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.
Sources: MLB and union are re-engaging on the possibility of expanded playoffs for this season. Has to be done before first pitch 25 hours from now, but there seems to be optimism. Hope was to go from 10 playoff teams to 16.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 22, 2020
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.