Jump to content
NBC Sports Edge Forums

Manfred continues to want to kill baseball...


Recommended Posts

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2020/09/mlb-rob-manfred-expanded-playoffs-universal-dh-extra-innings-2021.html

The 2020 MLB season looks like nothing we’ve ever seen in the sport’s century-plus history. A 60-game schedule with 28-man rosters, frequent seven-inning doubleheaders, a universal DH and runners magically manifesting on the bases in extra innings have all been chalked up as necessities to get through a pandemic-shortened season that had a limited ramp-up period and was set to take place in a span of just 67 days. This year’s 16-team playoff field was implemented as a means to help curb some of the broad-reaching revenue losses that have hit all 30 clubs.

Unsurprisingly, however, it seems as though MLB is mulling the permanent implementation of some of these aspects. Speaking at an online event hosted by Hofstra University this week, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said he hopes to make the expanded postseason format permanent, adding that he believes the opposition to the universal DH is waning and stating that the extra-inning rule has been received better than he anticipated (YouTube link to the entire 71-minute appearance).

“I’m a fan of the expanded playoffs,” Manfred said of this year’s 16-team field. “…I think getting back to that three-game series in the first round is a positive change. I think the initial round could have the kind of appeal you see in the early couple days in the NCAA tournament. It’s going to be crazy — just a lot of baseball in a compressed period of time. We’re going to have a bracket, obviously. People love brackets and love picking who’s going to come through those brackets. I think there’s a lot to commend it. It is one of those changes that I hope becomes a permanent part of our landscape.”

Nothing is set in stone on that front just yet, but the concept of an expanded playoff structure had been discussed and was generally supported by the “overwhelming majority” of owners prior to this year’s implementation, per Manfred.

Postseason expansion has indeed been floated speculatively in the past, although pushing all the way to 16 teams was an even more radical jump than ownership initially sought in return-to-play negotiations. Back in March, the league was reportedly looking at a 14-team structure, although that presumably would’ve served as a gateway to the 16-team format that is now in place. It’s also odd to tie the three-game Wild Card series to postseason expansion, as the league could simply have pushed the existing, sudden-death Wild Card Game into a three-game series without adding more teams to the field.

The league can spin the reasoning however it chooses, positioning the broadened structure as a win for fans — that surely is the case in many instances — but the ultimate goal is the greatly increased revenue associated with extra postseason play. With or without fans in attendance, adding six teams to the field will cause television revenue to soar. It’s been reported that this year’s expansion could generate $200-300MM in additional television revenue, and the potential for broadened gate revenue in subsequent seasons only creates further incentive for teams to endorse the larger field.

Manfred wasn’t so straightforward with his own personal endorsement of the universal designated hitter, but he strongly implied that he feels the on-field product is enhanced by the DH in the National League.

“I think that playing with the designated hitter every day, the best I could tell you right now, has softened the opposition to the DH in the National League,” said Manfred. “The experience of doing it, the offense that it injects into the game, the way it makes it more exciting — I’m not sure it’s going to last, but I do think it has definitely changed some minds in the National League, which is obviously where the opposition to having a single set of rules has been centered over the years.”

Regarding the most radical rule change in 2020, Manfred suggested that placing a runner on second base in extra innings not only has a chance to stick beyond 2020 but has been well-received to this point. The concept has been polarizing, at best, among fans on social media — MLBTR readers were against it four-to-one back in June, though that was of course before seeing it put into practice — and has also been panned by some players.

“The extra-inning rule has been more positively received than I would have expected,” said the commissioner. “I told people, I said publicly before Covid, that I didn’t see this rule coming to the Major Leagues. I think it has a chance now. It’s been good. People see it as a strategic rule. It’s a whole different thought process that goes into handling the extra innings. I think it’s a good thing.”

Not every rule change is likely to stay in place. Manfred cast doubt on whether seven-inning doubleheaders would remain in place beyond the 2020 season, characterizing the traditional nine-inning length of games as something that isn’t likely to be altered on a permanent basis.

