Maybe three polls: (managers & coaches), writers and fans. Then kind of merge the results. This doesn't need to be precise. We'd want it maintain some of the random nature of the current system.
In addition to the obvious inequities most of us already knew about, such as different inter-league schedules in a division, my recent posts document the bizarre circumstances in the NL Central division since 1998, which has only gotten worse in 2006 through 2010. During those seasons the Cincinnati Reds, for example, played different numbers of games against division rivals with these disparities: 4, 3, 3, 3, 4. For instance in 2010 Cincinnati played 18 games against St. Louis but only 14 games against Milwaukee, both division rivals. That's a disparity of four games.
We could possibly understand a disparity of one game, but FOUR? Did Bud Selig and the rest of MLB think we would not notice? If so, they were correct. I have not heard from anyone who knew about this. I have not heard it discussed on ESPN or MLB Network. Do they know?
This seems like MLB is defrauding its customers by pretending that the competition is real when it is riddled with inequities. Here are the percentages of games played in division from my June 14 post:
AL East: five teams (18*4)/162 = 44.4%
AL Central: five teams (18*4)/162 = 44.4%
AL West: four teams (19*3)/162 = 35.1% Hey, an odd number. Who gets the extra home game?
NL East: five teams (18*4)/162 = 44.4%
NL Central: six teams (18+14+15+16+16)/162 = 48.8%
NL West: five teams (18*4)/162 = 44.4%
So what the heck. Select playoff teams by polls. The NCAA handles it that way for college basketball and football.
MLB already does it for its All Star game, which in true amateurish fashion determines home team in the MLB finals, formerly known as the World Series when it was between the champions of two separate leagues, rather than having home field awarded to the team with the better record in the regular season.
By selecting MLB playoff teams by poll, voters could consider strength of schedule, which obviously differs. Maybe a 94 win team should be ranked higher than a 96 win team.
I just stumbled onto an article in the tabloid NY Post. This nitwit is so entombed in the current structure that he thinks he has a good idea by going along with the MLB rumor that an NL team will be moved to the AL resulting in six divisions of five teams each. He wants 13 games in division: 52 of 160 (yes two fewer games). That's only 32.5%, you moron! Teams should play at least 66.6% of their games in division for divisions to have any meaning. That's why divisions need to have more teams, i.e., fewer divisions. Plus, this mainstream media guy ignores the stupid DH rule, which would need to be resolved. My resolution: 8 men bat plus a DF (designated fielder).
Part of why MLB is so stuck in its thinking is that both its fans and media don't have any real ideas either. MLB is doomed unless it makes fundamental change very soon.