Joseph B asked in SportsBaseball · 1 month ago

Should Major League Baseball Abandon Divisional Play?

Since there are 15 teams in each league, each team could play every other team 12 times (6 at home and 6 away) for a 168-game season. The first place team in each league would then meet in a best-of-seven World Series, and the winner of that would be the World Champion. Doing this would avoid the heresy of inter-league play, shorten the playoffs, avoid the ridiculous spectacle of playing the World Series partly in November, and return baseball to its pre-1969 tradition. Is there any reason why my plan cannot or should not be implemented?


No one has cited what might be the "best" reason, which is, how many tickets would be sold in September for a team that was in 14th or 15th place?

5 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    For 20 years I've spoken of a purely physical 2 division league. East and West. Less travel and trips would save teams millions. More players stay @ home and with rehab. Regardless of standings NY/NY, ANGELS/DODGERS, SF/OAK, CUBS/WS, BALT/WASH would always be a sellout.

  • 1 month ago

    Best in what regard?

    The goal is not to have the most fair process of finding a champion, nor is it to make sure that the best team wins the championship every year.

    The goal of MLB (and all other professional sports) is to make money, and they do that by offering excitement and entertainment which gets people to buy tickets, jerseys, or watch television broadcasts with advertisements and corporate sponsorships.

    The more excited people are about their team, the more likely they are to spend money on those things or watch the TV broadcast which improves ratings and allows them to charge more for ads.

    So when owners and player union reps get together and discuss ideas for how to format the season and playoffs, they aren't trying to find the most fair way of crowning a champion, they're trying to find a format that keeps as many teams as possible in the playoff race as deep into the season as possible. Once it becomes obvious that a team isn't going to make the playoffs their attendance and TV ratings drop off very quickly. So its more profitable to include more teams in the playoffs simply because it means a larger percentage of the regular season games will be meaningful toward playoff seeding.

    Plus, playoff games are highly profitable since they're generally the most watched games.

    So including more teams in the playoffs and having longer playoff system might not improve the level of competition, but it increases profits and that's the ultimate goal.

  • Sure.  Please explain to the lawyers from Turner, ESPN and FOX why you're violating the terms of their existing contract which specify how many playoff games each network will get.  When you answer, please explain how much (it's in the hundreds of millions) you will owe each network, and explain why the owners (who will have to vote on this) will have to pay this off at a time when they're already having to write checques to local broadcasters due to the reduced 2020 schedule.  You'll also want to provide an estimate to the owners as to how much they should expect to pay in legal bills to fight the likely lawsuit.

  • 1 month ago

    Yes.  playoffs for the owners.  You will never see less playoffs.  You will only potentially see more and more.  also 15 teams in one league is too many.  too many teams would be elinated at the all star break. It would be a financial disastet.

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  • 1 month ago

    Playoffs will stay, it brings in the big bucks, Divisions too, that's the standard in America and the divisional rivalries and the race to win the division, that's what fans love and want to see, Inter-league play should be present, teams should get to play all other teams, not just their division or in their own league.

    If you removed divisions and playoffs, people will lose interest in baseball even more, it will be less exciting and there is no reward for such a long season when only the team with the best record gets to play a World Series.

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