Tag:New York Yankees
Posted on: January 24, 2009 7:48 pm
 

MLB needs to fix it's playoff format

I've been patiently waiting for the Toronto Blue Jays to make another run at the playoffs since 1994 when the Expos were robbed of their chance.

Year in and year out the Jays have been forced to compete in a division against the high spending New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.  Yet every year the Jays go into the season with high hopes and quickly finish somewhere around .500 baseball.

This offseason has been no different:  The Yankees have signed high profile players such as CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett (former Jay), and Mark Teixeira.  The Jays have made no moves since they're bleeding money, so in exchange they are hyping up 2009 as a year where "this time" we will be healthy.  Heard that argument for 3 years now and I doubt it will come to fruition.

What I have noticed however is that every year a lot of good teams are missing the playoffs and the playoff system in MLB is vastly irregular compared to other sports.

 

Hockey for example has 30 teams and 16 of them make the playoffs every year.  Rarely does the number 1 team actually win the championship.

Football has 32 teams and 12 of them make the playoffs every year.  Football is harder to use as a comparison since they only play 16 games so every game really does matter.

Basketball has 30 teams and 16 of them make the playoffs every year.  Sadly teams with below .500 make the playoffs in this league but that is more to do with East conference versus Western conference disparity.

And of course MLB has 30 teams and 8 of them make the playoffs.  Looking more closely there are almost as many teams not in the playoffs as there are in the playoffs with better records than at least one team in the playoffs.  Say that 3 times fast...

Let's take an analysis since 1995 since the playoffs format moved from 4 teams in the playoffs to 8 teams.

1995

Wildcard NL Colorado Rockies 77-67, NL West LA Dodgers 78-66

Teams screwed over by playoff system: California Angels 78-67

1996

NL Central St. Louis Cardinals 88-74, AL Wildcard Baltimore Orioles 88-74

Teams screwed over by playoff system: Montreal Expos 88-74

1997

Cleveland Indians AL Central 86-75, Houston Astros 84-76

Teams screwed over by playoff system: New York Mets 88-74, LA Dodgers 88-74, Anaheim Angels 84-78

1998

AL West Texas Rangers 88-74

Teams screwed over by playoff system: Toronto Blue Jays 88-74, NY Mets 88-74, San Francisco 89-74

1999

AL Wildcard Boston Red Sox 94-68, AL West Texas Rangers 95-67

Teams screwed over by playoff system: Cincinnati Reds 96-67

2000

AL East New York Yankees 87-74

Teams screwed over by playoff system: Cleveland 90-72

2001

NL East Atlanta Braves 88-74

Teams screwed over by playoff system: San Francisco Giants 90-72, Chicago Cubs 88-74

2002

Teams screwed over by playoff system: Boston Red Sox 93-69, Seattle 93-69, LAD 92-70

2003

AL Central Minnesota Twins 90-72, NL Central Chicago Cubs 88-74

Teams screwed over by playoff system: Seattle Mariners 93-69

2004

Teams screwed over by playoff system: Oakland Athletics 91-71, San Francisco Giants 91-71

2005

NL East Atlanta Braves 90-72, San Diego Padres 82-80

Teams screwed over by playoff system: Cleveland Indians 93-69, Philadelphia Phillies 88-74, Oakland Athletics 88-74, Minnesota Twins 83-79

2006

NL Central St. Louis Cardinals 83-78, NL West LAD 88-74, NL Wildcrad San Diego Padres 88-74

Teams screwed over by playoff system: Toronto Blue Jays 87-75, Boston Red Sox 86-76, Chicago White Sox 90-72, LA Angels 89-73, Philadelphia Phillies 85-77

2007

NL Cental Chicago Cubs 85-77

Teams screwed over by playoff system:New York Mets 88-74, San Diego Padres 89-74, Seattle Mariners 88-74, Detroit Tigers 88-74

2008

AL Central Chicago White Sox 89-74, NL West LAD 84-78

Teams screwed over by playoff system: New York Yankees 89-73, Toronto Blue Jays 86-76, Minnesota Twins 88-75, New York Mets 89-73, Florida Marlins 84-77, Houston Astros 86-75, St. Louis Cardinals 86-76,

 

Baseball support has been eroding slowly over the years and I suggest now is the time for change.

MLB should go to a conference format allow 6 or 8 teams from the NL and AL respectively into the playoffs.  Not only will this allow more teams the opportunity to compete for the championship but most importantly it will allow smaller market teams fans to experience MLB playoffs.  The playoffs are an exciting experience for any fan and what better way to increase baseball support than to have more cities experience it every year.

In 1992 and 1993 you couldn't buy a seat at the Sky Dome; home of the Blue Jays.  Now they can't sell half of the tickets unless the Yankees or Red Sox's are in town.  Give the small market teams a chance to taste the playoffs and you will give the teams a chance to sell more tickets, and build a stronger fan base. After all no one likes a loser but everyone likes a winner.  In 2008 7 teams alone were a more wiinign team than a team that made the playoffs.

The Jays and many other small market teams (large as well) do have winning years and it is time to recognize them.

Posted on: December 23, 2008 10:47 am
 

Financial State of Baseball

Free agents and particularly Mark Teixeira could provide a nice boost to any team.

The question is can these teams really afford to dump so much salary just on one player? (Estimated around $20-23 million a season for 8-10 years)  Yes the Yankees and the Red Sox can but  the Orioles, Nationals, and the Angels should focus on building from within and on finding cheaper free agent bargains. 

Most teams in baseball can barely afford to keep the team they have let alone add a huge salary like Tex's.  The Padres for example are having a fire sale on prize possessions like Jake Peavy who comes at a bargain rate of around $12 million a season for 4 more seasons.  This is a huge discount for a former Cy-Young winner particularly when players like AJ Burnett who has barely stayed healthy for a full season with almost a career 4 era just went for $17 million a season.  (Note: thank goodness he is no longer a Blue Jay)

You can already see a huge drop in corporate sponsorships within sports.  This was happening before the bust of the world economy took front and centre stage.  Top that off with a decreasing market for baseball and you have a perfect storm of financial trouble in the MLB.

Yes the Rays made a good run on a small budget in 09'.  They did it however on having almost the worst record in baseball for 10 straight years and being rewarded with high draft picks.  Fortunately they were able to draft well, keep a good portion of their prospects, and many of them are beginning to pan out.  Shame no one attends their games to see how good they really are.  Unfortunately for the Rays as soon as there players become eligible for free agency they won't be able to afford to keep any of them.

It would be nice to get some serious discussions surrounding change in baseball to increase interest.  Maybe around issues like increasing the number of teams in the playoffs, tweaking the divisions possibly into conferences, salary caps, increase the pitching rate, remove the batter eligibility to step outside of the batters box once the bat begins, trading draft picks, instant replay to other aspects of the game, or even reducing the sheer number of games.  I don't subscribe to any of these necessarily but I do think they should be considered more seriously than just an off the cuff joke over a festive beverage.

Maybe it's time to move on past the Selig era and into the Gen X era and take a serious look into changes.  Something a little more exciting and controversial than a Home Run review cam.  Honestly was that really so hard to adopt?  Yeah my 93 year old Grandma can't be bothered to use a cell phone but then again she can't make it to the ball park either anymore...

 
 
 
 
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