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View Poll Results: How many playoff teams?
12, 6 per league 7 17.95%
16, 8 per league, 4 wild cards 19 48.72%
16, 8 per league, top two in each division 8 20.51%
10, 5 per league 4 10.26%
14, 7 per league 1 2.56%
Voters: 39. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-14-2018, 10:03 AM   #1
DustyElbows
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How many playoff teams?

I've always liked large game universes, so I've been toying around with a fictional historical sim where MLB starts out at its normal 16 teams in 1901 and then expands by two teams roughly every five year until it finally reaches 64 teams in 2018.

Here's the divisional setup:
AL East
Baltimore Orioles
Boston Red Sox
Buffalo Bisons
Charlotte Knights
Hartford Yard Goats
New York Yankees
Ottawa Champions (maybe Lynx)
Toronto Blue Jays

AL South
Arkansas Travelers
Houston Astros
Louisville Bats
Mexico City Diablos
Orlando Juicers
San Juan / Puerto Rico ???
Tampa Bay Rays
Texas Rangers

AL Central
Chicago White Sox
Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals
Memphis Redbirds
Minnesota Twins
Nashville Sounds
Winnipeg Goldeyes

AL West
Calgary Cannons
Honolulu Waves
Las Vegas 51s
Los Angeles Angels
Oakland Athletics
Portland Beavers
Salt Lake Bees
Seattle Mariners

NL East
Brooklyn Cyclones
Montreal Expos
New York Mets
Norfolk Tides
Philadelphia Phillies
Providence Paw Sox (or other name??)
Quebec Capitales
Washington Nationals

NL South
Atlanta Braves
Birmingham Barons
Havana Sugar Kings
Jacksonville Suns
Miami Marlins
New Orleans Zephyrs
Oklahoma City Redhawks
San Antonio Missions

NL Central
Chicago Cubs
Cincinnati Reds
Columbus Clippers
Indianapolis Arrows (Indians was already taken)
Milwaukee Brewers
Omaha Stormchasers
Pittsburgh Pirates
St. Louis Cardinals

NL West
Arizona Diamondbacks
Colorado Rockies
Edmonton Trappers
Los Angeles Dodgers
Sacramento Solons (or maybe just River Cats)
San Diego Padres
San Francisco Giants
Vancouver Bears

In this admittedly ridiculous scenario, how many teams should make the playoffs? I have been leaning towards 12, 6 in each league, all of the division winners plus two wild cards per league. But I can certainly see arguments for 16 (each 4 wild cards per league or just top two in every division) or even 10 or 14. What do you think?

Also, if anyone has any team name ideas (with already existing logos somewhere) for San Juan / Puerto Rico or Providence, let me know.
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Old 11-14-2018, 10:09 AM   #2
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I personally would go with 16 with 4 wild cards over 16 where the top 2 in each division make it. That way you don't have to worry about weak divisions getting to have 2 teams make the playoffs where good teams in a strong division miss the playoffs. I think 32 would make for an interesting playoffs as well.

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Old 11-14-2018, 11:17 AM   #3
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16 teams, 4 wildcards per conference.

I say 16 because that's a quarter of the league, which is a good percentage. And I would definitely do wildcards instead of the top two teams, so you don't get a team in a crappy division sneaking in over a more deserving one. I would set it up like the old NHL playoffs (back when they made sense). The division winners seeded 1-4, the wildcards then seeded 5-8, and run a traditional playoff structure from there.
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Old 11-14-2018, 11:26 AM   #4
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Also, re: Providence team

I have the Providence Knights in my New England league. Feel free.

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Old 11-14-2018, 08:16 PM   #5
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personally I would go with ONLY division winners. 4 teams in each league that's it. as I do not like the wildcard nonsense for baseball as it was only done for increasing of revenue.
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Old 11-14-2018, 09:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r0nster View Post
personally I would go with ONLY division winners. 4 teams in each league that's it. as I do not like the wildcard nonsense for baseball as it was only done for increasing of revenue.
So if you go 100-62, in a division with a team that goes 101-61, and have a winning record against that team, you still don't make the playoffs? While a team that goes 82-80 and is the only team in their division over .500 gets in?

If you have a division structure in your league, wildcards are basically a necessity to ensure you get the best teams in the playoffs. To argue against wildcards, you also have to do away with divisions. (Which is perfectly fair, btw, but a separate argument)
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Old 11-15-2018, 10:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fyrestorm3 View Post
So if you go 100-62, in a division with a team that goes 101-61, and have a winning record against that team, you still don't make the playoffs? While a team that goes 82-80 and is the only team in their division over .500 gets in?

