MiLB has announced it will extend the AAA season by ten games. To give these ten games some “meaning” it will be called Final Stretch and the winner of it will be rewarded a prize…
The regular AAA season will end on September 19 (AAA West) and September 21 (AAA East). The champions for each division will be named based on the best winning percentage. In the past, the both the Pacific Coast League and the International League had a playoff system that led to a best-of-five championship series. But hey, MLB has wrung the neck of both leagues, so they have dumped the playoff system as well. Bye bye playoff excitement.
But MiLB wants to add some more excitement to the AAA season, so the made up a ten game extension in which all thirty teams will face one certain opponent in five home games and five road games. The best team of this ten game extension, will be crowned “Final Stretch” champion and will be rewarded a prize from Major League Baseball… MLB. Then we know this whole plan comes from the hand of MLB instead of MiLB.
Of course, in a relatively short term of ten games, there will be more teams with the same record. MiLB has set forward the following tiebreakers for both the regular-season and Final Stretch period:
1. Best regular season winning percentage.
2. Regular season head-to-head record (if three or more teams are tied, the best winning percentage in games among the teams).
3. Best regular season winning percentage over the final 20 games.
4. Best regular season winning percentage over the final 21 games, etc.
Since MLB is involved in this plan, we can say that the only reason to add ten games to the regular MiLB season, is to make sure AAA players stay in shape during the remainder of the MLB season. Nothing more, nothing less.
If MiLB (read MLB) really wanted to add some excitement, they should have kept the playoff format of the former Pacific Coast League and International League. What is more exciting than playoff baseball?
The only positive thing about this extension is that the fans of all thirty AAA teams will get the opportunity to watch more games of their favorite MiLB team. But MLB should stop with selling this extension like they care about MiLB and its fans. As a matter of fact, MLB doesn’t give a shit about Minor League Baseball. We have learned that in the past year.