The summer of baseball chaos is almost upon us as the regular season is scheduled to get underway *checks schedule* tomorrow night.
So, of course, it makes absolutely perfect sense then that Major League Baseball and the MLPA are in last-minute talks to expand the postseason from 10 to 16 teams.
Sources: MLB and union are re-engaging on the possibility of expanded playoffs for this season. Has to be done before first pitch 25 hours from now, but there seems to be optimism. Hope was to go from 10 playoff teams to 16.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 22, 2020
I know. It’s Jon Heyman, you will believe it when you see it. I’ve got you. But the possibility of expanding the postseason field on the eve of the season certainly adds yet another layer of intrigue to what already promises to be a wild season.
From a Phillies’ perspective, such a development would certainly put the team very much in play for its first postseason appearance since the 2011 season. Most experts consider the Phillies a fringe playoff contender under the current format, but with a brutal schedule that is loaded exclusively with AL East and NL East opponents, they face a more challenging road.
Joe Girardi, for one, is a fan of the idea, in part, for that very reason.
“I don’t think it’s a problem if they make a decision in three weeks. I think it’s a good thing because I think what everyone always talks about is that if you’re going to have playoffs and you’re going to have wild card teams, you want somewhat of a balanced schedule and teams crossing over and playing the same teams,” he said. “Well, that’s not going to happen this year, so I’m all for expanding the playoffs just because of that reason.”
Girardi believes the expanded postseason field will also create more fan interest.
“I’m all for it. I think the more playoff baseball we can have, especially in a year like this, the more excitement we provide for our fans and it’s better for the game,” he said.
For what it’s worth, the Girardi also said he would support playoff expansion in a normal 162-game season.
Who said baseball is boring? Not in 2020, it isn’t.