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Giambi25
09-01-04, 01:02 AM
Under the current system, the 4 playoff teams are determined by the team that wins each of the three divisions, and the second place team with the best record. It can get more complicated in the case of a tie at the end of the regular season, but thatís the basic formula.

Under my proposed system, there will be 6 playoff teams. For a quick overview, scroll down to the attached image at the bottom of this post. The integrity of the current system will be preserved. In other words, the A-B-C-D seeds in the playoffs will be determined the exact same way they are now.

The E and F seeds will be defined as the two non-playoff teams with the best record from September 1 to the end of the regular season. If you don't want to read my version of War and Peace, just stop reading here and scroll down to the grid. The rest is just mindless detail.















Not only will adding two more teams increase revenue by having more postseason games, but teams will be less likely to fold in late July and trade all their best players to contenders. It also gives teams that have been in last place all season some hope if they are able to go on a good run at the end of the year, which could spark interest in smaller market cities during September. Even if a last place team doesnít actually qualify for the playoffs, that cityís interest will likely roll over into October, thus increasing television ratings of the playoffs in that city, even though that cityís team is not involved in post-season play.

The format of the playoffs will be as follows. The regular season always ends on a Sunday. Monday will be a scheduled day off, or will be used for tie-breaking playoff games if necessary (this will be explained in detail later on).

From Tuesday, October 5 (Iím using 2004 dates just to make it easier to understand) to Friday, October 8, the D, E, and F seeds will engage in two best-of-3 playoff series to determine who advances in the post-season against the division winner with the best record (the A seed). On Tuesday, the F seed will host a doubleheader against the E seed. If the doubleheader is swept, the winner will begin the next series by hosting the D seed for a single game on Wednesday, October 6. The series will then move to the home park of the D seed for a single game on Thursday, October 7, and if necessary, a third and deciding game on Friday, October 8.

If a third and deciding game in the E vs. F series is necessary (due to the doubleheader on Tuesday, October 5 being split), it will be played at the home park of the E seed on Wednesday, October 6. The winner of this game will begin the next series by hosting the D seed for a single game on Thursday, October 7. The series will then move to the home park of the D team for an afternoon game on Friday, October 8. If a third deciding game is necessary, it will be played at the home park of the D team on the night of Friday, October 8.

Of the D, E, and F seeds, only one of these teams will advance to the Division Series to face the A seed. This team will travel to the home park of the A seed for the first two games of the Division Series on Saturday, October 9, and Sunday, October 10. The B and C seeds will also open their Division Series at the home park of the B seed on Saturday, October 9, and Sunday, October 10.

There will be a total of four Division Series being played (two in each league). The B vs. C Division Series requiring the least amount of travel will continue on Monday, October 11 and Tuesday, October 12, and will return to the original host city for a fifth and deciding game on Wednesday, October 13. The other three Division Series will resume on Tuesday, October 12 and Wednesday, October 13, and will return to the original host city for a fifth and deciding game on Thursday, October 14.

The two best-of-7 League Championship Series will be played starting on Saturday, October 16, and will conclude on Monday, October 25, with at least one game being played every day.

The World Series will be played starting on Wednesday, October 27, and will conclude on Thursday, November 4. There has been much rumor surrounding the potential plan to move the World Series back to a single-weekend format, and this playoff structure would allow that to happen while preserving guaranteed World Series games on both Saturday and Sunday.

In case of numerous ties, the format for tie-breaking playoff games to be played on Monday, October 4 will be detailed in my next post.

Giambi25
09-01-04, 01:07 AM
If the final standings end up causing problems because of ties, the following will have to happen. First, the traditional wild card, the second place team with the best record, will have to be determined. If there is also a tie that causes more than two teams to be able to claim the best record from September 1 to the end of the regular season, that tie will have to be settled as well.

Letís use these hypothetical records for American League teams to illustrate potential problems. The first record listed for each team is the overall regular season record. The second record listed is the teamís record from September 1 to the end of the regular season.

NYY 101-61, 19-10 (head-to-head vs. OAK 5-4, which makes NYY the A seed)
MIN 92-70, 15-14 (division winner with worst record makes MIN the C seed)
OAK 101-61, 22-6 (head-to-head vs. NYY 4-5, which makes OAK the B seed)
Those are the division winners.

