Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

The Forums

Game Thread Twins @ Cubs 9 /20/2020 6:00 PM CDT

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:23 PM
The Twins conclude their week in Chicago with a Sunday night game against the Cubs. The Twins have won two of the first six games against...
Full topic ›

Gardy announces retirement

Other Baseball Today, 03:39 PM
This is an AP article lifted from the StarTribune web site.DETROIT — Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire announced his immediate retirement bar...
Full topic ›

The Defense And Reality of Dobnak

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:20 PM
I almost posted this in a front page thread but decided it needed it's own. I know we are in a playoff push with mixtures of optimism and...
Full topic ›

LT contracts for current star position players

Other Baseball Today, 09:13 AM
I see that Yelich is still effected by a broken kneecap from last year and has a longterm contract now through 2028. It always raised an...
Full topic ›

How does this scoring get the win?

Other Baseball Today, 09:35 AM
Here is the pitching box Grateral 1.1 innings one run Kolarek 0.2 innings no runs Dodgers take lead May 5.1 innings 3 runs Gonzalez 1 inn...
Full topic ›

Recent Blogs

Double Bubble: Unraveling MLB’s New Playoff Format

In the midst of a pandemic, there has been plenty to question about MLB’s approach to the 2020 season. Luckily, baseball is in the home stretch and it looks like the 60-game season will be completed on time. Next on the checklist is to unravel a new expanded playoff format that took on a much different look earlier this week.
Image courtesy of © Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Expanded Playoffs
In the hours before the season began, MLB and the Players Association agreed to a deal that would expand the playoffs from 10-teams to 16-teams. This means more than half of baseball’s teams will qualify for postseason play. MLB did more than just add more teams and some of those changes could make this year’s playoffs tough to digest for more traditional fans.

The first round will be a best of three-series with all the games played in the ballpark of the higher seed. With no fans in the stands, the biggest advantages for the home teams are being able to sleep in their own beds and to be the last team to bat in the final inning. After this first round, things will change for the Division Series, League Championship Series and World Series.

Neutral Site Bubbles
MLB and the Players Association agreed to a deal earlier this week that would set up two neutral site bubbles for every round beyond the first round. All American League teams will play their games in California between Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles and Petco Park in San Diego. All National League teams will play their games in Texas between Minute Maid Park in Houston and Globe Life Park in Arlington. The World Series will also be held at Globe Life Park.

All players will be tested daily inside the bubbles. It also sounds like families will be able to enter the bubble and stay with players on contending teams. They must quarantine with the players for seven days leading into the postseason and remain together while their spouse is still playing. Families of managers and coaches will not have this option because of the capacity issues in the hotels.

No Off Days
Another change that will be added to this year’s playoffs is nearly all off days have been eliminated. The first-round series would be played over three consecutive days, the Division Series would be played over five consecutive days, and the League Championship Series would be played over seven consecutive days. Only the World Series would keep it regular off days following Game 2 and Game 5.

For teams and managers, a condensed schedule could mean more strategy throughout each series. Bullpens will be come even more important, which certainly could help the Twins since they have a strong bullpen. Another change could be that back-up catchers play more of a role in a shortened series. Teams might not want their starting catcher to log three straight starts behind the plate, especially since playoff games tend to be longer than regular season contests.

What do you think about the changes to MLB’s playoff format? Will the bubble system work? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

MORE FROM TWINS DAILY
— Latest Twins coverage from our writers
— Recent Twins discussion in our forums
— Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email


  • Share:
  • submit to reddit
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

17 Comments

The only question is, do we hold off the Yankees for the 4 seed and see them at TF, or do we slip to 5, and travel to the big apple?

Photo
theBOMisthebomb
Sep 16 2020 05:44 AM
They should have had some fun with the whole thing and mixed an outdoor northern stadium into the mix for the World Series. Say, Target Field.
Photo
bustedstuff88
Sep 16 2020 09:36 AM

Why California and Texas, 2 of the biggest Covid hotbeds? 

 

Why not a site in middle america? Seems way more neutral than shoving everyone west.

 

I have a feeling the coastal teams (Dodgers, Pads, Stro's) will end up dominating in the post season if for no other reason than the comfort factor.

 

Doesnt even bring up the potential for any player who has to travel west now who may contract the virus....Not that this wasnt a risk before but its also been pretty contained (west playing west, east playing eastm central playing central) and now we are throwing everyone together in a "safety bubble"....im just gonna be awful disappointed if we lose critical pieces to covid at *essentially* the only time this year that it matters. 

Photo
Brock Beauchamp
Sep 16 2020 09:44 AM

 

Why California and Texas, 2 of the biggest Covid hotbeds? 

 

Why not a site in middle america? Seems way more neutral than shoving everyone west.

Three reasons:

1. Weather, obviously.

 

2. Proximity of pairs of stadiums. Outside of the coasts, it's hard to find two pairs of stadiums within driving distance of one another.

