OT: What if every MLB team made the playoffs?

Submitted by Mr. Elbel on April 30th, 2018 at 9:31 PM
http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/23244608/radical-ideas-series-every-… As a Tigers fan, this idea appeals to me given that the playoffs seem like a far-fetched dream that's at least years away. Normally teams don't go from 119 loses to the WS in 3 years so I'm not holding my breath. Anyway, an interesting idea that in no way is ever happening but would certainly make the end of the season fun and give me a reason beyond fan loyalty/love of the game to invest in the team for the back end of the season. What say you?



April 30th, 2018 at 9:55 PM ^

I wouldn’t say it’s pointless, but I can’t get very excited with a win or mad with a loss when there is so many games. Emotion is what makes it interesting.

This will never change because of records and such, but the best thing for baseball would be to cut the season down to about 100 games. Unrealistic I know, but games would matter more.

I Would shave 25 or so off NBA and NHL as well.


May 1st, 2018 at 5:39 PM ^

are in favor of splitting the baseball season in half.  So you have a first half champ and a second half champ in the playoffs.  Similar for wild card teams, but if one team wins both halves, there is no wild card in that division.

So, if your team sucks early, they can hit the reset button and make the playoffs with a second half push.


April 30th, 2018 at 11:19 PM ^

Same with the NHL as far as I'm concerned. Along with the pointless (other than money) conference playoffs/championships. And a 68 team NCAA MBB tournament.

Play a thorough regular season conference slate and the team with the best in-conference record is the champion. The champion goes on to a national tournament/bowl/whatever, and the rest watch on TV.

The most mindless is NCAA men's hockey, where they play best-of at the beginning of post season and then go to single elimination. Because why? Take eight teams in instead of 16. Best two of three for the whole thing, higher seed gets games one and three at home. Fix the attendance issues that way, too.


May 1st, 2018 at 9:10 AM ^

Actually based off how many teams make the post season I think technically speaking baseball has the most meaningful regular season. Every game might not feel like it matters but its often 1-3 games seperating a team from the playoffs at the end of the year and the smallest percentage of teams make the post season.


April 30th, 2018 at 10:10 PM ^

Did you read the article?  I am not for the idea, but I think it might create more interest in the regular season the way he structures the playoffs.  15 seed vs 14 seed.  Winner versus 13 seed, winner vs 12 seed...etc...  Most teams are essentially knocked out of it in May...and single games could swing seeding.

As of right now 7 of 30 teams have a less than 1% chance to make the playoffs.  10 teams have somewhere between a 1 and 5.7% chance of making the playoffs.  So 17 of 30 teams right now have less than a 5.7% chance of making the playoffs.  It is technically still April - April.  The regular season is already ruined...I know the Tigers 0.2% chance of making the playoffs means their games have little meaning.

Kilgore Trout

May 1st, 2018 at 1:42 PM ^

I know this would be very hard to ever have happen because of the financial disincentive to the owners, but relegation, even within the existing 30 team MLB would make things a lot more interesting. Imagine...

MLB1 - Teams 1-7 make the playoffs, teams 14 and 15 relegated to MLB2, teams 13-10 play three game series with the team to lose two series also relegated.

MLB2 - Team 1 gets 8 seed in championship playoff, team 2 gets promoted, teams 3-7 play a miniplayoff for the last promotion spot. 

Advantages: good teams only play other good teams during the season, 18/30 teams are in some sort of playoff (competing for good and bad things), but only the good ones can win the title, every team starts the season with a path to the championship

Disadvantages: those games between teams sliding to the bottom of MLB2 are going to be attended by about 6 people. 

rob f

May 1st, 2018 at 12:44 AM ^

and somewhat agree that his ideas make some sense, but for one: how to solve the problem of the higher-ranked teams having weeks off while the lower seeds played through the earlier rounds.

Besides, no sport is as tied to "tradition" and season/career individual records as baseball is. Traditionalists would never buy in to such radical change when such change would somewhat make those records obsolete.


May 1st, 2018 at 2:10 AM ^

He actually did partly address this by having teams whose "seed" hadn't yet appeared continue their regular season, with potential changes in seeding still on the table. Lower-seeded teams would simply end early. It's not perfect, of course, but it's interesting.

It's not an idea that MLB will ever take (and his disclaimer at the beginning says that some of the ideas in the series this is a part of shouldn't even be considered) but it's actually innovative and well-thought. As I've said elsewhere, it would be interesting for a smaller league in some sport to try this.

Rufus X

May 1st, 2018 at 8:37 AM ^

and it is so monumentally stupid that I don't even know where to begin. 

The reason behind it is purporting to fix the "problem" that some teams have no shot at the playoffs. Just look at the World Series participants since 2009 (the last year the Yankees won with the core players from their dynasty still around).  There are no dynasties.  The league that supposedly has 'fixed" the parity problem - the NFL - still has franchises like the Lions and the Browns.  Sometimes there are just losers.  Get over it.  

