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View Full Version : If MLB Playoffs were like NBA Playoffs


SoxThunder
11-18-2011, 02:04 PM
Imagine this scenario:

Two leagues, 15 teams each, no divisions.
Top 8 teams from each league make the playoffs and are seeded 1 thru 8.
There are now 4 rounds of playoffs instead of 3, each series is best of 7.
The regular season is shortened to 154 games (what it used to be) and ends the third week of September.
Because there would be 16 playoff teams each year, many September games which used to be meaningless would now be a heated pennant race. Plus, teams that already clinched would be fighting for a higher seed and home field advantage.

If you back test this over the last ten seasons (2002-2011):
The White Sox would have 7 playoff berths ('10, '08, '06, '05, '04, '03, '02) compared to two ('08, '05).
The Blue Jays (who have been the most upset over the current playoff setup) would have 8 playoff berths compared to zero.
Even the Royals would have gotten a playoff berth ('03 as an 8 seed).
The only teams not to make the playoffs would be the Orioles and Pirates.
The Yankees would also benefit (10 playoff berths instead of 9).
Although each MLB team would lose 4 regular season home games at the gate (due to shortened season), they have a higher probability chance to make up for this with playoff ticket sales and higher September ticket sales for the pennant chase.

Here's how the number of playoff berths would change for each team:


2002-2011 Playoff Berths


Team: Before: After: Change:
TOR 0 8 +8
PHI 5 10 +5
CHW 2 7 +5
BOS 6 10 +4
ATL 5 9 +4
HOU 2 6 +4
CLE 1 5 +4
FLA 1 5 +4
SEA 0 4 +4
MIN 6 9 +3
STL 6 9 +3
LAD 4 7 +3
OAK 3 6 +3
SF 3 6 +3
SD 2 5 +3
NYM 1 4 +3
LAA 6 8 +2
CHC 3 5 +2
MIL 2 4 +2
DET 2 4 +2
TEX 2 4 +2
WSH 0 2 +2
NYY 9 10 +1
TB 3 4 +1
COL 2 3 +1
CIN 1 2 +1
KC 0 1 +1
ARZ 3 3 +0
BAL 0 0 +0
PIT 0 0 +0

Milw
11-18-2011, 02:32 PM
Playoff berths are really special when 53% of the league qualifies.

No thanks. 33% is pushing it already. There's a reason why the NBA regular season is mind-numbingly boring, and it's because it's essentially meaningless.

WhiteSox5187
11-18-2011, 02:42 PM
Shhh! You're giving Bud Selig new ideas!

LITTLE NELL
11-18-2011, 02:52 PM
I dont care for this 1 game wild card playoff. Might as well expand to 32 teams with 8-four team divisions with only the 8 division winners in the playoffs. Sorry Red Sox fans, the Carmines will have to beat out the Yankees for 1st place to get in the playoffs.

russ99
11-18-2011, 02:57 PM
Shhh! You're giving Bud Selig new ideas!

Naw. This makes way too much sense for Selig to consider it.

kufram
11-18-2011, 03:12 PM
The NBA season and playoffs is the worst example mlb could follow in my opinion. The NHL ruins a great sport with endless playoffs half of which are played by average teams. Average teams shouldn't make the post season.

SI1020
11-18-2011, 03:31 PM
I mean we're talking about baseball well into November with this scenario right? Even with the shortened season. This idea is nauseating but baseball seems to be moving towards something like this. Baseball used to be special in that you actually had to win something to qualify for the playoffs.

DonnieDarko
11-18-2011, 03:32 PM
I think that if MLB wants to survive, it needs to let more teams into the playoffs. But if they go so far as to make it 8 teams, then they'd damn well better shorten the season to somewhere around 150 games.

SoxSpeed22
11-18-2011, 03:39 PM
I don't really mind the 5th team. The wild card hasn't been punished enough for not winning their division. They can win on the road. Now they can't set their rotation and this will make for more exciting games.
Half the league making the postseason will make for an extremely boring regular season as was pointed out earlier.

