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MLB Playoff Expansion

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Offline  Re: MLB Playoff Expansion
#81

Posted: February 12, 2020, 3:03 PM Post
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tmwiese55 said:
Good post Bill. I didn't really think about it that way. Essentially, if they refuse to put in a cap this seems like it could be a good way to help the small market teams at least have a chance. If you put in a cap (like they should just get done) then I'd still prefer to reward the regular season by keeping it more difficult.

I'd say my take at this point is gut reaction is against it as too much, too drastic, allowing too many teams in, essentially the same as everyone has said. But the whole time I wasn't too fired up about because when they went to the 5th WC I was against it as dumb but have since massively come around on it. So, admitting I was wrong there I thought I could be wrong here too, even though it still seems too much. Then factor in Bill's point there and I'm even more in the open minded side of things. not too fired up either way and will wait and see.

My biggest opinion on anything is they just need to get a financial systems in place like the other sports, enough is enough, get it done.

Let me second the good post comment for BHS. I also hadn't thought of it that way and baseball certainly is more susceptible to upsets by mediocre teams than any other sport. Heck, the Brewers almost knocked out the Nationals last year with Scherzer and Strasburg on the mound, and it took a Juan Soto base hit against Josh Hader, when LHH hit .143 against him during the Regular Season, to knock out the Crew.

Having said that, I also agree that it is time to get a financial system in place that levels the playing field. I would be willing to sacrifice an entire season, maybe two, to get this in place.


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Offline  Re: MLB Playoff Expansion
#82

Posted: February 12, 2020, 3:22 PM Post
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Location: Madison, WI
In general the fact that baseball is more susceptible to upsets is what makes me on the side of valuing and rewarding the teams that earned it through the year. Basically, I proved over 162 games I'm better than this team, why do they now get to have a near coinflip game to knock me out. Also, why I don't like the CBB tourney as a way of crowning a champion (all the while greatly entertaining). However, being we're the smallest market at a constant disadvantage I now put a lot of value in what Bill said as a way to even the playing field a bit. If I was an outside observer with no interest, big market team, or if the financials were equal then I'd be on the side of valuing the regular season for sure.


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Offline  Re: MLB Playoff Expansion
#83

Posted: February 12, 2020, 3:42 PM Post
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https://theathletic.com/1598962/2020/02/12/how-would-a-14-team-playoff-format-in-major-league-baseball-look-in-practice/

The above article is behind the paywall but analyzes MLB seasons back to 2012 and if the system as proposed was in place for the 2012-2019 seasons, the Brewers, along with the Cardinals, Rays and Mariners, would benefit the most by making the playoffs an additional 3x.

For the Brewers, they would have made it in 2012 (83-79), 2014 (82-80) & 2017 (86-76). Put another way, the Brewers would have made the playoffs in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2017-2019 or 6 of the last 9 seasons.

The only under .500 teams that made the playoffs in this time was the 2014 Mets @ 79-83, 2016 Marlins @ 79-82, 2017 Royals @ 80-82 & 2017 Rays @ 80-82.

After contemplating it the past few days, I think my biggest issue is the gimmicky made-for-TV component of choosing your opponent. If the league were to expand to 32 teams, 7 playoff teams in each league (14/32 or 44%) is palatable. Leave the gimmicks aside and make it #1 seed gets the bye and 2-7, 3-6 & 4-5 square off in a best of three, I think that should be fine.


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Online  Re: MLB Playoff Expansion
#84

Posted: February 12, 2020, 8:39 PM Post
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It would bother me if the only advantage a 100 win 2 seed division winner has over an 80 win 7 seed WC is the homesite in a best of 3 series and the privilege of choosing their opponent. Give them a game advantage going into the series too and I'm sold. The 4 seed WC and the 5 seed WC can have a true best of 3 series but the two division winners just have to win 1 out of 2.


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Offline  Re: MLB Playoff Expansion
#85

Posted: February 12, 2020, 8:44 PM Post
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Warning Track Power said:
https://theathletic.com/1598962/2020/02/12/how-would-a-14-team-playoff-format-in-major-league-baseball-look-in-practice/

The above article is behind the paywall but analyzes MLB seasons back to 2012 and if the system as proposed was in place for the 2012-2019 seasons, the Brewers, along with the Cardinals, Rays and Mariners, would benefit the most by making the playoffs an additional 3x.

