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View Full Version : Al Leiter's plan to restructure the playoffs



savafan
05-22-2006, 12:35 PM
http://www.nypost.com/sports/66268.htm

YES' Al Leiter is in favor of breaking the leagues into two divisions - AL East and West for example - and having four wild cards in the playoffs.

Under Leiter's idea, the two division champs would receive first-round byes, while the four wild cards would play best-of-three with no days off.

The format would give more weight to the regular season, while increasing the amount of playoff teams. Leiter, who was a member of the Bud Selig's Commissioner Initiative for the 21st Century, thinks this plan will eventually come to fruition.

"I think it is just a matter of time,'' Leiter said.

edabbs44
05-22-2006, 12:38 PM
http://www.nypost.com/sports/66268.htm

YES' Al Leiter is in favor of breaking the leagues into two divisions - AL East and West for example - and having four wild cards in the playoffs.

Under Leiter's idea, the two division champs would receive first-round byes, while the four wild cards would play best-of-three with no days off.

The format would give more weight to the regular season, while increasing the amount of playoff teams. Leiter, who was a member of the Bud Selig's Commissioner Initiative for the 21st Century, thinks this plan will eventually come to fruition.

"I think it is just a matter of time,'' Leiter said.
Only in NY does this make news. Imagine if GG came up with this beauty?

Johnny Footstool
05-22-2006, 12:40 PM
Adding wild-card teams gives LESS weight to the regular season.

RedFanAlways1966
05-22-2006, 12:41 PM
Sounds good to me. As long as they do not expand it to more than 3 rounds (WC, League Championship, WS), I can deal with it. Anyone who does not live near NYC, Boston, Atlanta, St. Louis or Houston should dig the extra teams that make it.

I like Al's idea.... but I still don't forgive him for his part in that extra game in '99.

edabbs44
05-22-2006, 12:44 PM
Sounds good to me. As long as they do not expand it to more than 3 rounds (WC, League Championship, WS), I can deal with it. Anyone who does not live near NYC, Boston, Atlanta, St. Louis or Houston should dig the extra teams that make it.

I like Al's idea.... but I still don't forgive him for his part in that extra game in '99.
His idea would make it 4 rounds.

dsmith421
05-22-2006, 12:51 PM
Adding wild-card teams gives LESS weight to the regular season.

Disagree. Under Leiter's proposal, winning a division title would take on greater importance given that the wild-card squads would be forced to go all-out to win the three-game miniseries. With no days off, that means the division champion would be handed a big advantage in the next playoff round, as they will have several days to rest and get their pitching in line. The system right now only affords a limited advantage--home-field--to two of the three division winners.

I like the idea and think it makes a great deal of sense, although I might advocate that both second-placed teams should get automatic wild-card spots.

edabbs44
05-22-2006, 01:10 PM
Disagree. Under Leiter's proposal, winning a division title would take on greater importance given that the wild-card squads would be forced to go all-out to win the three-game miniseries. With no days off, that means the division champion would be handed a big advantage in the next playoff round, as they will have several days to rest and get their pitching in line. The system right now only affords a limited advantage--home-field--to two of the three division winners.

I like the idea and think it makes a great deal of sense, although I might advocate that both second-placed teams should get automatic wild-card spots.
In the grand scheme this is just another way to get more revenue into the pockets of the networks and MLB. I guess pretty soon we'll have Thanksgiving baseball.

Joseph
05-22-2006, 01:10 PM
His idea would make it 4 rounds.

No, four wild card teams in each league [hopefully regardless of division]. The wild cards face off while the division champs sit back on a bye. Then face the winners of the two wild card series. Same # of rounds.

Edit: Bad math, you are right.

edabbs44
05-22-2006, 01:12 PM
No, four wild card teams in each league [hopefully regardless of division]. The wild cards face off while the division champs sit back on a bye. Then face the winners of the two wild card series. Same # of rounds.
I was under the impression that it would be 4 wild cards from each league.

Heath
05-22-2006, 01:32 PM
Why don't we just play 82 games to eliminate Winnipeg?

:dunno:

RedFanAlways1966
05-22-2006, 01:35 PM
His idea would make it 4 rounds.

Good lord, you are right! I hate dealing with such large numbers?!??! :help:

Joseph
05-22-2006, 02:12 PM
I was under the impression that it would be 4 wild cards from each league.

As I said in my edit, bad math on my part. You are correct.

6 teams from each league, 4 Wild Cards and 2 Division champs.

I hope the Reds go back to the Western Divsion if this comes to pass, don't know why, just do.

savafan
05-22-2006, 02:17 PM
I hope the Reds go back to the Western Divsion if this comes to pass, don't know why, just do.