Whitesox029
11-18-2011, 03:48 PM
The NBA is not an example MLB should be following in any way, shape, or form. Longer playoffs = watered down regular season. Division titles and the regular season mean something in baseball. The more stupid wild cards we add, the less interest there will be in the regular season (which encompasses 6 of the 7 months of the baseball year).
I just don't understand why, after the incredible September and October we just saw under the current format, they feel the need to change it. If there'd been a second wild card this year, it would have totally neutered the excitement we saw in September with the Red Sox and Braves collapsing.

shes
11-18-2011, 04:15 PM
I am an advocate of increasing the number of playoff teams to 6. 8 would be outrageous.

downstairs
11-18-2011, 05:53 PM
I think that if MLB wants to survive, it needs to let more teams into the playoffs. But if they go so far as to make it 8 teams, then they'd damn well better shorten the season to somewhere around 150 games.

Survive?? Are they going out of business. Yeah, I know they're not "America's Sport" anymore... but they're doing fine against everything but the NFL (which they barely go head-to-head with)

16 teams is silly. A race to the 8th seed isn't an exciting race. Can anyone name any exciting races to the 8th seed in basketball (unless you were following the team as a fan)? No.

DSpivack
11-18-2011, 07:10 PM
Survive?? Are they going out of business. Yeah, I know they're not "America's Sport" anymore... but they're doing fine against everything but the NFL (which they barely go head-to-head with)

16 teams is silly. A race to the 8th seed isn't an exciting race. Can anyone name any exciting races to the 8th seed in basketball (unless you were following the team as a fan)? No.

Agreed. MLB might be 2nd to the NFL, but they're a clear #2 over the NBA. MLB is fine.

SoxThunder
11-18-2011, 08:21 PM
So no one would have liked to see the White Sox in the playoffs 7 of the past 10 years?

SoxThunder
11-18-2011, 08:26 PM
I mean we're talking about baseball well into November with this scenario right? Even with the shortened season. This idea is nauseating but baseball seems to be moving towards something like this. Baseball used to be special in that you actually had to win something to qualify for the playoffs.

No. With a 154 games, the season is 8 games shorter (4 less home games, 4 less road games). This would end the regular season the third week of September. Round 1 of the playoffs (max of 7 games) would essentially replace these 8 lost games from the regular season. The remaining 3 rounds of playoffs would end at the close of October like normal.

DSpivack
11-18-2011, 08:35 PM
So no one would have liked to see the White Sox in the playoffs 7 of the past 10 years?

No. This would render the regular season completely meaningless.

SoxThunder
11-18-2011, 09:08 PM
No. This would render the regular season completely meaningless.

The NBA and NHL each have 16 teams make the playoffs. The NFL has 12.

Baseball only has 8 and many years, 2 of these teams are the Yankees and Red Sox. Only 6 slots left for the rest of baseball.

Since baseball is aiming for parity and leveling the playing field, opening up the MLB playoffs to 16 teams seems like the best way to do this. Wouldn't it be great for baseball if a team like Kansas City, San Diego, Seattle or Washington got into the playoffs as a 7 or 8 seed, got hot at the right time and upset the perennial contenders to win the World Series?

We all know the positive economic effects that winning a World Series has on a team: more season ticket holders, more revenue, bigger payroll. Expanding the playoffs would give more teams the opportunity to share in these benefits.

Brian26
11-18-2011, 09:32 PM
So no one would have liked to see the White Sox in the playoffs 7 of the past 10 years?

The Sox haven't deserved to be in the playoffs 7 of the last 10 years.

Brian26
11-18-2011, 09:37 PM
No. With a 154 games, the season is 8 games shorter (4 less home games, 4 less road games). This would end the regular season the third week of September. Round 1 of the playoffs (max of 7 games) would essentially replace these 8 lost games from the regular season. The remaining 3 rounds of playoffs would end at the close of October like normal.

