Is Selig’s “New Deal” Working?

Maybe people haven’t been thinking about it much with the postseason still about two months away, but boy is change coming this October. The playoff format included in the new collective-bargaining agreement adds another wild card team to each league and a one-game playoff between the two wild cards to decide who plays in the ALDS.

If that’s not enough for you, the ALDS itself is going to run in a 2-3 format, like it did during the 1995-1997 seasons. Which means, the wild card team will have home-field for the first two games, and the higher-seeded, division winning club will have the remaining three, if necessary. Next year, it will go back to the 2-2-1 in place since 1998.

Maybe that was just a waste of web space, because most MLB fans are aware of what’s to come. And even though many of them, including myself, are opposed to it – in a way, Bud Selig’s original idea for this plan is being realized.

If the playoffs started today, 7 of 11 (three-way tie in AL Wild Card right now) teams would be in the playoffs for the first time since at least before last season. Selig’s hope for more first-time contenders (or first time in a long time – looking at you Baltimore and Pittsburgh) was one of his big reasons for adding the extra wild cards.

As much as it pains be to say this, there’s no doubt Selig knew what he was doing – at least for this season. It’s been exciting to this point, with a lot of teams contending who simply have been horrible in recent years. If those clubs keep it up and make it a tense, epic finish to the season come September, it might change my view – only slightly – on the new playoff system.

Of course the actual postseason need to be played, but I really have to hand it so Mr. Selig – you really hit the nail on the head for this one. You’ve crushed your fingers with mostly everything else though.

Posted on August 11, 2012, in Analysis, Personal Opinion and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Selig did a great job with this. Had to be a punishment for not winning the division. To easy on the wild card winners.

    • …I still don’t agree with the plan. Definitely, the wild card should be punished, but a one-game playoff is simply not right. What if one year, a 95 win team and an 84 win team face off in the one-game playoff? Clearly one team was far better than the other, and one game can’t decide who goes on. I like the thinking, but it should be a 3-game series, if there is going to be an extra wild card for a while. It’s more fair and gives both teams a chance to prove who is truly better.

  2. You’re right BD……….a one game playoff is too random(tm).

    • Brian, I think the idea is that both wild card teams are hurt in the playoffs. The one game loser is out unfairly and the winner just used their best pitcher, so he can’t be used more than once in the next round. That pitcher also won’t be matched up with the other teams best starter. twasp, I do like your use of the word random!

      • Doug, that’s a great point, and honestly I think there are so many scenarios that can be thought up that are both in favor and opposed to the one-game playoff. I think over time we’ll get used to it and it will be exciting, but to me it’s a cheap way of adding another playoff team and is just a knee-jerk reaction to last year’s game 162 craziness.

      • Doug….thanks…. TWASP has trademarked the use of the word random(tm) ….so please do not use it in your comments anymore or you will be in violation of the patent #13eqboli.

  3. Brian – does this look like a below average shortstop to you?

  4. Doug – are you on Baseball Reference?

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