October 25, 2014

Postseason Reform Is a Bad Idea

October 26, 2010 by · 4 Comments 

With the upcoming collective bargaining agreement set to occur, Major League Baseball is considering some ground-breaking changes that could change the course of baseball for years to come.

ESPN reports that Major League Baseball could make a series of changes to the 2012 regular season and postseason. Changes could include shortening the regular season, making the Division Series a best-of-seven series, and increasing the amount of Wild Car teams.

Changes to the 2011 regular season and postseason are unlikely, and would be minor.

These changes would be bad for baseball. If anything, by the time the World Series comes around, people are tired of watching baseball, and that has led to the declining television ratings for the postseason. Adding games to the postseason would only worsen that issue.

Adding more Wild Card teams would also have harmful effects on the game. Currently, many teams clinch the postseason with a lot of time remaining in the season. With more chances to make it to the postseason, the possibility of a useless, boring September would be only increase.

The NFL and NBA have many more teams make the postseason than baseball does, an argument being used by supporters of postseason reform. Both sports have considerably less games than Major League Baseball does, so it makes sense that more teams should make the postseason. Furthermore, there have been many cases in the NBA where teams who clearly don’t deserve to make the postseason end up making it regardless.

The one change that would make sense is to shorten the regular season. However, the Players Union has said that it is unlikely, because teams would lose revenue.

I am the last person to feel bad for Major League Baseball in this regard. True, shaving 10 games off the regular season would cause teams to lose millions of dollars, but that is the equivalent of me losing 25 cents. Even so, I really couldn’t care less about how much excess money is going into the pockets of these already wealthy men and women.

Finally, all of these arguments are aimed at increasing revenue for Major League Baseball. If this is going to continue to be their objective, we might as well send Alex Rodriguez to law school, and Albert Pujols to medical school. In other words, baseball should be shying away from a business aspect, not embracing it.

Baseball is a business, I do not doubt that. But too often, people involved in the sport feel they are entitled to much more than they deserve. That alone has been — and will be — very harmful to the sport.

Enough increasing revenue. Baseball is supposed to be fun for the fans, and fun for the players, not a spontaneous money-making machine. It may just be possible that Derek Jeter doesn’t need a spare gold-plated hubcap after all.

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Comments

4 Responses to “Postseason Reform Is a Bad Idea”
  1. May I make a few statements as to the method being used to even bring up this subject—-Television which for the most part has created all that is wrong with baseball is once again trying to force a money project which will put their talents display once again for more air time, while I love baseball I believe this is wrong to adapt the foolishness of football,basketball,hockey into a dis-organized assembly of quanity instead of quality is treason to this baseball fan. I might suggest the return to the 154 game schedule and no wild cards more fan pleasing ideas such as doubleheaders,2 games price of 1 and a committee of real baseball fans to look into realignment. This the greatest game in the world dont mess with it unless you care about it and the real fan instead of tv profits and a lackadaisacal Bud

  2. bizehnds says:

    I wholeheartedly agree. Enough of maximizing profits for the owners and players. How about adding some class to the game. Make it a quality product, something we can all be proud of.

  3. stratobill says:

    Baseball started out as a sport. It really became a business when owners started building stadiums that could hold tens of thousands of paying customers. And it became BIG business after the invention of television. It has remained big business ever since and virtually all decisions are made from the perspective of big business rather than from the perspective of sport.

    Bart Giamatti might have been our last chance to save the soul of baseball as a sport, but unfortunately he died and was replaced by Faye Vincent and then Selig.

    I would love to see the season shortened by 10 to 20 games. I don’t like the idea of adding a wild card team because, as you point out, it would just make the regular season games less relevant. Selig and the owners are trying to have their cake and eat it too. They want to profit off of America’s great love for baseball but at the same time they want to sell more post-season TV time even though that will make their main product, the regular season, less relevant.

    It reminds me of the farmer who killed the goose who laid the golden eggs.

  4. Ted Leavengood says:

    Just to be ornery I am going to try a third way. While I like the idea of a shortened season, I also like the wild card playoff concept although expanding it seems dumb, especially if you don’t shorten the season. Frankly, I loved some of the playoff series in both leagues, but the World Series looks like a snoozer so far and part of that may just be fatigue with the length of the playoffs.

    And I think television revenues should be shared more equally. If that is what football does, who cares. It is a good idea to expand the game into more markets and if you can play hockey in Tampa, you should be able to play baseball in a few more places as well. The only way to support that concept is to divide the revenues more equally. One team having an operating revenue twice that of the next highest revenue team is just ridiculous.

    Excellence has to have its own rewards–monetary ones–but it should be provided by post season play. Once upon a time the biggest payday for a team and its players came if they made the post season. If regular season revenues were split according to some kind of formula to provide greater parity, then make the post season money split by a formula that favors the teams playing in the post season.

    And one last thing. Changes was a song by Phil Ochs.

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