ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Both American League Division Series ended in a three-game sweep — Cleveland over Boston and Toronto over Texas. Both were surprising demises, seeing that Texas had the second-best record in baseball, and Boston, who led the league in runs scored this year, scored only seven runs in three games.
Which begs the question: Is the postseason an equal representation of the regular season?
“Baseball is a 162-game grind. It’s how deep is you team? How good are you over the long haul? And one-game series doesn’t do that. And you’re right, a five-game series doesn’t necessarily do that either.”
Fagan says baseball probably won’t mess with the one-game Wild Card, just because of the tremendous excitement and rating those two games get. This year’s NL Wild Card game was the highest-rated MLB Wild Card Game ever and ESPN’s most-streamed MLB event ever, per ESPN Media Zone.
But the division series, Fagan and Hrabe believe, should better reflect the demanding schedule that teams have dealt with in the previous five months.
One obvious difference being the travel day. This year, Boston this year played 17-straight games between April 15 and May 1, with zero days off in three different series. They went 11-6.
Hrabe had some ideas to squeeze the regular season and improve the playoff format by adding more game:
Add one game to the schedule each month by creating a weekend four-game divisional series each month. So a game on Friday, double-header on Saturday, then the final game on Sunday. Then, the season would end about a week early. So you add a best-of-three Wild Card. Then, make the ALDS and NLDS’s best-of-seven series.
The problem Fagan sees with that idea could involve from the MLB Players Union not being happy about the six double-headers. Apparently baseball players don’t actually like playing baseball all day.
Maybe the compromise is to add some off days around the All Star Break?
But maybe double-headers are on their way back to baseball. The Oakland A’s and Tampa Bay Rays have planned a double-header in 2017, the first time a game of its kind has been planned in six year.
“I think that may be why they are throwing it out there to see how that is received,” Fagan says. “And I guess if you are going to do that in a market you do it in Tampa Bay or Oakland. You don’t try something like that with the Yankees and Red Sox.”
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