MLB: The No Good, Very Bad Postseason Idea
In this week’s edition of “let’s try our hardest to bury the Astros” news, the MLB released a proposal that would expand the playoffs to include fourteen teams. This would mean that if you are in the top half of the league, congratulations, you are in the playoffs.
There is a really large part of this that seems like this idea only came about because of the Houston Astros cheating scandal growing bigger by the day. If this is the case and this idiotic postseason idea is purely to try and change the narrative, then it may only be working about a quarter of what they were hoping. Let’s be real for a second, the MLB postseason is the best postseason in major league sports. Sure adding a few more teams would mean more revenue and possibly even greater exposure in some of the smaller markets like Detroit, Kansas City, and Cleveland. I can see where the MLB is coming from with the expansion, but here is my issue with it.
The postseason is to be the absolute best teams battling it out for one to become the top team in the league and then wear the champions’ crown. If you are letting in half of the league to play for this opportunity it cheapens the postseason. Chances are it may end up with the most predictable and unwatchable divisional series in sports. Especially if year after year a one seed has to play what would become the seventh seed. It’s clear where the advantage is and yes, there are Cinderella stories that occur but the reason why we love those stories is that they do not happen all the time.
Another section of this new postseason format turns the MLB Network into the Bravo Channel, by having a “reality show” where teams get to pick their opponents. WGN 9 out of Chicago explains it the best, “The division winner with the second-best record would choose its opponent from among the three lowest-seeded wild-card teams. The division winner with the third-best record would then get to pick from among the remaining two wild cards. The top wild-card would face whichever team is left over after the division winners make their choices.”
So basically instead of having a “prove it” series, we are allowing the possibility for bribery and favoritism to eek their way into the MLB postseason. It seems like a nice idea to have a television show where all six wildcard teams fans would tune in to see who they are playing, but the thing about it is. It takes the beauty of the MLB postseason completely out of the picture. The whole thing (unless you are in Houston) is decided by skill and strategy. There are all sorts of non-competitive reasons why one team would select another. Let’s use the Boston Red Sox as an example if they are the second seed in the playoffs, and they have the choices of the Los Angeles Angels, the New York Yankees, and Tampa Bay Rays.
Chances are, Boston may pick the Yankees because then they can double charge the already expensive postseason tickets, to the point where even if they get knocked out, at least they made money. Let teams earn their spot in the playoffs. If you are going to expand it at all, take the top wild card team, and put them against the second seed. Then take the other two teams, and have them play either a one-game playoff or a three-game series to decide who gets to play the one seed in the divisional round. That way at minimum there is a little bit of competition if you want to expand it so badly.
Lastly, it would disintegrate the competition of the playoffs. Over the past few years, if this playoff format had been put into place, that means you would have teams that are .500 or below making the postseason. Who does that benefit? Maybe the team that is under .500 and the team that’s ten games ahead of them have a nice “tune-up game” before playing the one seed.
In closing, this postseason idea is a very bad idea because it’s completely money-driven and it does not take into account the game itself. Also, the Houston Astros are dirty, dirty, cheaters, sorry MLB, you won’t bury that one for long.
How do you feel about the MLB playoff proposal? Leave a comment below.
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