For the Brewers, they would have made it in 2012 (83-79), 2014 (82-80) & 2017 (86-76). Put another way, the Brewers would have made the playoffs in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2017-2019 or 6 of the last 9 seasons.

The only under .500 teams that made the playoffs in this time was the 2014 Mets @ 79-83, 2016 Marlins @ 79-82, 2017 Royals @ 80-82 & 2017 Rays @ 80-82.

After contemplating it the past few days, I think my biggest issue is the gimmicky made-for-TV component of choosing your opponent. If the league were to expand to 32 teams, 7 playoff teams in each league (14/32 or 44%) is palatable. Leave the gimmicks aside and make it #1 seed gets the bye and 2-7, 3-6 & 4-5 square off in a best of three, I think that should be fine.

Thanks for sharing, I have a subscription for The Athletic but hadn’t seen this article yet.

While I am still not necessarily in favor of expanding to 7 teams per league, I have to admit I think the Brewers would be one of the single biggest beneficiaries of playoff expansion. As noted in the article the Brewers would have made the playoffs three more times over the last decade, but moving forward I think they would be a perennial playoff team. The current front office has proven through patience and discipline that they aren’t going to ever make flashy decisions in the present that could prove detrimental to the future. They are like the ultimate managers of risk across all MLB front offices. They are built to consistently win 80+ games for the foreseeable future. Based on the randomness of the MLB playoffs as compared to other sports (as addressed earlier), the Brewers would be bound to make (and even win) a World Series at some point if they continued to consistently make the playoffs year-after-year.


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Offline  Re: MLB Playoff Expansion
#86

Posted: February 12, 2020, 9:12 PM Post
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It's wonderful that the Crew would have made the playoffs 6 out of 9 years. That is what MLB wants is happy fans. But in reality without a salary cap there are only a few teams that really have a chance to win the World Series. Oh, I know, we were a game from there in 2018. But would we have had a chance to beat the Red Sox. Not even doubtful. It's no. Just accept that this is the way it is. MLB does not care about the small market teams. Just trying to keep them interesting enough to put people in the seats. Sorry, I'm just not optimistic that anything is going to change.


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Offline  Re: MLB Playoff Expansion
#87

Posted: February 12, 2020, 9:52 PM Post
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Soupbone said:
But in reality without a salary cap there are only a few teams that really have a chance to win the World Series. Oh, I know, we were a game from there in 2018. But would we have had a chance to beat the Red Sox. Not even doubtful. It's no. Just accept that this is the way it is. MLB does not care about the small market teams. Just trying to keep them interesting enough to put people in the seats. Sorry, I'm just not optimistic that anything is going to change.

Since the modern playoffs began in 1969 the team with MLB’s best overall record has won the World Series just 13 times total (so only about a quarter of the time).

The 2018 Red Sox were a historically great team, but I wouldn’t use their World Series run as any sort of clear evidence that smaller market organizations such as the Brewers or Royals can’t win the World Series.


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Online  Re: MLB Playoff Expansion
#88

Posted: February 13, 2020, 1:46 AM Post
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Look at your stats on W.S. winners again. In the early years (1905-1930) the team with the best record won a huge majority of the time.


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Offline  Re: MLB Playoff Expansion
#89

Posted: February 13, 2020, 6:31 AM Post
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wntrtxn21 said:
Look at your stats on W.S. winners again. In the early years (1905-1930) the team with the best record won a huge majority of the time.

Thanks, you are correct it’s 13 teams since MLB implemented playoff games beyond just playing the World Series with the best team from each league (which was 1969). I’ll update the post accordingly.


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Offline  Re: MLB Playoff Expansion
#90

Posted: February 13, 2020, 8:55 AM Post
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Oxy said:
It would bother me if the only advantage a 100 win 2 seed division winner has over an 80 win 7 seed WC is the homesite in a best of 3 series and the privilege of choosing their opponent. Give them a game advantage going into the series too and I'm sold. The 4 seed WC and the 5 seed WC can have a true best of 3 series but the two division winners just have to win 1 out of 2.


