Collective bargaining issues: expanding playoffs – MLB Sports

Last week, in a collective bargaining debate, we picked up numbers that are one of the top priorities of the MLB Players Association. Service time structure.. Today, we’ll look at one of the most important issues for Major League Baseball, the potential for post-season expansion.

As MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes discussed, expanding the playoffs has long seemed to be an important issue in the league. In January With labor adviser Eugene Friedman. More playoff teams mean more games MLB offers to its TV partners. very make a profit For the league in recent years. Under past collective bargaining agreements, playoff TV revenues have been sent exclusively to the league. Creating additional rounds for sale to FOX, Turner, or other broadcast partners will offer another plunge to the league and its owners.

The League and Players Association have already agreed to expand the playoffs by hitting 16 teams during the truncated season of 2020.It was a one-time agreement, but commissioner Rob Manfred publicly Voice support To expand the playoffs last year.Manfred previously floated 14 teams as the ideal number for the league, and ESPN’s Jessie Rogers report Last week, MLB adopted a 14-team playoff format during its initial collective bargaining proposals.

According to Rogers, MLB’s proposal includes seven postseason teams from each of the American League and the National League. In addition to the winners in the three divisions, each league has four wildcard clubs. The team with the best results in each league will receive a buy in the first round, and the remaining 6 teams in each league will participate in the 3-game Wildcard series.

In MLB’s vision, the winners of the two divisions in each league who do not receive a buy choose their opponents in the Wild Card series. The winner of the category with the second best record chooses an opponent from the bottom three wildcard clubs. The winners of the remaining divisions will continue to have access to the bottom two wildcard teams. The remaining wildcard winners will face each other. The top teams in each league will host all three games in the opening series.

The potential for post-season expansion clearly looks positive to MLB, but the impact on players can be even more complex. The introduction of playoff rounds has a direct financial benefit for some players. Under previous CBA terms, players on postseason teams received different shares of gate revenue (depending on the end of the team) in October. More playoff games mean more gate income, which will benefit some players each year.

That alone doesn’t seem to be enough to convince players to truly accept the post-season expansion. For one thing, the league’s interest in the larger playoffs is greater than the MLBPA’s interest, giving the union a strong bargaining chip and other issues that are more important to the player (ie, service time structure, luxury tax). It may draw concessions regarding the threshold). And there is no doubt that MLBPA is concerned about the potential indirect impact of extended playoffs on team consumption habits.

A large playoff field essentially means that all teams are likely to have a postseason. Higher odds can lead to self-satisfaction. Clubs that already have a strong roster may not be as motivated to improve under the field of 14 teams as they are under the current system because they are already happy with the current odds. .. Removing the wild card game reduces the incentive for the team to win the division. This is because division winners and wildcard clubs will participate in the opening round three-game series as well (although the potential bye-bye of the top seeds will increase the club’s incentives, pursuing the league’s best record). ..

This is especially true for MLB. This is a league with a relatively high level of variance in a small sample. MLB playoff series Hard to predict The trend was strengthened in 2021 when the playoff team (Braves), who had the worst regular season record, won the World Series than they were in leagues like the NBA and NFL. Based on its high level of playoff volatility, many teams may be happy to make a postseason-even as one of the lower seeds-and just want a hot stretch there once. increase. Lowering entry criteria can make it harder for organizations that already have a strong big league roster to work as free agents. This is an obvious concern for the athletes’ union.

MLB can counteract that potential being offset by a higher desire to improve among middle-class clubs. After all, the variability of that small sample gives teams with average or slightly above average rosters the opportunity to run long playoffs. For example, improving from a 76-win roster to an 84-win roster is significantly more influential under this vision than the current system.

Still, the MLBPA seems to reserve competitive incentives for the expanding playoffs.Like Rogers, it’s reflected in their opposition report Union’s latest offer includes 12 teams postseason instead of the 14 clubs MLB wants. The details of the MLBPA offer aren’t clear, but Rogers suggested that each league change from the current three-division setup to two divisions (one for eight clubs and one for seven clubs). Said that it would include a significant restructuring.

The MLBPA has already shown openness to the playoffs for 12 teams, so it would be surprising if the next CBA didn’t involve any expansion. Even if MLBPA doesn’t play in a 14-team tournament, it’s unlikely that the 10-team status quo will be maintained, as MLB probably prefers a 12-team setup to the current system. Union comfort to playoff expansion can be of great help in landing more favorable results in some other areas where the MLBPA feels more imminent.

For fans, expanding the playoffs seems to be primarily a matter of aesthetic taste. Some will naturally react to that idea and will eventually bring a new mark to the worst regular season record for the World Series Champion (currently held by Cardinal 83-78 in 2006). MLB has traditionally had a smaller post-season field than other major leagues, making it a big attraction for some fans. On the other hand, some viewers may enjoy a larger field. More opportunities to reach the postseason mean more teams will continue to fight. This could increase the fan base invested in August and September each season. This will be characteristic of many observers.

– MLB Sports

Collective bargaining issues: expanding playoffs Collective bargaining issues: expanding playoffs

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