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Adding Wild Cards Solves Nothing

By bullpenbrian at 10.27.2010 4 comments.

Expanding the playoffs is no way to solve MLB’s problems. Fixing a competitive imbalance league-wide is.

Baseball is best served shortening its regular season to 150 games, starting sooner, ending earlier and getting out of the NFL’s way.

If anything needs expanding it’s the opening divisional round. Either make it a seven-game series, or grant home field advantage to the higher seed throughout the entire first round.

Presently, there’s little advantage to gunning for the division title if a team is already in position to make the playoffs. Playing all five games at home would change that.

Adding two more wild cards only cheapens the regular season. The problem isn’t too few teams in postseason play, but that they’re not enough teams that can actually compete for October.

Creating a salary cap of some sort has a better chance of improving the game in all markets, where as adding more Wild Cards improves the chance of more big markets playing in the postseason.

That’s good for television, of course, but bad for fans–a formula baseball’s had down for a long time.

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4 Comments

  1. 1060wAddison says:

    How serious is Major League Baseball about adding an additional wild card berth? Or are these more of speculatons?

    • bullpenbrian says:

      I think Baseball is very serious.
      It’s likely owners will not agree to shorten the regular season because of the loss of revenue.
      So the next best way, in their eyes, to improve the game and inflate their pockets is playoff expansion.
      According to SI.com, Bud Selig appears to be increasingly in favor of proposing more playoff teams
      during collective bargaining with the union next year, which will determine the postseason format for 2012 and beyond.
      The new head of the players’ union says his members are also open to adding more wild-card teams for 2012 and possibly extending the division series to a best-of-seven.
      It’s true smaller market clubs would gain the benefit of more postseason opportunities, but that does little to close the gap between the haves and have nots.

  2. Douglas Heeren says:

    I would like to see doubleheaders again on sundays. What happened was when the A.L. went to the DH they needed to carry an extra non-pitcher bench guy so teams stopped carrying as many pitchers. And the teams wanted the charged money for more games as well. The regular season could be done by the middle of September if the teams played two sunday doubleheaders a month. For me, I’d watch baseball year around since I have no interest in the NFL, watch very little basketball and only watch hockey once in a great moon. But I agree, expanding the playoffs is stupid. I can think of other things baseball needs to do first like somehow fixing the differences in the payrolls between the have(Yankees, Red Sox) and the have nots(Royals).

    • bullpenbrian says:

      I’m afraid doubleheaders, my friend, are a thing of the past.
      The players union won’t budge when it comes to playing two games in one day.
      But I’m with you–DHs are a sensible way to shorten the reg. season and appease fans.
      And brace yourself for playoff expansion–my gut says MLB will sell it hard during negotiations.

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