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Report: Expanded playoffs will be a go for 2012

Feb 29, 2012, 2:30 PM EDT

Ken Rosenthal tweets:

The decision is not terribly surprising.  While this year’s schedule is already set, thus making it difficult to build in room for the expanded playoffs, Major League Baseball and its television partners clearly wanted to get this in place as soon as possible.  Those one-game wild card playoffs are going to be hyped to the max and, given how everyone likes elimination games, will likely get good ratings.

Of course, as it already is, the seventh game of the World Series, if necessary, would be played on November 1.  I would assume that this will bump it a couple of days.  As such, watch for MLB to put the fix in, making it impossible for the northern-dwelling Twins to make the postseason.

Wait, what?  Oh, in that case everything is cool.

  1. manifunk - Feb 29, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    Ugh mandatory 1 game playoffs in baseball are A Dumb Idea

    • phukyouk - Feb 29, 2012 at 2:39 PM

      could not agree more. not a fan of this. just make the first round best of 7 and leave the rest alone.

    • tcostant - Feb 29, 2012 at 3:12 PM

      I like it, now if two teams are close to the division (and both have playoff sport locked up) they will actually TRY TO WIN THE DIVISION. This has happened lately, just see the Rays and Yakees last year.

      I like it

      • manifunk - Feb 29, 2012 at 3:23 PM

        I like the concept, just not the implementation. Baseball has always been about series’. During the regular season you always play at LEAST 2 games in a row against an opponent. Making the “playoffs” different for the first game is wrong. I would be fine if it was a 3 game series, but making it a one-game, do-or-die scenario is just trying to manufacture drama, even though there’s already plenty there for a 3 game series.

      • boomerdt - Feb 29, 2012 at 3:32 PM

        Yep I like it too! Just wish it was a 3 game series.

      • rooney24 - Feb 29, 2012 at 4:08 PM

        The issue with the wild card being a 3 game series is that the other three teams could then be sitting for likely 5-7 days (with off days), not playing, which would actually be a detriment to them. Sitting 3-4 days while they play one wild card game isn’t as big of a momentum breaker.

      • baseballisboring - Feb 29, 2012 at 5:14 PM

        Yeah, I don’t disagree with you but…it would really just suck if, say, the Rays were up 7 games on the wild card race over the Angels, then they played a one game playoff and the Angels won, even though the Rays had the better record by 7 games in a tougher division. That’s the type of thing we’re being set up for. Either make it a 3 game series or don’t do it.

  2. kopy - Feb 29, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    Well, this just clinches it.

    Minnesota Twins: 2012 World Series Champions

  3. The Common Man - Feb 29, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    Low blow, Craig. Low blow. /sad face

  4. Kyle - Feb 29, 2012 at 2:37 PM


  5. cur68 - Feb 29, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    Kicking the Twins while they’re down isn’t cool, Craig. Anyhow, they have their hiring practices doing that for them already, so position occupied, thank you for applying.

    So, more baseball, eh? Cool. I can dig it. Maybe the Twins, Cubs, Mariners, Royals, Orioles etc got a chance? Hell, maybe my Jays got a chance now? I’m definitely in favour of expanded playoffs in that case.

  6. davebrownspiral - Feb 29, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    I think this is a great idea and was a long time coming. I had to watch mostly meaningless and pointless “pennant races” between the Red Sox and Yankees for years, as winning the division meant nothing as both teams were guaranteed a playoff spot. This makes the winning a division actually mean something, as nobody wants to be left playing the crapshoot “one and done” wildcard game. Also, if it means more teams and fanbases are playing for something late in the season, it creates some more excitement. I like it.

  7. poprox13 - Feb 29, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    Dumbest idea ever………..

    • phukyouk - Feb 29, 2012 at 3:53 PM

      Submarines with screen door… now THERE is the dumbest idea ever.

      • Utley's Hair - Feb 29, 2012 at 4:29 PM

        Unless they sprayed the screen with that black stuff from that commercial.

  8. havlicekstoletheball - Feb 29, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    Now baseball will be just like every other sport.

    A damned shame.

