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MLBPA: let’s not get ahead of ourselves on expanded playoffs

Apr 26, 2011, 3:00 PM EDT

Selig and Weiner

Bud Selig’s comments about the expanded playoffs being inevitable may have been a bit premature. That’s because, as Jayson Stark reports, the league and the union — which has to sign off on any plan — haven’t gotten all that far along in the process. Michael Weiner:

“We’ve had healthy discussions at the bargaining table about a lot of different schedule formats. Included in those discussions were several formats which expand the playoffs in one form or another. But neither side has made any proposals. So it’s just too early in the bargaining process to predict or guess where it’s going to land.”

That said, the union did signal last year that it is not opposed to the idea in principal. And make no mistake: Weiner is very good at saying when the union is opposed to something on a fundamental level.  This is not that, though. This is Weiner talking about details here, and he’s being cautious in doing so.  Nothing I have seen or heard about all of this suggests that it’s not going to happen.

  1. drunkenhooliganism - Apr 26, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    I’d like the first round to be 7 games. that’s the only expansion I want.

  2. jamie54 - Apr 26, 2011 at 3:18 PM

    Weiner. Bad hair, bad name = Great Baseball nerd.

  3. Mike Luna - Apr 26, 2011 at 4:59 PM

    Like Tim Lincecum said, is there any point in adding teams other than as a money grab? Obviously, money is important, but will it make the game any better? Will it make the playoffs more exciting? What about the rest vs. rust issue as all of the division winners wait around for a 3-game series to wrap up?

    I read an article a few days ago about which teams might have been included in past seasons if these rules were in place in the early ’90s. I found it interesting that the 2nd WC teams in 2009 would have been the Rangers and Giants, the two WS teams in 2010.

    While both of those teams were good in ’09, they weren’t quite good enough yet, which I think is the real issue here. If a team is good enough to be in the playoffs, shouldn’t they be in the playoffs?

    • Mike Luna - Apr 26, 2011 at 5:03 PM

      …and by that last part I mean, why should we further reward a team that couldn’t win a division or take the 1st WC? Before long we’ll just have an everybody plays, March Madness kind of a playoff system.

      • phantomspaceman - Apr 26, 2011 at 5:52 PM

        I completely agree with you. Of all the major sports, baseball has done it’s best to keep bad teams out of the playoffs. If anything, the division series should be extended to 7 games. The idea of a 1 game playoff seems completely silly for a sport that is built on 3-4 game series and a 5-man pitching rotation. Even the 3 game playoff just seems pointless. The baseball season is a marathon and if you can’t hang in until the end you don’t belong in the playoffs, and we don’t need an extra 3 games to tell us that.

  4. spudchukar - Apr 26, 2011 at 6:00 PM

    Nothing would make me happier than expanding the current 5 day Divisional play-offs to seven, but I don’t see that happening, however a 3-game playoff system for wild card teams does bring a greater deal of equity to the system. If baseball shortens the days off in the current system the proposed change will help remedy the existing procedure which isn’t indicative of the regular season. Plus the less than deserving wild-card teams will be beating each other up, using their better pitchers to advance. This creates a greater incentive to obtain the best record in your league, because you get to play the crippled wild-card winner. Granted this is dependent on the schedule, but if the days off are shortened, maybe others will be persuaded that a play-off that resembles the regular season is the way to go, then maybe the seven game adjustment for divisional play will be instituted.

  5. clydeserra - Apr 26, 2011 at 6:53 PM

    Maybe make the wild card team win 4 in the division series and the Division champ win 3.

    Incentive for both, winning a division, and getting best record.

  6. Kevin S. - Apr 26, 2011 at 8:04 PM

    Used to be that one-game playoffs and best-of-threes were used to break ties. I guess MLB would have wanted to break the “tie” between the 95-win Yankees and the 89-win Red Sox last season.

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