodgers in the division, they would only be required to finish in the Top 8 in the National League. In a league where owners do everything possible to save a buck, the last thing Major League Baseball needs is for the owners to have another excuse to put the checkbook away.

Plenty of fans are wondering: Why now?

Well, commissioner Rob Manfred spent his time, these past few months, fixated on player safety and simply didn’t have the time to make a tweak of this nature. That attention to safety paid off as positive COVID-19 tests came in at an impressive .05%.

While Major League Baseball has done a great job of keeping their players out of harm’s way, they will need to do a better job taking a temperature on what their fans want. Baseball fans have been clear as day on their unhappiness with letting small market teams off the hook.

If you’ve been keeping up with Major League Baseball, you would know that “tone deaf” is Rob Manfred’s middle name. We’ll see if he manages to wet the bed in the next 25 hours or so.

Written by Gary Sheffield, Jr

Gary Sheffield Jr is the son of should-be MLB Hall of Famer, Gary Sheffield. He covers basketball and baseball for OutKick.com, chats with the Purple and Gold faithful on LakersNation, and shitposts on Twitter. You can follow him at GarySheffieldJr

4 Comments

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  1. Adding 50% or more of league participants into a postseason takes away from importance of regular season. That’s especially true for NHL where it seems like Seed 8s beat Seed 1s every year. MLB is similar.

    I’ve got an idea for NHL, NBA, and apparently MLB since they’re focused on 16 playoff teams. Honestly, fans will be hesitant to this because it’s such a different ideology. It makes sense when trying to retain regular season credibility and not just sneak in the postseason as a .500 team. IT WON’T WORK IN NFL.

    16 teams = 4 rounds (16-8-4-2). Round 1 is your typical 1-8, 2-7, 3-6, 4-5 in each conference.

    Round 1-2 are 6-game series. Consider Round 1. The lower seeds (5-8) must win 4 of 6. If it’s 3 of 6 (3-3), then higher seeds (1-4) advance due to regular season standing. Higher seeds (1-4) advance 3-3/3-2/3-1/3-0. Lower seeds (5-8) advance 4-2/4-1/4-0.

    Home advantages go 2-2-2. This creates a huge difference between Seed 4 and Seed 5.

    Round 2 is either reseeded OR … a twist I’ve always liked … the highest seed chooses their opponent. Say 1-2-3-4 advance to Round 2. Seed 4 is hottest in tournament or bad matchup for Seed 1. Maybe Seed 1 decides to play Seed 3. A Seed 1 choosing to play a Seed 2 or 3 over a 4 creates a ‘disrespect’ storyline.

    Round 3-4 (conference finals / championship) revert to a typical 7-game series.

    This rewards teams for having strong regular seasons while still giving the lower seeds an opportunity to advance.

  2. I guess I’m out of touch with the average baseball fan but I’m all for having more playoff teams. As a Rays fan it sucks when your team overachieves, winning 90+ games on a ramen noodle payroll and they still don’t make the playoffs because they play in the same division as the Red Sux and Yank-mees.

    16 Teams is too many when you play 162 games (as it dilutes the importance of the reg season) but I think it’s not a bad idea given that this regular season is only 60 games. On a regular 162-game season I wouldn’t mind adding in another team or two and abandoning the 1-game wild card.

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