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MLB News: Rob Manfred Wants Expanded Playoffs to Be Permanent, But With a Twist

The commissioner wants to change things up for 2021 and beyond.



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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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. Why not just have all the teams in the Playoffs? Gone forever are the days when the top team in the American League met the top team in the National League as the ONLY contenders for the World Series championship. When they away with that they did away with the two best teams over the course of a full season to determine Nr 1

    This year it is shaping up as a possibility that a team with a losing record in the shortened season could end up winning it all. With 16 or “only” 14 teams in the playoffs that can happen

    How to ruin a sport with the wrong person as Commissioner

  2. I believe it’s time for me to go home. These money grubbers are sickening. Manfred should stick his head where the sun does not shine.

  3. I want to go back to normal
    No DH, 9 inning games and no starting with a runner on 2B.
    Keep playoffs as is but maybe make wildcard 2 out of 3

  4. If they expand the number of playoff teams, they should reduce the number of games played during the season since 162 becomes irrelevant and the shortened season would allow the expanded playoffs to begin in the summer so we’re not watching the World Series played in snow. I bet Manfred and the owners wouldn’t get behind that.

  5. Nothing Manfred has done since taking over has been worth a bucket of warm spit. Baseball needs a new commissioner and the faster the better. I always thought his predecessor was going down as the worst commissioner. Clearly, I was wrong.

  6. I fully agree this year’s expanded playoff format is just plain wrong and I am NO fan of Manfred at all. However I am all for keeping the DH in the NL because I can’t see the NL owners wanting to put their pitchers at risk having to bat thT not only weakens their teams offense, but why put those expensive arms at risk while putting the NL teams at a disadvantage again. And keep in mind, this Pandemic is far from over and will still be raging come next Spring. The DH allows teams to get certain players a break while keeping thei bats in the lineup. And their bat could veery well be the difference between winning or losing games all yeR long.

  7. The DH sucks. I don’t want to see some broken down player, who may have been great in his day but has lost enough skills to be a disadvantage in the field, wobble up to the plate to swing a bat. The only reason the MLBPU wants it is to cteate a job for a handful of players to keep a job and pay into the union coffers.

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