Pitchers and catchers report today for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Baseball is back.
Spring is just around the corner.
And we’re kicking off the preseason just how we all imagined, with Trevor Bauer calling commissioner Rob Manfred a “joke” who doesn’t know anything about baseball:
No idea who made this new playoff format proposal, but Rob is responsible for releasing it, so I’ll direct this to you, Rob Manfred. Your proposal is absurd for too many reasons to type on twitter and proves you have absolutely no clue about baseball. You’re a joke.
— Trevor Bauer (@BauerOutage) February 11, 2020
Bauer is talking about the playoff format topic that dropped yesterday, a nice bit of misdirection from Major League Baseball to steal a bit of the spotlight and get some media attention.
The story is that MLB is considering changing the playoff system by allowing seven teams to qualify, plus this:
- wild card games are now best-of-three series
- seeding will be re-worked
- the top-seeded team gets a first-round bye
- the number two seed picks their opponent from the bottom three seeds (with a selection show)
- higher seed hosts all three games of first round
- five-game division series
Some of it seems cool to me, like the idea of making those wild card games a series instead. It’s brutal to watch a team play 162 and then get knocked out in a single postseason game.
The “pick your opponent” thing is ridiculous though. That is so far out of left field that baseball traditionalists will probably unanimously rail against it, like a 100% to 0 ratio, similar to how Philadelphia votes on election day.
The MLB Players Association has apparently been presented with these ideas, which are under review. I will say that I like to see MLB thinking outside of the box a little bit, even if some of the proposals seem like they’re far-fetched. Other leagues have shown a willingness to evolve and adapt and baseball could benefit from that same approach.