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Sunday, Random Sunday: Playoffs?!?!?!

Iwakuma and the A's have broken off talks, per Susan Slusser.

This week I received my autographed copy of "Death to the BCS" in the mail. I have been splitting my reading time between that and "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy. They have nothing to do with one another, besides death and a lack of playoffs

Also this week, Bud Selig was wrapping and relating at a little thing called MLB's Owners Meetings (not to be confused with the Winter Meetings in 2 weeks. Seriously, it's 2010... use Skype). Among the topic of discussions was an expanded playoff in 2012. Luckily, if other media outlets are to be believed, something like the events of Cormac McCarthy's book will begin to unfold in 2012 and we won't have to be subject to the "Montrealization" on MLB's Playoffs. No, not moving them to DC, but taking steps toward having more than half the league in the playoffs, like in the NHL.

More teams in the playoffs isn't really a bad thing I guess. I am starting to feel like playoffs are a bad thing, in general. Follow me below the fold.

Let's take the three "playoff systems" I have referenced above. In Death to the BCS, the authors propose a 16 team royal rumble, single elimination tournament. Teams make the playoff one of two ways. First, they can win either any of the Conference USA, Big 12, Pac-10 (12), WAC, Big East, MAC, MWC, Big Ten, ACC, Sun Belt or SEC regular season championship. Second, they can get voted in as an "At-Large" team.

While this system is light years ahead of the BCS, it isn't perfect. I feel like I would love it like I love the NCAA March Madness extravaganza. That is to say it will be awesome to watch, exciting as all get out and imperfect when the best team in the universe is out of the tournament on a fluke loss to Northern South Dakota State, or something.

The NHL has an answer for this. It's called the Presidents' Trophy. It's a good thing, too. Without it, the Sharks wouldn't have anything but newspaper clippings to remind them of how they were the best team in the NHL back in in 2008-2009. Of course, the scrap book would end with the Anaheim Ducks celebrating knocking them out in the first round of the playoffs, either way.

Of course, the NHL has like 10 bozillion trophies and they have all been invalidated by the fact that one of them is named for a tire company, but that is a different rant for a different day. Plus, 16 of 30 teams are in the playoffs and if this was MLB the Anaheim Ducks wouldn't have even been in the playoffs.

All of this leads me back to our beloved game of baseball. What is the best way to crown a champion?10 teams in a playoff? 4 teams in a playoff? 8 teams in a playoff?

The biggest quibble with the proposed 10 game playoff is that, to me, having the two best teams sit out the first round of the playoffs puts them at a bit of a disadvantage. I haven't done a detailed study, but I remember playing baseball in High School. When we missed a week, the game got harder. So what is a better way? 16 teams?

The problem is not that this is hard to figure out, it's that the real question is "What is the best way to crown a champion and make boatloads of money in doing so?"

The best way to crown a champion? 30 teams all play each other an equal number of times over a 6 month season. Best record takes home a trophy. Not much extra money to be had there, is there?

Best way to make money? Well, it results in teams like the 2006 Cardinals getting a trophy despite only winning 83 games when it really counts.

I'd be fine with this, if only the trophy they won had a cool title like "Lady Byng," or something.