Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred believes re-seeding playoff teams after the wild-card games could be considered, but any changes to the postseason schedule are unlikely, reports ESPN's Jayson Stark.
Manfred was in attendance at PNC Park on Sunday to watch the National League Wild Card game during which the Chicago Cubs defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates finished the year with 98 wins as the Cubs took the second wild card spot with 97 victories.
“There has to be every incentive to win the division, and we think we have a format that does that,” Manfred told ESPN. “I think we had an aberrational year this year, in terms of three really strong teams [in the NL Central]. And I think it would have to happen more frequently for us to take it as something that would merit a real rethinking.”
The Cubs have advanced to the National League Divisional Series, where they will face the St. Louis Cardinals on the road. If the Cubs advanced to the National League Championship Series, they would open the series on the road against either the Los Angeles Dodgers or New York Mets. The Cubs had a better record than the Dodgers (92–70) and Mets (90–72) this season.
Manfred may consider the idea of re-seeding the playoffs in each league respectively after the wild-card game so that the two teams with the strongest records do not meet before the league championship series.
The National League divisional series between the Cubs and Cardinals as well as the Mets and Dodgers begin on Friday night.
- Christopher Chavez