Expanded Playoffs: Stay or Go?
What is going on ball boys and girls? I hope you are doing super well. I am glad to be writing another. In my opinion, the piece. I am writing this one today for a few reasons 1- To address the playoff format we saw in 2020, 2-Manfred wants to keep this format going forward in the MLB 3 possibly- So that I can give my opinion on the topic,
So far, we have seen the Owners try to trade another year of expanded playoffs to the MLBPA for another season of the universal DH.
The format we saw this year was interesting as we saw 16 teams make the MLB Playoffs. We saw the first round the Wild Card round was a best of 3 games. We saw the one seed play the 8, 2 play the seven, and so forth. The Wild Card round was played as 3games in 3 days. Then the Divisional round was a best of 5. 5 games in 5 Days. Then we get to the League Championship Round witch was seven games in 7 days. The World Series was the classic format, two games, one-off, three games, one-off, and two games. So, in the end, there was a lot of playoff baseball.
What didn't I like?
I wouldn't say I liked how the playoffs were set up as I think the WC round should not have had the Top teams still playing in it for many reasons. But the best two teams in each league should not have to play their way into the divisional round. But with how tight records were, I get why they did it this way as the Playoffs show you something different and show who will step up. Other than that, I wouldn't say I liked exactly how the games were set up. I like the endurance test idea, but the game times did need to vary slightly more, but you have to do what you got to do for scheduling. I did like the bubble idea in the end, however.
What did I like?
I did like more than anything was the competition aspect from the Wild Card rounds on. The playoffs are where legends are made, and legacies are cemented in history. The idea of with the back to back games was cool to see. It showed us how much teams rely on data, analytics, and guts. It was very obvious to me in the Wildcard round that those 6-7-8 seeds were not good enough to make a run at it. I did like how this format kept a lot more teams engaged. Much like the NBA playoffs, more teams play for that 7/8 spot, so more teams are not trying to tank for a draft pick. The competitive element was much improved when more teams are in it, the more TV money, and an excellent financial benefit that we won't get too much into.
Should it stay, or should it go?
I am still personally torn on if it should stay or should it go. I think we saw some entertaining sweetheart teams and extra storylines come out of it. The expanded playoffs showed up groups on the brink of contention, brought new stars to our attention and the 16 teams were a lot of fun to watch. For me, it indeed was the best of the best going against each other in each series and even matchups and ended up being an excellent thing for the MLB in 2020 if it stays great! If not, I will be a little sad. But if it persists, then we have a new playing field and a market for free agents.
Thank you guys so much for reading. I appreciate the support and the time you take to read every one of my pieces. If you haven't, that's okay. It's the MLB off-season, plenty of time to get caught up.