Manfred: 16-team postseason likely to stay as “an overwhelming majority” of owners endorsed the concept before COVID

soxhop411

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Manfred also said the expanded, 16-team postseason is likely to remain beyond 2020, adding that “an overwhelming majority” of owners had already endorsed the concept before the pandemic.
“I think there’s a lot to commend it,” he said, “and it is one of those changes I hope will become a permanent part of our landscape.”
Asked about making permanent some of this year’s other temporary rule changes, Manfred was noncommittal. However, he said the adoption of a universal designated hitter in both leagues has “softened” opposition to the DH in the NL, and he said the new extra-inning rule — with each half-inning beginning with a runner on second — has been greeted with a better-than-expected reception and “has a chance now” to stick. He was less optimistic about retaining seven-inning doubleheaders beyond 2020.


Ahh. The billionaire owners want to find more ways to line their pockets without even having to spend Money to put talent on the field! Lovely! It also makes the regular season literally meaningless
View: https://twitter.com/lindseyadler/status/1306088607829106689

View: https://twitter.com/FabianArdaya/status/1306088880030932992



division winners and division rivalries are useless now. THANKS MANFRED!

he really is the worst of the 4 commissioners and makes Selig look like a competent comish.
 

jon abbey

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At least make it 14 and give the team with the best record in each league a bye, 16 is really minimizing the importance of the regular season.
 

ninjacornelius

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Just eyeballing the past three years, the 8th best teams in the AL finished with the following records:
78-84
80-82
80-82

Under the proposed system they would’ve each played 100+ win teams in the first round in a best of three.

Not to be hyperbolic, but this essentially turns the regular season into a meaningless exercise. Why wouldn’t every team’s goal be to do the bare minimum during the regular season and then roll the dice once the playoffs start? And if the regular season is meaningless, what possible incentive is there for teams to win their division? And if winning the division doesn’t mean anything, what possible incentive is there for owners to invest in their teams? And if every owner calculates that they can make the playoffs with 78-80 wins, why would any of them spend more money to be better? Why would any front office ignore the calculus that a team made up of pre-arb players and mid-level veterans could perform at their 80th percentile of possible outcomes, sneak its way into the playoffs, get hot for six weeks, and nab a ring?

Again, I’m not trying to be hyperbolic, but it’s really hard for me to imagine being a Major League Baseball fan if this is the case. I’ll still love baseball, and I’ll reflexively root for the Red Sox, but I can’t see myself investing a single cent in MLB if this is the future.
 

sodenj5

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16 teams after a 162 game season is a bit of a joke.
 

Devizier

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This is such a trash idea, so of course MLB embraces it. And unlike the NBA, top-seeded teams aren't especially likely to win their brackets.

There needs to be some sort of benefit for teams that win a lot of games.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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This would significantly reduce my interest in baseball. What's the point of paying attention every day for six months if your 100 win season can be rendered moot in 2 days? If I counted correctly, even the 2018 Red Sox lost consecutive games 19 times.
 

johnmd20

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Unless they somehow penalize the lower seeds in the early rounds of the playoffs, this really does make the regular season meaningless.
 

grimshaw

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This was collectively bargained for this season only. I'm sure the players will push back significantly unless they see a lot more of that playoff revenue.
 

soxhop411

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Just eyeballing the past three years, the 8th best teams in the AL finished with the following records:
78-84
80-82
80-82

Under the proposed system they would’ve each played 100+ win teams in the first round in a best of three.

Not to be hyperbolic, but this essentially turns the regular season into a meaningless exercise. Why wouldn’t every team’s goal be to do the bare minimum during the regular season and then roll the dice once the playoffs start? And if the regular season is meaningless, what possible incentive is there for teams to win their division? And if winning the division doesn’t mean anything, what possible incentive is there for owners to invest in their teams? And if every owner calculates that they can make the playoffs with 78-80 wins, why would any of them spend more money to be better? Why would any front office ignore the calculus that a team made up of pre-arb players and mid-level veterans could perform at their 80th percentile of possible outcomes, sneak its way into the playoffs, get hot for six weeks, and nab a ring?

Again, I’m not trying to be hyperbolic, but it’s really hard for me to imagine being a Major League Baseball fan if this is the case. I’ll still love baseball, and I’ll reflexively root for the Red Sox, but I can’t see myself investing a single cent in MLB if this is the future.
Exactly. Just wait until the next 100+ win team gets swept by a sub .500 team (say the Yankees or dodgers.).
 

jose melendez

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This devastates me.