I'd love for the Reds to regain the old rivalry with the Dodgers.

FindlayRed
05-22-2006, 02:34 PM
I like the idea, except for the wild cards playing a best of three. Might as well just flip a coin.

Heath
05-22-2006, 02:38 PM
I'd love for the Reds to regain the old rivalry with the Dodgers.

I'm not sure of the West Coast Swings like they used to be.

oneupper
05-22-2006, 02:58 PM
Sorry, but this just seems like a way to assure that the Yankees or the Red Sox make it to the League Championship and the WS.

The league figures ONE of those two is going to be the division champ and earn a bye.

It doesn't say how the pairings would be made, but I'm guessing that they would cross divisions...making a Red Sox-Yankee ALCS a possibility.

Johnny Footstool
05-22-2006, 03:24 PM
Disagree. Under Leiter's proposal, winning a division title would take on greater importance given that the wild-card squads would be forced to go all-out to win the three-game miniseries. With no days off, that means the division champion would be handed a big advantage in the next playoff round, as they will have several days to rest and get their pitching in line. The system right now only affords a limited advantage--home-field--to two of the three division winners.

I like the idea and think it makes a great deal of sense, although I might advocate that both second-placed teams should get automatic wild-card spots.

The fifth- and sixth-best teams in each league get a playoff berth and have a chance to win the World Championship, despite not performing as well in the regular season as the division winners and the "traditional" wild card team. When poorer teams can still make the playoffs, it weakens the importance of winning regular season games.

And many would argue that an extented resting period in baseball is not advantageous. Skipping a full series could seriously mess with pitchers' routines and hitters' timing. It's not like football or hockey, where injuries can really pile up if you don't get to take a break.

Roy Tucker
05-22-2006, 03:27 PM
Let's have a pennant winner in the AL and a pennant winner in the NL that meet in the World Series like God meant it to be.

KronoRed
05-22-2006, 06:22 PM
No thanks, 8 play off teams is enough.

MattyHo4Life
05-22-2006, 07:49 PM
I like the idea of having only 2 divisions per league, I just don't like adding Wild Card teams. The first and second place teams going to the playoffs would work better. It does place more emphasis on the regular season, because you don't have a team from a weak division making the playoffs which usually happens in the NL West.

saboforthird
05-22-2006, 07:52 PM
Let's have a pennant winner in the AL and a pennant winner in the NL that meet in the World Series like God meant it to be.

AMEN! :thumbup: That's the way it used to be, and when it was more important to play the game for the love of it.

KronoRed
05-22-2006, 09:14 PM
Let's have a pennant winner in the AL and a pennant winner in the NL that meet in the World Series like God meant it to be.
and lets dump the DH while we are at it.

savafan
05-22-2006, 10:28 PM
and lets dump the DH while we are at it.

Then we could do away with free agency and go back to the reserve clause. :p:

macro
05-22-2006, 11:39 PM
I'm opposed to any plan that would increase the number of playoff teams. The NBA plays five months just to seed a 16-team tournament. I don't want to see baseball go down that road.

Red White
05-22-2006, 11:45 PM
Let's have a pennant winner in the AL and a pennant winner in the NL that meet in the World Series like God meant it to be.

(Taking the obvious monetary considerations out of it and focusing only on the ideal competitive structure,) I think that idea was a fine one when there were only eight or even ten teams in each league. But expansion, for better or worse, means that there are now 14 or 16 teams in each league and significantly unbalanced and asymmetric schedules.

Each team in the pre-1961/1962-expansion era played exactly 22 games against each of the other seven teams, and represented the top 12.5% of their league in the "playoffs" -- the World Series.

Each team in the post-'61/'62-expansion and pre-'69-expansion era played exactly 18 games against each of the other nine teams, and represented the top 10% of their league in the "playoffs" -- the World Series.

From 1969-1976, with addition of two more teams to each league and the split into divisions, each team in the playoffs represented ~16.7% of the teams in their league. To remain at only one "playoff" team per league would have dropped that percentage to ~8.3%. If you consider the pre-1961 12.5% ideal, then the ~4.2% difference in the percentage of teams in each league represented is identical in either direction. Having an opinion about which direction is the best choice is certainly valid, but neither position differs from tradition any more than the other.

From 1977-1992, the percentage of American League teams in the playoffs declined from ~16.7% to ~14.3%, and the same happened in the National League 1993 alone.

From 1995-1997, realignment and the increase from two playoff teams in each league to four led to a truly significant increase in the percentage of teams in each league that qualified for the playoffs -- 28.6%. Further expansion in 1998 decreased that percentage in the National League to 25%.

