Jump to content

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

The Forums

Spring Training Game Thread: Twins @ Rays 2/26/202020ad

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 03:53 PM
It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times. And TD had yet to jinx the Twins... Oh right. I need to find a line up...
Full topic ›

Astros Consequences Thread

Other Baseball Today, 03:50 PM
It’s time to transition away from the reports of everything they did. We all had a feeling that players were going to take matters into...
Full topic ›

Severino shut down with forearm soreness

Other Baseball Today, 03:50 PM
According to mlb.com, Severino is being shut down and his opening day status is in question. That means NY may begin the season without b...
Full topic ›

2019/2020 Twins Minor League Signings

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 03:49 PM
This is a forum to update Twins minor league signings (and can be where we post Twins minor league free agents that signed elsewhere)....
Full topic ›

What Makes a Shortstop a Great Defender?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:56 PM
When Statcast came out with infield defensive ratingsat the end of 2019, Jorge Polanco appeared at the bottom of the SS list. Using actua...
Full topic ›

Recent Blogs


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?

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

  • mikelink45 likes this

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

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

54 Comments

When the leagues switched to 3 divisions and 1 wild card I was very pleased.

When they added the 2nd wild card and 1 game playoff I was ambivalent, but it does make the 1 game "sudden death" playoff interesting.

If you HAVE to change the current format...and I DO NOT think you have to or should, just stick with 6 teams, bye or no bye.

But for goodness sake, getting to "pick your opponent" sounds like playground rules and is an absolute joke!
    • 70charger and rdehring like this

Apply the rule to 2017 and 2 sub .500 teams are in the playoffs. That is gross. At least they would have had to settle a 3 way tie of 80-82 teams.

 

Cleveland 102-60

Houston 101-61

Boston 93-69

NYY 91-71

Twins 85-77

KC 80-82

LAA 80-82

Rays 80-82

 

 

    • raindog, 70charger, Vanimal46 and 1 other like this
Photo
terrydactyls1947
Feb 12 2020 03:52 PM
Nothing better than baseball outdoors in Minneapolis (or Boston, Detroit, Cleveland, etc.) in November. The only thing I would implement is getting rid of the one game playoff. Best of three but not all three games in the home park of the higher ranked team.

Apply the rule to 2017 and 2 sub .500 teams are in the playoffs. That is gross. At least they would have had to settle a 3 way tie of 80-82 teams.
 
Cleveland 102-60
Houston 101-61
Boston 93-69
NYY 91-71
Twins 85-77
KC 80-82
LAA 80-8
Rays 80-82


That is a good point. If a team has a losing record I fail to see how they deserve to be in playoffs I think at minimum a winning record should be required. If only 6 teams with a winning record then whoever would have faced team 7 gets a bye. You just can't have a losing record an be in the playoffs. Totally defeats the purpose.

I proposed this a couple of years ago:

 

Regular schedule to 154 games; expand to 32 teams, total 8 playoff teams from each league; 4 4-team divisions each league, 2 conferences each league - 2 divisions each; 2 wild cards each conference; wild card teams may come from same division, based on record (so possible for 3 teams from one division); Conference semi-finals, best of 3; division winners 2 home games; best record division winner plays worst record wild card; Conference Finals, best of 5; Division winners always take first priority for home field advantage, best records second priority (if division winners both eliminated); Championship series, best of 7, conference winner vs conference winner; World series as normal, best record has home field advantage.

    • specialiststeve and Matthew Lenz like this

I like it

 

I'd vote Yes

 

 

    • Matthew Lenz likes this
Contract the 2 Florida teams or move at least one.

If contract 2 go back to 4 divisions and just 2 postseason rounds.
I don't know about changing the playoffs, but I do like adding two more teams to make it 32. I mean when you look back in time, not that far ago and teams didnt have Hal of their rosters from foreign countries. Now I have no problem with this, but I do think that because of it there is a glut of talent out there. I mean imagine how many good football players would be sitting around not able to play if 30 to 40 percent of the football players out there were from foreign countries?? I think Montreal really really wants a team back and I think Vegas would be another great fit?? I mean they have the NFL and the NHL now why not take advantage and move in while it's hot??
    • 70charger likes 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.



One in Nashville. Move the A's or Rays to Seattle and be done with it.

I proposed this a couple of years ago:
 
Regular schedule to 154 games; expand to 32 teams, total 8 playoff teams from each league; 4 4-team divisions each league, 2 conferences each league - 2 divisions each; 2 wild cards each conference; wild card teams may come from same division, based on record (so possible for 3 teams from one division); Conference semi-finals, best of 3; division winners 2 home games; best record division winner plays worst record wild card; Conference Finals, best of 5; Division winners always take first priority for home field advantage, best records second priority (if division winners both eliminated); Championship series, best of 7, conference winner vs conference winner; World series as normal, best record has home field advantage.


