MLB creating second wild card opportunity
Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 13:10
Major League Baseball has been going through some difficulties lately. The steroids era seems to be part of the past, but issues like expanding the use of technology or the purposeless interleague games.
For this season, Commissioner Bud Selig announced the creation of a second wild card in each league. This year ten teams will advance to the postseason, instead of the eight.
From now on, the two best records after the six division champions will have a shot in the playoffs.
These two teams in each league will play a one-game “playoff” to advance to the next stage. After that, the system stays the same.
There are positive and negative aspects of this new set up.
On one side, this is an attractive element because it gives more opportunities to teams that in the past were close but did not make it to the postseason.
On the other hand, some argue it is just a money-making scheme and it is not fair to decide the course of a season on one game.
For fans of teams like the Baltimore Orioles, Oakland Athletics or St. Louis Cardinals, it looks like a terrific idea. Fans of teams like the Atlanta Braves probably have a different take on the matter.
Right now in the American League, there are six teams with a chance of fighting for the two wild card spots. Baltimore, New York, Oakland, Tampa Bay, Anaheim and Chicago could be those two teams advancing to the next stage.
All of these teams have a similar record and the race has turned out interesting.
Two of those six teams will make it to the playoffs, instead of only one, which seems to be good for the sport.
It is a different story in the National League. The Atlanta Braves obtained the first wild card spot with ease.
The defending World Series champ St. Louis Cardinals, currently in second, would not have any chance if the rule had not been changed.
Is it fair for the Atlanta Braves to have their future decided in only one game when they had a much better season than the other team?
Deciding the season in one game is not logical, especially in a game like baseball. It would be an excellent idea to extend the playoff game into a three-game series.
This would keep the excitement in the playoff race and it would be more equitable for teams facing the one and out situation like the Atlanta Braves.