Possibly this may get Mike Trout again into the playoffs.
Main League Baseball is tossing round loads of concepts lately to begin up a shortened season delayed by the coronavirus pandemic — a DH within the Nationwide League, neutral-site video games, private rosin luggage for pitchers.
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Now comes a proposal that would really upend the game: Up to 16 playoff teams.
Greater than half the 30 golf equipment advance. No want to end over .500, in all probability. This skewed season, heck, maybe 35 wins in 76 video games or so might be sufficient to play into October.
What’s subsequent, the Winnipeg Jets within the World Sequence?
OK, we’ve 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 think that whatever they come up with this year to play, anything goes. That’s fine,” he stated. “But moving forward into next year, I wouldn’t be in favor of that many teams making the playoffs. I don’t think many players would be, either.”
“To say that 16 of 30 teams are playoff teams,” he stated, “you’ve got to raise the bar higher than that.”
Different sports activities are accustomed to a plethora of postseason hopefuls.
The NBA has been placing 16 of 30 teams 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 teams, an expanded playoff discipline and further video games may make it more durable to carry dwelling the trophy. In its provide to gamers Monday, MLB didn’t specify how a playoff format would work with as many as eight teams in every league for this yr and 2021.
For Josh Bell, Joey Votto, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and extra whose golf equipment typically are approach behind, this might be a possibility. Get off to a shocking 15-6 begin in a dramatically shortened season, there’s an opportunity.
Little question, a number of Trout followers wouldn’t thoughts that. The three-time AL MVP and eight-time All-Star has by no means gained a playoff sport 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 undoubtedly lead to subpar golf equipment within the playoffs?
Put it this manner: If eight teams had certified for the playoffs in every league from 1995 (when wild playing cards began) by means of 2019, a complete of 46 MLB golf equipment at or beneath .500 would have made it, the Elias Sports activities Bureau stated. That’d common out to just below 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 postseason due to a 30-23 mark within the second half of a strike-split season.
Veteran skipper Bobby Valentine is OK with additional playoff teams — with a caveat.
“More the better this year,” he wrote in an electronic mail to The Related Press, “but they should have copied the Japanese league.”
Valentine, who managed in Japan, identified the early playoff rounds there are massively tilted. As in, these matchups routinely begin at 1-0.
“The winner of the division gets a win in each round in advance. So there is real incentive to play every game hard,” he stated. “If it is best-of-three, winner has to win one game. Wild card and other teams need to win two.”
For a lot of main league historical past, solely the AL and NL pennant winners after the common season received to advance — straight to the World Sequence. The postseason discipline turned 4 in 1969 when division play started, then doubled to eight with wild playing cards in 1995. In 2012, additional wild playing cards boosted the playoff discipline to 10.
To Riggleman, who managed San Diego, the Cubs, Seattle and Washington, it’s already gone far sufficient.
“When wild cards first started, I wasn’t sure that I would like it, but I did,” he stated. “But I didn’t like having more than one wild card in each league. It was like you played all year, you won (a) wild card, and now we lose one game and we’re out?”
“Beyond this season, talking about 16, I wouldn’t have that many teams in the playoffs,” he stated. “You can water it down too much.”