BOS 96-66, 24-4
ANA 96-66, 14-14
TEX 94-68, 18-10
TB 90-72, 20-8

First, the D seed would have to be determined. The D seed is the second place team with the best record, so that means it has to be either Boston or Anaheim. These two teams would have a single elimination playoff game on Monday, October 4.

In scenario 1, Boston beats Anaheim. That would make Bostonís regular season record 97-66 and Anaheimís record would be 96-67. Therefore, Boston would become the D seed, and by virtue of their September records, Tampa Bay would become the E seed and Texas would become the F seed.

In scenario 2, Anaheim beats Boston. That would make Bostonís regular season record 96-67 and Anaheimís record would be 97-66. Therefore, Anaheim would become the D seed, and by virtue of their September records, Boston would become the E seed and Tampa Bay would become the F seed.

What this does is it keeps the current system intact, while adding two more playoff teams. All the current tie-breakers and one-game playoff procedures to determine division winners and wild card in each league will not be changed. Only after the A, B, C, and D seeds are determined can the E vs. F playoff series begin.

The three division winners have the incentive to finish in first place so they can have five days to rest their players from Monday, October 4, to Friday, October 8. This will allow them to set up their pitching rotations and rest any position players who may be suffering from injuries or fatigue. The Division Series will begin on Saturday, October 9 for the division winners.

In case of a tie for best record from September 1 to the end of the regular season, the following will have to happen.

If there are two teams that share the best record from September 1 to the end of the regular season, and the team with the third best record in this time period has a lower winning percentage than the first two teams, the two teams that share the best record will become the E and F seeds, and the team with the third best record will not advance to the post-season. To determine which team is the E seed and which team is the F seed, whichever team had a better head-to-head record from September 1 to the end of the regular season will be the E seed. If this is not a determining factor, then whichever team had a better head-to-head record after the all-star break will be the E seed. If this is not a determining factor either, the team with the best head-to-head record during the entire regular season will be the E seed. If this is not a determining factor, the team with the best record against common opponents will be the E seed. If this still is not a determining factor, the E seed will be determined by a coin flip to be conducted by the commissioner of baseball on Monday, October 4.

If there are three teams that share the best record from September 1 to the end of the regular season, all three teams will travel to the city of Chicago for neutral-site games on Monday, October 4. Chicago was chosen because it is the most centrally-located city with two Major League parks. If the Cubs are involved, U.S. Cellular Field will be considered a neutral site. If the White Sox are involved, Wrigley Field will be considered a neutral site. Neither the Cubs nor the White Sox will be allowed to play a game in its regular home park during these post-season determining games. If it is necessary for both American League and National League teams to participate in neutral-site games on Monday, October 4, the American League will utilize the Major League parks in Chicago, and the National League will utilize the Major League Parks in St. Louis and Kansas City. If the Cardinals are involved, Kaufman Stadium will be considered a neutral site. If the Royals are involved, Busch Stadium will be considered a neutral site. If the White Sox, but not the Cubs, are involved in such playoff games, the American League will utilize the Major League parks in St. Louis and Kansas City. If the Cardinals, but not the Royals, are involved in such playoff games, the National League will utilize the Major League parks in Chicago. Every effort will be made to prevent the Cubs and White Sox from playing neutral-site games in Chicago, and to prevent the Cardinals and Royals from playing neutral-site games in Missouri, but the final decision of which league utilizes which Major League parks is left at the discretion of the commissioner. Of the three teams tied for the best record from September 1 to the end of the regular season, one of those teams will have to be eliminated on Monday, October 4, and the two remaining teams will be designated as E and F seeds. There will be an afternoon game played at Wrigley Field between two of the teams. The team that takes the first turn at bat in the first inning will be determined by a coin flip just prior to the start of the game by the umpire with the longest tenure. The winner of this game will become the E seed. The loser of that game will then play a night game at U.S. Cellular Field against the third team. The team that takes the first turn at bat in the first inning will be determined by a coin flip just prior to the start of the game by the umpire with the longest tenure. The winner of this game will become the F seed. The team with the best head-to-head record against the other two from September 1 to the end of the regular season will be given a choice of whether or not to participate in the afternoon game at Wrigley Field. If they choose to participate, their opponent, to be chosen from the two other teams, will be determined by a coin flip. If they choose to not participate, they will await the loser and square off against that team in the night game at U.S. Cellular Field. If the tie-breaker described above does not determine which of the three teams is given this choice, whichever team had a better head-to-head record against the other two from September 1 to the end of the regular season will be given the choice. If this is not a determining factor, then whichever team had a better head-to-head record against the other two after the all-star break will be given the choice. If this is not a determining factor either, the team with the best head-to-head record against the other two during the entire regular season will be given the choice. If this is not a determining factor, the team with the best record against common opponents amongst all three teams will be given the choice.

