My proposal to radically change MLB playoffs, and deal with some of the issues plaguing the sport at the same time; I call it the All 30, and just like it sounds, it means every team makes the playoffs.See below for how it would work.
The leagues are still split;
- Only the teams in places 10-15 face off (10 v 15, 11 v 14, 12 v 13).It is a one game playoff, played at the higher seed's stadium, and occurs on the Tuesday after the regular season ends.
- Winners advance to the next round, losers are slotted into draft picks 17-22, with the worst record team at 17, and the best record team at 22--this will prevent tanking, as there is now a clear incentive to not lose in Round 1.
- Teams in places 5-9, along with the 3 winners from Round 1 play, after a re-seeding (8 will always play 9, 5 will play the Round 1 winner with the worst record, 6 will play the second-worst, 7 will play the last team).This will be a best of 3 series, with 8 games played every day on Thursday, Friday, and (if needed) Saturday after the regular season.The higher seeds get homefield advantage AND get to choose which 2 games they want at home.
- Winners advance to the next round, and are also thrown into a lottery with the losing teams for draft picks 1-16.The losing teams get twice the odds of the winning teams, and each pick is drawn from 1-16 (think each losing team gets 100 ping pong balls, each winning team gets 50 ping pong balls).
- Teams in places 1-4, along with the 4 winners from Round 2 play in a best of five series, after a re-seeding like the one described above.Teams 1-4 get 4 games at home, AND get to choose which one game (if necessary) is on the road.These series start on the Tuesday after the end of Round 2, with 8 games being played every day Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and (if necessary) Friday and Saturday.
- Winners advance to the next round, losers who were a top 4 seed now get their draft order assigned by inverted record--this remains the standard for picks 23-30.
Round 4 (LDS)
- The 4 winners from each league in Round 3 play, without re-seeding (1/8 winner v 4/5 winner, 2/7 winner v 3/6 winner).This is also a best of five series, with games 1, 2, and 5 at the higher seed, and is played starting on the Monday after the end of Round 3, with 4 games every day Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and (if necessary) Thursday and Friday.
- Winners advance to the next round
Round 5 (LCS) and Round 6 (WS)
- These operate exactly how they do now--7 game series, 2-2-1-1-1 format, with a travel day after Games 2, 4, and 6 (if necessary)
- You get reduced shares of playoff revenue for rounds you do not play in (teams playing in a round receive double what teams not playing in a round get; this triples for teams playing in rounds 4-6).This applies only to national revenue--the home team gets to keep all local revenue from tickets/parking/concessions, etc
- A Salary floor is established--each team must spend at least 1.5% of the total value of player salaries from the prior year's Opening Day Cumulative Payroll (i.e. if all MLB players were paid $4B as of Opening Day 2020, each team must have a payroll of at least $60M in 2021).Players not on the active roster but with active contracts count
- The Luxury Tax is re-set at 4x the salary floor.Teams exceeding the luxury tax receive the non-participant revenue rate for all postseason series, even those they play in
Why this system is good
- Discourages tanking.The worse you are, the more likely you lose in Round 1, and miss out on high draft picks and playoff revenue.There is no longer any reason to be bad.
- Expands Playoff revenue.More revenue in baseball should be a good thing--more investment in player development, higher salaries for players, higher value to franchises; everyone wins.
- Provides bad teams a quicker road to competitiveness.With more teams pushing for position, the trade market will have fewer players, leading to greater hauls for teams that do trade at the deadline.
- Ups the value of the Regular Season.Moving up in the standing is now huge--getting to 12 means you get a home game in Round 1, getting to 9 means you lock in a Top 16 draft pick, getting to 4 means you get a double-bye and Enhanced Home Field Advantage in Round 3
- Protects the better teams in the early rounds.The teams playing in Round 1 will undoubtedly use their best pitcher in that game, meaning the higher seeds in Round 2 have a rotation advantage.The higher seeds in round 3 get the enhanced home field advantage
I'm curious to see what everyone thinks!