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Rob Manfred Now Wants to Minimalize Winning

Recently, I’ve written about three-batter minimums, Robo-umps and other rule changes that have been made to Major League Baseball. Rob Manfred now appears to want to minimalize winning as well.

I’ve absolutely had it with Manfred, as his agenda is morphing baseball into a nearly unrecognizable sport. He’s changing rules faster than most people change underwear, oftentimes doing so unilaterally. He now wants to tinker with the postseason. STOP ALREADY!

Manfred Wants to Reward Losers

What better way to be rewarded for a victorious season (operative word: victorious) than to earn the right to partake in MLB’s playoffs?

Since 2012, October baseball brackets have consisted of 10 teams, equating to 33.3% of the total number of teams in the sport. If Manfred gets his way, winning won’t be nearly as important and the playoff landscape will explode in 2022.

At that point, the playoff brackets would increase to 14 teams, meaning that 46.7% of all teams would make the playoffs. Why worry about winning if you’re chances of making the playoffs are nearly 50-50 anyway? Wasn’t October supposed to be about teams who actually won during the regular season?

Manfred’s Postseason Plan

There would be no more single-game Wild Card rounds. According to an article in the NY Post, “… the team with the best record in each league would receive a bye to avoid the wild-card round and go directly to the Division Series.

The two other division winners and the wild card with the next best record would each host all three games in a best-of-three wild-card round. So the bottom three wild cards would have no first-round home games.”

It gets even worse, and by that I mean WAY worse.

Under Manfred’s proposed plan, the other high-ranking playoff teams would then actually get to choose their opponents from the remaining playoff field (No, I’m not kidding). Finally, the last two remaining wildcard teams would play each other.

Oh, But There’s More…

Next, his plan accelerates to what I can only describe as a circus side-show.

Manfred now wants MLB’s postseason to go prime-time. I don’t mean the ballgames, I mean the playoff-round selections. Believe it or not, he intends to make what amounts to an MLB reality TV show out of teams selecting their postseason opponents. (And here I thought the concept behind the Kardashian’s was stupid…)

This all boils down to trying to appease a generation of people with the attention span of a gnat. Manfred’s mission is to increase the pace of play, theoretically drawing bigger crowds, all while exploiting the concept of ensuring that nearly everyone can be equal in October. (Excuse me, I need to puke.)

The deal still needs to get by the MLBPA, but it looks like it could. Union chief, Tony Clark, stated, “Expanding the playoffs in a sensible way is something worth discussing as part of a much more comprehensive conversation about the current state of our game.”

For the record, the current state of the game is in shambles. Things are relatively safe until the collective bargaining agreement ends after the 2021 season, but after that, it’s game-on (or… game-off, as the case may be).

Afterthought

Manfred’s intent to absolutely destroy the sport of professional baseball is blatantly obvious. The worst part is, he’s succeeding. He’s already taken strategy out of the game, and now he wants to increase a team’s playoff chances, so as to appease fans who may be offended by their losing team.

If things are going to be equal, then make them equal. We may as well stop keeping score and forget the standings which might just upset someone. Increase the rosters to as many as a team can cram into the dugout and bullpen so that everyone – and I mean everyone – gets a chance to play. Of course, teams would probably have to forego their Cessnas for Boeing 767s in order to transport everyone, but hey, that’s the cost of doing business.

Make it so all thirty teams enter a meaningless postseason, and then give ’em all a participation trophy. No more World Series rings either. Those are just flashy pieces of bling that scream, “I’m a winner and you suck.” We certainly can’t have that.

This might be OK for Little League, but it’s not acceptable at the professional level. Winning should matter.

Hashtag: #QuitScrewingWithMyGame


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