Major League Baseball floated a radical change to its postseason and it feels like a version of liquidating assets for a nice short-turn return without pause for what it will mean in the big picture. One of the motivating factors of expanded playoffs is to increase inventory for interested television rights holders. More meaningful games conceivably means more money.
That's easy enough to understand.
But the idea that a reality-television-inspired selection show in which the best teams choose their opponents has the ability to be a major draw, ratings-or interest-wise, doesn't pass the smell test.
First, there's the inevitability of the selections leaking before broadcast, killing all suspense. This has happened during the NCAA Tournament selection show before and torpedoed the proceedings. Then, there's the bigger issue of the limited window Major League Baseball would have to capture the public's interest -- to whatever level is really possible with this idea.
Currently, the final day of regular season baseball occurs on a Sunday with all games beginning at the same time: 3 p.m. ET. This is best practice to ensure fairness and shouldn't be changed. Let's imagine that there will be seeding scenarios to clear up headed into Game 162. Let's imagine no important game goes more than 3.5 hours. That puts 6:30 p.m. as the earliest a team could make a decision on an opponent.
And I can hear you right now, asking. "Couldn't they do that ahead of time with the league?" See above, where the danger of leaks is real.
A realistic time for this new reality show would be 7 p.m. ET or maybe 8 p.m. ET. There's an obvious problem with that time slot on an early October Sunday and it's called the NFL.
Trying to make an inroads as the afternoon action is wrapping up and the primetime game is kicking off would be a fool's errand. Delaying the process until that Monday night isn't feasible either as arrangements need to be made as quickly as possible as autumn's embers fade into winter.
Airing this thing on a weekday afternoon isn't going to accomplish anything, either.
So, uh, what's the plan here? Is there a good plan?
I sincerely hope Major League Baseball and Rob Manfred are not banking on this new wrinkle to drive any significant television numbers. In conception and reality, it's an idea stepping into the batter's box with an 0-2 count.