This is a ridiculous, irrational line of thinking.

The NBA and NHL have 30-teams and play 82 games to narrow the playoff field down to 16.

You're proposing that MLB, with 30-teams, play 154 games to narrow the playoff field down to 16? That's 72 more games (187% longer schedule) than the hockey and basketball regular seasons to determine the same number of playoff teams.

This would make the regular season essentially pointless while watering down the playoffs.

What I can't determine is if you're being sarcastic.

SoxThunder
11-18-2011, 09:42 PM
The Sox haven't deserved to be in the playoffs 7 of the last 10 years.

That may be true, but they probably would have been eliminated in the first round in 5 of of those 7 playoff appearances. They won in '05 and they may have advanced pretty far in '06.

The major difference is that with expanded playoffs, the White Sox would be considered a "perennial playoff team" and because of this would have a larger season ticket base, more revenue, and a higher payroll. Am I right?

Brian26
11-18-2011, 09:48 PM
Am I right?

No.

Nellie_Fox
11-18-2011, 11:01 PM
So no one would have liked to see the White Sox in the playoffs 7 of the past 10 years?I wouldn't if it meant staggering in as a 7 or 8 seed. That's a joke. Nobody but the most hardcore NBA fans pays any attention to the first round of the playoffs.

SoxThunder
11-18-2011, 11:10 PM
Ok, I concede that 16 playoff teams may be too many. I do think that 12 playoff teams is a more realistic possibility. 2 leagues, 15 teams each, no divisions. Top 6 teams from each league make the playoffs. The top 2 in each league get a bye for the first round.

If this was the case, the White Sox would have made the playoffs 5 times in the last 10 years:
'10 with 88 wins, '08 with 88 wins, '06 with 90 wins, '05 with 99 wins (and a first round bye), and '03 with 86 wins (needing to win a one game tiebreaker with TOR).

I think this would be exciting for the fans, would bring in more playoff revenue, and would produce parity without watering down the regular season too much.

DSpivack
11-18-2011, 11:16 PM
I wouldn't if it meant staggering in as a 7 or 8 seed. That's a joke. Nobody but the most hardcore NBA fans pays any attention to the first round of the playoffs.

I essentially view the NBA and NHL playoffs the same. I do enjoy them because I love both sports.

That said, baseball is not basketball or hockey. I like 8 team playoffs as it is right now in baseball, and will be disappointed to see them expanded next year.

DSpivack
11-18-2011, 11:19 PM
Ok, I concede that 16 playoff teams may be too many. I do think that 12 playoff teams is a more realistic possibility. 2 leagues, 15 teams each, no divisions. Top 6 teams from each league make the playoffs. The top 2 in each league get a bye for the first round.

If this was the case, the White Sox would have made the playoffs 5 times in the last 10 years:
'10 with 88 wins, '08 with 88 wins, '06 with 90 wins, '05 with 99 wins (and a first round bye), and '03 with 86 wins (needing to win a one game tiebreaker with TOR).

I think this would be exciting for the fans, would bring in more playoff revenue, and would produce parity without watering down the regular season too much.

Besides having enough of a lead at the end of the season to fix a rotation, I don't know that having a bye or a lull really helps the top seeds.

I do like the idea of 2 15-team leagues with no divisions and 4 playoff teams, assuming a balanced schedule.

Nellie_Fox
11-19-2011, 12:04 AM
I essentially view the NBA and NHL playoffs the same. I do enjoy them because I love both sports.The biggest difference is that there are often upsets in the first round of the NHL playoffs. It almost never happens in the NBA.

