One of the most bizarre decisions in professional sports was approved by the owners of Major League Baseball today. The lower seeded teams in the League Division Series in both leagues will get to host games one and two this October, with the higher seeded teams getting to host the final three games if needed.
As the report from ESPN.com confirms, the approved change is designed to eliminate a travel day for the wild card team that emerges from the new one-game playoff format used starting this fall.
The change, approved by owners on Thursday, was made to accommodate baseball's new one-game wild-card playoff round. The new round of playoffs was added after schedules were set with the regular season ending Oct. 3 and the World Series starting Oct. 24.
Teams with home-field advantage will host Games 3, 4, and 5, eliminating one travel day, and the wild-card playoff winners will start the Division Series at home.
It should also be noted that this change is only effective for this fall and does not necessarily mean this will be the new format. With the one-game wild card game being added after Major League Baseball had set up their initial postseason schedule, some powers that be felt that they needed to curtail to the possible inconvenience of having to rearrange travel dates and potential hotel dates five months in advance.
Because getting multi-million dollar organizations to move around a couple of travel days would be such an inconvenience, right?
|Win one-game playoff, host Games 1 and 2
in the next round.
I still think it is silly to know that a team that may not even be worthy of being in he postseason when you really look at them will get to host the first two games of the postseason. Awesome. So a one-game wild card winner could ride the momentum of winning a one-game playoff at home, and then welcome in the best team in the National League for games one and two. Sure, the higher seed still has a supposed advantage on the mound with a more rested pitching staff, and likely their number one pitcher ready to go while the wild card may be without their ace, but they still have to come out of their first two games with a split.
That does not look like a good situation, but hey, let's wait until October rolls around to see how it all plays out.
On a related note, TBS will air the one-game playoff games on Friday, October 5 (two days after the end of the regular season, allowing one day for any potential one-game tiebreakers that may need to be played. TBS will also air those potential games, if needed, on October 4. MLB Network will cut in to TBS' postseason LDS coverage with rights to broadcast two games at some point.