I think a good compromise may be a 6-teamer then. Have it in NFL format with 2 byes and you can still do the selection show (twice) as the 1-seed could pick their opponent in the 2nd round. Do the 3-game home series thing for the bottom 4 in each league and have 2 teams waiting and the higher seed can also pick their opponent there.


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Offline  Re: MLB Playoff Expansion
#91

Posted: February 13, 2020, 9:34 AM Post
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Soupbone said:
It's wonderful that the Crew would have made the playoffs 6 out of 9 years. That is what MLB wants is happy fans. But in reality without a salary cap there are only a few teams that really have a chance to win the World Series. Oh, I know, we were a game from there in 2018. But would we have had a chance to beat the Red Sox. Not even doubtful. It's no. Just accept that this is the way it is. MLB does not care about the small market teams. Just trying to keep them interesting enough to put people in the seats. Sorry, I'm just not optimistic that anything is going to change.


Sorry, that's just not correct. Baseball is the ultimate one where the underdog can win. If you're in any 7 game series as a .500 or better team you have at least a 33% chance of winning the series no matter who you're playing.


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Offline  Re: MLB Playoff Expansion
#92

Posted: February 13, 2020, 8:20 PM Post
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Except they haven't.


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Offline  Re: MLB Playoff Expansion
#93

Posted: February 14, 2020, 3:55 AM Post
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homer said:
Major League Baseball (MLB): minus-5.88%
National Basketball Association (NBA): plus-2.59%
National Football League (NFL): minus-1.98%
Major League Soccer (MLS): plus-17.56%
Atlanta United has been able to consistently average 50,000 in attendance since its debut in 2017.


Atlanta hates all sports but has embraced soccer? Their Falcons Hawks Thrashers Braves fans absolutely blow. But they embrace soccer?

Do they win at soccer?

MLB has to market their stars. People know NFL stars, people know NBA stars. I am certain the general public can't identify even top 10 baseball talent.

All this change is stuff that won't fix anything.


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Offline  Re: MLB Playoff Expansion
#94

Posted: February 14, 2020, 8:48 AM Post
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Soupbone said:
Except they haven't.


Your contention is that underdogs or the lesser teams haven't won in the playoffs? Again, that's just not true. I mean, the big dog just beat the juggernaut this year in the WS. Note, of course I was spitballing an estimate on a % just based on the fact that the underdog team would almost never be less than 40% to win any individual game, outside of occasional matchups vs superior true Ace pitchers. And, I remember Kershaw losing pretty much every big playoff game he's pitched in the last 8ish years. Also, just because a team didn't win doesn't mean they didn't have a 33% (or whatever number you go with) chance of winning. For example, Brewers vs Dodgers 2018, we lost but as large underdogs it sure seemed like a lot closer to 50/50 than some lock the favorite was going to win.

Anyone remember those games this year that got headlines when Verlander/Cole and some other aces were starting vs garbage teams like Det/Bal and Hous would be like -450 to win, and they lost. The pro gamblers bet the dogs in those every time and live with the results because no baseball team is ever that big of a dog.


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Offline  Re: MLB Playoff Expansion
#95

Posted: February 14, 2020, 9:39 AM Post
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Soupbone said:
But in reality without a salary cap there are only a few teams that really have a chance to win the World Series.


The Red Sox traded Mookie Betts to get under the luxury tax this year. The Cubs couldn't afford Alex Claudio because they didn't want to exceed the luxury tax this year.

The luxury tax essentially is a salary cap & the richer teams have been treating it as such for some time now.

Here's how WS winners have ranked in payroll over the last 10 years...

WAS (7th), BOS (1st), HOU (18th), CHI (14th), KC (16th), SF (7th), BOS (4th), SF (8th), STL (11th), SF (10th)


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Offline  Re: MLB Playoff Expansion
#96

Posted: February 14, 2020, 9:58 AM Post
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sveumrules said:
Soupbone said:
But in reality without a salary cap there are only a few teams that really have a chance to win the World Series.


