• Eli Chapman

Reliving 1994 ~ MLB adds a Wild Card game to postseason?! Zoom forward 2020. Not just one, but six

Updated: Feb 12

Yes, I remember when it was announced that the MLB would be adding a 'Wild Card' game, one-and-done, to the postseason mix beginning in 1994. Rolling my eyes at the thought. And that season was a roller-coaster at best!


MLB 1994 shortened season due to strike.

The MLB brought on a whole new buzz late yesterday. "MLB considering new format for postseason". (Mark Feinsand, MLB.com) Fans shaking their heads. Me included. But, as mentioned above, the same reaction in 1994. First presumption, all about owners making more money, which in part is true. At least in the eyes of many of us that's the only reason with the 'new breaking news'.


But, this would add revenue to the communities, also. The more teams, the more cities who would reap the rewards. Not a bad thing. Nor, to have more fans able to enjoy their team in postseason play.


Reading the proposal, hands down a bit confusing. And, not only one-and-done being expanded to a best-out-of-three game series (which the question was posed just 2 seasons ago, article written by Neil Harrington, Call To The Pen/Fansided), but increasing number of teams eligible for postseason - five to seven. And teams deciding "who they would pick to oppose".


Breakdown that may be a bit easier to decipher ~ to digest.




Let's look at another scenario by MLB Network ~ using the proposed format based on the past six seasons:



Absolutely more teams would be able to shoot for postseason.


Sounds like ownership (not sure if that is a 30 team head count) is drooling over the prospective proposal for a new postseason format. And, talking heads on "Hot Stove" like the format that could be our postseason future.


Creates more competition among teams knowing there is a "3-G Wild Card Series" they can shoot for. That teams, even though not in the top of their division, can actually make postseason play. And as stated in yesterday's article, this would eliminate the need for Game 163 tie-breaker.


That was this morning.


On the flipside, this afternoon, some thoughts expressed - the system is fine as is. Christopher "Mad Dog" Russo, on High Heat, stated being a purist, much like fans I know and myself. He likes the top teams, elite competition and achievement of winning the World Series.


FANTASY BASEBALL COMES TO LIFE?


And, suggested by Ken Rosenthal, MLB foreseeing the future. He feels two trade deadline's during the season would help to make teams more competitive. A "Draft trade deadline", moving draft picks. And, your regular trade deadline AKA: MLB players. Let's move players around giving those teams 'hopeful", a chance to boost their teams.


PERSONALLY.


In my opinion, MLB is trying to bring baseball into the 21st century to compete with the NFL. Yes, it will be a money maker. Supposedly, there would be fan input, also, by way of voting which team plays whom. Does that change your view?


Virtually, should this proposal become real, the Wild Card going to a best-out-of-three. There would be "six" Wild Card 'series'.


From Feinsand's article: The best-of-three format in the Wild Card round would set up the potential for as many as 18 first-round games, 12 of which could be elimination games. Every Game 2 would be an elimination game, while a Game 3 would then serve as a win-or-go-home series finale.


So we would have baseball up until or into November. Playing on home fields, expect postponements. The closer we get to the latter portion of October-early November, weather does become an issue. At least in my opinion. Not all teams have 'roofs over their heads', nor are they located in the southern states. Even though, baseball fans would have their beloved sport for awhile longer prior to honoring Veteran's Day.


This subject matter will be interesting to see how the players view the possibility. How will they view the period of time for 'a bye'. More times than not, in my opinion, a team who 'sits' realize a lesser performance capability. Would it be just time enough to lose momentum?


I feel, there would be changes/tweaking made for this to truly work and to be accepted. So, we will sit back and wait.


We already have 162 games per season. The top teams play an additional 3 - 21 games in postseason. The 2019 World Series Champs, Washington Nationals, played 17 postseason games. The underdog beginning with winning their Wild Card game and moving forward. Granted the process of elimination decides just how many games are played and which two teams advance to the World Series. But ....


FOOD FOR THOUGHT


With this postseason expanded format proposed, will teams feel ~ 'We can be' another "Nationals" success. With our initial way of thinking, do we deny them of that opportunity?


MY ONE LAST NOTE


Did Cardinals fans notice? Had this 'been in place' 2012-2019, they would have been in postseason play each season. Certainly would have taken away from the 'disgruntled complaints'. Of course, should this become reality, the disgruntled will say, 'is only because of this new format'. Which lends to another thought for me. Does this lessen the achievement to be a part of postseason? A three-ring circus of the MLB? Or, not ...


Thanks for reading. You may also follow me on Twitter, @elichap822.


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