The Major League Baseball players’ union has joined commissioner Bud Selig in legitimately considering adding more teams to the playoffs.Under the current system, eight of the 30 major league teams qualify for the playoffs. Compare that with 12-of-32 in football and 16-of-30 in both the NBA and NHL.
But baseball is not like those other leagues.
MLB clubs play twice as many regular-season games, yet face the same short series format in the postseason.
Thanks to that huge sample size, individual players’ streaks and slumps even out. Over time, wins and losses more accurately reflect performance.
But come the shortened conditions of a postseason series, just one streaking slugger – we’re talking about you, Cody Ross – can propel an inferior team over a superior opponent.
On the one hand, that’s what makes the postseason great. Fans love to see David take down Goliath. Underdog performances like Ross’s this year and Carlos Beltran’s in 2004, become a memorable part of October lore.
But most of these so-called Davids were still 90+ win teams; they finished among the top 25 per cent of all teams.
Lowering the barrier for entry into the postseason, defeats the purpose of the long regular season. The truly great teams enter the postseason with the same chance for success as mediocre teams. And it wouldn’t be long before some slugger with one hot week carries his .500-team to a championship.
And with more teams, it wouldn’t belong before the “Fall Classic” stretched into winter.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.