 

3. The pairs of stadiums need to be of the opposing league. Places like New York don't work because of the AL/NL split. New York and Philly would work for the AL (except for weather) but where do you put the NL games at that point?

    • SkyBlueWaters likes this

 

Why California and Texas, 2 of the biggest Covid hotbeds? 

 

Why not a site in middle america? Seems way more neutral than shoving everyone west.

 

I have a feeling the coastal teams (Dodgers, Pads, Stro's) will end up dominating in the post season if for no other reason than the comfort factor.

 

Doesnt even bring up the potential for any player who has to travel west now who may contract the virus....Not that this wasnt a risk before but its also been pretty contained (west playing west, east playing eastm central playing central) and now we are throwing everyone together in a "safety bubble"....im just gonna be awful disappointed if we lose critical pieces to covid at *essentially* the only time this year that it matters. 

The midwest is where Covid is surging in cases right now. It's actually stabilized in Texas in recent weeks. 

https://www.nytimes....es-midwest.html

    • SkyBlueWaters likes this

 

Why California and Texas, 2 of the biggest Covid hotbeds? 

In addition to the responses above, I'm pretty sure every person allowed into the bubble/clubhouses is going to be tightly regulated -- even cleaning and maintenance.

 

As long as the players aren't ordering pizza and going outside to meet the delivery driver, they should be OK. :)

 

Three reasons:

1. Weather, obviously.

2. Proximity of pairs of stadiums. Outside of the coasts, it's hard to find two pairs of stadiums within driving distance of one another.

 

3. The pairs of stadiums need to be of the opposing league. Places like New York don't work because of the AL/NL split. New York and Philly would work for the AL (except for weather) but where do you put the NL games at that point?

Good post! I was confused about this at first too. Further explanation:

 

1. Guaranteed good weather or a roof is necessary to avoid delays (which would cause doubleheaders and/or throw off the whole schedule) -- this disqualifies pretty much every northern ballpark without a roof.

 

2. I think they want the stadium pairs close so the DS winners can drive relatively quickly to the CS stadium. (Insert joke about California traffic here.) Air travel compromises the "bubble" isolation more than ground transport.

 

3. The ALDS/ALCS is only being played in a pair of NL stadiums, with the opposite for the NLDS/NLCS, to ensure no team is playing those rounds on their actual home field.

 

CA and TX are really the only places left that could meet this criteria. And fortunately one of the CA/TX teams (the Rangers) is already virtually eliminated from postseason contention, so they can safely be designated as the World Series host.

    • Brock Beauchamp and SkyBlueWaters like this

Since Seth mentioned it in the Blankenhorn post, does this mean families can attend the games too?

 

I like the no off days rule. The rest...you gotta do what you gotta do in 2020.

 

I definitely think the bubble is the safest way to do it.

Photo
SkyBlueWaters
Sep 16 2020 11:47 AM

 

CA and TX are really the only places left that could meet this criteria. And fortunately one of the CA/TX teams (the Rangers) is already virtually eliminated from postseason contention, so they can safely be designated as the World Series host.

 

One additional possibility:I'm not sure MLB has yet given up on the possibility of some fans in attendance. Local laws apply. Texas, I've heard, is so far a bit more lax in terms of permitting attendance.

 

Not saying it's a good reason, just saying it's a possibility.

 

About the elimination of off days during the ALDS and ALCS, teams deep in starters should also benefit from this. If a rotation is top heavy with two or three dominant pitchers (as Washington was last year), they can use those off days to rest their horses.

 

I'd like to say Berrios or Maeda have dominant track records, but if you look at their whole careers, they haven't put up the numbers of a Verlander or a Cole (Houston, '17). 

 

But with no off days, our collection of very, very good no. 2 - 3 starters gives us depth. I'd still like to see someone like MadBum in his prime pitching for us, but this has a chance to help us, should we get past the first round.

Photo
Brock Beauchamp
Sep 16 2020 11:54 AM

 

CA and TX are really the only places left that could meet this criteria. And fortunately one of the CA/TX teams (the Rangers) is already virtually eliminated from postseason contention, so they can safely be designated as the World Series host.

It doesn't even matter if teams are disqualified or not, which is why they picked TEX/HOU for the NL (both home stadiums of AL teams) and SDP/LAD for the AL (both home stadiums of NL teams). In either case, MLB could choose the alternate stadium to host the World Series should one of those home teams make it the Championship Series round.

 

One thing I haven't seen discussed much is that SoCal is NOT an optimal location for the Twins to play. The two stadiums they've designated are cavernous, which plays against the Twins' offensive strengths.

 

It doesn't even matter if teams are disqualified or not, which is why they picked TEX/HOU for the NL (both home stadiums of AL teams) and SDP/LAD for the AL (both home stadiums of NL teams). In either case, MLB could choose the alternate stadium to host the World Series should one of those home teams make it the Championship Series round.