Looking further down the road, Manfred again touched on the topic of expansion to 32 teams. The commissioner has long been a proponent of adding two new teams to the league but acknowledged that the Covid-19 pandemic — the revenue losses and the time dedicated to navigating a season amid it — have likely pushed expansion down the road a ways.

“Expansion makes great sense for baseball, just based on the math,” said Manfred. “Fours work way better than fives. We have five-team divisions right now, 15 teams in each league. Those fives are rough when you go to make a schedule. … Getting to 32 [teams] is a really appealing idea from a schedule format perspective.”

Manfred didn’t delve into potential sites for new teams, though he did go back to a previously stated belief that international expansion beyond the U.S. and Canada would be good for the game’s growth, citing Mexico’s existing baseball culture as a “great opportunity” for the league to explore at some point.

Eventual changes to the rulebook, the structure of the season and the very composition of the league have long felt inevitable, but it’s certainly notable that the league has implemented this many changes to the 2020 season with the looming expiration of the 2016-21 collective bargaining agreement. The impending negotiations on a new CBA undoubtedly played a role in the MLBPA’s decision to only agree to expanded playoffs in 2020, as the expanded format can now be a point of leverage in future negotiations rather than the status quo heading into those talks.

Even if some of the league’s desired changes for the 2021 season don’t come to fruition on the heels of this year’s experimental campaign, don’t be surprised if (or when) they are once again major talking points as MLB and the MLBPA again come to the negotiating table in a year’s time.

-----------------

This guy is so bad for baseball...  I would rather have Selig back...

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 77
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Horrible analogy. Currently 68 out of 350 teams make the ncaa tournament. Expanding the mlb playoffs would be like expanding the tournament to 175.  No one would want to watch it. 

Half of the NBA teams make the playoffs, so this can't be that bad, right? Well, the best regular season team advances in the NBA 80% of the time. StatsByLopez looked into this and found that to

Expanding the playoffs like that would pretty much obliterate the value of the regular season. Let's hope not. 

1) Universal DH is a long time coming. Pitchers are awful hitters. That’s a great move. 
2) I’m old enough to remember examples like 1985, when the Yankees were the second best team in the AL and didn’t make the playoffs. But “purists” didn’t want to expand. 
Expanding playoffs will include more teams and fan bases in the playoff chase and the playoffs. That’s a good thing. And it won’t render the regular season meaningless. There will be many teams with a couple games of each other. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Backdoor Slider said:

1) Universal DH is a long time coming. Pitchers are awful hitters. That’s a great move. 
2) I’m old enough to remember examples like 1985, when the Yankees were the second best team in the AL and didn’t make the playoffs. But “purists” didn’t want to expand. 
Expanding playoffs will include more teams and fan bases in the playoff chase and the playoffs. That’s a good thing. And it won’t render the regular season meaningless. There will be many teams with a couple games of each other. 

 


1. Agreed.

 

2. When 8 out of 15 teams make the playoffs that’s insanity and allows luck too much 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome. Lets reward teams for finishing at .500 (or worse) by making the playoffs and having a shot at winning the WS. 
 

Give it some time and we’ll end up with every team making the playoffs. Because it’s “exciting for the fans” and “upsets in the postseason are fun”.

 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, CuredMeats said:

Expanding the playoffs like that would pretty much obliterate the value of the regular season. Let's hope not. 

Exactly my first thought. It would take a sport that already has a long season where each individual games value is relatively low to an even lower level. Also would give more teams excuses not to spend because they can say their 76 win team was "right in the battle" for one of the WC spots etc

Making the playoffs SHOULD be challenging, that's the whole point of earning a spot. Changing it up to where over half the damn league makes it would defeat that purpose

Edited by Blood Brother
  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Half of the NBA teams make the playoffs, so this can't be that bad, right?

