Before we get too far into this, I understand it’s radical. And I understand that most ‘baseball people’ don’t like radical, it freaks them out. I think this is an alternative that can scratch the MLB itch we’re all begging for right now.
The fact of the matter is the most recent proposal from the owners is trash.
MLB owners sending latest plan to MLBPA that includes sliding pay scale for players https://t.co/mdGOhbyac3
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) May 26, 2020
They are offering prorated but asking for only 50 games. That is basically the exact same pay scale at the end of the day they were offering when they proposed the 114+ game schedule. It’s bullshit and there is no way the players are going to agree unless they get the game total to at least 81 games. And I believe that is the number to consider the season salvageable. Anything less than that there is no way baseball fans will consider it a real championship. People are ready to throw an asterisk on every major sport this year, which is bananas. But if baseball plays less than half their regular season games I tend to agree.
After 50 games last year the world champion Nationals were 14 games below .500 and the 77 win Giants were 14 games over. It would be so much fun to watch though. A frantic sprint to the finish line. One strong win streak and you’re in, of course an injury to a star player and your season is cooked. So let’s say the MLB season is lost and the can’t agree on anything about 60 games. No point in playing the season but baseball can’t just bag a year. Anyone who says “all or nothing” is a moron. We’re living in weird times and we should take anything we can get.
So here is my proposal, it’s not for the World Series. It would be simply to put a product on the field and help baseball save whatever money they can on TV contracts. Any money is better than no money. If the MLB makes nothing this year the effects will be lasting.
Round Robin/Group Stage: Each team plays 12 games against their four division rivals. Six at home, six on the road. The top two teams from each division move on to the tournament.
First Round: Top two teams from the group stage will get a first round bye. The other four teams are seeded by group stage results and play a best 5 series with seeds 3 vs 6 and 4 vs 5.
Second round: Winner of 4 vs 5 plays the number 1 seed and 3 vs 6 winner plays the number 2 seed. This would be a best of 7 series.
Final Round: Best of 7 series for the ‘championship’
It’s not perfect. Most people will poo-poo it because they are upset over the fact that they aren’t getting baseball the way they want it. But it will scratch the baseball itch and also hit that game range the owners are willing to pay for. This year is bizarre and every professional league is going to look weird. Let’s stop crying about it not feeling right and just embrace the bizarre. Hockey is going to be amazing, if NBA does 22 team format it will be fun and any baseball is better than no baseball. Once again, let’s pray both sides figure it out but if they don’t, you’re insane if you’d rather they don’t play at all.
Featured Image: Clutch Points