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Girardi favors expanded postseason in short and long term


Joe Girardi, the new manager of the Philadelphia Phillies, thinks that an expanded postseason could be a positive for the game.

Joe Girardi is in support of an expanded postseason. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)

Luckily for him, such a system is on its way this year. As first reported by Marly Rivera of ESPN, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have come together to form an expanded postseason for the 2020 season. The format has since been officially announced as a 16-team playoff.

Girardi said that he likes the idea of an expanded postseason for this year, because of the circumstances in which teams will be playing in this 60-game season. Teams will only be facing teams in their own division and the corresponding division in the opposing league to reduce travel (for example, National League East teams will only play other NL East teams and teams in the American League East). The former New York Yankees’ manager believes that a larger postseason could help level out the playing field in such a different year.

“I think it’s a good thing,” Girardi said to reporters on a Zoom call Wednesday, “because I think what everyone always talks about is that if you’re going to have playoffs and you’re going to have Wild Card teams, you want somewhat of a balanced schedule and teams crossing over and playing the same teams. Well that’s not going to happen this year.

“So I’m all for expanding the playoffs, just because of that reason.”

Girardi also expressed his openness for an expanded postseason in a normal season, beyond the one that will take place in 2020. He cited fans’ positive reception of the Wild Card game in recent years as something that baseball could build off in a larger playoff format — elimination games stir up the kind of buzz that baseball is looking to create.

“The one thing that I think brings a ton of excitement is the Wild Card games, when you have one (game),” he said. “So, I’m not so sure we couldn’t have more of those.”

While an expanded postseason is happening this season, it is still not clear how the MLB playoffs will look going forward. Either way, Girardi is in favor of what the new idea could bring.

“I’m all for it,” Girardi said. “I think the more playoff baseball we can have — and especially in a year like this — I think the more excitement we provide for our fans, and I think it’s better for the game.”

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