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Moshagge3

Will this be the most boring September in the divisional era?

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The American League playoff teams are set. The O's ain't making a run with their schedule and roster. The Tigers? Please. And we have weeks to go in the season. CLE/MIN/CWS are in some order at the top of the standings, but they're all in the tourney, so who cares? The Yankees are a loss away from third place and based on their lack of moves at the deadline, it's clear they could not give less of a rat's behind. The Astros still exist, I think. Since the advent of divisions, has a league had a September with less intrigue than this one?

And I would add that even when there were two divisions, if neither one was competitive you could at least get excited about an LCS between the heavyweights running away with those divisions. Now there's no point in even thinking about, let's say, a Braves-Dodgers showdown since any one particular matchup has such a small chance of actually happening. 

If Manfred is thinking of using this season as a Trojan horse to bring 16-team playoffs into the permanent fabric of baseball he should look at how dull the next three weeks of AL baseball are going to be. 

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I would also like to point out that the American League is making a mockery of the argument that expanded playoffs "give hope to new markets." The markets currently benefiting the most from the new system are those of the Yankees and Astros, last year's ALCS opponents. Two teams who have been devastated by injuries and who had zero incentive to do anything to address them. Why should they when they can run out their depleted rosters every day and back into the playoff spots waiting for them?

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I’m not bored.   But I think it’s inherently less interesting who will get the 15th or 16th slot vs. who will get the 9th or 10th slot in a normal year.   

October could be more interesting than usual, though.    Hoping for some early upsets.   
 

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1 hour ago, Frobby said:

I’m not bored.   But I think it’s inherently less interesting who will get the 15th or 16th slot vs. who will get the 9th or 10th slot in a normal year.   

October could be more interesting than usual, though.    Hoping for some early upsets.   
 

Just take a moment to imagine how we would look at the current standings if MLB had failed to secure the agreement for expanded playoffs and had to keep the status quo. The Indians, White Sox and Twins all within a game of each other, each needing to win the division to stay out of the one-game playoff, with tons of games left head-to-head. The upstart A's trying to stay ahead of the villainous Astros with a five-game series between them starting this week. The big, bad Yankees staring down the barrel of no postseason. Three good storylines. The current format gives us no storylines. On the morning of September 5, we know the eight teams making the playoffs and the seven teams missing the playoffs. We can't even pass the time contemplating matchups because there's too many combinations to consider.

And the October upset thing is a double-edged sword. It's like the NCAA tournament. Everyone loves first-round upsets and then misses the top seeds when they're gone. Sure it would be cool for a day if the Giants upset the Dodgers and the Marlins upset the Braves. Would I actually be motivated to watch a Marlins-Giants NLCS where I could name maybe ten players between the teams? Questionable.

 

 

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50 minutes ago, Moshagge3 said:

And the October upset thing is a double-edged sword. It's like the NCAA tournament. Everyone loves first-round upsets and then misses the top seeds when they're gone. Sure it would be cool for a day if the Giants upset the Dodgers and the Marlins upset the Braves. Would I actually be motivated to watch a Marlins-Giants NLCS where I could name maybe ten players between the teams? Questionable.

Anything that gives the Yankees one more chance to lose some random short series is good.   

To make it clear, I am against expanding the playoffs to 16 teams on a permanent basis.   But I have no problem playing around with the concept in this weird, short season.    If there was ever a year to experiment, this is it.    

As I recall, before spring training there was already a proposal floated to expand the playoffs from 10 to 12, having 3-6 in each league playing in the first round and then letting the top team pick their opponent among the survivors In the second round.    I thought that might be interesting to see.   

 

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Shocker, the owners are going after cash in their pockets now and looking to make the 16-team format permanent. The only hope is that the players' union sees how this totally takes away the incentive for teams to sign high-end free agents and draws a line here.

 

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Also, unless the regular season is dramatically shortened, the World Series is going to be all in November, necessitating another horrible idea: the neutral-site World Series.

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Expanding like that is a terrible idea. 

Mine is 7 teams in each league make it. Top 2 seeds get byes. There is a one game WC between 6/7. That winner plays the 3 seed in best of 3. 4/5 plays best of 3.  

Keeps MLB regular season important while expanding playoff teams and adding more playoffs. 

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OK, so the AL did turn out to be pretty boring.    The NL is a bit more interesting, with seven teams fighting for the last four spots.   Both races would have been more interesting in the old 5-team format.    

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