    • dcfan4life - Feb 29, 2012 at 4:59 PM

      Only Football is a one and done playoff sport. MLB, NBA, NHL and even the MLS have series to determine playoff winners. Im not sure what you mean. Im not sure you know what you mean…

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 29, 2012 at 5:22 PM

        He’s referring to more and more teams making the playoffs, like the NBA and NHL where half the teams qualify.

      • Ari Collins - Feb 29, 2012 at 7:10 PM

        A third of teams isn’t a bad ratio. And 20% of those only get to play one game.

  9. bigharold - Feb 29, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    I can’t see the scheduling for this working very well over time.

    Why not just make the wild card round best three out of five, .. or even two out of three. Seven games for the division, league and world series and trim the season to 154 games again?

  10. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 29, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    Love it. It basically ensures every season ends like 2011 did. Races to make the playoffs at all, races to win the division and (assuming the team with the best record plays winner of the one-game wild-card round) races to the best record in each league.

    Are they doing away with the silly rule about teams in the same division not playing each other? The team with the best record should have earned the right to play the ever-so-slightly-compromised WC game winner.

    • phukyouk - Feb 29, 2012 at 3:08 PM

      not true. last season you had two (4) teams tied with a one game “playoff” deciding it. now you can have a 96 win team and a 89 win team playing a 1 game playoff. its BS!

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 29, 2012 at 3:31 PM

        Last year was special, but most seasons we had zero teams playing anything as dramatic as a one game playoff. Now we have a minimum of 2 teams doing it every year. We also won’t have to watch as many teams phoning it in for the last week or so of the regular season once they have secured any old playoff spot. People talk about the 1 game playoff cheapening the regular season. I think teams phoning in the last 10 games cheapens the regular season more.

        I wonder how many 96-win teams did not win their division? If they didn’t, that means that there was a 97 win (or better) team out there, and they are the ones who deserve the real advantage in the playoffs. The 96-win team should have tried harder during the sacred 162 because the best team gets the real advantage.

      • Ari Collins - Feb 29, 2012 at 5:11 PM

        Last year was a rarity. Someone looked at past seasons and almost every season this would lead to more teams playing meaningful September games. Whether you think it’s worth it or not, this is definitely the way to get a more exciting finish.

        The gaps between WC1 and WC2 aren’t going to be severe very often, either. In the last five seasons (with ten different WC1/WC2 matchups), only one would have had a gap bigger than six wins. Half of the matchups would have been one-game differences.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 29, 2012 at 5:42 PM

        The 96-win team should have tried harder during the sacred 162 because the best team gets the real advantage.

        In ’01, the 102 win Oakland A’s won the WC [and had to travel to the 95 win NYY]. If the new setup was in place, they would have had to play a play-in game against the 85 win Minnesota Twins. Granted this is the opposite extreme, but how much harder could Oakland have tried win the Mariners won 116 games?

      • Ari Collins - Feb 29, 2012 at 7:11 PM

        Wow. Now THOSE are some win gaps.

  11. bigharold - Feb 29, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    I can’t see the scheduling working for this additional round long term. it takes the playoffs too deep in to potentially non-baseball weather.

    Why not make the WC best 2 of 3 or 3 of 5. Then the Divisional, League and WS best of 7 and revert the season back to 154 games?

    • rooney24 - Feb 29, 2012 at 4:17 PM

      You say the schedule will make the playoffs last too long, and then you advocate making it a 3 or 5 game series. That doesn’t add up. One game doesn’t add much time. Try it for a year or two and see what happens.

      • bigharold - Feb 29, 2012 at 6:03 PM

        If you take 8 games off the season, add 3 for the WC, 2 more for the divisional playoffs you decrease the games, .. and more importantly the scheduling by 3 games. If you make the WC 3 of 5 than you still have one less potential game.

        At issue is not only the additional level of playoffs but what if they decide that one game isn’t quite right and then go fora best two of three.

  12. okwhitefalcon - Feb 29, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    Not cool.

    What could be the horizon next?

    Somebody “hitter only” batting for the pitcher in 1 league or a mid season exhibition game deciding home field advantage in the World Series?

    Novelty ball here we come.

  13. thefalcon123 - Feb 29, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    No sir, I don’t like it. Teams already have 162 games to prove they belong in the postseason. If a team can’t hack it then, why do they get yet another chance?

