Phillies: MLB, MLBPA vetting expanded playoffs at 11th hour

Philadelphia Phillies fans wave rally towels (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Philadelphia Phillies fans wave rally towels (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /

With the 2020 Phillies season just days away, MLB and the MLBPA are considering once again to expand the postseason

Even before Aaron Nola takes the mound for Opening Day on Friday, the Philadelphia Phillies’ chances to make the postseason for the first time since 2011 could be significantly improved.

Major League Baseball and the players union (MLBPA) are “re-engaging on the possibility of expanded playoffs” for the 2020 season, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.

In order to do so, which would likely increase the amount of teams to qualify from 10 to 16, Heyman notes it has to be done before first pitch between the Washington Nationals and New York Yankees kick off the season Thursday evening in Washington, D.C..

“There seems to be optimism,” says Heyman.

Both sides were considering to expand the 20202 postseason while making negotiations for a return to play, but never seemed to come to an agreement on the topic. Now, as summer camp draws to a close, their 11th-hour negotiations could finally bring it to fruition.

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When the Phillies schedule was released, many argued that their slate may be too difficult to come out on top as either the division or one of two National League Wild Card winners. Two-thirds of the team’s contests are set to be played against their usual division opponents, with the remaining 20 games against some daunting American League East rivals, including the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and Tampa Bay Rays.

All four of the Phillies’ scheduled games against manager Joe Girardi‘s former team, the Yankees, will be wrapped up after the first week of action.

There is no telling how the three added playoff teams in each league would qualify, nor yet who they would play in the first round, but this would surely improve the Phillies’ chances to taste red October for the first time in nearly a decade.

And, who knows … maybe fans will be allowed back inside ballparks by then. Rally towels, anyone?