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bewbies
Sep 23, 2003



Fun Shoe

Sydin posted:

I don't mind the idea of expanded playoffs period, I just dislike this current format which offers functionally zero incentive to winning your division. The best team in baseball and the worst-record playoff team both get dumped into a best of three series in the first round, so why sweat winning the division if you can comfortably grab one of the five billion WC spots? If the format was tweaked so that, for example, division winners got a bye in the first round and the wild cards had to weed themselves down a bit before playing the division winners, then fine whatever have fun expanding the playoffs.

See, this is where they could follow the NFL model (or at least how the NFL used to do it, I dunno if it has changed). Having a first round bye and home field throughout was a huge incentive to win, and that'd be easy to work into an expanded format.

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Bregor
May 31, 2013

People are idiots, Leslie.


I don’t think any of the playoff formats are going to change how much people care about a single regular season game. I don’t feel a palpable difference between an MLB game (one of 162, recent history of 4-5 teams per League making the postseason) and an NBA/NHL game (one of 82, 8 teams per Conference making the postseason). Each individual one is largely meaningless outside of good matchups and rivalries.

As hilarious as it sounds, a 100+ win team getting bounced by an 80 win team in a 3-game series is dumb and bad. Unless it happens to the Red Sox.

FlamingLiberal
Jan 18, 2009

Would you like to play a game?





The only rule change that I am a hard no on is the stupid extra-innings runner on second rule. Where did they even come up with that?

bawfuls
Oct 28, 2009

NICE POST, BITCH


bewbies posted:

Counterpoint to the con expanded playoffs argument:

Right now, MLB has swung pretty extreme towards the "all in or all out" approach. The handful of super wealthy teams are pretty consistently all in, but the rest of the league basically decides either in preseason or by May if they're going to try for a playoff spot, or bail on the season. Just muddling through a .500 season is no longer really a valid way to run a team: if you decide you're not playoff material, you tank, and tank hard. While this is a prudent approach considering the way the current CBA works -- everyone's figured out that a top quality farm system is the best way to win a WS -- I personally don't think it is good for the game/league as a whole long-term when as many as half of the league's teams are actively tanking every year.

If you expand the number of playoff spots, you give more teams a chance at that lottery, and incentivize more teams to spend in the near term. This should reduce the incentive to go all in with the tank, and should make those mid-career above-average players who are getting so screwed right now much more attractive.

edit -- I'm more or less ambivalent to the playoff format, but I am in favor of anything that encourages less tanking
I'd rather watch superteams and scrub teams than a league full of .500 teams. At least in the former case, you get superteam vs superteam in October. For this reason it is not even clear to me that MLB should be working so hard to "discourage tanking" in the first place.

But beyond that, I am not convinced that tanking is a problem in baseball to begin with. This isn't the NBA where a #1 draft pick can single handedly take a team from the basement to playoff berth. Just being bad for several years is no guarantee that an MLB team will be talent stacked in the years to follow. Identifying and developing baseball talent is more difficult and less of a sure thing than some other sports. The Dodgers have a ton of home grown talent despite drafting low for a decade now. The Angels have been poo poo for a decade and can't make the postseason even with the greatest player of all time on their roster. I don't think there are particularly strong incentives to tank right now, but it's a PR line teams are happy to use to justify cost cutting and many fans would rather embrace that than admit their team is just being run poorly.

What we should want is an incentive for the large majority of teams to try to win every year. Not just be "good enough" to snag that last postseason spot but be as good as they can possibly be. Way back when teams relied on gate receipts for the vast majority of their revenues, there was a plain financial incentive here. Good teams put more buts in the seats and made more money. But as the sport has diversified revenue streams and dispersed them over many years (decade-long local tv deals...) this has evaporated.

bawfuls fucked around with this message at 18:28 on Oct 21, 2020

Sydin
Oct 29, 2011

Another rainy day commute





FlamingLiberal posted:

The only rule change that I am a hard no on is the stupid extra-innings runner on second rule. Where did they even come up with that?

My guess is that MLB was getting poo poo from networks about how it's annoying to program around MLB games, which is why you have Manfred crusading about game length and trying to artificially limit the amount of extra innings.

bawfuls
Oct 28, 2009

NICE POST, BITCH


Sydin posted:

My guess is that MLB was getting poo poo from networks about how it's annoying to program around MLB games, which is why you have Manfred crusading about game length and trying to artificially limit the amount of extra innings.
An even better way to fix this for the networks would be to simply allow ties in the regular season after 9 or 12 innings. But everything is run by the worst people now so we can't have nice things.

bewbies
Sep 23, 2003



Fun Shoe

bawfuls posted:

I'd rather watch superteams and scrub teams than a league full of .500 teams. At least in the former case, you get superteam vs superteam in October. For this reason it is not even clear to me that MLB should be working so hard to "discourage tanking" in the first place.