Even if lack of parity WERE a problem there are so many things that could be tried to improve it baseball before this buffoonery.  Also, and probably more significantly, ending the season for most teams on 9/1 when the "playoff" begins by this suggestion completely eliminates one of the best things about the game; MLB's reverence for season records and statistical comparison of one season to another. I can just hear it now. "Trout and Judge both hit 42 HR, but Trout played in 16 fewer games, so he should win the MVP"

I can't believe I just wasted 3 minutes typing this response such a collossally stupid and completely irrelevant concept.  I guess it's the offseason for MGoBlog, so that explains it I guess.  Football season can't come soon enough


May 1st, 2018 at 11:28 AM ^

Its also logistically impossible. He already acknowledges he hopes it never rains because any sort of delays/cancellations would either ruin the entire system or set up ridiculous travel scenarios or teams having to play like 8 games in 6 days. So it would actually require shortening the number of games by a lot and increasing the number of off days to build the necessary buffer for weather and even then some teams would get fucked and competitive balance would be off.

Plus his option to keep the season going wouldn't work. Sure the Padres and Marlins opponents could play each other if that is the first series, but how do you determine who plays at home if both teams were supposed to be playing at home? What do you do if it rains out the playoff game? Push everything back a day? What happens if 14 and 15 play and then like 5 teams are tied at 13, you just start flippig coins for seeding? 

It isn't feasible, it isn't really all that interesting, and its a bad solution to a mostly non-existent problem.


April 30th, 2018 at 9:50 PM ^

I would like to see the one-game playoffs. Inevitably, a team would make an improbable run which would make a big story especially if its a bunch of rookies just called up for September.


April 30th, 2018 at 10:25 PM ^

I'd support a modification of this akin to what Bill Simmons suggests for the NBA:

In the NBA:  after reg. season ends, 14 playoff seeds are locked, then we have a 16-team single elimination tournament for the last 2 seeds.

That's fine with me for baseball.  Would be fun to watch.


May 1st, 2018 at 7:23 AM ^

I'm a Pirate fan.  In 2014 they won 88 games in the regular season, and got Madison Bumgarner in the wildcard.  Season over.  In 2015 they won 98 (!) games, but the Cardinals won 100.  So they got Jake Arrieta in the wildcard.  That would be Jake "0.75 ERA since the All Star break, lowest ever recorded" Arrieta.  Season over.


April 30th, 2018 at 9:54 PM ^

There will only be playoffs. And thanks to the magic of CGI, everyone’s favorite team - regardless of which team that is - will win the championship in dramatic fashion every year. Any word to the contrary will be dismissed as fake news.


April 30th, 2018 at 10:35 PM ^

What I take away from that article is "North Korea actually did qualify for the World Cup in 1966 and 2010, losing 2-1 to Brazil, 7-0 to Portugal and 3-0 to the Ivory Coast in South Africa."

Quick research about 1966 showed:  "Group 4, however, provided the biggest upset when North Korea beat Italy 1–0 at Ayresome Park, Middlesbrough and finished above them, thus earning qualification to the next round along with the Soviet Union. This was the first time that a nation from outside Europe or the Americas had progressed from the first stage of a World Cup: the next would be Morocco in 1986."

North Korea beat Italy?  Sheesh.


April 30th, 2018 at 10:08 PM ^

A little OT but I feel like the Stros fully committed to a rebuild only a few years ago and won the series last year. Am I way off base on their rebuild? I just remember them tanking realll hard.

Mr. Elbel

April 30th, 2018 at 10:24 PM ^

They committed to tanking, yes. They weren't exactly weighed down for so long by big contracts though. Made the playoffs in 15 but it'd been a 10 year drought at that point. Our biggest hope to tank right now is that miggy balls out (stays healthy...then balls out) and gets dumped for prospects at the deadline. Even then, we tried to hang on for too long and didn't get enough for our big guns at the start to help us tank properly. We might be facing that 10 year drought instead of the 2-3 year gap.


May 1st, 2018 at 12:57 AM ^

Miggy is untradeable. The amount of money we'd have to eat to move him would be absurd, no matter how well he hits.

The best bet for our rebuild is that he continues to his, as he has so far this year and does so for the rest of the contract. We're gonna be paying his contract, if he can age well like David Ortiz, that won't be that bad.


April 30th, 2018 at 11:48 PM ^

The idea will never happen (and it is basically conceded at the outset that it shouldn't be seriously considered) and I'm opposed, generally.

But the format he cooked up can only be called ingenious. It maintains a lot of regular season value, provides exciting drama, gives fans of bad teams something to watch, rewards excellence... this is one of the most striking examples I've ever seen of reading an article changing my opinion.

I mean, sort of. I don't want baseball to do this. It's not perfect. But I would love to see some niche sports league do this. Seriously.