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MLB and Player's Union Agree on 2020 Adjustments

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:28 AM
MLB and the player's union agreed on adjustments to be made in the short season. It appears that when the season starts, all teams will h...
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Trevor Bauer doing breakdown of Max Kepler's HR strea...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:59 AM
  https://old.reddit.c...ins_fans_in_my/     Not sure if anyone has watched any of his videos he has been making lately bu...
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Thor done for the year

Other Baseball Today, 09:28 AM
The trades that you did not make http://www.startribu...gery/569067112/
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Wade and Poppen Optioned

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 09:52 PM
From mlbtraderumors.com, the Twins have optioned Lamonte Wade Jr. and Sean Poppen, both of whom saw time last year with the Twins. The op...
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GAME (of life) THREAD 3/13: MIN (and the world) vs. COVID...

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 08:18 PM
Just recently, I read John Bonnes’ great article on how this site is an amazing community, and I couldn’t agree more. I’ve realized that...
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Opinion: Manfred Proposes a Playoff Restructure

On February 10th, Joel Sherman of the New York Post released an exclusive article laying out Rob Manfred’s proposal for a new playoff structure. The news sure had the Twitterverse, including current and former players, like Trevor Bauer and Trevor Plouffe, stirring, ready to share their reaction.
Image courtesy of © Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
This piece will summarize the proposal and then include some subjective commentary on how it could impact baseball. After reading, I look forward to hearing what you think and what ideas, if any, you have on a possible restructure.

So let's start with a quick bullet point summary of the proposal:
  • Increase playoff teams from five to seven in each league, which introduces two additional Wild Card teams.
  • The team with the best record in each league will receive a bye to the Division Series.
  • The Wild Card Series would be a three-game series where all games take place at the home of the teams with the best record.
  • The division winner with the second-best record would choose who they play of the three lower Wild Card teams.
  • The division winner with the third-best record would choose who they play of the two remaining lower Wild Card teams.
  • The last two Wild Card teams remaining will play each other.
  • There will no longer be Game 163s... the tiebreaker at the end of the regular season will be their head-to-head record.
  • There will be a “selection show” on the last day of the regular season where teams will pick in a reality TV-esque show.
I believe that the playoffs should be as exclusive as reasonably possible. I still don’t like the fact that the playoffs were expanded in 2012, and believe that the team that loses the Wild Card play-in game should not be credited with a playoff appearance. That’s right, in my eyes, the Twins did NOT make the playoffs in 2017... sorry, not sorry.

Needless to say, I don’t like expanding the playoffs even more as it takes away some of the meaning of making a playoff appearance. Furthermore, by expanding the playoffs I think you encourage teams to remain complacent. If you decide to truly “tank” you’re not going to be vying for one of the last Wild Card spots even with the expansion. On the other hand, if you are an average to slightly above average team expected to win ~85 games, you now have the opportunity to appease your fan base by “making the playoffs” without feeling the pressure to add an expensive or high-impact piece. Oh, and owners get the added financial benefit of playing at least two extra games without the payroll commitment.

All that said, I love the rest of the proposal. You don’t need to expand the playoffs to allow the top division winner to choose their opponent. Strategically, a team might decide to play the best team available right away while they know the health of their players or if they feel they match up better against the team.

That’s one aspect of the proposal I would change: Why does the division winner have to choose from one of the Wild Card winners? It wouldn’t be completely crazy to see one of the Wild Card teams actually have a better record than the third-best division winner. While you’re at it, give me an hour-long selection show special for some added drama.

I wouldn’t hate to see the current one-game playoff change to the proposed best-of-three series where the Wild Card team with the better record hosts all three games. Anything fluky can happen in one game, so that’s not a great measure of who is truly the better team. And if the losing team puts up a respectable fight in the series, I’d even consider crediting them with a playoff appearance.

What do you think of the proposal? Does it deter tanking? Would you make any changes to the current structure?