This might genuinely kill baseball. It might kill it for me, anyway.

The regular season becomes almost completely meaningless in this context. Playing 162 games for seeding?

I hope the players strike for a millions years if that's what it takes to kill this.
 

Hendu for Kutch

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Boston would have clinched a playoff spot in August under this format.

What a forest-for-the-trees miss by MLB. I think the 1-game wild card game is an abomination, but at least it's exciting and only impacts the teams at the edge of the playoffs plus incentivizes teams to win their division. Adding all these extra rounds has the double whammy effect of diluting the playoffs while also rendering the regular season meaningless. We all see how the race to capture the #7 and #8 seeds in the NBA and NHL garners so much excitement. And all it costs is the destruction of the very concept of the pennant race. Friggin' brilliant.
 

glennhoffmania

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This would significantly reduce my interest in baseball. What's the point of paying attention every day for six months if your 100 win season can be rendered moot in 2 days? If I counted correctly, even the 2018 Red Sox lost consecutive games 19 times.
Yup. Adding a second WC was bad enough for me. I haven't watched any baseball this year and now I may not next year.
 

drbretto

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Just imagine the first time a 100 win team loses in the first round to a team under .500 in a short series. It doesn't just make the season meaningless, it makes the playoffs more of a crap shoot. It undermines basically everything.

So, now in recent years we have a WS cheating scandal where no players were held accountable causing ripples in the player and fan base. We've got stealth changes to baseballs making a mockery of records, and now this. I mean, I'm so not a "blame the commissioner" guy, but... I'm running out of things to point at.
 

amRadio

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I have really enjoyed the current format. The fact that it has resulted in such great drama and is now being cast aside in favor of what is likely a marginal profit increase, is a real shame. I don't think the owners know how to grow their product any more. Keeping some of the more wonky rules from this season and ruining the playoff format are changes that could affect the continued enthusiasm of long term fans pretty significantly. Stupid.
 

Seabass177

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I didn't like the new WC rules when they first came out, but it was just giving two teams that were right on the edge the chance to get that last playoff spot, while being significantly disadvantaged going into the next round. The teams that did the best over 162 games were still rewarded. As everyone else has said, this flies in the face of that first, fundamental rule of baseball, and makes the regular season something pulling up alongside meaningless.

This collective ownership group is, again, showing that they don't understand how to run this league, and I think a huge problem is that Manfred works for just the owners. Posnanski and Schur have talked about this on the Poscast, but the person running baseball should represent both the players and the owners, and be paid equally by both groups. The owners can have some Tony Clark equivalent (this feels a Torre or a LaRussa type) and then there's a Commissioner in charge of all, stewarding the actual game. It'd be great if that person actually enjoyed baseball.
 

BaseballJones

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The pandemic has allowed all kinds of entities to just radically change the rules on things, be it governments or sports leagues. This particular idea by MLB is so unbelievably awful, it's actually hard to fathom that owners want it. Except, of course...money.

But couldn't this easily be a missing the forest for the trees kind of moment? Like others here have said, this will dramatically reduce interest in the regular season, which would mean fewer eyes watching baseball on TV - which will mean lower ad revenue and lower price of TV packages which means much less money, and it would also likely mean lower attendance, which would mean reducing ticket prices or else losing money there too.

All in order to pick up some extra money for the added playoffs. Doesn't it seem like they could likely lose a lot more than they gain from this, even from a financial perspective?
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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This was collectively bargained for this season only. I'm sure the players will push back significantly unless they see a lot more of that playoff revenue.
1000% this. Just because Manfred wants it, doesn't mean he's going to get it.

I'm picturing the Dodgers cruising into the post-season with their .700 winning percentage and getting eliminated by the sub-.500 Reds because Bauer and Castillo throw back-to-back 3-hitters, while the Yankees lose 2 out of 3 to the Blue Jays. That might put a damper on Manfred's (and MLB's TV partners') joy regarding the format.
 

curly2

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If the owners want more money -- and of course they do -- how about this? Add two teams, with Nashville, Portland, Montreal, Charlotte, etc. as possible destinations. Two 16-team leagues, each with four divisions of four teams each.