Lamp81
11-19-2011, 12:11 AM
For those who believe that an MLB team should only make the playoffs if they win a division - 10 Divisions of 3 teams

AL
NYY
BOS
TOR

CLE
BAL
TB

CHW
DET
MIN

KC
TEX
HOU

LAA
OAK
SEA

NL
NYM
PHI
WAS

ATL
MIA
CIN

MIL
CHI
PIT

COL
ARZ
STL

LAD
SF
SD

DSpivack
11-19-2011, 12:47 AM
The biggest difference is that there are often upsets in the first round of the NHL playoffs. It almost never happens in the NBA.

That's true, and I think is mostly due to the nature of each sport.

cub killer
11-19-2011, 01:12 AM
The NBA and NHL each have 16 teams make the playoffs. The NFL has 12.

Baseball only has 8 and many years, 2 of these teams are the Yankees and Red Sox. Only 6 slots left for the rest of baseball.

Since baseball is aiming for parity and leveling the playing field, opening up the MLB playoffs to 16 teams seems like the best way to do this. Wouldn't it be great for baseball if a team like Kansas City, San Diego, Seattle or Washington got into the playoffs as a 7 or 8 seed, got hot at the right time and upset the perennial contenders to win the World Series?

Absolutely not.

ComiskeyBrewer
11-19-2011, 01:53 AM
The only thing is helps reaffirm is that Toronto has been royally screwed the past 10 years. Go from 0 appearances to 8? Ouch.

SI1020
11-19-2011, 09:23 AM
The only thing is helps reaffirm is that Toronto has been royally screwed the past 10 years. Go from 0 appearances to 8? Ouch. No they haven't. I just don't understand what's so great about the concept of parity. Everyone must be a winner, which to me means everyone must be mediocre. I prefer the concept of excellence and the idea of striving to achieve it. Very quaint and out of date I realize. There was no lack of excitement in the cave man era when you actually had to win the pennant to make it to the "playoffs".

Milw
11-19-2011, 01:26 PM
So no one would have liked to see the White Sox in the playoffs 7 of the past 10 years?
Hell, let's just let everyone in the playoffs! Then the Sox would have been in the playoffs all 10 of the last 10 years! Isn't that better than just 7 out of 10?

The more you water it down, the less special and memorable it is. I'm not sure that five teams per league is too watered down, but it's pretty damn close. Eight per league is absolutely too many.

fusillirob1983
11-19-2011, 01:45 PM
For those who believe that an MLB team should only make the playoffs if they win a division - 10 Divisions of 3 teams

AL
NYY
BOS
TOR

CLE
BAL
TB

CHW
DET
MIN

KC
TEX
HOU

LAA
OAK
SEA

NL
NYM
PHI
WAS

ATL
MIA
CIN

MIL
CHI
PIT

COL
ARZ
STL

LAD
SF
SD

Can you explain why this is a good idea?

Milw
11-19-2011, 01:49 PM
Can you explain why this is a good idea?
I'm not gonna lie, just seeing this hypothetical division of only the Sox, Tigers and Twins instantly made me hate Detroit and Minnesota that much more. It may not be "a good idea" exactly, but damn if it wouldn't dramatically intensify some rivalries.

Lamp81
11-20-2011, 12:04 AM
Can you explain why this is a good idea?

I never said it was a good idea. With the Astros to the AL, it is just now possible. There has been the argument, since the Wild Card was created, that "you should have to win a division to make the playoffs". This scenario allows that along with 10 playoff teams.

WLL1855
11-20-2011, 11:32 PM
I never said it was a good idea. With the Astros to the AL, it is just now possible. There has been the argument, since the Wild Card was created, that "you should have to win a division to make the playoffs". This scenario allows that along with 10 playoff teams.

It makes just as much sense to me than whatever Bud comes up when he drops acid after his morning tea (this isn't a knock on Lamp, btw). And shortening the regular season schedule has not a chance in hell of happening. No owner in his right mind gives up the revenue from a half dozen home games.

ComiskeyBrewer
11-21-2011, 01:50 AM
No they haven't. I just don't understand what's so great about the concept of parity.

From a business standpoint? Higher TV ratings in more cities if more teams are in the race.