Major League Baseball may be making some subsantial changes to their postseason format that will split their fans once more. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports the league wants to expand the playoffs from five to seven teams from the AL and NL. They also want to let the top two teams in each league pick their postseason opponent. Yes, you read that correctly.
From the article:
In this concept, the team with the best record in each league would receive a bye to avoid the wild-card round and go directly to the Division Series. The two other division winners and the wild card with the next best record would each host all three games in a best-of-three wild-card round. So the bottom three wild cards would have no first-round home games.- New York Post
The division winner with the second-best record in a league would then get the first pick of its opponent from those lower three wild cards, then the other division winner would pick, leaving the last two wild cards to play each other.- New York Post
MLB, obviously, would televise the selection process just before the playoffs began.
This would be a wild new addition for numerous reasons. Expanding the playoff field comes with pros and cons that have been, and will continue to be, debated. But the choice of opponent given to the team with a better record is prime for some major drama that baseball is usually lacking.
As Sherman notes, the Yankees would have been one of the teams allowed to pick their opponent if the format were instituted in these past playoffs. The Red Sox would have been the last team in with an additional playoff team from the AL. Would the Yankees have chosen Boston? Would they have been ridiculed if they didn't? Such storylines would certainly draw more eyes.
These are very bold changes. We'll see if they actually come to fruition.