This is one of the most exciting times in baseball with only a month of the season to go and many division and wild card races undecided. It is clear the teams that have distinguished themselves as the best in baseball (Red Sox, Astros, Cubs, Indians, etc.) from those who have not (Royals, Tigers, (nearly the entire AL Central), Marlins, Padres, Orioles etc.). There is no need to discuss what has already been discussed in an already exciting season when many of the suspected “super teams” were supposed to take over leaving everyone else in the dust. Surprises like the Rockies, Brewers, and A’s have kept everyone on their toes. I want to take a look at the losers of the league. At the moment the O’s are a full 52 games back of Boston for the AL East and the notion of “tanking” to imitate what the Royals, Cubs, and Astros have succeeded in starts to become clear.
What if there would be another playoff??? Only this playoff would be between the bottom 8 teams in the league. Would people watch it or would it crush TV ratings? Probably not. But these bottom teams would play for the first overall pick in the draft. The bracket would be the same as any other. The worst worst team would play best of the worst teams and so on. It would be formatted where the NL and AL meet up in the championship (championship?). The remaining 12 teams will slot in by record as normal. What this would do is curb completely tanking. The team would have to be just bad enough to make the loser playoffs (official title yet to be decided) but good enough to win the series to win the number one pick. Instead of 7 game series these would be best of 3 until the championship that would be best of 5.
Tanking has been shown to be effective in turning a franchise around, but for the fanbases, this would add some late season excitement. While in baseball the number 1 pick is no guarantee and the top 8 could all turn out to be stars or busts, this could be more effective in other sports specifically basketball where the number one overall pick often times turns out to be a star (sorry Anthony Bennet) and tanking is criticized.
Some concerns with the system would be how to gain interest in it. Who knows maybe people would enjoy it, but not many outside of that certain teams’ fanbase. I know if someone asked if I wanted to watch a Baltimore vs Detroit game id maybe throw up. TV broadcasts may not be feasible and even if they were it would not do very well. Another issue would be when to hold games. They could be played at the same time as the winners playoff but nobody would care. They could have morning games but that too wouldn’t help too much. While many of the stadiums would not sell out, since when did any of the teams that would be in there sell out throughout the season in which they suffered.
Comment below on thoughts and if you think this would work in MLB or any other sport!
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