The idea of expanding Major League Baseball’s playoffs by adding games to the Division Series or adding teams to the playoff pool is being considered by the player’s union.
If the idea comes to pass, a new playoff structure will be implemented for the 2012 season and beyond. This would be the first big change to the baseball playoff structure since the Division Series was added in 1995.
Coupled with that could be a shortened regular season schedule. Though these ideas have been floated, they are still in speculative stages—no plans have yet been set to alter the playoff system in place. The ideas will be further explored during December’s executive board meeting.
Though change happens and something like this seems almost inevitable, I cannot say I favor this idea. The current system sets a sort of exclusivity to the playoffs, ensuring only the very best play beyond the regular season. If more teams are added to the playoff picture, it will water down that exclusivity, making playoff appearances too easy to achieve and a bit less special.
Though the NFL sends 12 of 32 teams to the playoffs (or 37.5%) and the NBA sends 16 of 30 teams to the postseason (or 53.3%), that does not mean Major League Baseball has to increase from the eight teams (of 30, or 26.7%) it sends to the postseason to match the other leagues. It is fine the way it is.
Tags: Baseball, Playoffs