Sources told the New York Post, Sports Illustrated and ESPN that MLB is considering increasing the playoff field from five to seven teams in each league beginning in 2022. The 30-team league is also weighing the idea of allowing the team with the best record in the American League and the top team in the National League to pick their first playoff opponents.
The concept includes allowing the two other division winners and wild card teams with the best record to host all three games of a best-of-three wild-card round. The division winners with the second-best record in each league would get to pick their opponents from the winners of the three-game wild card matchups.
The plan also includes everything playing out on TV, with team representatives making live selections of which teams they want to play.
“No idea who made this new playoff format proposal, but Rob is responsible for releasing it, so I’ll direct this to you, Rob Manfred,” Bauer tweeted Monday. “Your proposal is absurd for too many reasons to type on Twitter and proves you have absolutely no clue about baseball. You’re a joke.”
MLB presented the rule change ideas to the Major League Baseball Players Association last month. A union spokesperson said Manfred mentioned the ideas as part of an informal conversation, but they were never part of a proposal.
Gregorius and former MLB catcher Paul Lo Duca also tweeted their support for Bauer’s Twitter response. The new playoff format must be collectively bargained between the league and union before being instituted.