MLB

The good and the bad of the new MLB playoff format

10/9/12 in MLB   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

Blog Photo - The good and the bad of the new MLB playoff formatSo, Major League Baseball expanded their playoffs yet again.  This was not a surprise.  We all knew it would happen.  The surprise was how they did it.  In doing this, MLB did correct a mistake made when they expanded the playoffs to begin with.  So let's break it down...

The Bad.

We all know the wild card concept in MLB was one of the worst ideas ever.  We all know what it did.  Makes the post season too long, makes winning the division meaningless, etc.  But here we will focus on what bad the play-in game does.  Chipper Jones said earlier in the year that it would be unfair to the Braves to play a one game playoff against a team they were 7 games ahead of.  He was right, of course.  It is patently unfair.  So once again, the added playoff waters down the achievements of the regular season.  Of course, we are talking about two teams who didn't win their division to begin with so watering down their so-called "achievements" isn't really all that bad a thing.
The play in game was meant to give division winning teams a sort of bye when it comes to the post season.  Their reward for finishing first was not having to go through the dice roll of the one game.  Further, it meant that the 2nd place playoff team would not get a chance to set up their pitching rotation like the division winner does.  However, MLB screwed up the schedule.  There is still a day off between the play in game and the beginning of their first playoff series.  This gives that wild card team a chance to get back in the swing of things.  Further, while participating in that play in game is something most teams would want to avoid, the team that wins that game will have the advantage of confidence heading into their next round.  Not a team you want to face in your opening round.

The Good.

Believe it or not, there was something good that came out of this.  For some reason no one has ever been able to explain the #4 wild card team was not allowed to play a team from it's same division in the opening round.  This never made sense.  Fortunately, that has stopped.  Same division teams are now allowed to play each other in the opening round.  The other good thing is MLB returned to the 2-3 playoff format.  This is particularly good for the series with the two division winners.  Not so good, however, for the team with the best record facing the winner of the play in game.  That series desperately needs to be 2-2-1 at the very least.  If not 2-1-2 or even having all 5 games on the division winners field.  Unfortunately, there is talk that MLB will be returning to the 2-2-1 format beginning as soon as next season....  Odd because if that was what they wanted why did they use the 2-3 format to begin with?

So the end result is...  The extra round doesn't really make the post season better but it doesn't make it any worse than it already is.  The real damage was already done back in 1994.  Dropping a 2nd nuke on the target doesn't really inflict much more damage than the first one did.
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10/9/12   |   Jeff_P   |   19859 respect

the teams knew of the 1 game WILD CARD GAME..........it just wasnt thrown out there....soooooooo stop the whining and deal with it......that being said i believe a 3 game series would be good.........with the team with the BETTER RECORD getting all 3 games at home.......again......THEY WOULD KNOW OF THIS FAR IN ADVANCE..........you want the home games.........HAVE THE BETTER RECORD........

10/9/12   |   jaysinw   |   4946 respect

I agree adding the the extra game did not improve the play-offs on bit. The only thing any fan or people in MLB can say it let one other team in the play-offs, but then again if you win your division you would play in the play-offs. Now baseball is no different then all the other sport we play against the teams from other conferences and we do not need to win the division to make the play-offs. And seeing other sports when a team is 6th or 8th seed make it to the championship and win it, really whats the true point of winning the division besides making money for your home stadium.

10/9/12   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

The_Real_Stoney wrote:
I disagree with the 2-3 format being good, especially with how it's set up where the team with the better record in each series is the one team NOT guaranteed two home games.  That makes winning your division pointless and no economic sense whatsoever.  I'm still trying to figure out how that got accepted

I think the 2-3 format is just fine for a series between two division winners.  Not for the series between the division winner and the 2nd place team.  In fact, I think the 2nd place team should get no home games or have to win 4 games in a best of 5 series while the division winner only needs 2.  Something has to be set up to give a REAL disadvantage to the 2nd place teams in the playoffs.

10/9/12   |   The_Real_Stoney   |   25103 respect

I disagree with the 2-3 format being good, especially with how it's set up where the team with the better record in each series is the one team NOT guaranteed two home games.  That makes winning your division pointless and no economic sense whatsoever.  I'm still trying to figure out how that got accepted

10/9/12   |   Pat   |   5232 respect

It's fascinating that you claim that "we all know the wild card concept in MLB was one of the worst ideas ever," when you know that's not something that everyone knows. In fact, that has been the one thing that people have contested with you most vehemently.

But since I've already heard your opinion on it ad nauseam, that's all I have to say about that.