What if TEX/HOU and SDP/LAD all advanced to the CS round? :)

 

It's not a requirement, but I'm sure MLB appreciates being able to finalize all of their bubble arrangements now for Arlington for Oct. 18-28, rather than waiting and having to prepare contingency plans.

 

A new ballpark to show off in Arlington helped too, I am sure.

 

One thing I haven't seen discussed much is that SoCal is NOT an optimal location for the Twins to play. The two stadiums they've designated are cavernous, which plays against the Twins' offensive strengths.

I was just about to mention that!

 

Article in The Athletic (paywall) says the rate of "barrels to homers" in Dodger Stadium is actually higher than at Target Field the past 3 years, and suggests Petco is good for RH power which would help the Twins:

 

https://theathletic....yoff-structure/

 

 

The Minnesota Twins, however, could be happy to fly to San Diego for their quarantine IPAs. They led the league from the right side, as their righties are pulling a whopping 36 percent of their balls in play in the air. No player right now has more pulled Barrels from the right side than Miguel Sano. Their lefties are more prone to spraying the ball to all fields, as only two teams see their lefties pull fewer balls in the air. The Twins have to make it there, but they’ll love it.

    • Brock Beauchamp likes this

If the Twins are the 4 or 5 seed and they advance, they will be playing in San Diego (Petco) for the DS round. And the CS round is already set for San Diego too.

 

We're currently #4 seed as the best 2nd place team. We'd be 5th if the Yankees (currently 2 behind us) or Blue Jays (2.5) pass us. We'd drop to 7th or 8th if Cleveland (3) passed us.

 

One additional possibility:I'm not sure MLB has yet given up on the possibility of some fans in attendance. Local laws apply. Texas, I've heard, is so far a bit more lax in terms of permitting attendance.

 

Not saying it's a good reason, just saying it's a possibility.

I'm guessing that's just wishful thinking or PR hopefulness from MLB? In-person fan attendance doesn't make all that much sense in a neutral site bubble situation.

 

It would be one thing to let a limited number of select Minneapolis residents into carefully controlled sections at Target Field for a game, but I'm pretty sure they will not want to deal with fans from various cities flying to California and Texas and coming into the stadium, while otherwise living completely outside bubble protocols.

 

Maybe a few rich people will get let in, like the Marlins jacket guy. :)

No off-days in playoffs: Here's who benefits
https://www.mlb.com/...ffects-pitching

No off days probably helps the Twins deep pitching with a lack of an Ace or two. Those guys probably won't be able to start 3 times in a series anymore with no off days.
Photo
SkyBlueWaters
Sep 16 2020 05:19 PM

 

I'm guessing that's just wishful thinking or PR hopefulness from MLB? In-person fan attendance doesn't make all that much sense in a neutral site bubble situation.

 

It would be one thing to let a limited number of select Minneapolis residents into carefully controlled sections at Target Field for a game, but I'm pretty sure they will not want to deal with fans from various cities flying to California and Texas and coming into the stadium, while otherwise living completely outside bubble protocols.

 

Maybe a few rich people will get let in, like the Marlins jacket guy. :)

 

From https://www.mlbtrade...e-playoffs.html

 

" ... It also appears that there’s been some discussion of allowing fans in a limited capacity, as commissioner Rob Manfred suggested last night in an online event with Hofstra University’s business school (link via Evan Drellich of The Athletic). Whether that possibility is woven into the agreement is not yet clear."

 

That some people would pay good money to fly to Texas or California to see their team in the playoffs in such a peculiar time, and be part of a select few allowed in, socially distanced, wouldn't surprise me.

 

I mean, I have little interest in a motorcycle rally in Sturgis SD. But to see the Twins in the ALCS or World Series?  

 

 

From https://www.mlbtrade...e-playoffs.html

 

" ... It also appears that there’s been some discussion of allowing fans in a limited capacity, as commissioner Rob Manfred suggested last night in an online event with Hofstra University’s business school (link via Evan Drellich of The Athletic). Whether that possibility is woven into the agreement is not yet clear."

 

That some people would pay good money to fly to Texas or California to see their team in the playoffs in such a peculiar time, and be part of a select few allowed in, socially distanced, wouldn't surprise me.

 

I mean, I have little interest in a motorcycle rally in Sturgis SD. But to see the Twins in the ALCS or World Series?  

Thanks, yeah, I saw that quote too. But Manfred is kind of infamous for saying he will consider anything! He said the same thing about the regular season, and the lack of progress on that front makes me doubt they'd try it out for the first time in their carefully orchestrated playoff bubble.

 

I don't doubt that people would be interested! I could see attendance limited to player families who are already "in the bubble", and of course a few high-profile high rollers quarantined themselves up in the luxury boxes, promoting FOX shows and the like. But I have a hard time imagining a ticket lottery for fans or anything like that.