But beyond that, I am not convinced that tanking is a problem in baseball to begin with. This isn't the NBA where a #1 draft pick can single handedly take a team from the basement to playoff berth. Just being bad for several years is no guarantee that an MLB team will be talent stacked in the years to follow. Identifying and developing baseball talent is more difficult and less of a sure thing than some other sports. The Dodgers have a ton of home grown talent despite drafting low for a decade now. The Angels have been poo poo for a decade and can't make the postseason even with the greatest player of all time on their roster. I don't think there are particularly strong incentives to tank right now, but it's a PR line teams are happy to use to justify cost cutting and many fans would rather embrace that than admit their team is just being run poorly.

What we should want is an incentive for the large majority of teams to try to win every year. Not just be "good enough" but be as good as they can possibly be. Way back when teams relied on gate receipts for the vast majority of their revenues, there was a plain financial incentive here. Good teams put more buts in the seats and made more money. But as the sport has diversified revenue streams and dispersed them over many years (decade-long local tv deals...) this has evaporated.

I don't think an expanded playoffs would lead to everyone being mediocre...you'd still have about the same number of good teams, you'd just have fewer really bad teams.

In any case, I think it is pretty clear that most mid- and small-market teams have gone in with the supertank model, not only because it helps build the farm through higher draft picks and trades, but also because it is cheaper for the owner than maintaining a semi-competitive team during a rebuild. Only a handful of teams have the financial wasta to both build the farm and keep the competitive window open, and now that they (particularly the Dodgers and Yankees) seem to have figured out that the best way to stay consistently competitive is to invest in the farm, the rest of the league is going to have to try that much harder to build their own farms.

We're in agreement that the best model for both league and sport is to keep the majority of teams actively trying to win on a consistent basis. Giving more teams access to a playoff lottery ticket is a good way to do this. If the league continues to get more extreme with the supertank model, eventually interest is going to erode in smaller markets, which in the long term, will hurt both league and sport. Unless, of course, your preference is the Dodgers in the World Series every year.

wyoak
Feb 14, 2005

a glass case of emotion



Fallen Rib

I feel like the runner on second is a this-year only thing, they were trying to cut down on long games since everyone was playing 6 games a week or whatever in the condensed schedule

Timby
Dec 23, 2006

Your mother!



wyoak posted:

I feel like the runner on second is a this-year only thing, they were trying to cut down on long games since everyone was playing 6 games a week or whatever in the condensed schedule

They've been floating the runner on second rule for like three years.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



The fact that the Dodgers have been to the World Series 3 of the last 4 years doesn't rally alarm me. Good teams tend to put together runs. That happens in the NBA and NFL even with playoffs built for parity. I'm not personally convinced baseball is in some kind of tanking crisis. Maybe it is and I haven't been paying enough attention but I think baseball tends to have that "we're gonna get cancelled any minute now" attitude. It takes a lot to build a dynasty and money doesn't just do it. Do I want to see a way to incentivize more teams to go for it and retain stars? Of course. But I'm not convinced that letting .500 teams into the playoffs does that. It might make for a few less trade deadline deals but teams are gonna decide whether they're gonna keep a Mookie Betts or not regardless of a 1 year outside shot at a playoff run.

Timby posted:

They've been floating the runner on second rule for like three years.

Yeah, the extra innings rule was used in the minors last year and the last WBC. Its a pet plan of Manfred's and he just used the covid season to get it in the door.

bawfuls
Oct 28, 2009

NICE POST, BITCH


bewbies posted:

I don't think an expanded playoffs would lead to everyone being mediocre...you'd still have about the same number of good teams, you'd just have fewer really bad teams.
No because there would be no incentive to build a 100 game winner instead of a ~85 game winner. Multiple teams pretty much said as much this year when the format was announced: there was no reason to push for winning the division because seeding is irrelevant.

bewbies posted:

I don't think an expanded playoffs would lead to everyone being mediocre...you'd still have about the same number of good teams, you'd just have fewer really bad teams.

