Baseball dealing two more Wild Cards for expanded MLB playoffs

MLB dealing two more Wild Cards, but schedulers still in extra innings

3/1/12 in MLB   |   JoeKukura   |   491 respect

Today is the March 1 deadline for finalizing the expanded MLB playoffs with an extra Wild Card team in each league. In classic Bud Selig fashion, the 10-team playoff deadline will quietly pass with no announcement or action whatsoever.

But people who know people are confirming that the extra wild cards are indeed being implemented for this year's MLB postseason, and right now it's just a matter of scheduling the scheduling.

Under the proposed new format, there will be two Wild Card playoff teams in each league. The two would battle it out in a one-game playoff for the right to advance to face the team with the league's best record in the Division Series.

Currently, only one Wild Card team makes the playoffs in each league, and immediately faces the team with the league's best record.

The news broke and then un-broke Tuesday morning. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports got the scoop and tweeted, "Sources: Additional wild cards a "go" for this season. Playoffs to expand from eight to 10 teams. Announcement tomorrow."

But today is "tomorrow" and no announcement is forthcoming. "Told agreement on expanded playoffs isn't final, but will happen," Mr. Rosenthal has since amended. "Same thing on announcement. Not certain for tomorrow, but possible."

The issue is in the scheduling details. MLB has already decided that the 2012 World Series will begin on October 24, 2012. The regular season is slated to end on October 3, 2012. So they've got to shoehorn the Wild Card game, the Division Series, and the League Championship Series all into a 20-day window.

The Commissioner has already endorsed the idea. "I really believe we'll have the Wild Card for 2012, this year," Selig told the AP in January. "Clubs really want it. I don't think I've ever seen an issue that the clubs want more than to have the extra wild card this year."

"When Bud Selig ever says he's in favor of something, you know that it's gonna happen", Buster Olney said Thursday morning on ESPN's Mike & Mike in the Morning. "And he's been talking about this for a couple months now."

Here's the main thing you need to know about expanding the MLB playoffs -- everyone involved is going to make more money. Therefore it is going to happen, and it is going to happen as quickly as possible.
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3/3/12   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

jaysinw wrote:
Yes regardless, which ever team wins the wild card game will play the #1 seed. So no more 2-4 seeded games. Well unless they make it to LCS.

Well...  There's the miniscule diamond in this pile of crap at least.

3/3/12   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

jaysinw wrote:
I do not have an issue with seeing how I do not care for the extra-series any way. I can just see how some team will complain that because they lost the first two games on the road it gave the lower seed an unfair advantage. We shall see at the end of the year if they keep it this way or not.

It is my understanding that it is only for this year because the World Series start date is already locked in (Which it shouldn't be but that's another issue) and they need to squeeze in the play in game.  The 2-3 format takes less time than the 2-2-1 format.
When the division series started they used the 2-3 format for a few years and changed it due to somebody whining about the lower seed getting to start at home.

In 2013 they will return to the 2-2-1 format.

3/3/12   |   jaysinw   |   4954 respect

ML31 wrote:
I just heard that today myself.  A return to the 2-3 best of 5 format.  Which I really don't have too much of a problem with...  Provided two division winners are playing.  The series with the 2nd or 3rd place team should have all games at the home of the division winner.

I think the reason for that was because they needed to shave some times off so the World Series could start on the date is was scheduled to start on.  The division series stupidly had extra days built into it in the past and going back to the 2-3 format meant only one off day instead of 2 or in some cases, 3. 

I do not have an issue with seeing how I do not care for the extra-series any way. I can just see how some team will complain that because they lost the first two games on the road it gave the lower seed an unfair advantage. We shall see at the end of the year if they keep it this way or not.

3/3/12   |   jaysinw   |   4954 respect

ML31 wrote:
Regardless of what division the teams are from?

Yes regardless, which ever team wins the wild card game will play the #1 seed. So no more 2-4 seeded games. Well unless they make it to LCS.

3/2/12   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

jaysinw wrote:
I did not know that the team with the worst record will host the first two games and then the team with the best record will host the last three (if necessary) in the 5 game series. So the winner of the wild card game host the first two games. They can go up 3 games and all they have to do is win one on the road. I see upsets this year. I see they wanted to do this not only for the money but they say so teams will not just play for second place. It would give them incentive to win their division to get the by. Come MLB baseball could have just gave the team with the best record a bye and let the other two teams battle it out. in a 3 game series.

