Mark Madden

Mark Madden

The Super Genius of Pittsburgh Sports.Full Bio



A proposal is on the table to change the MLB playoffs by 2022.

It is incredibly stupid.

Seven teams (out of 15) qualify for the playoffs in each league: Three division winners and four wild cards.

Don’t worry, Pirates fans: You still won’t make it.

Fourteen MLB teams (out of 30) making the playoffs is a lot like hockey. It is so un-baseball, especially when the league champs went straight to the World Series from 1903-68 and only four teams made the playoffs from 1969-93.

The team with the best record in each league gets a first-round bye. The two remaining division winners plus the wild-card with the best record host a best-of-three series. The bottom three wild cards get zero home games.

The No. 2 seed picks its foe for the first round. The No. 3 seed picks from what’s left. The remaining teams play.

Choosing your opponent = reality TV.

When you pick a foe, you basically say, “These guys suck, and we want to play them.” It’s artificially creating an issue. Every time a road team that was “chosen” pulls the upset, its players will say, “They picked us. They underestimated us.” The “chosen” team imagines insult, and the “choosing” team absorbs the pressure.

It’s dumb. It’s too many teams. Baseball lasts too long already. The No. 1 seed has to sit for the best part of a week, which does not help them.

I like the current format. I love the two single-elimination wild-card games to kick off the post-season.

But this proposal = more playoff games, and more money.

It keeps playoff races alive longer. That also means more money.

The greed is so transparent.

That’s sports: Then, now and forever.

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