Some ideas aren’t worth making it to the discussion stage. Adding two more teams to baseball’s postseason is a perfect example.

The idea of having 10 playoff teams is kind of like the recent push to expand the popular NCAA basketball team to 96 teams – a poor one.

The greedy folks at the NCAA analyzed expansion from 65 to 96 teams and eventually realized that all they would be doing was messing up a good thing. Cooler heads – and intelligent domes – prevailed and the tourney was expanded by just three teams to 68.

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig is pushing the playoff expansion idea as he personally craves a 10-team postseason as opposed to the current eight-team format that works fine.

Selig is apparently unaware that Game 5 of this year’s World Series between the San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers is being played on November 1. He has already wrecked the once-hallowed month of October postseason baseball with all the unnecessary off-days and longer breaks between series.

Guess Selig’s next goal is for Game 7 of the World Series to be played while you are eating your Thanksgiving dinner.

If the goal is to make the baseball season longer than the never-ending NBA season, then go ahead and expand. If the goal is to have a week of games snowed out in a blizzard some year, go ahead and approve expansion.

The baseball owners aren’t interested in shortening the 162-game regular season because they don’t want to lose revenue – those $6 partially cooked hot dogs and $10 beers apparently keep a few teams afloat. Without shortening the season, it makes no sense to do something that extends the season even longer.

Adding two more teams would also mean some issues with logistics. (Did I just write the word logistics? That darn UPS commercial is still haunting me).

With 10 teams – that’s five playoff clubs from each league – you suddenly need byes in the baseball playoffs. Sorry, sitting around for a week to 10 days waiting for a series to end is not a reward for the team with the best record in the National and American Leagues.

Byes in baseball are a silly idea but Selig apparently even has a dumber one. The commissioner actually thinks having two wild-card teams in each league play a one-game playoff series would be a prudent way to make a 10-team format work without lengthening the postseason.

So why do we need expansion for a one-game playoff? We already have that occurring – see Minnesota Twins vs. Detroit Tigers in 2009; Twins vs. Chicago White Sox in 2008, San Diego Padres vs. Colorado Rockies in 2007, etc.

It is beyond silly to play a 162-game season just to have two teams then meet in a one-game wild-card postseason contest.

This season’s American League East race is a perfect example of how ridiculous the one-game wild-card playoff series idea is.

The Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees staged a frantic race for the division title with the Rays (96-66) prevailing by one game over the Yankees (95-67).

Under Selig’s wacko two wild-card teams idea, the Yankees then would have played the Boston Red Sox (89-73) for the right to advance into the main draw. I’d say that would be pretty unfair for the Yankees if they had to play a one-and-done playoff series after narrowly losing the division crown and winning six more games than Boston in the regular season.

Obviously, you are all smart enough to know the reason why Selig is pushing this: Money.

Baseball’s television ratings continue to decline and this is an attempt to spice things up in the eyes of TV network executives – the more games that are played; the more advertising time that can be sold. The more UPS Logistics commercials that air, the more money that lands in the coffers of major-league teams.

Baseball is more desperate than ever before as more and more viewers vote no to their sport with their remote controls.

Think about this: The Sunday night football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and New Orleans Saints just outdrew Game 4 of the World Series. Yeah, seriously – a midseason football game was more appealing to sports’ fans than baseball’s championship series.

Another eye-opening thing happened in mid-October when a horrid NFL game between the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars – Nashville and Jacksonville are two of the smallest pro sports markets – outdrew an American League Championship Series game between the Texas Rangers and New York Yankees.

An uncompetitive NFL game – Tennessee won 30-3 – drew more viewers than a baseball postseason game featuring the nation’s largest television market in New York.

So viewers aren’t rushing to their television sets to watch baseball games in the World Series and the ALCS and Selig thinks more postseason games is the answer?

Bud, I got some advice for you: Let’s drop this silly idea now and perhaps you can spend more time figuring out if a full-fledged instant replay system has a place in baseball.

That would be a far better use of your time.


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