Major League Baseball wants to implement a 14-team playoff tournament starting next season, but may need to look at the plans due to the strained relationship with the Players Association.
At least The Athletic reported on Sunday. The media outlet claims that negotiations, which may arise as the player market opens up in an uncertain economic background due to the COVID pandemic, may be strained.
Despite signing a record-breaking broadcasting contract with the TBS network, in September some teams such as the Boston Red Sox claimed that the loss of the box office, which would account for 40% of revenues, could have serious consequences. Athletes, including Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor, do not believe it and do not plan to make any salary concessions.
When the players agreed to reduce the number of teams qualifying for the playoffs from 10 to 16 before the resumption this summer, they only gave their approval for one season while expressing concern about easy access to the end of the season tournament and player health.
During the 14-club scenario, the national and American league champions would receive a pass in the first round. The other two section champions and the best second places in each league would thus have an advantage at home in a best-of-three series.
Reserved for the best
Traditionally, baseball finals in the major league have been the hardest to beat in the major leagues in America. Before the labor dispute in 1994, only the four section champions continued the season. Beginning in 1995, sections grew to six and qualifying teams to eight, with the addition of top runners in each league.
In 2012, a suicide match was added between the top two teams in each league among the teams that had not finished first in their respective sections, so 10 teams continued to play after the 162 regular matches.