It may only be in the early stages of discussion, but Major League Baseball is considering adding more teams to the playoffs, and doing it with a reality-show twist.
The New York Post reports MLB is looking into adding two wild-card teams in each league to the postseason — and giving the team with the league’s best overall record a bye into the Division Series. It would start in 2022.
But here’s where things could get really interesting: According to the Post, the division winners with the second-best record in each league would get to pick their opponent from among the three wild-card teams.
In addition, the division winners and the wild-card team with the best remaining record would host all three games in the opening round’s best-of-three series.
So where’s the reality-TV part? The selection process would take place the Sunday night the regular season ends, with representatives of all playoff teams gathered together for a “Selection Sunday” type show.
Attendance at major league games decreased last season for the seventh consecutive year, and MLB officials are looking for ways to increase fan interest and make games more meaningful.
As the Post’s Joel Sherman points out, the plan would keep more teams in playoff contention later in the season, and would give the playoffs more potential clinching games — especially in the best-of-three series — increasing the drama on TV.
For any changes to take place, however, they must be approved by the players’ union and ratified as part of the Collective Bargaining Agreement with team owners.