PHOTO: LM Otero/ AP

MLB Expanding Playoffs to 16 Teams; That’s Over Half the League but Who’s Counting?

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Major League Baseball starts their much awaited regular season tonight. That doesn’t mean negotiations between the player’s union and league are over. Far from it, actually. News broke this afternoon, that the two sides are coming to an agreement on an expanded postseason for 2020…

They claim the changes will be for 2020 only… but lol.




There will now be 16 teams reaching the postseason. We’ve now reached a point where over half the league are World Series contenders… Each division will now get 2 teams in the tournament and 2 wildcard teams will also dance. What an absolute mockery of the game and regular season.

SHOW ME THE MONEY

As with almost everything in life, this appears to be all about the money. While I understand that both the players and owners are miffed about losing mass amounts of revenue, this is still an absurd ask. Yet this has apparently been discussed since the two sides agreed to play the 2020 season. It shows you how their grubby little hands can’t get enough.



But I guess that much money doesn’t go as far as it used to. As former Viking receiver Chris Carter said, “You got $30 million, you think that can get you to the grave? That ain’t no whole bunch of money, in the real world.”

Tell that to those losing their jobs or unable to collect unemployment during the pandemic. How tone deaf can people be?

THE POSTSEASON’S NEW LOOK

With 16 teams now slated to make it to October baseball, there is going to be a drastically different look. While the number of games for the first series will be a best-of-three, all first round games will now solely be played at the higher seeds ballpark.

This eliminates travel days and any leveling of the playing field. Although it is yet to be seen if the lower seed will get to play as the “home” team for one of the games. Without fans, that could work.



CHOOSING OPPONENTS?

On top of that, the division winners will choose their opponent in a televised event. Again, anything for the sake of a dollar. While this may be great for the Twins as it not only increases the likelihood of them making the playoffs, but it also means if they win the AL Central that they would avoid the Yankees in the first round. And we all know how they have the team’s number.

Still, this dilutes the meaning of everything that makes baseball great. Division races, the trade deadline, and even the postseason. As the more teams you add the worse the play becomes due to the potential for a horrendous team sneaking in.



LIKELY HERE TO STAY

Sure, you can pull up how the Indians or Nationals were doing after 60 games in 2019 and say this is the one year to implement this. But one thing that is almost always guaranteed with MLB is they don’t like to take things away once in place. Neither do the players as they want as much money making opportunities as possible.



I expect this to become a dreadful new playoff normal, for baseball in America. The players and owners are pissing on the graves of those who made this sport the country’s pastime.

Jack Kewitsch | Minnesota Sports Fan

jkewitsch

Edina native and two-time grad of the University of Florida in Sport Management. Previously worked with the Timberwolves and Minnesota United FC along with the Gators.

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