While I’m on the subject of playoff expansion (okay, again), I can’t help but share a naked display of what the real motivation behind bracket creep is.
Hint: it’s not a search for the best.
Today’s quote comes from Scott Boras, the baseball super agent who’s been racing around the winter meetings trying to convince a team to shell out record contract terms for his client Bryce Harper. While there, though, he’s got plenty of other clients trying to shake fruit out of the money tree, and the going’s been slow. So, here’s his solution for that problem:
To sell his players Boras needs more teams trying to win, and to do that Boras wants baseball to expand the playoffs–three wild-card teams in each league instead of two, making for “seven playoff levels.” His idea would allow teams barely above .500, or worse, to push for a postseason berth and create an “October Madness” of supposed playoff excitement.
Before you snicker or brush that off as simply a pushy player agent’s way of getting players paid, tell me how that’s any different from Jim Boeheim’s relentless push to expand March Madness because it would give more coaches the opportunity for job security through claims that their teams qualified for the playoffs.
The point here being that it’s about the money — it’s always about the money — and that there are more than just the hands of the owners that reach out for a stake in that. Owners, players, coaches, they all grab. The only ones who don’t get a seat at the table are the fans. Keep that in mind as you tell yourself that an eight-team college playoff is so great it solves everyone’s problems for good. It won’t, because there’s never enough.