In any case, I think it is pretty clear that most mid- and small-market teams have gone in with the supertank model, not only because it helps build the farm through higher draft picks and trades, but also because it is cheaper for the owner than maintaining a semi-competitive team during a rebuild. Only a handful of teams have the financial wasta to both build the farm and keep the competitive window open, and now that they (particularly the Dodgers and Yankees) seem to have figured out that the best way to stay consistently competitive is to invest in the farm, the rest of the league is going to have to try that much harder to build their own farms.
Smaller and mid market teams have gone in on tanking because it is a way to frame their cost savings that is palatable to a lot of fans. There is not sufficient evidence it's a reliable way to build a winning team. But people *think* it is, the sports media acts like it is, so many owners use it as cover.

Oakland and Tampa compete every year without tanking and without big payrolls. The Royals were trash for like 15 years before winning so that's not much of a reliable tank-to-title pipeline. The Angels have run large payrolls around Mike Trout and still only made the postseason once in a decade. But the Cubs and Astros won following a tank period so the average baseball fan thinks it's a proven strategy.

bewbies posted:

We're in agreement that the best model for both league and sport is to keep the majority of teams actively trying to win on a consistent basis. Giving more teams access to a playoff lottery ticket is a good way to do this. If the league continues to get more extreme with the supertank model, eventually interest is going to erode in smaller markets, which in the long term, will hurt both league and sport. Unless, of course, your preference is the Dodgers in the World Series every year.
Again, you are missing the incentive structures that a large postseason field has in baseball. If a .500 record is all it takes to virtually guarantee a postseason slot, and we know that postseason baseball is largely a crapshoot, then what is the incentive to try to build a 100 win team?

I also disagree that a superteams-and-scrubs league will erode the sport long term. That was basically the way it worked for the first 50+ years. Superteams provide national appeal in a sport that otherwise struggles to find it, through bandwagon types and by offering a larger than life villain for other teams. A league full of .500 teams with a random half of them making the postseason lacks narrative appeal.

bawfuls fucked around with this message at 19:29 on Oct 21, 2020

Nissin Cup Nudist
Sep 3, 2011

Sleep with one eye open

We're off to Gritty Gritty land






Bip Roberts posted:

Also front loading the playoffs with a short series is really annoying if a 105 win team is now two hung sliders from gone.

This actually rules as long as it isn't your team on the losing end

bewbies
Sep 23, 2003



Fun Shoe

bawfuls posted:

No because there would be no incentive to build a 100 game winner instead of a ~85 game winner. Multiple teams pretty much said as much this year when the format was announced: there was no reason to push for winning the division because seeding is irrelevant.

Agree, which is why I said above that it makes sense to provide some kind of structural element to incentivize having the best regular season record (ie, first round bye plus home field advantage).

quote:

Smaller and mid market teams have gone in on tanking because it is a way to frame their cost savings that is palatable to a lot of fans. There is not sufficient evidence it's a reliable way to build a winning team. But people *think* it is, the sports media acts like it is, so many owners use it as cover.

Agree, I even said exactly this in the part of the post you quoted. The thing I don't really understand is how we get from agreement on this issue, to the belief that a smaller/more exclusive playoff format would de-incentivize tanking. Think of it this way: regardless of the validity of the supertank strategy, the small playoff format got us here, and keeping the format the same isn't likely to change it.

We're in agreement that the central issue at play here is players not being paid what they're worth, and I'm sure you agree with me that the incoherence of the CBA is the central problem. Without major changes to the CBA (which, lol of course not) then we want to incentivize owners to pay out more money to mid-career guys, with the goal of being more competitive. Seems to me like a golden ticket to the playoffs and a 12.5% chance of WORLD SERIES PARADE AND RALLY is an excellent incentive.


quote:

Again, you are missing the incentive structures that a large postseason field has in baseball. If a .500 record is all it takes to virtually guarantee a postseason slot, and we know that postseason baseball is largely a crapshoot, then what is the incentive to try to build a 100 win team?

I think you (and lots of others) might be underestimating how useful it is to have a good team in the postseason. I agree it isn't exactly so pure as a European soccer format where there is no postseason tourney and you win the league solely by consistent excellence over the course of the year, but I also think that most of the time, the WS winner was one of the two or three best teams in the playoffs. Certainly, having more teams in the hopper would dilute the elite teams' chances, but what's that if not more incentive to sign better players?

Gerblederp
Dec 4, 2009



Add a salary floor you cowards

bawfuls
Oct 28, 2009

NICE POST, BITCH


bewbies posted:

I think you (and lots of others) might be underestimating how useful it is to have a good team in the postseason.
Considering the past decade of Dodgers (and for that matter Giants) Octobers... can you blame me?