The Red Sox traded Mookie Betts to get under the luxury tax this year. The Cubs couldn't afford Alex Claudio because they didn't want to exceed the luxury tax this year.

The luxury tax essentially is a salary cap & the richer teams have been treating it as such for some time now.

Here's how WS winners have ranked in payroll over the last 10 years...

WAS (7th), BOS (1st), HOU (18th), CHI (14th), KC (16th), SF (7th), BOS (4th), SF (8th), STL (11th), SF (10th)


I'm somewhat with you here.

The luxury tax seems to just be flattening the wealth among the top 5-10 teams. The Cubs and Red Sox sit the offseason out because they want to get under the tax, allowing the Angels and Yankees to grab Rendon and Cole while Betts is dealt to the Dodgers. I don't see the Royals picking up the scraps from that. Machado going to San Diego or Cain going to the Brewers are the few examples of the lower market teams getting something from this.

So I think that in the absence of a cap, the large market teams are almost always going to be playoff teams or at least in the mix. The other 3 teams in the mix are whichever smaller market team that happens to be in their 2 or 3 year window.

That payroll thing is a bit misleading as most of those champions are mammoth markets that flew into the top 5 in payroll shortly after. You could argue that they got bloated with veterans and that's not a championship way, but I'm not sure that the Cubs have Lester or Heyward to help them win the title if they are a small market...because they knew in 2 years that Lester + Heyward + Rizzo's extension + Bryant's arbitration would put them in the top 5 in payroll. Ditto on the Astros giving up peanuts in prospects and just absorbing the majority of Verlander's $ owed.

Here is the main, major reason I want to see a real salary cap:
So that I don't have to read several credible sportswriters and masses and masses of people that are mad about billionaires incessantly complaining that these teams won't pay for X player because they're "cheap." I don't blame most of these people for not paying attention to cot's/sportrac salaries as I do, but with luxury tax, the Red Sox, if they want to field a competitive roster that includes Mookie Betts on an extension, will likely pass the $350 or $400m level of actual cost for a bunch of soon-t-be mid-30s guys that will start to wash up very soon. Ditto on the Cubs.

Meanwhile, the Dallas Cowboys are capped at about $200 million this year...and nobody says a word. Sorry, fans.
Salary cap.


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Offline  Re: MLB Playoff Expansion
#97

Posted: February 14, 2020, 10:11 AM Post
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bill hAll Star said:
Meanwhile, the Dallas Cowboys are capped at about $200 million this year...and nobody says a word. Sorry, fans.
Salary cap.[/b]


Isn't Jerry being accused of being cheap because he won't give Dak $40M a year? Disregard whether that's his value or not or if that's even smart to try and fit within the cap but I'm seeing Jerry being ripped because he's "cheap" for not giving Dak what he wants. Whatever the situation is, when a player isn't getting his desired salary the fans and writers will scream "rich billionaires hoarding their money" because it's easier than actually assessing the situation.


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Offline  Re: MLB Playoff Expansion
#98

Posted: February 14, 2020, 10:19 AM Post
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bill hAll Star said:
Here is the main, major reason I want to see a real salary cap:
So that I don't have to read several credible sportswriters and masses and masses of people that are mad about billionaires incessantly complaining that these teams won't pay for X player because they're "cheap." I don't blame most of these people for not paying attention to cot's/sportrac salaries as I do, but with luxury tax, the Red Sox, if they want to field a competitive roster that includes Mookie Betts on an extension, will likely pass the $350 or $400m level of actual cost for a bunch of soon-t-be mid-30s guys that will start to wash up very soon. Ditto on the Cubs.

Adding onto this...I also don't want to hear players and agents whining about nobody paying them what they are worth when only a handful of teams can afford to pay them that salary. Wah!


