One of the things MLB owners pushed hard for in Monday and Tuesday’s negotiations were the expanded playoffs, with a twist: they wanted 14 teams making the postseason.
There are 30 teams in MLB, and nearly half of them would have made the postseason if their proposal was approved by players.
It wasn’t: players hated it.
At the moment, 10 teams qualify for October baseball: three division winners and two Wild Cards per league.
Players could accept 12 teams, but 14 was a hard no for them.
“We didn’t understand why they didn’t want to take us up on a more competitive format,” union leader Max Scherzer told Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post.
“We didn’t understand why they didn’t want to take us up on a more competitive format,” Scherzer said. https://t.co/L4CHExltJP
— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) March 1, 2022
Indeed, under a 12-team postseason, the top two teams in each league get first-round byes, and the other eight teams would play a first-round best-of-three.
Imagine the mess that 14 teams in the postseason would have created.
MLB Doesn’t Want To Incentive Winning In The Regular Season
Per Janes, Scherzer felt the league wasn’t rewarding division winners enough and talked about teams needing to have an incentive to win in regular season to remain credible.
The 12-team playoff format is already unfair, because only the top two records in each league are rewarded with a bye.
It doesn’t guarantee that all teams who won their division advance with a bye: one club may win its division with an extraordinary record and then lose in the first round.
It’s not fair.
But owners have shown time and time again that they really don’t care about the whole league being competitive.
All they care about is more avenues to make money, and that is what’s damaging the game, perhaps irreparably.NEXT: MLB Owners Are Lying About Financial Troubles