MLB CONSIDERING EXPANSION, RADICAL REALIGNMENT AND A REVAMPED PLAYOFF FORMAT
MLB is reportedly considering expansion, radical realignment and a revamped playoff format. Portland and Montreal have been mentioned as the cities most likely to receive expansion franchises. Expansion would bring the total number of MLB teams to 32, leading to the creation of 4 8-team divisions (currently 6 5-team divisions) based on geography and the addition of two playoff teams.
Howie Long-Short: Why would a league that struggles to find quality pitching with 30 teams, add 2 franchises? Expansion fees! Arizona and Tampa Bay each paid $150 million to join MLB back in the late 90s. The NFL got $700 million to add a Houston franchise. MLS is taking in $150 million for their expansion franchises. The addition of 2 teams is going bring the league’s existing owners more than $1 billion to divvy up. I’m sure that will help them get over their frustrations with the 5th starter.
Fan Marino: Should the league decide to expand, it is likely the number of games/season would be reduced to 156 (from 162). Each of the 4 division winners would qualify for the division series with the next 8 teams, regardless of division, qualifying for Wild Card games. Playing 156 games (none of which are a one-game series) to determine the 12 best teams and then having 8 of them play in single elimination games, makes no sense. I’m certainly no baseball purist, but the elimination of the American and National Leagues is likely to upset those that are.