Selig to MLB Schedule Makers: “Run It Twice”

The Major League Baseball season is long, and, theoretically, there’s a reason for that even beyond making the league and owners a ton of money: to ensure that the best teams win out in the long run; i.e., to mitigate the effects of short-term luck.

At the same time, Commissioner Bud Selig has recently proposed and pushed through the addition of a second wild card team from each league. The extra spot makes the results of the long season a bit less meaningful, as a team that would have otherwise been an also-ran could have a hot September, nab a wild card, win the one-game playoff, and go all the way with your mom!.

Realizing that he has made a mistake — that only the very best teams should play for the pennants — but also realizing that it’s too late to revoke the second wild card, the Commish has decided to correct this by significantly amending the regular season schedule: he’s borrowed the idea of “running it twice” from the world of high stakes poker.

In short, upon the completion of the regular season, a second regular season will be played, each team’s Wins and Losses then being averaged in order to determine the ten playoff teams. The playoffs will then proceed under the four-wild-card-team setup.

Below is NotGraphs’ documentation of Selig’s address to the unidentified organization that creates MLB’s schedule.


“We’re going to run it twice. I’ve spoken to Daniel Negreanu, and this is a way to ensure that the ten best teams will be the ten playoff teams.”


“Right now, we’re running it once, as they say. Even the best teams can get unlucky over a single 162-game season….”


“…That’s why we’re going to run it twice.”


“In the coming decades before my retirement — let’s face it, I will never die — I’d like to see the regular season run as many as eight times.”


“Did I say eight times? I meant ten. By 2020, I’d like to be running through the regular season schedule ten times to determine the participants for a single postseason.”


“What’s that? Running it ten times is impossible? But I promised Peter Ang–Oh. Ok.”


“What about five times? Can we run it five times?”


“Three and a half times then. And a thumb. We’ll run it three-and-a-half-fingers-and-a-thumb times.”


“One time? Ok, one time, but in parallel universes, simultaneously. Thank you.”


“I lost my page.”




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15 Responses to “Selig to MLB Schedule Makers: “Run It Twice””

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  1. beachykeen says:

    Where the poker nerd and the baseball nerd in me collide.

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  2. Gasper says:

    Or they could shorten the regular season to 108 games (May-August), and run the playoffs like the NFL, top 12 make it, top 4 get first round byes, and have the first round be a 3-game set (Mon.-Wed.), with what we’ve know to be the ‘regular’ playoffs starting the Friday after the season is over. That would make sense though…so baseball won’t do it.

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    • Jack says:

      That doesn’t give us enough time to fit in the second season If we assume six games a week, then one month for playoffs, then add in both spring trainings, the all star breaks, and a decent sized off season, no more than a 50 or so game season is possible. A possible schedule.
      Mar-Spring Training
      Apr-Reg. Season
      May-Reg. Season
      June-Playoffs
      July-Spring Training 2
      August-Reg Season
      September-Reg Season
      October-Playoffs 2
      November-Playoffs 3 (A combination of the first two)
      December-More of Playoffs 3
      January-Free Agency

      That just leaves one month for everythin else.

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    • MikeS says:

      They make more money off the regular season because of volume. 15 games a day instead of 4 or fewer (or 6 under your plan). They will never shorten the season.

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  3. kris says:

    i really thought this was the post that notgraphs replaced the standard period with the more grammatically correct full stop, with your mom Alas, this was not the case with your mom The wait continues and my dreams have been crushed with your mom

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  4. yaboynate says:

    I declare this post to be Disney Magical.

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  5. Greg W says:

    We were so close to this happening! I could feel it!

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  6. GotHeem says:

    This may be the funniest thing i’ve ever read on NotGraphs and there are some real gems on here

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  7. Matt says:

    In the 17 full seasons since wild card was implemented, a race has been decided by a one game margin less than a third of the time (32%). That margin has been three games or greater over half the time (56%). In 2001, the 102-win Oakland Athletics won the wild card by a 17 game margin over the 85-win Minnesota Twins. The fault with affording that Twins team an opportunity to upset that Athletics team far outweighs the merits of advancing a team that falls one game short…the season was and should again be 162 games for a reason.

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    • Sociology Degreeer says:

      Yes. Let’s pull the one example in 17 years over and over again please. Can you imagine the horror that would have ensued 11 years ago if the A’s had to face Brad Radke? On national television? For all the marbles?

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    • Matt says:

      Yes, pay no attention to the other 53% of the instances where a one-game playoff would be unwarranted.

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  8. jim says:

    3/9 commenters here do not realize this is notgraphs

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  9. Steve Balboni says:

    Let’s do it EuroSoccer style. Best 2012 regular season record wins the MLB Championship. Spread out over the 2013 season, the division/wild card teams play a tournament to win the MLB Cup (e.g., a series every month).

    There is no reason the post season tournament in American sports needs to immediately follow the regular season. (Some different players, sure, but today’s Boston roster will differ from its playoff roster). The Tournament games can be part of (and counting toward) the regular season schedule. That would doubly spice up the regular season.

    Hell, add a third tournament during the season with Minor League champions, College champions and MLB’s division winners. Or a 4th one with Mexican, Japan and Korean teams visiting. It works pretty great in England.

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