Fans of MLB have had to get used to some unusual things in 2020. New in-game rules such as the universal DH, 7 inning double-headers, and expanded rosters only tell half of the story in a pandemic year. But the new playoff format is arguably one of the most hated additions to the shortened season.
It seems like the majority of fans have been able to get past all of the other rules added in this year. But the expanded 16-team playoff format almost feels like a joke. Naturally, MLB fans were pretty upset to hear that Rob Manfred intended on making this new format permananet.
But in a recent interview with USA Today, Manfred backpedaled on that a little bit. Instead of having a 16-team format, MLB’s commissioner would like to see that bumped down to 14.
Look, 16 teams, was a really good solution for the unique environment we had in 2020. But I want to be clear, when I talked about the expanded playoffs going forward before COVID ever hit, we never talked about 16 teams as a permanent solution. We never talked about more than 14 teams. Those plans addressed marginalizing the value of winning the division, and preserving the competitiveness through the regular season. The expanded playoffs cover a vast waterfront, but what we discussed was a very different format than we’re seeing now.
It’s not much, but it’s a start. Moving the playoff format up from 10 teams to 14 teams is certainly better than the monstrosity that is the 2020 playoffs. MLB choosing to put over half of the teams into playoff contention just seems strange.
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