Stepping into fantasy baseball world for a second.
I have been thinking that the playoff format of the MLB needs a face lift for two reasons: 1) to expand the playoffs to keep more teams and fans interested in the outcome, and 2) to reward those teams which had the most successful regular season.
By expanding the playoffs to six teams (three division champs and the next three best records in each league) you would keep more fans interested. Baseball season is so long that a team can be out of it in mid-June and drag their fan base through three more months of losing baseball.
Additionally, an expanded playoff will better balance the talent level in the post season. There's a very good chance that in this season, an NL or AL East team could win 90 games and not make the post season, while a team from the NL West could make it while winning 85.
As to the second point, give the teams with the better records some sort of prize for being a great team. Something like a first round bye as they do in the NFL. While I like competition, and love seeing new World Series champs, I don't think that the 88 win Cardinals should start out on the same footing as the 112 win (or however many they had) Mariners.
Seed all six teams and give the top two records a bye. Make the four others play a best of three, then move on to the top two seeds for a best of five, then the AL/NL CS best of seven, and WS best of seven.
I certainly don't like the idea of letting an influx of teams make the playoff (with losing records no less) like the NBA and then proceed to have a playoff that lasts nearly two months. I do like the NFL idea of awarding the teams that played the best during the regular season though. Giving incentives for homefield advantage and the like.
Anyways, feel free to bash the idea. I just wanted to put it down and see what other hardball fans thought of it. At the very least, let's get away with this all star game winner = homefield advantage in the world series crap. I'd be happy with just that alteration.