For the playoffs, 6 teams per league. The two top division winners get byes, other teams play 3-game series. Then best of 5 Division Series, and best of 7 World Series like now. That way there is a real incentive to be the best during the regular season, to get that bye.

Expansion brings in lots of cash for the owners and 52 more jobs for the players. Plus no one has to be eliminated from the playoffs in one game.

Having 16 teams of 30 make the playoffs is ludicrous. Having 12 of 32 get in is doable.
 

Harry Hooper

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Expanded playoffs will kill interest in the regular season, and also generate a plethora of empty seats in the opening rounds' playoff games.

Just enforce the EXISTING rules on time between pitches already.
 

OurF'ingCity

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I could maybe get behind this idea if it was more creative - like maybe the division winners get byes and each second place team and the two best third place teams play some sort of round robin to determine which three teams will play the division winners. That would still be kind of dumb but at least it would put a strong incentive on winning the division.

But if it’s just 1 v 8, 2 v 7, etc in a three game series like they are doing this year, yeah that’s really dumb. If that happens we are going to see a lot more “load management” (think lots of 4-inning starts for aces, or stars getting not days off but rather whole series off) and suspicious IL trips and whatnot because teams will of course understand that the only thing that really matters is being as healthy as possible come playoff time.
 

The Gray Eagle

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This is a great idea! We just need a few more minor changes to go along with it.

First, make all postseason series, including the World Series, single-elimination, one game, winner-take-all. Automatic drama! So much excitement.

Allow unlimited substitutions. All the other sports do it, why not baseball? Why should we have to watch crummy batters just because they are good fielders? 9 DHs, 9 great fielders, and speedy pinch runners anytime anyone gets on base. This would really increase the quality of play, so everyone should be in favor of it. And it'd be exciting for the fans too. Managers could match up individual pitchers for each batter. They could even bring in multiple pitchers for one batter. Everyone loves late game pitching changes and strategic matchups, and it would be much more dramatic.

For player safety, all players should wear helmets and facemasks at all times. You could put the team's logo on the helmets, that would look cool. Batters should wear full body armor as well. This would keep the players safer, and no one can be against player safety.

They should put up goalposts on top of the centerfield fence-- any home run that goes through the goalposts is worth 3 runs. This will make blowout games much more exciting, as a team down 3 runs with 2 outs in the 9th inning can still tie the game with one swing of the bat! And a grand slam through the goalposts would be 6 runs, not just a measly 4. Increased scoring, more drama, that's what everyone wants.

Instead of innings, which are boring, they need to switch to a clock. Each team gets 20 minutes to bat, to try to score as many runs as they can in that time frame. Each team gets 9 timeouts per game. You could have some real rallies that way, with teams getting double digit scores in a single inning. Everyone would love that.

If there's one thing baseball fans love, it's changes to the game and its rules, so no doubt these changes will be popular. Just these few minor tweaks could really change baseball and make it just as exciting as other sports, kind of. The extra teams in the postseason is a good first step.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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If that happens we are going to see a lot more “load management” (think lots of 4-inning starts for aces, or stars getting not days off but rather whole series off) and suspicious IL trips and whatnot because teams will of course understand that the only thing that really matters is being as healthy as possible come playoff time.
Not only that, but what's the incentive for teams to spend money to put a great team on the field? To me, that seems like the real agenda here. Why should the Red Sox or Dodgers or Yankees spend $250 million a year if its basically a 50/50 shot you make the playoffs in the first place, there's little reward for regular season excellence and its a total crap shoot as to whether you end up with a chance to compete for a championship even if you do spend money on a great team that actually performs? And why would, say, the Twins got out and spend an extra $15 million on a free agent under these conditions?

As BaseballJones points out above, this is going to reduce interest in the regular season and harm ratings and therefore revenue from the NESNs of the world. Is the revenue they're going to get from TBS or whoever shows the playoffs going to make up for that? I would tend to doubt it. Are fans really going to tune in for short series games involving a lot of teams that don't deserve to be there in the first place? And there just aren't enough hours in the day to show all these games to a national audience anyway (especially since playoff games are now 4 1/2 hours long) or for people to watch them if they did. How much is television going to pay for the right to carry these games?

This is a stealth way to put a lid on spending for talent.
 

Ford Frick's Asterisk

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This is a great idea! We just need a few more minor changes to go along with it.