Wait. So 4, 4 team divisions each league, 2 conferences each league, 2 divisions within each? Why the conferences? That part confuses me. I do like where you are going with this in general but the conferences and 8 playoff teams each league i question.
Photo
Matthew Lenz
Feb 12 2020 09:03 PM

 

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.

Why does it have to be awkward? Just because you pick a certain time doesn't mean it's a sign of disrespect. I would bet that the 2019 Houston Astros would have picked the Tampa Bay Rays in the Division Series over the Yankees or Twins. Not because Tampa Bay was a bad team but because the Yankees and Twins offenses were that good.

Photo
Matthew Lenz
Feb 12 2020 09:04 PM

 

I proposed this a couple of years ago:

 

Regular schedule to 154 games; expand to 32 teams, total 8 playoff teams from each league; 4 4-team divisions each league, 2 conferences each league - 2 divisions each; 2 wild cards each conference; wild card teams may come from same division, based on record (so possible for 3 teams from one division); Conference semi-finals, best of 3; division winners 2 home games; best record division winner plays worst record wild card; Conference Finals, best of 5; Division winners always take first priority for home field advantage, best records second priority (if division winners both eliminated); Championship series, best of 7, conference winner vs conference winner; World series as normal, best record has home field advantage.

I don't know how well this would work out but it sounds fun!

Photo
Matthew Lenz
Feb 12 2020 09:42 PM

 

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.

I don't think I said any of this, other than going with the "dilution" theory. Yes, anything can happen in any sport. But that doesn't mean that any and every time should get a shot at competing in the playoffs.

 

Adding games to any sport will never "hurt" the playoffs or that sport. More games = more money.

Photo
Matthew Lenz
Feb 12 2020 09:49 PM

 

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.

A "gimmicky TV special revenue" to some can also be called marketing to others. Especially in a sport that is desperate for good marketing.

Photo
Matthew Lenz
Feb 12 2020 09:58 PM

 

But for goodness sake, getting to "pick your opponent" sounds like playground rules and is an absolute joke!

God forbid we add a marketing opportunity and a little bit of fun!

Can we add ping pong balls?
    • USAFChief and spycake like this
Let's make the regular season 7 games, and the post season 162.
    • SQUIRREL, spycake, Vanimal46 and 1 other like this
Photo
LewFordLives
Feb 13 2020 07:59 AM
I think the entire proposal is stupid. Why even have a regular season? If they are concerned about ratings then keep working on getting the length of the games down. Who the heck has time to spend 4 and a half hours on a weeknight watching a playoff game?
    • Nine of twelve likes this

 

Apply the rule to 2017 and 2 sub .500 teams are in the playoffs. That is gross. At least they would have had to settle a 3 way tie of 80-82 teams.

 

Cleveland 102-60

Houston 101-61

Boston 93-69

NYY 91-71

Twins 85-77

KC 80-82

LAA 80-82

Rays 80-82

I don't think I like this playoff expansion either, but I don't know that you can project backwards quite like this. Those 80-82 teams, and the 78-84 teams just behind them, etc., were playing under the old rules and thus may not have had as much motivation to push for a slightly better record.

 

Now, it's certainly possible that it may shake out like this under the proposed system, but it may not happen with the frequency that the recent 2017 example might suggest.

Photo
VivaBomboRivera!
Feb 13 2020 08:50 AM
No. Just no.
    • Nine of twelve likes this

 

I don't think I like this playoff expansion either, but I don't know that you can project backwards quite like this. Those 80-82 teams, and the 78-84 teams just behind them, etc., were playing under the old rules and thus may not have had as much motivation to push for a slightly better record.

 

Now, it's certainly possible that it may shake out like this under the proposed system, but it may not happen with the frequency that the recent 2017 example might suggest.

When you are allowing 7 of 15 teams into the playoffs I think you can expect mediocre teams in the playoffs every season. They might not be sub .500 teams very often but I think teams will start to think if they only have to pay for a .500 team then fans will be happy because they made or almost made the playoffs. It sounds like a Pohlad dream scenario.

 

I wonder if Manfred's desire to get MIke Trout into the playoff spotlight had anything to do with this proposal.

 

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.

then you have to have a hard cap.If your putting a floor then you have to have a hard cap.instituting a minimum floor will explode baseball payrolls and put the smaller teams out of business.

Photo
sweetmusicviola16
Feb 13 2020 12:17 PM

Actually with the way Manfred screwed up the Astros cheating scandal he should in no way be entrusted with this. Fire him is a better idea. 

then you have to have a hard cap. If your putting a floor then you have to have a hard cap. instituting a minimum floor will explode baseball payrolls and put the smaller teams out of business.


80 90 or 100 million dollar payrolls would not come close to bankrupting any teams. Enough revenue gets shared between teams to make this entirely feasible.
So everyone is up on the full conversation of this proposal, there is a 2nd thread here on this subject:

http://twinsdaily.co...ality-tv-twist/