    Imagine how much drama would have been lost this season if we all knew two weeks before that the Red Sox/Rays and Braves/Cardinals would just have a one game playoff anyway!

    • icanspeel - Feb 29, 2012 at 4:03 PM

      I don’t see why it is such a big deal.. if anything it makes the potential #1 wild card try to win the division over settling for the wild card since 1 game could put them out.

  14. - Feb 29, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    If they’re not going to go back to two divisions, and they’re not going to make four divisions. Then I guess this is OK. Anything to make winning the division mean something.

  15. rooney24 - Feb 29, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    They need to eliminate some of the off days in the playoffs, and then they won’t run quite as late. If a team can play in one town one night and fly to another town to play the next night in the regular season, why not do that in the postseason? Fewer off days would also force teams to use their 4th and possibly 5th starters in the playoffs, which would be a more true test of your team, rather than just needing 3 good starting pitchers. With the way they work the opening round, some series will open the first day and have a day off without even travelling, before playing game 2 of the series on the 3rd day (for TV reasons). Close up those off days, and I bet you could end a week and a half earlier.

  16. marshmallowsnake - Feb 29, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    I can root for the Red Sox in October now, when they make the dance as a 3rd place team? AWESOME!

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 29, 2012 at 4:27 PM

      Nah. Angels/Rangers should uninvite the Red Sox to the dance.

  17. - Feb 29, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    MLB could make the game more fan freindly and cut a week off the season by each team having a double-header each homestand. And I mean 2 games for the price of one double-header. None of this “day/night you have to leave the stadium between games” Kind of crap.

    • Ari Collins - Feb 29, 2012 at 5:41 PM

      This. You hear sabermetric writers calling for this a lot, and it would be just great. But it’ll never happen, as that’s a lot of lost revenue.

      • - Feb 29, 2012 at 5:47 PM

        I think the economics might be a wash. Most of MLB’s revenue comes from TV contracts anyway. A double-header might get more people out to the ballpark. Especially regionally. I live three hours from Kauffman. If I knew there was going to be a DH on a certain day you can bet I’m more likely to make the road trip.

  18. belichickrulz - Feb 29, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    I’d be OK with this if they went back to 154 regular season games. I don’t want to watch the World Series during the second month of football season.

  19. dcfan4life - Feb 29, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    Every one game playoff has been exciting. Last seasons ending came down to 4 one game playoffs and they all delivered unbelievable experiences, with of course the Cardinals carrying into a World Series title. How can any of you say you dont like this. Your probably the same people who said you didn’t like the wild card when it started, and how great has that been.

  20. kidpresentable - Feb 29, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    Not a fan of this. I get that MLB is trying to get better ratings late in the season and into the playoffs, but adding more baseball isn’t going to do it. If you want more people to watch the game, speed it up. Put the pitchers on pitch clocks, limit the number of times the catcher can visit the mound, don’t let relief pitchers warm up outside of the bullpen, don’t let batters step out of the box unless they took a swing or had to dive to avoid a wild pitch, etc. I love baseball, but people who don’t will cite that it’s boring as the main reason for their apathy.

    With a 162 game season, fans of maybe 10-12 teams still care by mid-September. By the final week, fans of maybe 4 teams care because their teams have either long-since clinched or they were eliminated long ago. All this does is guarantee that two fan bases care for one more day.

  21. leftywildcat - Feb 29, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    Watch for one league to have a 3 way tie for that 5th slot. Then we’ll have a rain delay. Then all of us will hate the whole idea.

    Bud, if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it. Put a 5th ump in a replay booth for all basepath and fair/foul calls instead. That way you’d be fixing something that is broken. There would be another no hitter in the record books if you had made this change a couple of years ago.

  22. bigzant82 - Feb 29, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    my ny mets have chance now

  23. dirtyharry1971 - Feb 29, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    they should get rid of the wildcard but nooooo bud isnt done ruining baseball before he leaves. Pretty soon the MLB playoff format will look like the NBA’s. It’s easier to say who didnt make the playoffs then to say who did

  24. meteor32 - Mar 1, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    Craig, are you still mad at Kent Hrbek?

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