If there are four teams that share the best record from September 1 to the end of the regular season, two of those teams will have to be eliminated, and the two remaining teams will be designated as E and F seeds. In this unlikely situation, the E vs. F playoff series will be delayed until Wednesday, October 6. All four teams will travel to the city of Chicago for neutral-site games on Monday, October 4. Chicago was chosen because it is the most centrally-located city with two Major League parks. If the Cubs are involved, U.S. Cellular Field will be considered a neutral site. If the White Sox are involved, Wrigley Field will be considered a neutral site. Neither the Cubs nor the White Sox will be allowed to play a game in its regular home park during these post-season determining games. If it is necessary for both American League and National League teams to participate in neutral-site games on Monday, October 4, the American League will utilize the Major League parks in Chicago, and the National League will utilize the Major League Parks in St. Louis and Kansas City. If the Cardinals are involved, Kaufman Stadium will be considered a neutral site. If the Royals are involved, Busch Stadium will be considered a neutral site. If the White Sox, but not the Cubs, are involved in such playoff games, the American League will utilize the Major League parks in St. Louis and Kansas City. If the Cardinals, but not the Royals, are involved in such playoff games, the National League will utilize the Major League parks in Chicago. Every effort will be make to prevent the Cubs and White Sox from playing neutral-site games in Chicago, and to prevent the Cardinals and Royals from playing neutral-site games in Missouri, but the final decision of which league utilizes which Major League parks is left at the discretion of the commissioner. The match-ups in the first games on Monday, October 4 in Chicago will be determined by alphabetical order of each teamís city name. Games at Wrigley Field and U.S. Cellular Field will be played simultaneously in the afternoon. The team that takes the first turn at bat in the first inning of each game will be determined by a coin flip just prior to the start of each game by the umpire with the longest tenure. The losers of each game will then play a night game at Wrigley Field while the winners of each game play a night game at U.S. Cellular Field. One of these four teams will finish the day with a 2-0 record. This team will become the E seed and will not play a game on Tuesday, October 5. One of these four teams will finish Monday, October 4 with a 0-2 record. This team will be eliminated from playoff contention. The two teams that finish the day 1-1 will square off in a day game the following day, Tuesday, October 5 at U.S. Cellular Field. The team that take the first turn at bat in the first inning will be determined by a coin flip just prior to the start of the game by the umpire with the longest tenure. The winner of this game will become the F seed. Once the E and F seeds are determined, the E vs. F best-of-3 series will begin on Wednesday, October 6. If the E vs. F doubleheader on Wednesday, October 6 is swept, the winner will face the D seed as scheduled on Thursday, October 7. If the E vs. F doubleheader on Wednesday, October 6 is split, the third and deciding game will be played on Thursday, October 7. The winner of that game will face the D seed for a doubleheader on Friday, October 8. If this doubleheader is swept, the winner will face the A seed in the first game of the Division Series on Saturday, October 9 as scheduled. If this doubleheader is split, the third and deciding game will be played on Saturday, October 9. The winner of that game will face the A seed in the first game of the Division Series on Sunday, October 10. This delay in the start of the Division Series will be made up by eliminating the scheduled off-day on Monday, October 11.

