I thought this article on potentially expanding the baseball playoffs was rather interesting (not so much because I think it is a realistic possiblity as it is interesting to think about):
The new head of the players’ union says his members are open to adding more wild-card teams for 2012 and possibly extending the division series to a best-of-seven.
The main concerns, of course, other than "watering down" the playoffs, are either expanding the overall season or reducing the number of regular season games, which I'm guessing the teams would not like as it would reduce revenue. Though the article references adding one additional wild card team, I'm not sure how that would work. You can't just give the team with the best overall record a bye, because then you have three teams left after the first round and that makes things tough. I suppose you could add one wild card and have the two wild card teams play a shortened "play-in" series (3 games? 5 games?) to determine who goes into the "real" playoffs with the other three teams, but that'd be strange.
You could add two wild cards (so 6 teams make the playoffs from each league) and that would work well if you gave the top two records a bye, as you'd have four teams left after round one, but of course that would add an extra round of playoffs.
What do you all think? Does it make sense to have just four teams make the playoffs from each league? On one hand, baseball is a long season and so arguably the better teams differentiate themselves over 162 games, meaning not as many need to make the playoffs in order for the league to have the best teams represented. In reality, though, we know luck still plays a huge role and often good teams are trapped by unbalanced schedules and unbalanced strength across divisions. Baseball has very low playoff representation as compared to other sports. It would add a lot of excitement to the regular season to have more teams battling for playoff spots. The Jays, for example, would have been only 3 games out of that third wild card spot, which would have been great fun. The logistical issues are tough, though. The players might balk at playing a longer overall season, while ownership might not go along with shortening the regular season, and of course traditionalists will resist any format change.