MLB’s new playoff proposal

Major League Baseball is floating the idea to the Players Association of moving a team from the National League to the American League and coming up with a new playoff scheme:

A simple form of realignment being seriously considered has been raised in the labor talks between Major League Baseball and the players’ association, according to four sources: two leagues of 15 teams, rather than the current structure of 16 teams in the National League and 14 in the American League.

According to a highly ranked executive, one consideration that has been raised in ownership committee meetings is eliminating the divisions altogether, so that 15 AL and 15 NL teams would vie for five playoff spots within each league. Currently, Major League Baseball has six divisions.

A source who has been briefed on the specifics of the labor discussions says that the players’ union has indicated that it is open to the idea of two 15-team leagues, but that the whole plan still hasn’t been talked through or presented to the owners.

Sources say the talks are serious, and while one executive believes the odds of change are less than 50-50, another says this is the type of discussion that can gather momentum and become a reality.

A potential problem is interleague play due to the odd number of teams in each league. Honestly, I thought interleague play was neat during the first few years; but it’s a concept has run its course. Nevertheless, this a really good idea. It’s the way things used to be before the introduction of divisional play and the League Championship in 1969. The only difference is that the top five teams from each league go to the playoffs instead of the just the top team. It’s simple and fair; no more sub-par teams going to the playoffs just because they won their division over better teams in more competitive divisions being skipped over even though they had a better record.

4 Comments on "MLB’s new playoff proposal"

  1. How about they get rid of the league structure (and the DH) while they are at it. Then the top 2 teams meet in the World Series.

    • I agree about the DH, but not on your other point. The league is too big for that.

    • I disagree on both counts:

      First, the lack of a DH curbs headhunting by the opposing pitcher if he knows he can be hit for hitting too many of the players on the other team.

      Second, the DH flies in the face of the idea of having all nine players who play the field come to bat.

      As for the top two making it to the World Series, where’s the incentive to play hard if the top team runs away with the league? You’ll turn September into March if you do that and I don’t want to see spring training twice.

      However, five teams from each league is too many. Go with three and let 2nd and 3rd play the league champion in two best-of-seven rounds leading up to the World Series.

      • By the way, I vote for Houston as the 15th AL team since the team that comes from the NL has to come from the Central.

        You can’t move Milwaukee back because they already moved from the AL and don’t want to go back.

        Houston is the only logical choice to move because the AL is missing a western team.

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