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Chaos! There is the potential for a scheduling nightmare in October

Sep 7, 2012, 2:01 PM EDT


Extra wild card teams! One game playoffs! Optimized TV schedules!  These are all so, so awesome! Except for if it, you know, rains or something.  Jayson Stark breaks down the potential chaos:

So let’s just say the Cardinals and Dodgers do indeed finish tied for that second wild-card spot. And let’s just say the Cardinals beat the Dodgers in the tiebreaker game to nail down that spot.

Under the current schedule, the Cardinals would theoretically have to play Wednesday night in St. Louis, Thursday night in Los Angeles and Friday sometime-or-other in Atlanta. Well, guess what? That ain’t happening.

It’s not, Stark explains, because the union and the league agreed back in March to not let that happen.  So Stark goes over the alternatives. And they all stink.

You reap what you sow, MLB. You wanted to cram in the expanded playoffs without having a regular season schedule that can reasonably accommodate them and that’s what you get.


  1. poreef - Sep 7, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    Money, uh, finds a way.

    • Lukehart80 - Sep 7, 2012 at 3:42 PM

      MLB has behaved much like John Hammond, in that it’s created something, slapped it on a plastic lunch box, and now (BANG!) it’s selling it. MLB was so preoccupied with whether or not it COULD do that it never stopped to think if it SHOULD.

      Also… that is one big pile of $%&#.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 7, 2012 at 7:07 PM

        Also… that is one big pile of $%&#.

        We’re talking about Selig here, right?

  2. darthicarus - Sep 7, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    Bud Selig is going to have an aneurysm if there’s a tie.

    • ikedavisnose - Sep 7, 2012 at 2:15 PM

      Wouldn’t be the worst thing to happen to baseball

    • theawesomersfranchise - Sep 7, 2012 at 2:41 PM

      Come on Tie!

  3. bengalsfan19 - Sep 7, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    the new playoff sysytem is a joke. a 1 game play in game. is this beer league softball or a billion dollar business

    • Kevin Gillman - Sep 7, 2012 at 2:49 PM

      Isn’t Football a 1 game play in game? It works for them, it can and will work for baseball.

      • Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Sep 7, 2012 at 3:00 PM

        Yeah, and one game is 1/16 of a football season, while one game is 1/162 of a baseball season. Would you like to see a football playoff game that consisted of six minutes on the clock?

      • Joe - Sep 7, 2012 at 3:19 PM

        Nobody on the planet seems to have a problem with a one-game playoff to determine who gets into the playoffs (e.g. 2008, 2009 AL Central champions). But if they “qualified for the playoffs,” now having just one game to decide who advances is an abomination?

        I don’t see the difference. Just think of it as a one-game playoff to determine the Wild Card entry.

      • 18thstreet - Sep 7, 2012 at 4:44 PM

        I’d prefer a 6-minute football game to a 60-minute one.

        There would be fewer punts on 4th down, for one thing.

      • Kevin Gillman - Sep 7, 2012 at 6:07 PM

        What are you talking about Chip, by the way, a great name. I am referring to the “1 and done” playoff format the NFL uses. Which means the team that plays the best wins. Everything about this 1 game playoff format is exciting, because they don’t have the crutch of “Well, it’s just a loss, we are still in this”. It makes getting into the ALCS, NLCS, and World Series mean that much more.

    • lessick - Sep 7, 2012 at 3:17 PM

      Simple solution. To avoid a one game playoff, win the division.

      • Joe - Sep 7, 2012 at 3:20 PM

        Wasn’t that the entire purpose of this change in the first place? To give teams more incentive to win the division?

      • paperlions - Sep 7, 2012 at 7:11 PM

        No, actually, it was to have a new level of playoffs to auction off to the highest network bidder…with the sales pitch that it’ll be like having a game 7 because the winner goes home.

        As usual, nothing in baseball business has to do with baseball…it only has to do with business.

      • wlschneider09 - Sep 7, 2012 at 11:39 PM

        This. Except for the winner going home part.

  4. iranuke - Sep 7, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    So, if we want MLB to run around in circles, we should hope for a major storm to hit the east coast from 1 to 3 October and rain out all of the games on the east coast for the last 3 days of the season?

  5. thefalcon123 - Sep 7, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    Even more fun scenario’s:

    The Pirates are only 1.5 games behind the Cardinals. How about a 3-way tie for the 2nd Wild Card spot? Would this require some form of round-robin thing going on?

