Report: MLB, MLBPA discussing expanded playoffs

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Jon Heyman reports that MLB and the MLBPA are discussing expanded playoffs following the 60-game regular season. The current idea is to expand the total number of playoff teams from 10 to 16.

Despite back-and-forth negotiations in May and June, the two sides were unable to successfully renegotiate the temporary March agreement, which set into place many of the details for the 2020 season. As a result, commissioner Rob Manfred enacted the 2020 season at 60 games following a unanimous vote from the owners. The playoffs remained the same as in previous seasons.

The owners want expanded playoffs because they will make most of their money this year from postseason TV revenue. There will be no ticket or concession revenues as games will not be played in front of fans. If the union is to agree to expanded playoffs, the owners would likely have to be generous in sharing their profits. Exactly how much of the pie they’ll have to give up remains to be seen.

As Heyman notes, any agreement to expand the playoffs must be made before the 2020 regular season officially kicks off at 7:08 PM ET on Thursday, when the Nationals host the Yankees.

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

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TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.