When it comes to baseball, I’m not much of a traditionalist. Our good friend, N in Seattle, most certainly is. So I’ve been curious to hear his thoughts on the proposed playoff expansion. I might be wrong, but I’m betting he hates it even more than Tim Lincecum. That said, I think I have a proposal that he’ll hate even more than that, but it would be a much more exciting playoff format than anything I’ve heard proposed before.
The two main complaints that I’ve seen about expanding the playoffs by two teams is that it will extend the season even more, and it will give the division winners too much time to rest up while the wild cards battle it out. This idea solves both of those problems AND it adds two more teams to the mix. Here’s how it works:
Six teams in each league make the playoffs. The three division winners and the three teams with the next best records are all seeded by record (so if a team wins a division with a terrible record, like the Seahawks did this year in the NFL, they’ll still make the playoffs, but as the 6 seed). They then play 9 games in 11 days, 3 each against a different playoff team:
Seed 1 plays: 4, 5, @6
Seed 2 plays: @5, 6, 3
Seed 3 plays: 6, 4, @2
Seed 4 plays: @1, @3, 5
Seed 5 plays: 2, @1, @4
Seed 6 plays: @3, @2, 1
The higher seeded team in each match-up plays at home. After the 9 games, the two teams with the best record will move on to play in the LCS and the rest of the playoffs will continue as it always has. If there’s a tie in the standings at the end of 9 games, the tie-breaker should probably be run differential, which could make for some interesting strategies in some late games.
I’m now ducking…
UPDATE: I’m putting way too much thought into this, but I’ve updated the original schedule so that even the 1 and 2 seed will have to play some road playoff games and the 5 and 6 seed get home games. The top three seeds would get 6 home, 3 away. Wild cards get 3 home, 6 away. Still waiting for that call from Bud Selig…