Well, the best regular season team advances in the NBA 80% of the time. StatsByLopez looked into this and found that to get the same rate of the best team advancing, MLB would need to have a BEST-OF-75 SERIES!

https://statsbylopez.netlify.app/post/part-ii-randomness-of-series/

This move is terrible and I mean that. We're extremely unlikely to get dynasties in this sport with this format and, likewise, the best teams are unlikely to play each other in high-stakes meaningful games. When people talk about "everybody gets a trophy" mentality, this is what they're talking about. It's not going to attract new fans; new fans are won over with high stakes games featuring the best teams and the best players and we will have less and less of that and, better yet, it will render the second half of the season meaningless for the better teams. They'll instead get to look forward to a short series where some bad team can roll out their ace and hope for the best.

It's unfortunate that young fans are less likely to to see MLB produce runs like the Bulls had or year-after-year playoff rivalries.

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Sine_cera said:

Awesome. Lets reward teams for finishing at .500 (or worse) by making the playoffs and having a shot at winning the WS. 
 

Give it some time and we’ll end up with every team making the playoffs. Because it’s “exciting for the fans” and “upsets in the postseason are fun”.

 

We do live in the era of "Participation Trophies" now - can't have some teams feeling left out or inadequate 🤣🤣

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, KingJoffrey said:

I like the Universal DH.  Should have been around since the 70's.

Absolutely.  Best thing that has happened to baseball since the end of the dead ball era is the DH.  And if the Phillies owner hadn't skipped out on that NL meeting for a damn fishing trip thinking the DH was a done deal in that league the world would have been a far better place the last half century.  Carpenter family, you have a LOT to answer for.

I can't see the NL going back to 1800's baseball next year.  The deed is done.  Players to be used as DH guys have been acquired.  So let us move on from pitchers looking stupid at the plate.  Put on your big boy pants and make your pitchers actually throw to hitters.

And I'm fine with the runner on second in extra innings because I hate 18 inning, 6 hour games of endless batters just trying to hit the stupid ball out of the park so they can be the big hero and then they strike out endlessly.

I'm not for expanding the playoffs because baseball has the longest regular season (162 games) of any sport and it better count for something other than letting in .500 teams into the playoffs.  Now I'm fine with returning to the old 154 games season they used to have so the current playoffs set-up stops spilling into November and the World Series can be played without snow and sleet delays.  But letting more than half the teams in just makes the product way too cheap.  10 teams in the playoffs is already a third of the league.  That's more than plenty.  Stop there.  Enough with participation trophy baseball.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Backdoor Slider said:

I bet none of you watch March Madness 😂 

Too many teams make it! Participation trophies!  I bet college basketball would be more popular among fans if just 4 teams made the playoffs.

Horrible analogy. Currently 68 out of 350 teams make the ncaa tournament. Expanding the mlb playoffs would be like expanding the tournament to 175.  No one would want to watch it. 

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, ty5592 said:

Horrible analogy. Currently 68 out of 350 teams make the ncaa tournament. Expanding the mlb playoffs would be like expanding the tournament to 175.  No one would want to watch it. 

I mean, you’re wrong. Everyone would still watch. People love Cinderella stories and bad teams knocking off good teams (as long as it’s not your team). It would be like one more round lol.

When the 83-78 Cardinals won the World Series, was everyone outraged and screaming about participation trophies? I don’t remember it. It was a fun story for many.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, Backdoor Slider said:

I bet none of you watch March Madness 😂 

Too many teams make it! Participation trophies!  I bet college basketball would be more popular among fans if just 4 teams made the playoffs.

A top-4 team has won 63% of the NCAA tournaments. The six division winners in baseball have only accounted for 70% of World Series trophies since the implementation of the Wild Card and they're guaranteed to at least have two spots in the final four. Baseball is much much more random than basketball, as I said before and you seem to have conveniently overlooked.

Edit: By the way, the more appropriate question would be who here watches regular season college basketball? Also, can we cram all of the playoff baseball games into about 12 days? And can we shorten them to two hours? (Don't answer; I know Manfred is working on this.)

Edited by Hanghow
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Hanghow said:

A top-4 team has won 63% of the NCAA tournaments. The six division winners in baseball have only accounted for 70% of World Series trophies since the implementation of the Wild Card and they're guaranteed to at least have two spots in the final four. Baseball is much much more random than basketball, as I said before and you seem to have conveniently overlooked.