First, make all postseason series, including the World Series, single-elimination, one game, winner-take-all. Automatic drama! So much excitement.

Allow unlimited substitutions. All the other sports do it, why not baseball? Why should we have to watch crummy batters just because they are good fielders? 9 DHs, 9 great fielders, and speedy pinch runners anytime anyone gets on base. This would really increase the quality of play, so everyone should be in favor of it. And it'd be exciting for the fans too. Managers could match up individual pitchers for each batter. They could even bring in multiple pitchers for one batter. Everyone loves late game pitching changes and strategic matchups, and it would be much more dramatic.

For player safety, all players should wear helmets and facemasks at all times. You could put the team's logo on the helmets, that would look cool. Batters should wear full body armor as well. This would keep the players safer, and no one can be against player safety.

They should put up goalposts on top of the centerfield fence-- any home run that goes through the goalposts is worth 3 runs. This will make blowout games much more exciting, as a team down 3 runs with 2 outs in the 9th inning can still tie the game with one swing of the bat! And a grand slam through the goalposts would be 6 runs, not just a measly 4. Increased scoring, more drama, that's what everyone wants.

Instead of innings, which are boring, they need to switch to a clock. Each team gets 20 minutes to bat, to try to score as many runs as they can in that time frame. Each team gets 9 timeouts per game. You could have some real rallies that way, with teams getting double digit scores in a single inning. Everyone would love that.

If there's one thing baseball fans love, it's changes to the game and its rules, so no doubt these changes will be popular. Just these few minor tweaks could really change baseball and make it just as exciting as other sports, kind of. The extra teams in the postseason is a good first step.
You forgot the prime time reveal show where each team spins the wheel to find out who their starting pitcher will be.
 

Harry Hooper

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If this really comes to fruition, you will have to be the king of suckers to lay out the $$$ to be a season ticket holder as load management of stars and mediocre talent routinely on display becomes the norm.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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1000% this. Just because Manfred wants it, doesn't mean he's going to get it.

I'm picturing the Dodgers cruising into the post-season with their .700 winning percentage and getting eliminated by the sub-.500 Reds because Bauer and Castillo throw back-to-back 3-hitters, while the Yankees lose 2 out of 3 to the Blue Jays. That might put a damper on Manfred's (and MLB's TV partners') joy regarding the format.
Suddenly I'm beginning to like this change
 

jose melendez

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Not only that, but what's the incentive for teams to spend money to put a great team on the field? To me, that seems like the real agenda here. Why should the Red Sox or Dodgers or Yankees spend $250 million a year if its basically a 50/50 shot you make the playoffs in the first place, there's little reward for regular season excellence and its a total crap shoot as to whether you end up with a chance to compete for a championship even if you do spend money on a great team that actually performs? And why would, say, the Twins got out and spend an extra $15 million on a free agent under these conditions?

As BaseballJones points out above, this is going to reduce interest in the regular season and harm ratings and therefore revenue from the NESNs of the world. Is the revenue they're going to get from TBS or whoever shows the playoffs going to make up for that? I would tend to doubt it. Are fans really going to tune in for short series games involving a lot of teams that don't deserve to be there in the first place? And there just aren't enough hours in the day to show all these games to a national audience anyway (especially since playoff games are now 4 1/2 hours long) or for people to watch them if they did. How much is television going to pay for the right to carry these games?

This is a stealth way to put a lid on spending for talent.
I think you’ve got bingo
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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I mean it makes sense for expanding the national TV revenue, but on the other hand this will cause local TV revenue and gate attendance to continue to crater due to the regular season becoming meaningless. What is the real benefit to the owners?
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I mean it makes sense for expanding the national TV revenue, but on the other hand this will cause local TV revenue and gate attendance to continue to crater due to the regular season becoming meaningless. What is the real benefit to the owners?
I think the benefits are obvious, as some have pointed out already. Increased postseason revenues that, at least for the moment, they don't have to share as much with the players. And they can recover lost regular season revenue by decreasing payroll due to not having to spend top dollar to be a 90-95+ win team when 80 wins will likely get you into the dance/crapshoot anyway.

I think we're already seeing a taste of what we'd be in for if this became reality....

