Major League Baseball rumors: Proposed postseason format changes are absolutely bonkers

MLB World Series Houston Astros at Washington Nationals

If you missed it. a report Monday claimed Manfred and other MLB officials were considering changing baseball's postseason. The clubs with the AL's and NL's best records would earn byes to their respective division series, with the other division winners picking their opponents from among the wild-card teams on live television.

"The division victor with the second-best record in a league would then get the first pick of its opponent from those lower three wild cards, then the other division victor would pick, leaving the last two wild cards to play each other". TV, of course. More playoff games means a richer package as Major League Baseball negotiates its next contract with networks, especially if there's a NCAA Tournament feel to the opening round of the postseason, with 4-6 games in a day.

The division victor with the worst record would then choose its opponent from the remaining two wild-card teams. Because of course it would. Each league would have three division winners and a total of four wild-card teams.

According to Sherman, the new system would include a new "wild-card round" before the traditional Division Series.

Major league baseball added a second wild card team for the 2012 season.

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The proposed new format would give a much greater incentive to finish with the best record in the league, as that team would go directly to the Division Series.

The Pirates also would have qualified as the seventh and final National League playoff seed in 2018, finishing 82-79. And being the top Wild Card team means hosting the first round at home.

Any change to the postseason would have to be collectively bargained with the players union, so the soonest these changes could come is for the 2022 season, after a new labor agreement is in place.

The apparent downside? While tweaking the playoff format could actually add some excitement, it likely wouldn't do enough to discourage tanking, would put mediocre teams in the postseason and allow some organizations to justify non-action as "playoff contention".

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