Maybe we scrap playoffs then and do roto style! We all agree 162 is a grind and we love it. Best team after 162 is the champ! Or how about top team in AL & NL just plays for the championship? Why reward those other losers who couldn’t even be the best team after 162?

If not, what makes you think you know the correct number of playoff teams there should be? Why not have more teams, and fans, engaged in September playoff runs? And why not have stories of David knocking off Goliath? Sell me on how this is bad for baseball.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Backdoor Slider said:

Maybe we scrap playoffs then and do roto style! We all agree 162 is a grind and we love it. Best team after 162 is the champ! Or how about top team in AL & NL just plays for the championship? Why reward those other losers who couldn’t even be the best team after 162?

If not, what makes you think you know the correct number of playoff teams there should be? Why not have more teams, and fans, engaged in September playoff runs? And why not have stories of David knocking off Goliath? Sell me on how this is bad for baseball.

Sell me on it being good. The most viewed World Series were all during the era of 4-team playoffs. They're down since the 90's Yankees run and see bigger bumps when the big market teams are in it; not when two Davids are fighting it out.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Backdoor Slider said:

Maybe we scrap playoffs then and do roto style! We all agree 162 is a grind and we love it. Best team after 162 is the champ! Or how about top team in AL & NL just plays for the championship? Why reward those other losers who couldn’t even be the best team after 162?

If not, what makes you think you know the correct number of playoff teams there should be? Why not have more teams, and fans, engaged in September playoff runs? And why not have stories of David knocking off Goliath? Sell me on how this is bad for baseball.

It kills regular season baseball and does not reward excellent or at least the very least legit over .500 teams for doing the work.  Also, it is plain silly. 

I don't want Baltimore winning the World Series this year.  There is Cinderella in 10 teams.  Fine.  16 teams?  Please.  If one of the weaker teams wins it is like one of Cinderella's two ugly step-sisters wins and turns the whole damn season into a giant pumpkin in the process.  No one wants that.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Hanghow said:

Sell me on it being good. The most viewed World Series were all during the era of 4-team playoffs. They're down since the 90's Yankees run and see bigger bumps when the big market teams are in it; not when two Davids are fighting it out.

TV ratings are meaningless. They peak in the 70s and go pretty much straight down? That has everything to do with more options on TV, declining interest in baseball, etc. If we went to 4 teams again, I promise you ratings don’t magically jump back up.

Keeping more fan bases interested in a playoff chase into September can only be seen as a positive as far as I’m concerned.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, The Big Bat Theory said:

It kills regular season baseball and does not reward excellent or at least the very least legit over .500 teams for doing the work.  Also, it is plain silly. 

I don't want Baltimore winning the World Series this year.  There is Cinderella in 10 teams.  Fine.  16 teams?  Please.  If one of the weaker teams wins it is like one of Cinderella's two ugly step-sisters wins and turns the whole damn season into a giant pumpkin in the process.  No one wants that.

So let’s reward true excellence and get rid of playoffs altogether. Because anything can happen in a short series, and it’s not indicative of who had the best season. So roto-style MLB. I’m down!

Link to post
Share on other sites

It is so sad to see the people that want the DH to stay in the NL...  So sad...

But mainly I hate the idea of making the playoffs have more teams...  It was fine the way it was, why make it a fustercluck...

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Backdoor Slider said:

TV ratings are meaningless. They peak in the 70s and go pretty much straight down? That has everything to do with more options on TV, declining interest in baseball, etc. If we went to 4 teams again, I promise you ratings don’t magically jump back up.

Keeping more fan bases interested in a playoff chase into September can only be seen as a positive as far as I’m concerned.

I'm giving you facts and you're giving me feelings...

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, Hanghow said:

Sell me on it being good. The most viewed World Series were all during the era of 4-team playoffs. They're down since the 90's Yankees run and see bigger bumps when the big market teams are in it; not when two Davids are fighting it out.

Correlation does not equal causation. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...