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Rosenthal: Sources say expanded playoffs a 'go'

baseball playoffs
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#1 Parker Hageman

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 01:36 PM

FoxSports' Ken Rosenthal tweets today that sources have told him that baseball will expand from eight to ten teams, adding that one-game wild card play-in. This means that 33% of all teams will make the playoffs in 2012. That's a hefty number - not quite NBA or NHL big - and it certainly dilutes the meaning of the 162-game regular season just a bit more but it also adds excitement of fall baseball to fringe teams' fan base who would have otherwise been focusing their attention elsewhere.

Your thoughts: Is this a good or bad thing for baseball?

#2 Seth Stohs

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 01:50 PM

For Baseball, it may be good to keep a team or two in playoff contention and they'll get one more game to get revenues from. But I don't like it. I'm all about the 162 game schedule, and I don't think Best of 5 or Best of 7 series mean a lot, so I'm definitely not a fan of one-and-done. I do like that winnning the division does give some advantage.

#3 Parker Hageman

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 01:55 PM

For Baseball, it may be good to keep a team or two in playoff contention and they'll get one more game to get revenues from.


Beyond that, the additional teams that are still in the "race" for the final wild card spots will surely benefit from added interest if their team which would have been eliminated from contention last year is now on the verge of making the playoffs this year.

#4 Cody Christie

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 02:20 PM

It looked like this was bound to happen but I don't really like the addition of more teams to the playoffs. It does put more pressure on teams to fight for the division title so they can stay out of the wild-card play-in game (the 2010 Yankees come to mind). The thought of a good team getting knocked out in the wild card round could be tough to swallow.

#5 BCTF

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 02:46 PM

I have no problem with this as long as they get rid of the rule that you can't play a team from your own division in the division series and they start the DS the day after the WC play in game. This way the team with the best overall record will have a huge advantage playing a team that just played the night before in an elimination game.

#6 Thrylos

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 03:03 PM

Not a bad rule, still baseball is the sport with the lowest percentage of teams going to post-season/playoffs. 10/30 vs 12/32 for NFL and more for basket ball and hockey (I think.) It will help sell tickets for sure because every team lingering around .500 in July/August will be a post-season contender, but the trade deadline waters will be much muddled.
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#7 dave_dw

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 03:24 PM

The Twins playoff chances increase by 25%!

#8 glanzer

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 03:37 PM

I'm not much of a traditionalist when it comes to things like realignment, expanded playoffs, instant replay, or interleague play. In my opinion, whatever adds more excitement is for the best, and more playoff teams is a good thing. Although this pretty much ensures that the Yankees will never miss the playoffs again for the rest of time, but it would be nice to see some fresh blood like Toronto slip in and maybe stage an upset in the playoffs.

#9 Steve Lein

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 09:27 AM

I absolutely hate this. If you're going to expand the playoff's, at least make it an even number and add a round, but I'd even hate this. I think the MLB had it perfect and I liked the exclusivity associated with winning your division. Adding a single game doesn't do anything from a money standpoint for teams in the grand scheme either, it's just a ploy for the MLB to ensure that it's biggest markets are always in the playoff's, which is a complete sham.

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#10 Jim Crikket

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 01:13 PM

I like it. I don't like it as much as I'd like going back to two divisions in each league and just letting the division winners play to get to the WS (a la the 1987 Twins), but since we all know that nobody is going REDUCE the playoffs, I like the one game play-in. I don't even consider it a real expansion of the playoffs, any more than I considered adding a couple of play-in games to have expanded the NCAA hoops tourney. Rather, I consider it a legitimate way to impose an obstacle for whoever the wild card team is that makes it in to the playoffs. It keeps the eventual WC playoff team from starting the playoffs on equal footing with Division winners and I believe that's how it should be. Yes, it means the Yankees will be in the playoffs even more often (if that's possible), but it also means that they have to win their division to have an equal shot at the WS with everyone else. Not only would settling for a WC mean risking losing one game and being done, it also means that they're likely to start their LDS at a disadvantage. In other words... no more throwing games because you view the match up you get as a WC team to be preferable to what you'd get as a Division winner. All of that said, I guarantee that there will be hell to pay the first time a 90+ win Yankee team either loses the WC play-in game to an "inferior" team (and really, to Yankee fans and the media, aren't ALL teams inferior to the Yankees?) or they fail to get to the LCS or WS because they were viewed to have been disadvantaged by having had to play that WC elimination game. But this means more teams will stay in contention longer, maintaining fan interest and attendance longer in to September in those markets, and make for more story lines down the stretch. It will also result in at least two "win or die" games every season. I don't know about anyone else, but those will be must see TV for me, regardless of who's playing.
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#11 IowaHawkeyes

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 09:24 PM

I don't like it that much because if youmake it as a wild card you only play one game and if you lose you are out right away.

#12 Jim Crikket

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 01:40 PM

I don't like it that much because if youmake it as a wild card you only play one game and if you lose you are out right away.


I think this is exactly why so many players and managers are quoted as not liking the one-game WC play-in format. They (and fans, too) have been conditioned since 1995 to believe that "making the playoffs" is the season's goal. That's the way it is in the NFL, NBA and NFL, but I personally don't like the fact that it has become the "goal" of teams in MLB, too. I want to get back to the mentality where the goal is win "the pennant," not just "make the playoffs."

Under the new format, winning your Division is MUCH more important than it has been previously, and that's as it should be. The WC is relegated to the status of, "one final chance to salvage your season even though you didn't win anything, but don't expect to have an equal shot at the World Series with those teams who DID win something." I like that. If players/managers don't like it, there's a way to avoid the problem... win more games.
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#13 Cap'n Piranha

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 03:43 PM

The thing that's interesting to me, that no one is mentioning, is that in 2013, there will either be an interleague game or two teams not playing every day (15 teams in each league). Since no team will sit on Fri-Sun, that means there will be at least one interleague series every weekend, leading to even more unbalanced schedules. This only makes sense if MLB has plans to add two expansion franchises (Las Vegas? Portland? Charlotte?), go to 4 four team divisions per league, and have a 12 team playoff just like the NFl's. Incidentally, I think that instead of a 1 game playoff for the two wild cards, there should be a home and home, with the team scoring more runs in the two games advancing. The first game will only go 9 innings, and if both teams have scored the same number of runs after 18 innings, standard baseball extra innings rules go into effect (the wild card with the better record would get to choose if they want the first game at home, or the second).

#14 Cap'n Piranha

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 03:54 PM

In the situation I mentioned above, would the divisions look like this (as a note, this woudl require the abolition or adoption of the DH in both leagues)? AL East -Yankees -Red Sox -Blue Jays -Orioles AL North -Twins -White Sox -Tigers -Indians AL West -Rangers -Astros -D-Backs -Padres AL South -Rays -Marlins -Braves -Charlotte expansion team NL East -Mets -Phillies -Pirates -Nationals NL Central -Cubs -Cardinals -Brewers -Reds NL Northwest -Mariners -Rockies -Royals -Vegas expansion team NL West -Dodgers -Angels -Giants -A's