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54 Comments

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Doctor Gast
Feb 12 2020 09:44 AM

One thing I don`t like about it which someone had beat me to in another thread is that towards the end of the deadline most teams will believe they`re still in it & hold on their player instead of trading them. It`s bad enough the way that it is.

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Andrew Thares
Feb 12 2020 09:49 AM

I personally hate the idea of teams choosing their potential opponents. That just puts the best teams in the league in a real awkward position, heading into the most important part of the season.

 

I know there is big push-back on teams having to sit out about a week while the Wild Card round games are played, since it will "take them off their routine". I don't think this is that much of an issue, as there are plenty of ways to stay active during the down time, like simulated games. Additionally, the KBO does an even more extreme version of higher seeds having to sit out a lot of time before they get to play in the postseason, and it doesn't really hold the team getting rest back at all, as the team getting a bye is 16-9 versus teams coming off a playoff series over the past 10 seasons.

 

If they were to expand, I would like to see them do it like the NFL playoffs. 6 teams in each league, and reward the top two division winners with a bye. There could be some push-back on the last division winner having to play with all the Wild Card teams, but more often than not, one of the Wild Card teams usually has a better record than the 3rd division winner anyway.

    • woolywoolhouse, mikelink45 and JoshDungan1 like this

So your telling me no one gets excited when their team gets in as a wild card? and that that 2014 Royals A's match up was so boring you fell a sleep and having the Royals make a run for the title was so very nauseating that you wish it had never happened? OK how about Washington last year?That was terrible to watch too I suppose?

 

I think the reason they are willing to expand the playoffs is that they have already proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the wild card has brought more drama and excitement that they are willing to double down on the idea.

 

It should keep fan excitement higher for more teams as they won't be eliminated from playoff contention as early. I don't care how people spin it the playoffs are exciting pretty much no matter who plays and if the under dog wins a game or a series it is even more exciting (i.e. see NFL and NCAA Basketball for reference).

 

If you want to go with the dilution theory then I ask if the other teams are so good how could they lose to a supposedly inferior team. Personally I think this is more fear of change talk than anything else.Has the current wild card system hurt the playoffs or baseball?if not I fail to see how expanding a little more would do more damage.

    • Mike Sixel, Riverbrian and DocBauer like this

Personally, I hated the 1st wildcard addition, as it really didn't "punish" them in any way.Adding the 2nd WC team meant both had to play in, so I was all in favor of that.

Adding even more WC teams does nothing for me.An 82 win team getting hot at the end of the year can be dangerous, so what's the point of 162 games then?
  

Plus, adding another level to the playoffs?Won't we be finishing the WS sometime around Nov 7? 

I already hate it when cold weather teams (other than if MN were to win) are in the WS, as the boys of summer look like the Michelin Man standing in the OF.  

    • #1ShaneMackFan, 70charger, Rigby and 1 other like this
In football/basketball, stars dominate the game, and the best team will most likely win. In baseball, anything can happen, which is why there’s a long season to even out the results. Reward only the best teams every year. 1/3rd of the teams making the playoffs is enough, although a 3 game Wild Card playoff would be a decent idea.
    • raindog, 70charger, mikelink45 and 1 other like this
I just think you do a random pick at the beginning of the year on East plays West, ect....I'm sick of playing the Yankees every year. And I think they cheat too....I said it. My opinion.

I wouldn't implement any of it. 

 

By the way, I'm just a minion and don't get that sweet, sweet Front Page exposure... But we already have 5 pages worth of discussion on this topic here

    • Mike Sixel, Kevin, Craig Arko and 1 other like this
Have you seen the World Series television ratings from the late 70's compared to today? Once you let in too many teams it degrades the product.

I have a better proposal. After 154 regular season games the last 8 games and 2 weekends, 4 home and 4 away, are played against one team. Your opponent is dependent upon the standings after 154 games before the last 2 weekends. Number 1 in the division would play Number 2 in the division. Number 3 would play other number 3's and Number 4 and number 5 play each other.

