We saw this coming for some time. Major League Baseball (MLB) has talked about adding a wild-card team to the current playoff system. Even the idea of a one game playoff between the now two wild-card teams is not new. Me? I detest it. What does it really accomplish? With only one game to play, teams who have proven their worth for 162 games must now put it all into one game. Yes it will make for drama. Of that I have no doubt. But to what end? Again these teams who made the playoffs did so because they were good over a long period of time. It took five starters to get them where they are. Yes some pulled their weight more than others but it wasn't one pitcher starting every game. Now you ask these teams to put one guy out there in a winner takes all scenario. It won't matter how they got to that point. Maybe the staff ace had to pitch them into the playoffs and isn't available to start the one game. Sure that happens to other teams now but that is going into a longer playoff series where no matter what that staff ace will get his shot at the opponent even if he pitched the last game of the season and now has to wait until game three.
The NFL is built for a one game and advance scenario in their playoffs. They only play 16 regular season games. The quarterback who got them there will start every playoff game. I don't get it. MLB will tell you there isn't room in the schedule for more than a one game playoff and they don't want to play into mid-November. Very valid points but it is nothing but excuses for shoving a one game wild-card round on us. It seems like players and teams alike complained about the three game playoff rounds that have been in place at various times throughout baseball history. Now they are happy with a one game playoff? Where are those guys now? Another argument is that more teams would be in play to make the playoffs. That argument can be made no matter how many teams are let into the playoffs. Whether 12 or 24 teams make the playoffs each year there would always be teams battling for the last playoff spot.
Maybe when I actually see it in action I'll like it. As a Braves and Red Sox fan who watched my teams fall out of the playoffs on the last day of the 2011 season I should think this is the greatest thing since sliced bread. I don't. Don't have franchises setup their teams and rotations for the long haul and then let it come down to one game where maybe starer #3 has to be the guy? It doesn't pass the sanity test to me.
Below is a link to Jayson Stark's article that breaks down wild-card addition and the other changes that were made to the MLB playoffs. There were many so please take a look as I can't even start to do them justice. As always Stark does a great job of explaining a complex subject.