If there are five or more teams that share the best record from September 1 to the end of the regular season, the E and F seeds will be determined by best record from August 15 to the end of the regular season. Records from September 1 to the end of the regular season will not be considered in determining the E and F seeds. If three or four teams are tied for the best record from August 15 to the end of the regular season, the above rules apply. If five or more teams share the best record from August 15 to the end of the regular season, the E and F seeds will be determined by best from the all-star break to the end of the regular season. If three or four teams are tied for the best record from the all-star break to the end of the regular season, the above rules apply. If five or more teams share the best from the all-star break to the end of the regular season, there will be no E and F seeds, and the D seed will gain an automatic birth into the Division Series and face the A seed as scheduled on Saturday, October 9.

bnorris85
09-01-04, 01:52 AM
you have a lot of time to think and type there mr giambi ;)

SoCal Pinstriper
09-01-04, 06:41 AM
Might be the real Mr. Giambi, as he has had lots of time to think and type this season.;)

I think that we will see expanded playoff eligability as it will lead to increased revenues. Your plan to reward hot teams at the end of the season runs the risk of rendering the MLB regular season meaningless, just like the NBA.

Jumpman_DJ
09-01-04, 07:40 AM
did anyone ever see the movie BASEketball? the playoff system in that movie went on for like 9 months...
Mr giambi i can see you put in a ton of time on this but seriously expanding the postseason to what youre describing, especially that doubleheader to start the playoffs is crazy. If a team plays 3 games in 2 days and uses 3 starters and countless bullpen pitchers, then advances to the next round, pitchers arms are going to fall off from lack of days off. And those teams are gonna bow out very fast when they play a team that has off for 3 days and rested rather than flying all over the country to play a quick series. You have good intentions and i applaud you for that, especially trying to get small markets involved but the MLB is a system (not a perfect one) but since it expanded to 8 team playoffs it has increased revenue and teams have stayed in contention later.

Pomp
09-01-04, 08:24 AM
These are the longest posts I have ever seen. It is definitely not a knock on you Giambi, but wow, you aren't messing around.

DiMaggio5CF
09-01-04, 11:38 AM
So you want two teams to play a double header on Tuesday, then fly to another city and play a game on Wednesday, then start the next series on Thursday? And then after the Thursday game, a double header on Friday night? Good luck getting a team to play six games (two double-headers) in four days along with travel with no off-day.

And then factor in the first two games of the ALDS, and you're potentially asking one team to play eight games (two double-headers) in six days with travel and without an offday.

In addition to that, there is no way that the worst teams in the league should be eligible for the playoffs. The season is 162 games long. There is no way that a team who plays the best for 30 days -- and against weaker teams, who are resting their regulars for the playoffs and playing young call-ups -- should be allowed in the playoffs.

Can you imagine a series between the Devil Rays and the Tigers to see who gets to play the Red Sox in a best-of-three series?

I'm sorry; I know you put a lot of hard work into this, but I just am not a fan of it.

HoustonSoxFan
09-01-04, 12:16 PM
I hope this isn't some elaborate scheme to guarentee that the Yankees make the playoffs even if they blow a 10.5 game lead. ;-)

vicocala
09-01-04, 12:27 PM
I am one of those who would applaud your thinking outside the box as well as the efforts that have been put into your posts.

That said, I think the playoffs are fine as they are and should not be watered down. If I were to make a radical change, it would be to create three leagues of ten teams, east, central and western and keep teams in their own time zones. No interleague play and 162 games with 18 games against each league opponent. The best record of the second place teams would earn the fourth playoff position. I would go into more detail, but MLB would never do something as sensible as accomodating the fans and the players, so what is the use. LOL

NYYFAN
09-01-04, 12:39 PM
Less is better...

junkman73
09-01-04, 10:47 PM
I'm for adding a 5th team...the 2 wild-card teams play the Monday after the regular season ends and the winner enters into the normal playoff scenario as it currently stands.

Why?? Because if the WC race is out of reach by the last weekend, the wild-card team has the ability to set up its rotation for the first best of 5. Take this advantage away from the WC teams by making them use their #1 or #2 starter for the 1 game playoff and then making them unavailable until game 3 or 4. There should be more of an advantage to winning a division.

penguin4
09-01-04, 11:00 PM
Must be the effects of eating all those bagelmen. Who the hell knows what's in those eyes.;)

justin32099
09-01-04, 11:08 PM
Personally, the more I think about it, the more I like the current four-team deal, and I honestly think right now it's the ideal scenario. Because of three qualities:

-You have to be a good team to reach the postseason. Baseball's beauty is in the regular season, unlike, for example, the NBA, where you only have to finish .500 to reach the playoffs. In many years you have to win 90-95 games to make the playoffs. I think 90 wins is the minimum definiton of a pretty good season. I know we won it all with 87 in 2000, but at least we won the division. Can you imagine an 84-win team finishing in third place, getting hot in October, and winning it all? All baseball traditionalists would be absolutely furious. I would be too.