I just heard that today myself.  A return to the 2-3 best of 5 format.  Which I really don't have too much of a problem with...  Provided two division winners are playing.  The series with the 2nd or 3rd place team should have all games at the home of the division winner.

I think the reason for that was because they needed to shave some times off so the World Series could start on the date is was scheduled to start on.  The division series stupidly had extra days built into it in the past and going back to the 2-3 format meant only one off day instead of 2 or in some cases, 3. 

3/2/12   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

jaysinw wrote:
The winner gets to play the number one seed.

Regardless of what division the teams are from?

3/2/12   |   jaysinw   |   4954 respect

I did not know that the team with the worst record will host the first two games and then the team with the best record will host the last three (if necessary) in the 5 game series. So the winner of the wild card game host the first two games. They can go up 3 games and all they have to do is win one on the road. I see upsets this year. I see they wanted to do this not only for the money but they say so teams will not just play for second place. It would give them incentive to win their division to get the by. Come MLB baseball could have just gave the team with the best record a bye and let the other two teams battle it out. in a 3 game series.

3/2/12   |   jaysinw   |   4954 respect

ML31 wrote:
In all seriousness, the reasons for this (apart from $$$) make no sense.  One idea was it forces the two extra teams to use their top starter for a play in game, thus giving a slight advantage to the division winner.  But that precludes the possibility that the play in teams may have already burned their top pitchers just to GET to the play in game.  Further still, I believe the winner of that play in game will have a tremendous advantage over the division winner no matter how their pitching lines up...  They will be the team on the roll.  They will have just played a game while the division winner was just sitting around.  The wild card team already has the advantage over the division winners.  This dorky plan only makes a bad thing worse.

And a final question...  Will the winner of the play in game FINALLY play the team with the best record regardless of what division the teams are in?  That little wrinkle has always been a head scratcher to me.

The winner gets to play the number one seed.

3/2/12   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

ML31 wrote:
In all seriousness, the reasons for this (apart from $$$) make no sense.  One idea was it forces the two extra teams to use their top starter for a play in game, thus giving a slight advantage to the division winner.  But that precludes the possibility that the play in teams may have already burned their top pitchers just to GET to the play in game.  Further still, I believe the winner of that play in game will have a tremendous advantage over the division winner no matter how their pitching lines up...  They will be the team on the roll.  They will have just played a game while the division winner was just sitting around.  The wild card team already has the advantage over the division winners.  This dorky plan only makes a bad thing worse.

And a final question...  Will the winner of the play in game FINALLY play the team with the best record regardless of what division the teams are in?  That little wrinkle has always been a head scratcher to me.

Is the MLB the only sport that has that stupid stipulation?  I know NFL & NHL teams have played their own division rivals in the first round many times before.

3/2/12   |   Dream_Machine   |   13226 respect

MLB = Major League Bull****!

3/2/12   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

In all seriousness, the reasons for this (apart from $$$) make no sense.  One idea was it forces the two extra teams to use their top starter for a play in game, thus giving a slight advantage to the division winner.  But that precludes the possibility that the play in teams may have already burned their top pitchers just to GET to the play in game.  Further still, I believe the winner of that play in game will have a tremendous advantage over the division winner no matter how their pitching lines up...  They will be the team on the roll.  They will have just played a game while the division winner was just sitting around.  The wild card team already has the advantage over the division winners.  This dorky plan only makes a bad thing worse.

And a final question...  Will the winner of the play in game FINALLY play the team with the best record regardless of what division the teams are in?  That little wrinkle has always been a head scratcher to me.

3/2/12   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

If everyone makes more money with more playoff teams then why stop at 10?  There should be 24 teams in the post season.  Money is the bottom line, right?

3/1/12   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Dan_B wrote:
I sort of agree with jaysinw. This favors bad teams. Anyone can win one game in baseball. There should never be one-game playoff series. 

That I can agree with.  If it's a playoff series, at least make it 3 games.

3/1/12   |   Dan_B   |   1067 respect

I sort of agree with jaysinw. This favors bad teams. Anyone can win one game in baseball. There should never be one-game playoff series. 

3/1/12   |   jaysinw   |   4954 respect

Oh, hell lets every team in the playoffs. We can go one and done till only two teams are left. Who cares what league there from or anything.