Chicago Cubs: Rob Manfred does it again with playoff format proposal
Chicago Cubs: Why is this being discussed now?
MLB also hopes that this proposal eliminates the incentive for teams to tank. OK, this tanking obsession is overwrought. That said, this proposal in no way guarantees teams won’t tank. Teams do so because their MLB club is weak, their farm system can’t sustain a rebuild and their payroll lacks the flexibility to add significant pieces.
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The Astros and Cubs found themselves in this situation by 2010. Both teams had aging, veteran-heavy rosters, depleted farm systems, and high payrolls. The Cubs were further hindered by a tech-blind front office and scouting system.
The same is true more recently of the Baltimore Orioles and Detroit Tigers. Both are currently tearing down their big league teams and the O’s have revamped their scouting and front office operations.
First, MLB loves to toss ideas out in the offseason. Three-batter minimums, starting runners on second base in extra-inning games, moving the mound back two feet, robotic umps, and more, were all announced in the offseason. Maybe that’s their way of doing trial balloons?
In addition, all this will have to be approved by the MLBPA and become a part of the new CBA. No, actually what this really is all about is chasing the almighty TV dollar. MLB and its owners, not content with record-setting profits every year, is stepping on the gas with this idea. Now, if that redounded to the benefit of fans by way of lower ticket prices and cheaper concessions that would be great. Don’t bank on it.
This idea will hopefully meet with the ridicule of fans and players alike, as Trevor Bauer tweeted Monday, and die a thousand deaths. However, when it comes to money there is little that MLB and owners won’t tolerate.