-I don't think a three-game playoff is fair in baseball. The one-game playoff is a little different as a tiebreaker, but I think that gives an unfair advantage to a team with one or two aces over a team with a more balanced pitching staff. Personally, I think the division series should be 7 games as it is.

-Even if it's only a three-game series, if I was a higher seed, I wouldn't really like the idea of (if I'm reading correctly) 5 off-days in your proposal before their Division Series starts. Baseball is a game of momentum in many ways, and I really like how the playoffs start within a day or two of the regular season's end.

It's an interesting proposal, but I just think four teams per league is the perfect scenario right now.

RhodeyYankee2638
09-01-04, 11:24 PM
I have never liked the Wild Card much.

I always felt that the WC wasn't fair, because a team could have a 20 game lead over the 2nd place team (clearly making team A better). But that record means nothing for the post season, so I have come up with a method to even it out.

I always thought that 2 teams should have to battle out for it. Top 2 teams in each league not leading there division play in a best of 3 series, and the team that wins is declared the Wild Card, and the rest of the playoffs go on as usual

I really felt the playoffs should be representative of how you do during the regular season, but with the wild-card, it has become more of a crap shoot.

bnorris85
09-02-04, 12:16 AM
Originally posted by RhodeyYankee2638
I have never liked the Wild Card much.

I always felt that the WC wasn't fair, because a team could have a 20 game lead over the 2nd place team (clearly making team A better). But that record means nothing for the post season, so I have come up with a method to even it out.

I always thought that 2 teams should have to battle out for it. Top 2 teams in each league not leading there division play in a best of 3 series, and the team that wins is declared the Wild Card, and the rest of the playoffs go on as usual

I really felt the playoffs should be representative of how you do during the regular season, but with the wild-card, it has become more of a crap shoot.


I dont understand how its a crap shoot where in the last couple of years the wild card teams are winning it all. Also the teams in the wild card race have very simmilar records with the division leaders...its not like basketball where the 2003 celtics can be in the playoffs

ojo
09-02-04, 11:12 AM
Originally posted by bnorris85



I dont understand how its a crap shoot where in the last couple of years the wild card teams are winning it all. Also the teams in the wild card race have very simmilar records with the division leaders...its not like basketball where the 2003 celtics can be in the playoffs

it's a crapshoot because success in the wild card round has shown to be more geared towards how well your team is built for a short series compared to what you've done in the regular season.

RhodeyYankee2638
09-02-04, 11:20 AM
Originally posted by bnorris85



I dont understand how its a crap shoot where in the last couple of years the wild card teams are winning it all. Also the teams in the wild card race have very simmilar records with the division leaders...its not like basketball where the 2003 celtics can be in the playoffs

WHAT!!!! How can't you see its a crap shoot. Look at some of the teams the past few years. Seattle won 116, you would think they should go to the WS and make a good showing, but they don't get past the Yankees. Why? Because they caught a hotter team, and a team better suited for the playoffs, therefore making it a crapshoot. SOmetimes, baseball is about the luck of the draw

WTrain44
09-02-04, 01:00 PM
I do commend Mr. Giambi for all of the work put into his plan, but its a bit much don't ya think? I share feelings that were posted already- too many games in too short of a time period, playoff doubleheaders with maybe/maybe not games the next day maybe/maybe not in the same city. The wild card is enough to open the door for others to get to the post season. It would really make April-August mean a lot less for a lot of teams in the hopes they can build to win a 3 game series with a doubleheader.
Too much man... Those are the kind of elaborate plans you thnk of when you are stuck in traffic, on a long subway ride, on the toilet, having insomnia and trying to sleep, or when you are in a really boring meeting pretending to take notes.

Sometimes these situations hatch genious ideas, but this one reminds me a bit of that game show Joey was supposed to host on Friends.

-W