FlamingLiberal
Jan 18, 2009

Would you like to play a game?





Gerblederp posted:

Add a salary floor you cowards

Johnny Bravo
Jan 19, 2011


I think it's worth mentioning (apologies if I missed it) that Manfred said it likely wouldn't be 16 teams again but ideally more than 10. Given his past statements, I think it's likely they are looking to 14 teams which could, in theory, give the best record in each league a bye past the 3 game round. If they go that route, there's at least some incentive to field a good team.

I dunno that I care all that much about the playoffs being expanded except to say 3 game series are bunk as hell and that first round should be 5 followed by all 7s.

bawfuls
Oct 28, 2009

NICE POST, BITCH


There also is the issue that there is no space in the schedule to do that without either shortening the season or going into November. It only worked this year because they got rid of off days in the DS and CS with neutral sites.

Strelok604
Apr 26, 2020



If they add 2 more teams via expansion then it might soften the blow a little, but I agree with everyone else that it's dumb as hell and a clear tactic by the owners to be able to get success for cheaper

Johnny Bravo
Jan 19, 2011


bawfuls posted:

There also is the issue that there is no space in the schedule to do that without either shortening the season or going into November. It only worked this year because they got rid of off days in the DS and CS with neutral sites.

Yeah thats a fair issue and I dunno what the solution to that is. Maybe the owners would rather lose some regular season revenue if theres a better chance of getting a piece of the postseason pie?

bawfuls
Oct 28, 2009

NICE POST, BITCH


The real question is does the union recognize how badly owners want expanded postseason cash and are they going to play hardball over it?

Bregor
May 31, 2013

People are idiots, Leslie.


Gerblederp posted:

Add a salary floor you cowards

Strelok604
Apr 26, 2020



is it a hot take to say I wouldn't mind if the regular season got shortened a bit

That way they can add more on the front end of the postseason and players could get more off days

boroda
Jul 26, 2007


нет усов

Strelok604 posted:

is it a hot take to say I wouldn't mind if the regular season got shortened a bit

That way they can add more on the front end of the postseason and players could get more off days

Hmmmm... maybe 154 games would suffice??

bawfuls
Oct 28, 2009

NICE POST, BITCH


Contract two teams, move to a fully balanced schedule (27 opponents * 6 games each = 162 games) and play the World Series between the top two teams each year

Alternatively, expand to 32, fully balanced schedule with no interleague (15 opponents * 10 games each = 150 games). Play 5 game series and you'd also reduce travel.

bawfuls fucked around with this message at 21:42 on Oct 21, 2020

Nissin Cup Nudist
Sep 3, 2011

Sleep with one eye open

We're off to Gritty Gritty land






bawfuls posted:

The real question is does the union recognize how badly owners want expanded postseason cash and are they going to play hardball over it?

Considering the Union probably isn't all that opposed (and a large percentage for) for more shots at the Piece of Metal, In gonna go with "No"

Only fans/media are against more playoff spots

bawfuls
Oct 28, 2009

NICE POST, BITCH


Nissin Cup Nudist posted:

Considering the Union probably isn't all that opposed (and a large percentage for) for more shots at the Piece of Metal, In gonna go with "No"
This is something Marvin Miller would have helped them understand. It doesn't matter if the players are ambivalent or slightly favor expanding the field. Owners *really* want it so the players should extract concessions from them for it.

Strelok604
Apr 26, 2020



Or jsut realize that the more the owners want something the less the players should

bewbies
Sep 23, 2003



Fun Shoe

bawfuls posted:

Considering the past decade of Dodgers (and for that matter Giants) Octobers... can you blame me?

a fair point!

GoatSeeGuy
Dec 26, 2003

What if Jerome Walton made me a champion?




Fun Shoe

bawfuls posted:

Contract two teams, move to a fully balanced schedule (27 opponents * 6 games each = 162 games) and play the World Series between the top two teams each year

Alternatively, expand to 32, fully balanced schedule with no interleague (15 opponents * 10 games each = 150 games). Play 5 game series and you'd also reduce travel.

Once things are back to “normal” MLB is going to expand ASAP if for no other reason than the quick infusion of cash. They’ll want to keep some form of interleague though, for the rivalry bullshit at least.

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R.D. Mangles
Jan 10, 2004



i'm glad the rear end in the jackpot video is making the rounds again
https://twitter.com/JOSH_BENNY/stat...5355939843?s=20

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