    Or how about the AL, which could potentially have this scenario at the end of 162 games (*highly* unlikely, but possible as they are all within 4 wins of each other right now and a less extreme version is very possible.):

    The Orioles and Yankees finished tied for AL East Lead at 91-61
    The Tigers and White Sox finished tied for AL Central Lead at 91-61
    The A’s and Angels lose the division, but also go 91-61

    I assume the outcome with this scenario with just be a series of two-man potato sack races.

    • natstowngreg - Sep 7, 2012 at 4:21 PM

      Nah, they would do it like soccer. Home run contest.

  6. whodeytn - Sep 7, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    I think it’s ridiculous that the Reds and Nationals will finish with the two best records in the NL and have to play two games ON THE ROAD to start the playoffs.

    What a prize that is.

    • Steve A - Sep 7, 2012 at 4:07 PM

      It’s a one year anomaly. Yes, it happened because MLB wanted to rush the expanded playoffs, but it’s a format they’ve used before.

  7. willclarkgameface - Sep 7, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    Things I am currently praying for:
    1) Ties in every division and wild card race. My God how that would fuck things up and I LOVE IT.
    2) Melky wins the NL batting title. SWEET!
    3) Pujols gets poked on roids charge.
    4) The Red Sox will finish in last place, causing John Henry’s band of idiots to sell.
    5) Barry Bonds AND Roger Clemens get voted into the Hall, causing the doors to blow off THAT shit show.

    Please Lord, for you are holy and have always had your watchful, protective eye on us and Major League Baseball. Let all of these events transpire and prove to the world once and for all that Bud Selig is the biggest fuck-up, pansy-ass “commissioner” nay CEO this sport has ever seen. And please hear our prayers for homelessness, hunger, and disease, but screwing Bud Selig is pretty damn important to.


    • 18thstreet - Sep 7, 2012 at 4:45 PM

      Bozos? Is that you?

      • Tim OShenko - Sep 7, 2012 at 5:03 PM

        Nah, bozos’ list would be “1-5: Red Sox finish last”

  8. hisgirlgotburrelled - Sep 7, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    That’s why it’s the wild card, because it’s fking wild!

  9. natstowngreg - Sep 7, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    Agreed. Basically, there would be 2 ways to go — condense the regular season schedule (go back to the 154-game schedule or play the 162-day schedule in fewer days) or extend the season. Why each is pretty unlikely:

    154-game schedule: The owners would demand pay cuts. The players would refuse. So much for labor peace.

    Condense the regular season schedule: The owners would oppose playing scheduled doubleheaders. The players would oppose having fewer days off. I suspect both sides could agree that they don’t like it.

    Extend the season: It would mean a neutral-site World Series in mid-November. Like that’s gonna happen. Alternatively, take even greater risks with bad weather. Other sports have gotten away with extending their seasons because they play indoors (playoff hockey in LA in June), or are willing to play championships in warm weather/domed venues (see Bowl, Super). Can’t see that happening in baseball.

    • stoutfiles - Sep 7, 2012 at 4:57 PM

      Or just start the season a week early. Problem solved.

      • tashkalucy - Sep 7, 2012 at 5:43 PM


        Sure, that should do it.

        A few years ago the Indians had to open the season in Milwaukee after a few games were SNOWED OUT.

        And you want to start a week earlier?

        If there is any organization that is more greedy then professional baseball – from the commissioners office to owner and front offices to players and their union, please let me know what it is.

        It’s a wonder these guys don’t ask for the 4th of July and Labor Day off off so they can be with their families.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 7, 2012 at 7:09 PM

        If there is any organization that is more greedy then professional baseball – from the commissioners office to owner and front offices to players and their union, please let me know what it is.

        How about the NFL, who lies to the players that they are losing money, when the Browns just sold for $1b(!)?

  10. leftywildcat - Sep 7, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    All of the complicated or delaying scenarios mentioned here — rain, 2 or 3 way ties — were mentioned on HBT a year or so ago when the possibility of a 2nd wild card was first floated.

    All were ignored by Bud the dud, who has been in favor of stupid stuff like this but opposed to improvements such as an additional ump in a replay booth.

    Candidates to replace him ought to be questioned about how often they read HBT in order to appreciate the wisdom of diehard fans.

  11. hushbrother - Sep 9, 2012 at 2:55 AM

    Jeff Goldblum is the most underrated actor on earth, it must be said.

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