Off Topic: The MLB Postseason Is Only Going To Keep Expanding, Right?


Oct 1, 2014; Anaheim CA, USA; General view of MLB Postseason logo during workout in advance of game 1 of the 2014 American League Divisional Series between the Kansas City Royals and the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the Colorado Rockies are enjoying an off day, let’s take a look at a broader baseball topic: the (ever-expanding) playoffs.

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I’ve been waiting to write this for a few days, until the Colorado Rockies got an off day so I could write something not specifically about the baseball team in Denver, and now here we are!

Somebody tweeted at me (gratuitous plug, @BobbyDeMuro) a few weeks ago about the playoffs and th current added team format in baseball, asking me what I thought about it.

We debated it for a while and then I started thinking about it again for this post — which is best saved for the Off-Day/Off Topic. You know, because the Rockies aren’t anywhere near the playoffs, so we can only talk about postseason baseball when it’s off-topic (heyoooooo! Sick burn, brah!!).

Anyways… I used to go back and forth about expanding the playoffs in baseball. Part of me is a traditionalist (I absolutely hate instant replay), so my initial reaction to the playoffs was screw it, let’s keep four teams (or fewer, like in the olden days!). That’ll make baseball the only real sport.

But the more I think about it… baseball is actually the best sport to go with the full 8-team-per-league format in the playoffs, and much better suited for it than, say, the NBA.

Baseball teams that finish at (or slightly above) .500 are decent teams, and in a three-game or five-game series in the playoffs, a .500 ball club could absolutely take down a much better team, which is part of the fun of it. Compare that to the NBA, where virtually no seven- or eight-seed ever realistically has a shot to advance, and tell me which one would be more compelling.

I know, the NBA and Major League Baseball are not perfect comparisons, but it was a natural one specifically about playoff teams as I started thinking about expanding baseball’s postseason. And now, the more I think about it, the more I’d actually like to see an eight-team playoff in each league (16 total!). Am I crazy?

No, really… am I? I’m curious about whether I’ve lost it completely:

For what it’s worth, the NL postseason if it were an eight-team field: St. Louis (75-42), Pittsburgh (69-46), Chicago (67-49), Los Angeles (67-51), San Francisco (64-53), New York (63-55), Washington (58-59) and Arizona (57-59).

That’s a pretty damn compelling top eight…

And yes, this is going to mean shortening the season a little bit. I’d be OK with 145 games in the regular season, and this playoff structure. But, again, that might be crazy.

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