Expanded MLB playoffs coming for 2012

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In a story that is sure to not go away, and is picking up much traction, Bud Selig is moving to expanding MLB playoffs to 10 teams. The truth of the matter is this story broke last December when Selig first mentioned it. But in an annual meeting with the Associated Press Sports Editors, the idea was brought up again, and even solidified. If you want to bet on MLB games check out bonus code Gamebookers for the best deals.

Now the argument against, is that having more teams make the playoffs will dilute the meaning of the season. There is of course merit to this argument as having 10 teams rather then eight makes it easier to get to the playoffs. The lengthened playoffs also requires fine tuning to be sure player safety is considered, including time to travel and rest.

In the NFL, 12 of 32 teams make the playoffs. In the NBA and NHL, 16 of 30 advance to the postseason. Since 1995, eight of the 30 baseball teams make the playoffs. Increasing this to 10, is still lower then other sports. When you look at how the other leagues run things, MLB looks to have a small playoff pool.

So why expand the playoffs?

That’s easy, money. Playoff games are easy money for all involved. Owners, managers and players all receive monetary gain from playoffs. Beside that, there is more value. Teams that go to playoffs sell more seats the next year. Players and managers who participate in playoffs can ask for more money in their next contract negotiation.

But not all players are happy. San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum has spoken out about the addition of two wild card spots. The Cy Young winner was quoted as saying: “Why mess it up, other than for monetary purposes, and that’s probably what (Selig) is looking at. That’s like, ‘OK, don’t worry about us as human beings or players.”.

Tim Lincecum is exactly the kind of guy who can get heard. He is a star pitcher of the defending World Series champion, San Francisco Giants. His words might be the inspiration to the resistance of this plan. He feels the playoff expansion will harm the value of the regular season.

As for me, I don’t feel the fire. I do not think an expansion to ten teams will harm the regular season. I do recognize it is a slippery slope, and I would hate to see MLB become the NBA or NHL with over half the teams in the playoffs. But done in a streamlined manner, MLB can handle a ten team playoff.