Is Selig’s “New Deal” Working?
Maybe people haven’t been thinking about it much with the postseason still about two months away, but boy is change coming this October. The playoff format included in the new collective-bargaining agreement adds another wild card team to each league and a one-game playoff between the two wild cards to decide who plays in the ALDS.
If that’s not enough for you, the ALDS itself is going to run in a 2-3 format, like it did during the 1995-1997 seasons. Which means, the wild card team will have home-field for the first two games, and the higher-seeded, division winning club will have the remaining three, if necessary. Next year, it will go back to the 2-2-1 in place since 1998.
Maybe that was just a waste of web space, because most MLB fans are aware of what’s to come. And even though many of them, including myself, are opposed to it – in a way, Bud Selig’s original idea for this plan is being realized.
If the playoffs started today, 7 of 11 (three-way tie in AL Wild Card right now) teams would be in the playoffs for the first time since at least before last season. Selig’s hope for more first-time contenders (or first time in a long time – looking at you Baltimore and Pittsburgh) was one of his big reasons for adding the extra wild cards.
As much as it pains be to say this, there’s no doubt Selig knew what he was doing – at least for this season. It’s been exciting to this point, with a lot of teams contending who simply have been horrible in recent years. If those clubs keep it up and make it a tense, epic finish to the season come September, it might change my view – only slightly – on the new playoff system.
Of course the actual postseason need to be played, but I really have to hand it so Mr. Selig – you really hit the nail on the head for this one. You’ve crushed your fingers with mostly everything else though.