If you have a division structure in your league, wildcards are basically a necessity to ensure you get the best teams in the playoffs. To argue against wildcards, you also have to do away with divisions. (Which is perfectly fair, btw, but a separate argument)
A divisional structure does not necessitate wild cards. And its not necessary to do away with divisions to get rid of wild cards. After all, the NL and AL were functionally two divisions of the same organization and had no wild cars without complaint for decades.

The schedule, not divisions, is what causes people to think a second place team might be better than another division's first place team... or as messed up as they are today, people might even have a case to argue a second place team in a division is better than the division winner. This is where the argument for wild cards originates.

Easy enough to fix. Set up a schedule so each team in a division faces equal competition. Play all games in the division. Or do was was started in 69, 18 in and 12 out with each team in a division facing each opponent the same number of times.

In the league described my first choice would be to not have any interdivisional play. 154 all against division opponents. Or pair divisions, 16 in, 6 out, 160 total.
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Old 11-15-2018, 10:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r0nster View Post
personally I would go with ONLY division winners. 4 teams in each league that's it. as I do not like the wildcard nonsense for baseball as it was only done for increasing of revenue.
I agree with you. Apparently not a possibility. We haven't been given an opportunity to vote for that choice.
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Old 11-16-2018, 10:22 AM   #9
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I didn't even mention only division winners because that's just a very small playoff for a 64-team league. I'm not as old-school as some of you guys
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Old 11-16-2018, 08:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DustyElbows View Post
I didn't even mention only division winners because that's just a very small playoff for a 64-team league. I'm not as old-school as some of you guys

Its exactly the same percentage of post season qualifiers as existed for decades up until 1961 and more than 1961 to 1968.

Interesting how baseball treats wild cards. It wants them in the playoffs but doesn't want them to win, and arranges the playoffs to reduce the chances of a wild card winning.
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Old 11-16-2018, 09:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad K View Post
Its exactly the same percentage of post season qualifiers as existed for decades up until 1961 and more than 1961 to 1968.

Interesting how baseball treats wild cards. It wants them in the playoffs but doesn't want them to win, and arranges the playoffs to reduce the chances of a wild card winning.
It really must be an old school vs. new school thing, because while I know that's how it was for a long time, I too feel like it's an abnormally low percentage of playoff teams.

Also, I like the idea of wildcards being at a disadvantage. In my opinion, it's a compromise between only having division winners qualify and the usual wildcard structure. It's not win your division or bust, but it makes winning the division actually matter. Win your division or be put at a noticeable disadvantage in the playoffs.

Plus, it's fun. It's not as traditional, which I know is sometimes a cardinal sin in baseball, but it makes for a decently exciting product. To each their own, though.
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Old 11-17-2018, 12:53 AM   #12
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at 1/4th you'll probably avoid any sub-500 teams. i do 1/5th and ~.520 might be as low as it dips for playoff teams.

as far as wildcards or split etc... depends on schedule a bit. if they only play divisionally, it's safe to use division winners logically, but as others stated, you might not want 2+ automatically qualifying.

with so many getting in, doing 4 divisional winners and 4 wildcards won't hurt anyone.

i prefer smaller playoffs. it increases the chances of the best team winning it all. repeat winners aren't common, but i guarantee more it happens more often. larger playoffs just afford wearker tems a chance... to a point that makes sense. i wouldn't suggest 2 teams out of 64. that's no fun, but probably best. that;s the whole point of the regular season.
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Old 11-17-2018, 04:47 AM   #13
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You could safely go to 20 (that's about 30%). 8 division winners, 12 wild cards. In each league seeds 7-10 play in the first round (1-3 games), seeds 1-8 play in 2nd round.
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Old 11-17-2018, 01:02 PM   #14
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5 makes sense. Winning one of these divisions makes a team more than worthy to make the playoffs. Adding one wildcard in each league against the worst division winner is very deserving as well. This way only the best teams are in the playoffs competing for a title. Makes the regular season relevant.


Is the schedule 23 to 24 games only against your division only? Talk about building rivalries. This would eliminate the weaker schedule argument as well only the best team in the division moves on.

Love it!
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Old 11-17-2018, 09:03 PM   #15
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Quote:
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i wouldn't suggest 2 teams out of 64. that's no fun, but probably best. that;s the whole point of the regular season.
It is? Really? Wow!!! Whodda thunk it?!?!?!?

