If Texas Rangers manager Bruce Bochy was skeptical about the newly expanded postseason, it doesn’t seem like he is now.
ESPN.com polled Major League executives during the recent winter meetings in San Diego about a variety of topics, including the new postseason format.
Six teams from each league made the postseason last season: three division champions and three Wild Card teams. The top two division winners received a bye, while the other four teams played in a best-of-three Wild Card game, an expansion of the previous winner-take-all Wild Card game.
After that, the winners advanced to a best-of-five division series, followed by a best-of-seven championship series.
The Houston Astros won the World Series.
Bochy admitted he thought the expansion would “overwhelm” the postseason. But in the end, he said, the best team won.
“You look at how it went, and I know there are some questions, well, some teams are sitting there, it affected them,” Bochy said. “But the best team won. The best team was the world champions. And I think the interest it has created is good for the game. It is good for many fans of our country. And a lot of teams that ended up struggling to get there. So I’m fine with that.”
Bochy won three World Series titles with the San Francisco Giants in 2010, 2012 and 2014 in the previous format with five teams in each league. In 2010 and 2012, the Giants won the National League West before winning the World Series.
In 2014, the Giants were a Wild Card team. In fact, San Francisco was the 5th seed and beat the 4th seeded Pittsburgh Pirates, followed by the Washington Nationals (NLDS) and the St. Louis Cardinals (NLCS) before defeating the Kansas City Royals in the World Series.
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