View: https://twitter.com/molly_knight/status/1306273732223102977


@molly_knight: I said on Monday night that the Dodgers were treating these last few weeks before the playoffs like spring training 3.0 because winning the division this year doesn’t make a bit of difference. Some people got very (!) mad online and called me an idiot woman. Here’s Dave Roberts:
@jorgecastillo: Roberts reiterated, now that the playoff format is official, that there isn’t an incentive to win the division beyond simply wanting to win it. “As far as the benefit, it's nonexistent.” MLB should’ve let teams pick opponents or at least included reseeding after the 1st round.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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I think the benefits are obvious, as some have pointed out already. Increased postseason revenues that, at least for the moment, they don't have to share as much with the players. And they can recover lost regular season revenue by decreasing payroll due to not having to spend top dollar to be a 90-95+ win team when 80 wins will likely get you into the dance/crapshoot anyway.

I think we're already seeing a taste of what we'd be in for if this became reality....

View: https://twitter.com/molly_knight/status/1306273732223102977


@molly_knight: I said on Monday night that the Dodgers were treating these last few weeks before the playoffs like spring training 3.0 because winning the division this year doesn’t make a bit of difference. Some people got very (!) mad online and called me an idiot woman. Here’s Dave Roberts:
@jorgecastillo: Roberts reiterated, now that the playoff format is official, that there isn’t an incentive to win the division beyond simply wanting to win it. “As far as the benefit, it's nonexistent.” MLB should’ve let teams pick opponents or at least included reseeding after the 1st round.
I guess what I'm saying is they'd need a LOT of additional postseason revenue if the regular season gate for the Sox (for instance) will go down by like 500,000 fans. $20-50 million decrease right there. Although it won't hit a lot of teams like the big market draws, I'm sure the Marlins ownership is gung ho about a larger postseason.

Nevermind that the increased revenues won't be going up 1:1 if the PA has any negotiating skill at all. They will get a larger chunk of that pie in return for allowing a larger playoff pool.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I guess what I'm saying is they'd need a LOT of additional postseason revenue if the regular season gate for the Sox (for instance) will go down by like 500,000 fans. $20-50 million decrease right there. Although it won't hit a lot of teams like the big market draws, I'm sure the Marlins ownership is gung ho about a larger postseason.

Nevermind that the increased revenues won't be going up 1:1 if the PA has any negotiating skill at all. They will get a larger chunk of that pie in return for allowing a larger playoff pool.
I agree that the increased revenues aren't going to be as big as the owners think once the PA has their say, which is why I'm not going to get too worked up about this yet. A lot has to happen before a 16-team playoff format happens following a "normal" season. This year's dry run might not go the way the owners anticipate, even without considering the financials of it all.
 

The Gray Eagle

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You forgot the prime time reveal show where each team spins the wheel to find out who their starting pitcher will be.
Great idea! People love gender reveal parties, and nothing ever goes wrong with them, so this would be similarly popular. I bet we could get Manfred to sign on to this, with a giant spinning wheel that shoots out flames and fireworks when the pitcher's name is revealed. Put it somewhere scenic, like Redwood National Park in California.

And I forgot this one-- instead of basing postseason seeding on a team's record, they could have a committee choose the seeding behind closed doors, and then reveal the brackets to everyone on TV, just like in college basketball. That would be the official start to the October Madness tournament. Don't forget to fill out your brackets!
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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I mean it makes sense for expanding the national TV revenue, but on the other hand this will cause local TV revenue and gate attendance to continue to crater due to the regular season becoming meaningless. What is the real benefit to the owners?
Not that I'm in anyway in favor of this proposal, but do you have anything to back up these two claims? Revenues have been increasing steadily since 2001 - I can't seem to find how it's split, but I assume a large portion of that is TV. And attendance was down 1.7% last season; while albeit continuing a trend since its high water mark in 2007 (total 14% decrease), I'm not sure that classifies as cratering.
 

OurF'ingCity

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Not that I'm in anyway in favor of this proposal, but do you have anything to back up these two claims? Revenues have been increasing steadily since 2001 - I can't seem to find how it's split, but I assume a large portion of that is TV. And attendance was down 1.7% last season; while albeit continuing a trend since its high water mark in 2007 (total 14% decrease), I'm not sure that classifies as cratering.
A 14% drop in attendance over a ~14 year period is a pretty bad trend, IMO - particularly when there is no clear plan to increase attendance or at least stop the continued decline going forward.