Hmmmm... y'know throw all 64 teams into the same pot... one league and no divisions... there would be playoffs and they'd be meaningful!!!
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Old 11-17-2018, 09:10 PM   #16
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It is? Really? Wow!!! Whodda thunk it?!?!?!?

Hmmmm... y'know throw all 64 teams into the same pot... one league and no divisions... there would be playoffs and they'd be meaningful!!!
2 Leagues, no Divisions and top 5 per league make the playoffs.
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Old 11-17-2018, 11:11 PM   #17
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Little has been said by the pro "lots of playoff qualifiers" that hasn't been said by "authoritative" figures: MLB officials, sports writers, sport casters, etc. So please, don't anyone think I'm picking on them. You're probably not the only one to say it.

Anyway, so why do we have wild cards in MLB? Well, the basic reason is baseball screwed up expansion and division alignment and ended up with an odd number of divisions in each league. So they got themselves a wildcard. Not satisfied with that, they got themselves two. Let them play each other first before the "real" playoffs.

Course MLB (and wild card proponents here) don't actually want wild cards to win. That's why they both support a tougher path for wildcards. And here's the reason they make things tougher for wild card teams.

--------------------

From http://freakonomics.com/2012/11/09/d...-world-series/

if one team is good enough to warrant beating another in 55% of its games, the weaker team will nevertheless win a 7-game series about 4 times out of 10....

--------------------------

So assuming someone has not screwed up expansion and divisions and has an even number of divisions per league, what are the arguments used in favor of wild cards?

"Divisions might not be equal strength and that second place team in the East might be the second best in the league".

Well, that's nice, but supposedly the playoffs are to determine the best team. The Division winners might be the best team but its already KNOWN the prospective wild card team isn't. So arguing to let it in the playoffs because it "might" be the second best doesn't fly. Playoffs are for teams that might be the best.

"WIld Cards make winning the Division meaningful."

The first place team should say thanks but no thanks. Entering the playoffs with an advantage of a second place team with a tougher path is less meaningful than entering the playoffs with that second place team where it belongs: UNqualified for the post season.

"Some teams put it together late and should have a shot."

OK, well to be fair about it, if a first place team has a bad September, then they shouldn't qualify.

"The second place team had a tougher schedule."

No excuse for that. The game is played almost every day for six months and there's no excuse for two teams in a Division not having equal opponents. Well, there's lame excuses, called interleague play and natural rivalries and screwed up expansion, but none of these are REAL excuses for a tough or easy schedule since only lack of desire prevents the problem from being addressed.


"They were in a strong Division."

Something that can't be completely eliminated but the effect can be minimized by having decent sized Divisions. Four or five teams? Guffaw.

-------------

Hey, but people think playoffs are exciting. So what MLB ought to do is qualify more teams. Division winners, second place team with the best record (they MIGHT be the second best team in the league), team in each Division with the best September record (want to peak just as the playoffs start). best record at the all star break, best record after the all star break, and if that's not enough, best Holiday record or Tuesday record or whatever. Do it right and 2018 Baltimore might even make it.

With those number of qualifiers, the World Series should start on Thanksgiving Day. The AL winner will play hockey vs the Detroit Lions, and the NL winner play basketball against the Dallas Cowboys.

------------

Now, take some time to laugh instead of getting riled.

Last edited by Brad K; 11-17-2018 at 11:13 PM.
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Old 11-18-2018, 06:51 PM   #18
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I think we could also make the argument that the purpose of the playoffs is not to determine the best team. If we really just wanted to know the best team, we would do what most soccer leagues around the world do - a round-robin regular season with no playoffs.

We have playoffs because playoffs are fun. In my opinion, playoffs are most fun if all of the best teams are in them. So the question really becomes "where is the cutoff for 'best'?"
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Old 11-18-2018, 11:43 PM   #19
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Quote:
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I think we could also make the argument that the purpose of the playoffs is not to determine the best team. If we really just wanted to know the best team, we would do what most soccer leagues around the world do - a round-robin regular season with no playoffs.

We have playoffs because playoffs are fun. In my opinion, playoffs are most fun if all of the best teams are in them. So the question really becomes "where is the cutoff for 'best'?"
5 in each league would allow only the best teams to make the playoffs.
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Old 11-19-2018, 01:40 AM   #20
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5 in each league would allow only the best teams to make the playoffs.
So what would the playoff schedule be?
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