Another implication of expansion is schedule balance. Rather than continually adjusting the number of games in a season with each expansion (in part to protect the importance of single-season records,) MLB began unbalanced scheduling in 1969. When each team does not play the same schedule, one additional round of playoffs might be the best way to sort out the slight differences between divisional champions for which such scheduling might be responsible.

With the current number of franchises, I would personally favor a return to two divisions in each league, with the top team from each competing in the playoffs. Finishing second in your division, while playing the same schedule as the team that finished first, deserves no reward.

Since MLB would certainly never move back from 8 total playoff teams to four, then I'd rather see four divisions in each league than three.

In the interest of full disclosure, "divisional" baseball is all I've ever known in my lifetime.


The National League (founded in 1876) and the American League (founded in 1901) were both eight-team circuits at the turn of the century and remained that way until expansion finally came to Major League Baseball in the 1960s. The AL added two teams in 1961 and the NL did the same a year later. Both leagues went to 12 teams and split into two divisions in 1969. The AL then grew by two more teams to 14 in 1977, but the NL didn't follow suit until adding its 13th and 14th clubs in 1993. The NL added two teams (making it 16) in 1998 when the expansion Arizona Diamondbacks entered the league and the Milwaukee Brewers moved over from the AL. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays joined the AL in 1998, keeping the AL at 14 teams.

Source: http://www.infoplease.com/ipsa/A0112349.html

cincinnati chili
05-23-2006, 12:05 AM
Let's have a pennant winner in the AL and a pennant winner in the NL that meet in the World Series like God meant it to be.

While we're at it, let's not let the catchers wear shin guards anymore;)

cincinnati chili
05-23-2006, 12:09 AM
It's not ideal, but I do like Leiter's idea better than what's currently out there. I agree with the critics that say a 3-game series is basically random-chance. But my response is this: if you don't like random chance, then WIN THE FRIGGIN DIVISION and get the first-round bye.

If the layoff for the bye is any longer than 3 games, I think you risk the division winner having a DIS-advantage (getting stale).

I'm in favor of one division in each league, and playing a balanced schedule. The top 4 teams (or top 6 teams if we expand the playoffs) make the post-season, and are seeded according to record. I don't like the fact that the Reds play the Mets once in New York all season, but play the Brewers constantly.

KronoRed
05-23-2006, 12:46 AM
Then we could do away with free agency and go back to the reserve clause. :p:
Pfft :p:

The DH and wild card are evil, those things are not ;)

oneupper
05-23-2006, 09:07 AM
Pfft :p:

The DH and wild card are evil, those things are not ;)

The Wild Card isn't evil if your team gets into the playoffs that way...
however, the DH is SATAN's gift to baseball.

E. Davis 44
05-23-2006, 09:46 AM
it would add an extra round because right now it is:
Rd 1 - 1 vs. 4 and 2 vs. 3
Rd 2 - winner vs winner
rd 3 - world series

the other way it would be
Rd 1 - 3 vs. 6 and 4 vs. 5
Rd 2 - 1 vs. Lowest seed, 2 vs. other winner
Rd 3 - winner vs. winner
Rd 4 - World Series

registerthis
05-23-2006, 09:54 AM
Pfft :p:

The DH and wild card are evil, those things are not ;)

I've got NO complaints whatsoever about the wild card--IMO it's one of the best additions in the history of the game, right up there with the Fox Box.

The DH, on the other hand, should be cast into the fiery pits of hell, alongside the glowing hockey puck and that idiotic "field cam" they've been using during football games.

Johnny Footstool
05-23-2006, 10:00 AM
Personally, I like the current divisions, except for the unbalanced NL Central and AL West. I'd move the Brewers (or maybe the Astros) to the AL West and play one interleague series every week. I like the idea of regionalized rivalries -- it never made sense for Cincinnati and Atlanta to play in the NL West.

Jr's Boy
05-23-2006, 12:06 PM
I like Al's idea.... but I still don't forgive him for his part in that extra game in '99.Your D---right about that.

KronoRed
05-23-2006, 04:01 PM
The Wild Card isn't evil if your team gets into the playoffs that way...

I'd rather have four 4 team divisions then a WC.

cincinnati chili
05-23-2006, 10:59 PM
Personally, I like the current divisions, except for the unbalanced NL Central and AL West. I'd move the Brewers (or maybe the Astros) to the AL West and play one interleague series every week. I like the idea of regionalized rivalries -- it never made sense for Cincinnati and Atlanta to play in the NL West.

You probably meant this, but just to clarify for everyone. If we go to leagues of 15 and 15, we'd have an interleague series going on every day, not every week.