Major League Baseball mulling playoff overhaul

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The games take too long, and it hasn't attracted young viewers, which it has combatted by ensuring that World Series games start very late.

"Expanding the playoffs in a sensible way is something worth discussing when part of a much more comprehensive conversation about the current state of our game", union head Tony Clark said in a statement.

According to the New York Post, the playoff-extension model would give the team with the best overall records in each league a bye, putting them straight through to the Division Series, and then division winners and teams with the second-best record would pick their own playoff opponents. And as we've seen from a team like the Nationals, you don't have to be a division victor to claim a World Series title. By extending the format to a seventh seed (fourth best record for a non-division winner), the average minimum win total for that slot since 1998 would be a paltry 83 and 84 wins in the National League and American League, respectively.

Baseball now has the fewest postseason teams out of the four major North American sports. If this proposal was in effect the last four years, three teams with losing records would have made the playoffs. Market the players. You have more players in baseball than any other league, with much more diverse backgrounds worldwide. -500 teams make the post season. They won the first one and lost the next two, and it turned out that the championship window was only ever barely open a crack. An impending rule change will force relief pitchers to face a minimum of three batters or finish a half-inning before teams make a pitching change, removing key strategic decisions from the game.

The new proposal, then, would fix a problem of baseball's own making by killing the one-game playoff.

The new system be a major shift from the current system in which two wild-card teams play a play-in game before joining the division winners in the Division Series.

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That the expanded format would lower the quality of playoff participants is clear, but how about fairness?

Bauer's Reds finished 75-87 last season, and still would not have qualified for the postseason under this plan.

The final matchup would pit the wild-card victor with the best record against the wild-card team not yet chosen. All that would be left to figure out would be the seeding.

Along with his opinions on MLB's media strategy, Bauer also expressed his desire for the sport to allow players to express themselves more freely on the field.

The way this league is presently being run, that feels about right.

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