Max Scherzer, pitcher for the New York Mets, favors a radical rework of the knockouts, a match that will be seeded higher in the first round of the post-season Open Open that kicks off a five-game streak with a 1-0 lead.
Major League Baseball and the locked players, who continued talks on Sunday, will both expand post-season from 10 teams – that’s the field since 2012, different from the 16 teams in the 2020 season already shorten the pandemic.
The federation prefers 12 and the sides appear to be aiming for that number, but Scherzer said the players would consider 14 if the clubs agreed to a “ghost win” format.
Under the MLB’s 14-team plan, the league champion with the best regular-season performance in each league will be bid farewell and proceed straight to the Division Series. The other two division’s winners will pick their opponents and stay home for the entire three-team round.
The winning team in the division with the second best record will choose its opponent from among the three lowest-seeded wild card teams. The winner of the division with the third best record will then be chosen from among the remaining two wild cards. The top wild card will face whichever team remains after the division winners make their selection and also play all home games.
Selections will be made on a TV show.
“We felt like competition could be eroded in that scenario, and we had specific examples of different players speaking out highlighting that specifically,” said Scherzer. said after Tuesday’s labor talks.
“Continuing from the winners of that division down, we don’t see the right momentum for the other two division winners,” the New York Mets pitcher added. “We don’t understand why they don’t want to put us in a more competitive format.”
The lockdown came on Saturday 94, four days after Commissioner Rob Manfred canceled the first two series of the regular season, which had been scheduled to begin on March 31. will respond on Sunday to MLB’s latest offer, the last before negotiations close. Tuesday.
Before the talks broke down, the players said they could agree to a post-tournament team of 12 depending on a mutual agreement. There is still a chance that the 14 teams could return to the discussion, depending on the balance in the final stages of the negotiations.
According to the post-season plan, the union has been in verbal discussions but has yet to decide whether to formally propose, the higher seed to be home for all games and need two wins to progress. , while the away team will have to win three times.
A team that is eliminated in the first round will have to rest for at least five days, which can complicate the warm-up schedule and the fans of the lower seed in the opening round will not have any matches on the field. House.
Scherzer debated the plan during a meeting Monday with Colorado CEO Dick Monfort, and MLB told the union they were not interested. MLB does not consider “ghost games” to be a hobby of broadcasters and thinks the concept will not be well received by fans.
MLB spokesman Glen Caplin said: “The original proposed 14-team format offers a significant advantage to divisional winners and provides incentives to win at all levels of the league. round,” MLB spokesman Glen Caplin said Saturday. Discuss the format that includes a ghost game. MLB has made it clear that “ghost games” pose serious problems and are not a viable path forward. ”
“Ghost Victory” has been used in the Korean Baseball Organization since 2015, when its knockouts expanded from four teams to five in the 10-club league. The latest round of three-card wilds ended in one game in five of seven seasons, with the lower-seeded team forced to play another game in 2016 and last year, then losing the final both times. .
“Working with economists on union staff, we feel like we’ve come up with a format where you’re going to encourage competition throughout the season, especially for those on the pitch,” Scherzer said. division winners. “We don’t see that having home-field advantage alone is going to be the gear needed to try to go out and win your league.”
There is no “ghost win” formula, says Scherzer, “the 12-team format makes more sense for us.”
Pitcher Andrew Miller, like Scherzer, a member of the union’s eight-man executive committee, said Scherzer’s thoughts on post-season carry weight within the union.
“The core goal of this negotiation is to increase competition, and it’s not like we’re leaving the table without having something to do with that,” Miller said. “We spent a lot of time debating the merits of different playoff formats, and there’s probably no better person to ask in the room than Max. But we won’t do anything to sacrifice this competition of the season. Anything geared towards mediocrity, that’s the antithesis of our game and what we’re all about as players. “