Playoffs? PLAYOFFS?! - Major League Baseball

Major League Baseball

Major League Baseball (MLB) itself does not use the term "tournament" for postseason action. Instead they use the term "postseason" as the title of the official elimination tournament held after the conclusion of Major League Baseball's regular season. As of the most recent 2012 season, it consists of a first round single-elimination knockout game between the two wildcards in each league, a best-of-5 second round series called the Division Series, and two rounds of best-of-seven series for the League Championship and World Series.

MLB uses a "2-3-2" format for the final two rounds of its postseason tournament. In the Majors, the singular term "playoff" is reserved for the rare situation in which two (or more) teams find themselves tied at the end of the regular season and are forced to have a tiebreaking playoff game (or games) to determine which team will advance to the postseason. Thus, in the majors, a "playoff" is actually part of the regular season and thus can be called a "Pennant playoff". However, the plural term "playoffs" is conventionally used by fans and media to refer to baseball's postseason tournament (and has always been used by minor league baseball for its own postseason play), so this article defers to that usage.

MLB is the oldest of the major American professional sports, dating back to the 1870s. As such, it is steeped in tradition. The final series to determine its champion has been called the "World Series" (originally "World's Championship Series" and then "World's Series") as far back as the National League's contests with the American Association during the 1880s.

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