Baseball debates ‘NHL-ization’ of playoffs if 6 teams are added

Possibly this would possibly get Mike Trout again into the playoffs.

Main League Baseball is tossing round loads of concepts today to start out up a shortened season delayed by the coronavirus pandemic — a DH within the Nationwide League, neutral-site video games, private rosin baggage for pitchers.

Now comes a proposal that would actually upend the game: as much as 16 playoff groups.

Greater than half the 30 golf equipment advance. No want to complete over .500, in all probability. On this skewed season, heck, maybe 35 wins in 76 video games or so could possibly be sufficient to play into October.

What’s subsequent, the Winnipeg Jets within the World Sequence?

OK, we have heard this earlier than, that an additional wild-card group or two represents the NHL-ization of baseball. However to some, an growth from 10 playoff golf equipment to 16 would imply the top of civilization as we all know it.

Longtime supervisor Jim Riggleman chuckled at that notion.

“I feel that no matter they give you this yr to play, something goes. That is advantageous,” he stated. “However transferring ahead into subsequent yr, I would not be in favour of that many groups making the playoffs. I do not assume many gamers can be, both.”

“To say that 16 of 30 groups are playoff groups,” he stated, “you have to elevate the bar greater than that.”

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Different sports activities are accustomed to a plethora of post-season hopefuls.

The NBA has been placing 16 of 30 groups within the playoffs. The NHL welcomes 16 of 31. The NFL will bump up from 12 squads to 14 of 32 this season.

For Aaron Decide, Clayton Kershaw, Juan Soto and others on elite groups, an expanded playoff discipline and further video games would possibly make it more durable to convey house the trophy. In its provide to gamers Monday, MLB did not specify how a playoff format would work with as many as eight groups in every league for this yr and 2021.

For Josh Bell, Joey Votto, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and extra whose golf equipment typically are manner behind, this could possibly be a possibility. Get off to a shocking 15-6 begin in a dramatically shortened season, and there is a probability.

Little question, a whole lot of Trout followers would not thoughts that. The three-time AL MVP and eight-time All-Star has by no means gained a playoff recreation in his profession — he made it solely as soon as, when his Angels had been swept by Kansas Metropolis within the 2014 Division Sequence.

Would this positively result in subpar golf equipment within the playoffs?

Put it this manner: If eight groups had certified for the playoffs in every league from 1995 (when wild playing cards began) via 2019, a complete of 46 MLB golf equipment at or under .500 would have made it, the Elias Sports activities Bureau stated. That’d common out to only underneath two per season.

Solely as soon as has an enormous league group reached the playoffs with a shedding report. George Brett, Willie Wilson and the 1981 Royals went 50-53 total however certified for an expanded post-season due to a 30-23 mark within the second half of a strike-split season.

Veteran skipper Bobby Valentine is OK with further playoff groups — with a caveat.

“Extra the higher this yr,” he wrote in an e mail to The Related Press, “however they need to have copied the Japanese league.”

Valentine, who managed in Japan, identified the early playoff rounds there are vastly tilted. As in, these matchups mechanically begin at 1-0.

“The winner of the division will get a win in every spherical upfront. So there’s actual incentive to play each recreation arduous,” he stated. “Whether it is best-of-three, winner has to win one recreation. Wild card and different groups have to win two.”

For a lot of main league historical past, solely the AL and NL pennant winners after the common season bought to advance — straight to the World Sequence. The post-season discipline grew to become 4 in 1969 when division play started, then doubled to eight with wild playing cards in 1995. In 2012, further wild playing cards boosted the playoff discipline to 10.

To Riggleman, who managed San Diego, the Cubs, Seattle and Washington, it is already gone far sufficient.

“When wild playing cards first began, I wasn’t certain that I would love it, however I did,” he stated. “However I did not like having a couple of wild card in every league. It was such as you performed all yr, you gained (a) wild card, and now we lose one recreation and we’re out?”

“Past this season, speaking about 16, I would not have that many groups within the playoffs,” he stated. “You may water it down.”

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