On this wonderful day off from work (yes, religious context...I didn't have to work today and for that I'm thankful) I've finally been able to spend some time with my Google Reader and I see that our dear friend Bud Selig is talking about expanded playoffs. Yesterday in a press release Selig said claimed that there's been substantial talks about introducing an extra wild card qualifier from each league.
That would mean 10 of the 30 teams make the playoffs and we routinely see baseball into November. Details from Selig's statement can be read here.
- Over at Fangraphs they look at the pros and cons of the expanded playoffs and then have their own proposal.
Whether you think about the MLB adding extra teams to the playoffs, or the NFL expanding the season to 18 games it all comes down to one factor. Cash in the owners pockets. Baseball teams (read:owners) make truckloads of cash whether their team gets swept or runs any given series to it's full length the teams pull in huge amounts of revenue. At The Biz of Baseball Maury Brown takes a look at how the Minnesota Twins playoff appearance (read: chokejob) added millions of dollars to their season. To be absolutely clear - the 2010 Twins played 3 games. They got swept by the Yankees in the Division Series.
While actual playoff figures aren't publicly released, based on the '08 Rays and '09 Angels runs each home game is worth somewhere in the realm of $2 million. According to the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal:
60 percent of total gate receipts from non-deciding games — the first three games of the Division Series and the first four games of both the Championship Series and the World Series — go into a pool for postseason players, with the other 40 percent going to the home team. The home team receives 100 percent of the revenue for any additional non- deciding games played within a series.
The player pool is distributed as follows: 36 percent to the World Series winner, 24 percent to the World Series loser, 12 percent to the two Championship Series losers, 3 percent to each of the four Division Series losers and 1 percent to each of the four second-place teams that did not make the playoffs as a wild card
In other words more playoffs means more money. More tickets sold, more concessions and in the end more season tickets for the following year.
Teams on the verge of the playoffs will see this their chance to compete. But with 10 different teams in the League Championship Series in the last 6 seasons does adding more teams to the mix emphasize more parity or more money to the perennial playoff teams owners?
If we do end up seeing lots of playoff baseball in November, you can be promised many more videos like this. Nobody needs that.