Throughout the MLB lockout, we have heard rumors of both sides wanting expanded playoffs, and that more playoff teams would likely be a point of emphasis in the next CBA.
The owners, for some time, have wanted a 14-team postseason, with the top seed in each league getting a first-round bye while the other six teams per league play a best-of-three Wild Card series.
The players on the other hand, prefer a 12-team format, and one player in particular, free agent outfielder Joc Pederson, took a shot at the owners last night on Twitter over their desire for 14 teams in the postseason.
Official…will play 162 games 7 innings each, 32 teams make the playoffs and everyone gets a participation trophy 🏆
— Joc Pederson (@yungjoc650) March 1, 2022
What Most Around Baseball Believe
It seems that the players believe 14 teams in the postseason is too many.
Many fans have also expressed their discontent with the idea of 14 teams making it, citing that as a result of this change, almost half of the entire league would be reaching the postseason, and they’re correct.
How It Should Be Going Forward
This is something that could work if the season was shortened significantly, just as it was in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, when the league expanded the postseason format to 16 teams, but for 162 games, 12 teams is the way to go.
12 is close enough to how it has been the past several years, with the exception of 2020 of course.
It preserves the integrity of a full baseball season, and also doesn’t let half the league into the postseason.
In most cases, the lower seeds probably wouldn’t last long in the 14-team format anyways.
This keeps the playing field level and is just a small change, just as adding the second Wild Card was in 2012.
Baseball is a marathon, not a sprint, and to keep the integrity of a full 162-game season, 12 teams should be the limit for the postseason.