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.
The union has approved the agreement discussed with MLB for expanded playoffs, only for the 2020 postseason; that agreement is now subject only to ratification by the owners, sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/HFmaEQ8Npk— Marly Rivera (@MarlyRiveraESPN) July 23, 2020
MLB and MLBPA have reportedly agreed to an expanded 16-team postseason for the 2020 season, pending ratification. All first round matchups will be 3-game series.
Are you a fan of an expanded playoff field or no?— CBS Sports MLB (@CBSSportsMLB) July 23, 2020
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.
MLBPA and MLB have agreed on a $50 million postseason bonus pool for players with 16 teams for this year. In negotiations last month, MLB offered $25 million. Players have voted, now up to owners to ratify.— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) July 23, 2020
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.
Sources say that in a 16-team postseason, all first-round games in a best-of-3 first round would be played at the home of the higher seed.— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 23, 2020
So there would be no travel day.
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.
By expanding the playoffs to over half of all @MLB, you just watered down the trade deadline.— Ted (@tlschwerz) July 23, 2020
Any team on the bubble now holds future assets knowing they’re chancing second best rather than the top.
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.
Here’s what the MLB playoff field would have looked like last year under the new expanded 16-team playoff
7. Red Sox
8. Cubs— Danny Vietti (@DannyVietti) July 23, 2020
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