Major League Baseball is reportedly proposing not just tweaking their current playoff system, but blowing up the whole darn thing.
According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, MLB is not only considering expanding the number of playoff teams from 10 to 14 — six division winners and eight wild-cards — but revamping the seeding process.
In the proposal, which MLB is seriously considering, the team with the most wins in each league will get a first-round bye from a three-game wild card round. After that, the other two division winners and the wild card team with the most wins will then pick who they want to play in that best-of-three series.
So if the team with the second best record wants to, they can choose to face the team with the worst record that qualified for the playoffs. However, if the fifth seed happened to be a really appealing matchup, either because their ace is hurt or they just have struggled against them all year, the No. 2 seed could choose to play them instead.
The team with the better record would host all three games.
And if this whole proposal wasn't bonkers enough already, the selection process would all be broadcast live. Because of course it would.
After the radically new wild-card round, things would return to normal for the division series.
Major league baseball added a second wild card team for the 2012 season. While a three-game wild card round has been tossed around informally for years, this is one of the most serious proposals for moving away from the do-or-die game.
A three game wild card would have certainly helped the Pirates in 2014 or 2015, when they were mowed down by Madison Bumgarner and Jake Arrieta, two pitchers who were on historically epic runs, in the wild card game each season. The Pirates would have been home for the entirety of those proposed three-game series.
The Pirates also would have qualified as the seventh and final National League playoff seed in 2018, finishing 82-79.
And it's worth mentioning this could open the door to a sub-.500 World Series winner. If this proposal was in effect the last four years, three teams with losing records would have made the playoffs.
Baseball currently has the fewest postseason teams out of the four major North American sports. The NFL has 32 teams and 12 playoff spots, the NHL has 31 franchises and 16 playoff spots, and the NBA has 30 clubs and 16 playoff teams.
Any change to the postseason would have to be collectively bargained with the players union, so the soonest these changes could come is for the 2022 season, after a new labor agreement is in place.