By Fred Wallace
Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire ".
Spring Training in Major League Baseball is fully underway.
The pitchers and catchers reported last week, and teams like the Toronto Blue Jays conducted their first full workout yesterday.
Come Saturday, the first in a month of Spring Training games for Toronto commences when they face the New York Yankees
The Yankees are the early favorites to win the 2020 World Series, listed at 3 to 1 by vegasinsider.com
The Blue Jays.............?
You've got to go down the list a long way to see them at 100 to 1, so October Baseball looks like a very slim possibility.
However, I see Major League Baseball is considering expanding the playoffs to nearly half the 30 teams and allowing higher-seeded wild-card teams to choose opponents.
Under the proposal, the playoffs would grow to 14 teams, according to the New York Post, which would include 4 Wild cards in each league.
Therefore, 2 Leagues, 3 Division winners + 4 Wild Cards = 14 of 30 teams, almost half of MLB advancing to the playoffs.
The expanded concept would see the division winner with the best regular-season record advance directly to the Division Series.
The other two division winners and wild-card teams would start in a best-of-three round.
The division winner with the second-best record would choose its opponent from among the three lowest-seeded wild-card teams.
The division winner with the third-best record would then get to pick from among the remaining two wild cards.
The top wild card would face whichever team is left over after the division winners make their choices.
Of course, there's 2 caveats here;
1) Any proposal would have to be negotiated with the players' association.
and 2) The playoff opponent selection would be made on a TV show.
Personally, I'm a child of the 4 division era, and everything since, no matter how much interest it generates in various centres, has always seemed gimmicky to me.
I'm Fred Wallace