These last 8 games are sold at the beginning of the season. The 8 games count as regular season stats. After 162 games we have the same format as today or just one wildcard. Its possible that the #3 team could finish first or wildcard if after 154 games the standings for the top 3 are close together.

In years which little separates the top teams these final games would have an old time playoff atmosphere.

I'm not against a reformatting of the playoff structure, but this seems to me to be a way to try and appease the young, uninterested former fans who need some flashy, reality show type gimmick to be interested.I agree with the concept that the loser of the WC game is not a playoff team, but never liked the one game idea.It should at least be a best of 3.If you want to have a 6 team playoff structure, then teams 1-2 get a bye, teams 4-6 play a 3 game series and then you have the 2 rounds like we have now.Just spitballing while the 7th graders work in groups on a project........

You get a play off spot and you get a playoff spot and you get a playoff spot.... everyone gets a playoff spot.... So why bother with a regular season?

At least now I won't have to wait to know the Twins are in every year. Their competitive cycle is never ending.
    • 70charger likes this

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. 

 

And it wouldn't be adding a third wild card team, to get to seven they would need to add two wild card teams making four wild card teams...one more than division champs.And I hate the idea of any team choosing who they play.  

    • Kevin and 70charger like this

I'm not against a reformatting of the playoff structure, but this seems to me to be a way to try and appease the young, uninterested former fans who need some flashy, reality show type gimmick to be interested. I agree with the concept that the loser of the WC game is not a playoff team, but never liked the one game idea. It should at least be a best of 3. If you want to have a 6 team playoff structure, then teams 1-2 get a bye, teams 4-6 play a 3 game series and then you have the 2 rounds like we have now. Just spitballing while the 7th graders work in groups on a project........


6 is a good number if expansion is inevitable.

One thing I don’t see as an advantage at all is the top seed(s) getting a bye week. When is taking time off from baseball ever a good thing? IMO, a bye week puts the team at a disadvantage. This isn’t football where a late season bye week is a godsend for players to heal from injuries.

Too many teams in the playoffs is a joke.Why play the regular season.No matter the format you will always haves teams that tank.

I dislike the one game playoff, but adding a round of playoffs would extend the season far beyond what it should be.Baseball should not be played in November with players wearing sock caps and mittens.There "WILL" be a snow-out some day and I don't want to see the World Series moved to a neutral warm site like football.

Reality TV.WHY?????It is also ridiculous for teams to pick their opponents.And all for gimmicky TV special revenue.Matchups based on records is fair.It gives at least a little meaning to the season.

 

It is crazy changes like this that will definitely ruin the game.

    • Kevin likes this
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Andrew Thares
Feb 12 2020 11:31 AM

 

Have you seen the World Series television ratings from the late 70's compared to today? Once you let in too many teams it degrades the product.

I have a better proposal. After 154 regular season games the last 8 games and 2 weekends, 4 home and 4 away, are played against one team. Your opponent is dependent upon the standings after 154 games before the last 2 weekends. Number 1 in the division would play Number 2 in the division. Number 3 would play other number 3's and Number 4 and number 5 play each other.

These last 8 games are sold at the beginning of the season. The 8 games count as regular season stats. After 162 games we have the same format as today or just one wildcard. Its possible that the #3 team could finish first or wildcard if after 154 games the standings for the top 3 are close together.

In years which little separates the top teams these final games would have an old time playoff atmosphere.

I think the amount of competition the World Series is facing for ratings today, compared to the 70's, is a lot bigger factor for lower ratings than the quality of teams playing.

    • Dman and chpettit19 like this
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alphanumeric
Feb 12 2020 11:59 AM

Trevor Bauer voiced his opinion:

    • ashbury and scottz like this
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sweetmusicviola16
Feb 12 2020 12:02 PM

I propose expanding the league to 32 teams. This format would allow every team to be included in the PO's and also not give the best teams the advantage of a bye. A bye of course is unfair. After all we are living in a world where we don't want anyone to feel left out or feel at a disadvantage.

