Playoffs - not a prediction... just not sure if I like this format!
OAFC BBS - All Topics: Off Field Matters: Playoffs - not a prediction... just not sure if I like this format!
From Giants beat reporter Henry Schulman:
I am not a baseball purist. Want 10 teams in the postseason? Thatís great. You still have just one-third of the teams. Designated hitter? I donít like it, but it doesnít ruin my enjoyment of an American League game. Hey, if baseball thinks it can boost the gameís popularity by having baserunners chased by rabid dogs, I say what the heck? Let the commissionerís special committee look into that when it settles the Aís stadium issue in 2019.
But I donít like the idea that a team can fight for 162 games over six months, after six weeks of spring training, only to reach the postseason and be eliminated in one game.
Under the new format adopted by the owners and players, a second wild card will be added in each league. The two wild cards in each league will have a single-game play-in, the winner moving on to the standard best-of-five first round we have now.
I understand the arguments for the format. It puts a higher premium on winning your division and creates some do-or-die excitement. But it also will create the kind of heartbreak that no team should have to endure after the grind of a baseball season.
Of our four major pro sports, baseball, football, hockey and basketball, only the NFL has a one-and-done playoff, but that league has only 16 games in the regular season. Sudden death is the nature of football. The NBA and NHL put 16 teams in the playoffs and start with best-of-seven series. Until now, MLB had eight teams and started with a best-of-five.
Baseball is a sport of series, not games. Iíve never liked the setup for breaking divisional ties, a Game 163. Itís too sudden-death. When the Giants and Dodgers tied for the National League pennant in 1962, they played a best-of-three series.
I would rather see the two wild-cards play a best-of-three series as well. Yes, it will lengthen the postseason, especially if division or wild-card tiebreakers are needed just to set the playoff field. Baseball can solve that problem by shortening the regular season to 154 games.
I know thatís a third-rail issue because teams donít want to lose eight games worth of ticket and local-TV revenues. But ticket sales should rise anyway as the races become more inclusive with two extra playoff teams.
I just donít like a system in which a team can play 162 games, get into the postsesason, then get bounced because of one bad pitch or one bad throw.
I'm not a fan of the one game playoff for the wild card. The very special one game sudden death games that happen rarely to decide a division winner or the wild card are special. I love those games! But part of what makes them special is that they are rare.