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Offline  Re: MLB Playoff Expansion
#99

Posted: February 14, 2020, 10:22 AM Post
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jerichoholicninja said:
bill hAll Star said:
Meanwhile, the Dallas Cowboys are capped at about $200 million this year...and nobody says a word. Sorry, fans.
Salary cap.[/b]


Isn't Jerry being accused of being cheap because he won't give Dak $40M a year? Disregard whether that's his value or not or if that's even smart to try and fit within the cap but I'm seeing Jerry being ripped because he's "cheap" for not giving Dak what he wants. Whatever the situation is, when a player isn't getting his desired salary the fans and writers will scream "rich billionaires hoarding their money" because it's easier than actually assessing the situation.


We could be in different circles, but at least in the posts/articles/tweets I read or just conversation about the sport, more people seem to understand the salary cap is there. I have more people laughing at Kirk Cousins' big contract and how many players the Vikings have to lose than are calling Jerry cheap. If someone thinks Jerry is cheap for not signing Dak, they are probably detached enough from the sport that they don't even understand the ramifications...and I think the idea of the salary cap is present enough that most people that are sportswriters or invested fans know how it works.

There are a lot of credible people (some of which are highly followed Wisconsin/Brewers twitter personalities or MLB-twitter people) that honestly believe that the Red Sox are just taking this as an opportunity to cash out and buy some yachts and will be running a $175 million payroll for the next 10 years because they are evil billionaires and every move is assumed to be nefarious.

However, it's pretty clear to people that are invested in the patterns of these teams and long-term payrolls that once this number resets and they have a better roster outlook, they will be right back to handing out ridiculous contracts.

I believe there was an Athletic article that noted a Betts extension at 10/$400 for the Red Sox, if they did not get under the deep luxury tax level they are in while he was on the contract, it would actually cost them 10/$715. And you know that in 4 years if the Red Sox tried to get under the luxury tax threshold with Betts on the roster, they'd have to sit out an offseason or two...drawing complaints from the exact same fans...so it's likely that the Red Sox would have to pay close to that $715 million figure all while Betts probably starts to decline a bit earlier than expected in his early 30s.


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Offline  Re: MLB Playoff Expansion
Posted: February 14, 2020, 11:17 AM Post
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bill hAll Star said:
jerichoholicninja said:
bill hAll Star said:
Meanwhile, the Dallas Cowboys are capped at about $200 million this year...and nobody says a word. Sorry, fans.
Salary cap.[/b]


Isn't Jerry being accused of being cheap because he won't give Dak $40M a year? Disregard whether that's his value or not or if that's even smart to try and fit within the cap but I'm seeing Jerry being ripped because he's "cheap" for not giving Dak what he wants. Whatever the situation is, when a player isn't getting his desired salary the fans and writers will scream "rich billionaires hoarding their money" because it's easier than actually assessing the situation.


We could be in different circles, but at least in the posts/articles/tweets I read or just conversation about the sport, more people seem to understand the salary cap is there. I have more people laughing at Kirk Cousins' big contract and how many players the Vikings have to lose than are calling Jerry cheap. If someone thinks Jerry is cheap for not signing Dak, they are probably detached enough from the sport that they don't even understand the ramifications...and I think the idea of the salary cap is present enough that most people that are sportswriters or invested fans know how it works.

There are a lot of credible people (some of which are highly followed Wisconsin/Brewers twitter personalities or MLB-twitter people) that honestly believe that the Red Sox are just taking this as an opportunity to cash out and buy some yachts and will be running a $175 million payroll for the next 10 years because they are evil billionaires and every move is assumed to be nefarious.

However, it's pretty clear to people that are invested in the patterns of these teams and long-term payrolls that once this number resets and they have a better roster outlook, they will be right back to handing out ridiculous contracts.

I believe there was an Athletic article that noted a Betts extension at 10/$400 for the Red Sox, if they did not get under the deep luxury tax level they are in while he was on the contract, it would actually cost them 10/$715. And you know that in 4 years if the Red Sox tried to get under the luxury tax threshold with Betts on the roster, they'd have to sit out an offseason or two...drawing complaints from the exact same fans...so it's likely that the Red Sox would have to pay close to that $715 million figure all while Betts probably starts to decline a bit earlier than expected in his early 30s.


That's exactly it, if you take a step back and look at these situations objectively, sometimes it makes sense to lose a superstar. However, that doesn't fly in our "hot take" society.


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