    • 70charger likes this

No - it hurts my old man's soul to see the game water down their playoffs like the NBA and NHL.We do not need more teams in the playoffs.I am happier with three division winners and one wild card. Check out this NBA summary for early round playoffs.  https://www.sportsme...wn-first-round/

 

 

    • Kevin and Matthew Lenz like this

I don't want more playoff teams added. We don't want baseball to turn into the NBA playoffs where basically half the teams make the playoffs. This cheapens the regular season and makes the 162 games mean even less if that's even possible.

    • Twins33 and Matthew Lenz like this

Personally, I love change.

If you're going to go for it, then totally go for it.

 

DH? Universal!

 

162 games? Gone! - More like 140

 

Two leagues? OK... that stays.

 

30 teams? Not enough! - Expand to 32

 

Three divisions per league? Gone! - Two divisions of 8, per league.

 

5 Playoff teams? Gone! 6 playoff teams per league - 2 div winners (they get byes) and 4 WC teams that play a best of 3 series. Followed by best of 5, then best of 7 for the AL/NLDS, then 7 for the WS

 

Tanking? Stays! You're never going to solve tanking, and frankly, why do we want to stop it? It's probably your best chance as a small market team, to "pop up"

 

Draft picks? You can trade any of them!

 

Minimum Payroll? Institute it! - Around $100M. Tie revenue sharing to this. This will help with the movement of draft picks because tanking teams will take on other teams' albatross contracts if they also get draft picks. This becomes more of the NFL model of bad teams becoming playoff teams very quickly. Not exactly the same, but closer to it

 

Minor Leagues? Contract out some teams (like 1 per MLB team), but everyone makes a livable wage!

 

Local TV blackouts? Banned!

 

Rip the band aid off. Solve it all in one fell swoop. Season would start at the same time as it does now and be done by mid October.

 

Oh man... I need a cold shower.

    • Mike Sixel, specialiststeve and Dman like this

If all of this is intended to increase interest and attendance, teams should try making going go games affordable for families instead.

    • DocBauer, rdehring and Matthew Lenz like this

I might accept this format...if...we cut the season to 154 or even 140 games!Hard to believe we start at Home this year in March.One reason I do not buy a 20 game season ticket package (I did for the first 7 years at Target Field, Section 319, Row 6) is that I tired of going to games in April with cold and snowy weather.

 

Have you seen the World Series television ratings from the late 70's compared to today? Once you let in too many teams it degrades the product.

Have you seen the TV ratings of sitcoms from the late 70's compared to today?

 

Laverne & Shirley 1978-79: 30.5

 

The Big Bang Theory 2018-19: 10.6

 

Compare that to World Series Game 1 ratings:

 

1979: 28.5

2019: 8.1

 

Why, it's almost as if the whole media landscape has changed!

    • SQUIRREL, Mike Sixel, nicksaviking and 6 others like this

I think the amount of competition the World Series is facing for ratings today, compared to the 70's, is a lot bigger factor for lower ratings than the quality of teams playing.

Agreed on ratings, but, not true with say the Super Bowl. Game 4 of last year's WS had a 5.9 whereas some WS games have been in the high 30's.

I don't watch much of the WS or Stanley Cup unless my team is in it. It's true that there is so much to do. I don't know how TV revenues keep increasing for badeball.
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diehardtwinsfan
Feb 12 2020 01:44 PM

I'll give a brief summary of what I said on the same topic in the baseball forum...

 

Baseball has a competitive balance problem... and a big one.

 

This doesn't fix that. And until players realize that the 350M contracts need to come to an end and that 3 teams cannot print money anymore, baseball's problems won't be going away. 

    • SQUIRREL and rdehring like this

I'd prefer adding two teams (one in Charlotte and one in ?), have 2-8 team divisions in each league, have two best of 7 league championship series, and then have the World Series.