Major League Baseball has decided to expand their playoff system to ten teams. Bravo MLB, you guys really got back on the ball. In a sport that has been trying to revive relevancy in the sporting world you have found a way to recapture fan interest. What’s that you say? You’re having a wild card round of only one game?
**Insert face palm noise.** We were so close.
First off, this whole thing makes me ornery because I had to use the phrase “face palm” in my writing.
Next, this whole one game, sudden death playoff round is for the birds, literally. If instated last year the St. Louis Cardinals could have been ousted from their historic playoff run before it even got off the ground.
I’m ecstatic that baseball has embraced the idea of adding one more wild card team to its playoff structure. It’s way overdue. For the longest time the MLB had the lowest percentage of playoff teams in what is the longest season around the sporting world. But going about it in an NFL style wild card round is wrong.
This system punishes the stronger wild card team. This isn’t football. Baseball needs longevity to show the stronger team. Flukes happen way more in one game than in any other sport. Which is what I understand MLB is going for, but playoff baseball is one of the more exciting times in sports and a huge asset. Expanding to more teams is needed, but it does not need to taint a system with a sudden death any-team-can-win-to-advance game.
Finally, ask any baseball fan, expert, or just your grandmother what wins playoff baseball games: pitching. If a non-series component is added to the system it messes with rotations and pitching matchups. Wild card aces are used up and the winner goes into the next round with No. 2’s facing division winner No. 1’s. Wild card teams currently don’t get to utilize home field advantage in divisional rounds. Do they really need to be punished even more? Winning the division should be rewarded, but instating a one game playoff puts it even more so at a premium.
You went down swinging this time, MLB. You’ll get’em next time.