Friday, October 5, 2012

Wild Card Day!

Photo from the homepage

Today will be an exciting day for baseball.  Even if both Wild Card games are blowouts, it's a history-making endeavor: the first day of the newly extended playoffs.  The Braves take on the defending World Champion Cardinals at 5:00, and then the upstart Orioles look to knock out the defending AL Champion Texas Rangers at 8:30.

I know most people hate the new format, what with adding two more teams to the pennant race and making the Wild Card teams play a winner take all one game playoff - which understandably seems like a ridiculous gamble after slogging through 162 games to reach this point.

But I actually really like the new format.  First of all, Major League Baseball still has fewer teams make the playoffs than any other major sports league, so if you complain about the new Wild Card setup and have no qualms with the systems of the NBA, NFL, or NHL, you need to take a good long look at yourself.

More importantly, the disagreement over the "unfairness" of the one game playoff is absurd; if anything, this sets to right the issue with adding the Wild Card back in the nineties.  Since the inception of the Wild Card, the only penalty given for not winning your division was a lack of home field advantage.  Essentially the Wild Card winner was treated exactly the same as some of the division winners, and that is downright ridiculous.

Now, winning the division means something. It means not having to get through a one game playoff, which, as most baseball fans know, is essentially a tossup.  It means more meaningful baseball in the last games of the season. I don't know why you wouldn't be on board with that.

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