The stupid thing about this is that it's actually pretty obvious what baseball's issues are: pace of play and increase in "three true outcomes." So fans are getting longer games with less action in each game. And these are things that wouldn't be that hard to fix - instituting a pitch clock would pretty much instantaneously fix pace of play issues, and there are numerous tweaks to reduce Ks and walks including tightening the strike zone, lowering the mound, etc. (all things that baseball has done before).
 

jon abbey

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I would say that baseball's biggest issue in dropping attendance is ticket cost (plus parking etc), nothing to do with the game itself.
 

OurF'ingCity

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I would say that baseball's biggest issue in dropping attendance is ticket cost (plus parking etc), nothing to do with the game itself.
I'm sure that's a factor too, but, again, that's a theoretically easy fix to implement if they wanted to, they just have shown no desire to do so.
 

Ale Xander

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Not only that, but what's the incentive for teams to spend money to put a great team on the field? To me, that seems like the real agenda here. Why should the Red Sox or Dodgers or Yankees spend $250 million a year if its basically a 50/50 shot you make the playoffs in the first place, there's little reward for regular season excellence and its a total crap shoot as to whether you end up with a chance to compete for a championship even if you do spend money on a great team that actually performs? And why would, say, the Twins got out and spend an extra $15 million on a free agent under these conditions?

As BaseballJones points out above, this is going to reduce interest in the regular season and harm ratings and therefore revenue from the NESNs of the world. Is the revenue they're going to get from TBS or whoever shows the playoffs going to make up for that? I would tend to doubt it. Are fans really going to tune in for short series games involving a lot of teams that don't deserve to be there in the first place? And there just aren't enough hours in the day to show all these games to a national audience anyway (especially since playoff games are now 4 1/2 hours long) or for people to watch them if they did. How much is television going to pay for the right to carry these games?

This is a stealth way to put a lid on spending for talent.
To me, this seems like incentivizing spending on #1, 2, 3 starters (who don't Kershaw when they get to PS) and the back end of the bullpen, to the detriment of the rest of the roster. If anyone gets so much as a hangnail, you rest them longer than necessary. June, July, and August will be really boring (because by then you'll know if you're "good enough") and that's usually when you have the most demand for attending in person (weather in northern cities, vacation, and lack of other sports)
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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Not that I'm in anyway in favor of this proposal, but do you have anything to back up these two claims? Revenues have been increasing steadily since 2001 - I can't seem to find how it's split, but I assume a large portion of that is TV. And attendance was down 1.7% last season; while albeit continuing a trend since its high water mark in 2007 (total 14% decrease), I'm not sure that classifies as cratering.
Using "continuing" to crater is maybe strong, but my conjecture is that an expanded postseason would certainly make the curve turn downward at a faster rate than now during the regular season. Anecdotally the fans here are pretty discouraged by taking away a lot of the meaning of the regular season, but this is a self-selecting sample, so we can only speculate if the 1.7% decrease becomes 2.5% or 5% the next season actually played in front of fans.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Portsmouth, NH
A 14% drop in attendance over a ~14 year period is a pretty bad trend, IMO - particularly when there is no clear plan to increase attendance or at least stop the continued decline going forward.

The stupid thing about this is that it's actually pretty obvious what baseball's issues are: pace of play and increase in "three true outcomes." So fans are getting longer games with less action in each game. And these are things that wouldn't be that hard to fix - instituting a pitch clock would pretty much instantaneously fix pace of play issues, and there are numerous tweaks to reduce Ks and walks including tightening the strike zone, lowering the mound, etc. (all things that baseball has done before).
My question was about the usage of the term "continue to crater". I'm not arguing they are trending up or that they haven't begun to creep. They have no cratered.

