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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Who's psyched for the 2012 Postseason?

Just when I thought MLB couldn't get any worse, they go ahead and let an additional team from each league into the postseason. 5 teams from each league now make the playoffs - 3 division winners, and 2 wildcard teams. I mentioned a while ago that I'd prefer the old playoff format where the first playoff series is the Championship Series, but that would cut profits.

5 teams can't all play at the same time, so the 2 wildcard teams will play a one game playoff to see who advances. As if this wasn't bad enough, MLB decided that the DS format this year will 2 games in one city and three games in the other city. When I first heard this I was furious that they were taking home field advantage away from the better teams, by giving the lower seed three home games at the end of the series, but I misunderstood. However, rather than having the home field advantage be the higher seed getting the first two home games, the lower seeds will receive the first two home games. This is simply atrocious. This means that it is entirely possible that the lower seed could play more home games than the higher seed (assuming a sweep). In 2012, every round of the playoffs presents the possibility that the lower seed plays more home games than the higher seed. The reason for all of this? The TV schedule has already been set for the World Series. They are removing the second travel day, and games 4 and 5 will be played on back-to-back days! It's not like weather can cause the World Series to be postponed because CLEARLY that has never happened before.

Take last year's final standings and apply this format, and see how ridiculous this is:

1: Phillies
2: Brewers
3: Diamondbacks
4: Cardinals
5: Braves

The Phillies and Brewers will be sitting in airports waiting to travel to another city. If the Cardinals win, the same matchups would occurs as last year except that the Phillies and Brewers would be away. Now, if the Braves win and the non-divisional opponent matchup rule applies, The Brewers would be flying to Atlanta and the Phillies would be flying to Arizona. This might not sound that bad to many of you, but take the following into account; depending on how they determine the home team for the playoff game (coin-flip or better record), 6 teams could be traveling for the start of the division series as opposed to 2. The 1st and 2nd seed from each league would need to fly to the lower seed's city, and if the away team wins the play-in game, they would need to fly to their home field.

I'm not even sure it's a consolation that this will only be the case for 2012.

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