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Dodgers News: Joe Musgrove’s Words Should Make You Think MLB Has a Playoff Problem

The newly designed postseason for 2022 featured a brand-new round of games, where instead of two teams in each league playing a single game for the final spot in the Division Series, four teams in each league took part in a Wild Card Series to earn the final two spots in the DS. The two divisions in each league with the best records got a bye in that first round, going straight to the DS.

So far, at least two of those teams with byes have been eliminated in the Division Series, and if the Yankees lose tonight it will be three out of four.

The problem, though, probably isn’t the new format. It’s probably, as Ian O’Connor writes in the New York Post, the same problem that has existed for the nearly 30 years the Division Series has been around: the series is just too short.

Padres pitcher Joe Musgrove agrees, even though he probably didn’t mean to.

“We got beat up on pretty good by these guys this year, and as a kid growing up I sat in those stands and I watched us get beat up by those guys for years. So to be able to knock them off in this round — it’s probably better that we had to face them in a five-game series than a seven. But you’re seeing this team starting to find its identity and really turn it on here down the stretch.”

The Dodgers lost three straight games to the Padres, so there’s no guarantee they would have fared better in a seven-game series. But as O’Connor says, if the goal is to identify the best team, a seven-game series is much more fair.

Musgrove understands that it’s much easier to apply pressure to the high seeds when elimination is lurking around the bend. …

This is about devising a system that gives the sport its best odds of identifying its best team. And a best-of-seven division series is that system.

That’s the thing, though. The postseason hasn’t been about identifying the best team in a long, long time. The World Series used to exist because the American and National Leagues were entirely separate entities, so it was “our best against your best to see who is the best.” Now, it’s just another postseason tournament.

Whoever wins the World Series this year — or any year — has a rightful claim as World Series champ. But we probably shouldn’t delude ourselves into thinking they have a claim on the “best team in baseball” title, especially with three- and five-game series making upsets so common.

16 Comments

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  1. The way the Dodgers hit, they would have lost a seven game series to every other team, including the Nat’s, A’s and Pirates.

  2. The Dodgers chose to not stand for Bowers rights, and he was the pitcher the Dodgers needed after losing Buehler. The Dodgers chose Turner over Seager, when Seager led the team to their only Championship in 32 years. Turner cost them game #2. so mngt lost this series. Roberts just aided the Padres by making Kershaw the #2 pitcher when it’s obvious he and his 91 MPH pitches are batting practice. Anderson was by far the 2nd best, if not the best pitcher on the staff. Leaving Justin Turner in the line up was a huge mistake as he left 10-15 runners on base time after time. Roberts and his playing favorites always costs him championships.

  3. Ian McConnor you are exactly right, major league baseball is becoming the NHL, NBA, NFL or any other league that believe the fans only care about their team getting in. People want that for sentimental reasons but they do want the best team to face each other and win if only to legitimize their claims about their own team if they are the best team facing the other League best team. Comissioner Manfred is pushing for mediocrity, not excellence…

  4. Let’s play the entire season as just 81 games. The we eliminate the last place team in each division, and have an extended playoff that lasts about 80 game or so! Everyone gets a participation award and most of the team’s regular season records mean nothing. Go the NBA route and get all cozy with China while were at it. In the off season here the Dodgers could have their Wuhan franchise club play ball over there. Monetize it even more.

    • The thing about the NBA that on very rare occasions has a team seeded lower than 3 in a conference made it to the NBA finals. The MLB playoffs have in many ways become similar to the NHL playoffs, where for years the top seeded teams have lost to teams that finished 20-30 points behind in the regular season (i.e. it has become somewhat of a total crapshoot). I guess that’s what MLB wants and the players signed off on it, so no going back now. I could possibly see MLB making the divison series best of 7, that’s what I would do. I would also shorten the regular season to 154 games to shorten the season by a week so that all these extra rounds of playoffs can be finished before November 1.

  5. I have to admit I hate the large market teams (i.e. Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox). I think baseball needs some kind of a cap or some type of equaling out of revenue. That said, it’s happened more than not since the addition of wildcard teams that the best regular season teams usually lose and often early in the playoffs (Last year SF won 107 games and like the Dodgers were out in the division series). I think by going for more wild card teams baseball has completed watered down and made the regular season in many ways useless. Just get hot in playoffs that is way more important than winning 100+ games.

  6. Maybe we should just shortened the MLB season to 60 games so the Dodgers can win the WS another again? ? y’all team choked, plain and simple. Just admit it.

  7. Lol. Wouldn’t be a bad system if your team won, right? Why even have playoffs. Best regular season record wins the trophy. SMH

  8. The number of games played was not the problem. The problem was Roberts’ inability to let a pitcher continue when they are showing no weaknesses or inability to get hitters out. Anderson was rolling along well and showing no signs of losing his pitching ability. But Roberts’ just felt as the manager they are paying me to manage so he had to do something whether it was warranted or not. He did the same thing in 2018 to Rich Hill who was going great in the 7th inning. But NO, Roberts had to take him out of the game too. The end result in both games was a Dodgers loss. So, Dave Roberts is the problem not the number of games played to determine the winner. Just get rid of Roberts and most of the problems in post season will be solved.

  9. Not a problem unique to the Dodgers…not sour grapes. Make it a 7 game series and shorten the regular season OR get rid of Manfred and move back toward traditional baseball. We don’t need bigger bases; Manfred needs a bigger brain! What serious, knowledgeable fan can support that man for Commissioner? He’s not the MLB commissioner, he the owner’s commissioner. Maybe we need wild card candidates for his job..you know the hottest one gets his job ;-))!
    Bring on the improved Padres, strengthening the NL West is good for baseball but don’t limit any fans ability to buy a post-season ticket based on their home address. That’s not sticking to traditional MLB as we know it in our lifetimes.

  10. 2nd and 3rd game LA starting pitching faltered
    And as a team they didn’t hit well..
    That simple…!!!

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