MLB Playoff Format Needs a Major Update. Could This Be The Solution?

Fri Oct 03, 2014 14:11:26PM | Categories:
2008 MLB AL Central Tiebreaker GameBy: Jeff_Dahl
For years the format for Major League Baseball has been a frustrating thing to take in. There are a number of problems with it that seem way to easy to fix, but are being ignored by those who can. In 2012 the one-game wildcard was introduced to and add more teams, therefore add more excitement but ended up (in my opinion) a mistake. There reason for my opinion being negative, is that instead of just one wildcard team playing a fair best-of five games against a reigning team, two wildcard teams play against each other in one game for the win. Now the victor of that game gets to proceed to a division winner in regular season. What is so bad about this change is no matter how hard one team fought to win as many games as possible, it all rides on one game in the end to determine their fate. How does that make any sense? It doesn't. This is an appropriate time to say, "That's not fair.". I guess you could say if they deserved to move on then they need to win all games. But that just doesn't make sense either. That's why there is a playoff format to begin with.

Now that that's out of the way, there is another obvious problem that needs to be looked at. Simply said, the MLB season is way too long and the postseason is way too short. After 162 games of fighting, strategy, hard earned games, easy won games, blood, sweat, and tears. The change takes effect and perhaps two of the well deserved trophy teams get sent home. Could be due to an unlucky starting pitcher, or a stroke of bad luck period. Every team has that one game everyone once in a while that they regret. No one can explain what went wrong. It's just how the cookie crumbles so they say. But this is where the "excitement" comes in. You don't know which of the two teams will ultimately get sent home after a hard earned season. I wouldn't call that excitement. I'd call that a bad format.

So why has the team who has the best record only won 4 World Series titles out of 14 total since the change? The answer to me is simple. It's the wildcard addition. I understand what they were trying to do with this change, but now it has gone on long enough. Now we need more of a well rounded format update.

If I was asked to suggest a format that would work, I would say we should look at how the NFL playoff format is orchestrated. The process is tried-and-true and doesn't leave you in a pool of angry sweat, clenching your fist ready to swing at your living room tv. Well, at least not as much. I feel like this format is 100% fair for every deserving team to have a honest chance. Not a opportunity to lose everything, by chance. If you're not familiar with how the NFL does things then I will give you a quick breakdown.

There are 12 teams that qualify for the playoffs, based on their regular season performance.

Six teams in each conference compete for a chance to represent their own conference in the Super Bowl.

But remember, a team can guarantee it'self a spot by obtaining the best record throughout the regular season.

That makes up 8 of the spots.

The final four teams, two from each conference, are base on the top NON-winning division teams in each conference. Based on record.

Tiebreakers are used to determine who advances if two teams have the same record.

This is a single elimination tournament. Meaning once you lose a game you're out. The only catch it the two best record teams in each conference receive byes in the first round and automatically get pushed to the second round.

Now there are two teams left. Just two teams to battle it out in the Super Bowl.

I believe this format could work for MLB. Considering it wouldn't be a 'copy-n-paste' ordeal. There would have to be changes here and there to make it fit to a different sport such as this. But ultimately, there needs to be a change and I think this would be a great way to go.

Do you think this format could work for the MLB? State your opinion on what you think could work in the comment section below.
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