Solutions are another debate.
Using "continuing" to crater is maybe strong, but my conjecture is that an expanded postseason would certainly make the curve turn downward at a faster rate than now during the regular season. Anecdotally the fans here are pretty discouraged by taking away a lot of the meaning of the regular season, but this is a self-selecting sample, so we can only speculate if the 1.7% decrease becomes 2.5% or 5% the next season actually played in front of fans.
Eh. I'm not entirely sure that's true. I'm not trying to be argumentative - at worst devil's advocate - but the extra teams likely aren't exactly basking in TV revenue or attendance to being with. The fans here - on SoSH (long o) or in general in "Red Sox Nation", if the team is good and competitive, they're going to sell out. Same can be said by a lot of other markets. TV revenue is, at least in my opinion, tied into the advances we've seen in technology and the cost of tickets. Why on earth would I go to a game at Fenway, deal with the ticket pries, parking, traffic, food/beer prices, etc - especially with the model family of four - when I can watch on HD in the comfort of my own home, have better food for cheaper and not deal with the other crap? Baseball attendance is weird in my opinion, or at least difficult to compare to other sports - 81 home games vs 41 or 8; not much lost on the TV vs live. Oh and I hate to say it, but as much as I love it, it's a boring game that doesn't compare to the other three. Baseball is dying a slow death in early stages of hospice, but it's not because of tinkering with the playoff formula. It's because it doesn't lend to today's consumption - it still is shorter than a football game and it's probably on par with basketball and hockey.
 
What expansion (if any) to the playoffs would you support? I think I'd be OK with one of these two scenarios:

1) Add another wild card team in each league (total of 3 per league): WC3@WC2 in a single game, then the winner @WC1 in a single game, and that winner plays the best divisional winner.
2) Add two wild card teams in each league (total of 4 per league): same as above, except WC4@WC1 is another game, and the higher-seeded winner would host the lower-seeded winner in the second WC game.

Both of these would add extra teams to the playoffs and allow more teams to feel they are "in contention", making their September games meaningful and presumably driving up revenues and TV ratings somewhat in those markets. But both would also magnify the importance of winning your division, and especially having the best record in the league - the latter would mean you'd potentially get to play a wild card team which has already burned its two best pitchers - and so wouldn't ruin the regular season.

If this is where the owners and players eventually end up, that wouldn't be the end of the world, would it?
 

snowmanny

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 8, 2005
11,778
I actually cannot imagine getting all excited about a pennant race in which the Red Sox are battling right make the playoffs as a 7/8 seed with a .500 record.


I am perfectly OK with them not making the postseason when they win ~85 games. I prefer it.
 

cornwalls@6

Less observant than others
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2010
2,099
from the wilds of western ma
I'll add to the chorus of this being an awful idea, but as others have noted, feels like a pubic negotiating ploy. Maybe we get a reduced increase in playoff teams, maybe the owners leverage it for something else they want. But if this did ever come to pass, I'd have to seriously re-consider committing to 15-20 games a year as season ticket sub-contractor. I still enjoy the ballpark experience in general, but the drama and interest of a legitimate playoff chase is a big part of the appeal as well. Absent that, just grazing a game here and there would probably scratch the itch. As a side note, MLB is now the worst combination of owners/soulless corporate hack commissioner in all of US pro sports.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Sep 10, 2017
1,984
Eh. I'm not entirely sure that's true. I'm not trying to be argumentative - at worst devil's advocate - but the extra teams likely aren't exactly basking in TV revenue or attendance to being with. The fans here - on SoSH (long o) or in general in "Red Sox Nation", if the team is good and competitive, they're going to sell out. Same can be said by a lot of other markets. TV revenue is, at least in my opinion, tied into the advances we've seen in technology and the cost of tickets. Why on earth would I go to a game at Fenway, deal with the ticket pries, parking, traffic, food/beer prices, etc - especially with the model family of four - when I can watch on HD in the comfort of my own home, have better food for cheaper and not deal with the other crap? Baseball attendance is weird in my opinion, or at least difficult to compare to other sports - 81 home games vs 41 or 8; not much lost on the TV vs live. Oh and I hate to say it, but as much as I love it, it's a boring game that doesn't compare to the other three. Baseball is dying a slow death in early stages of hospice, but it's not because of tinkering with the playoff formula. It's because it doesn't lend to today's consumption - it still is shorter than a football game and it's probably on par with basketball and hockey.
No offense taken, I certainly don't have the answers. I am somewhat surprised that when reviewing Baseball Reference, the Sox have been pretty much level for attendance between 2013 and 2019, after their last year of drawing over 3 million in 2012. So the revenue decreases must be on the media side, which makes sense seeing as NESN ratings were down 14% in 2019. Possibly due to the craptitude of the defending champion club, but ratings also dropped 20% per Sam Kennedy between 2016 and 2017 when the teams played to identical records:

In this way I kind of see why the ownership would say that we're bleeding ratings locally anyway, let's try to make up for it with the national contract and give them more playoff games.