Report: MLB to Add Another Wild Card This Season

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It’s going to happen, it seems.

According to bow tie man Ken Rosenthal, baseball will announce – as early as tomorrow – the addition of two Wild Card teams for the 2012 season. The plan, which was unveiled last fall, will add a second Wild Card team to each league. The two WC teams will then square off in a one-game playoff, with the winner presumably going on to face the team with the best record in their respective league. And, yes, we believe the Wild Card teams can come from the same division. Somewhere, Nats manager Davey Johnson jumps for joy.

It certainly adds incentive to win your division– at least when taken at face value. But when you consider that, for the best teams, this could cause an even lengthier delay between playing meaningful baseball and the first game of the Division Series, you can’t help but wonder if the layoff will do more harm than good for teams that won 10 extra games in the regular season.

In November I ticked off a number of scenarios from recent years in which one-game Wild Card matchups would have been between teams finishing as many as seven games apart, and that’s hardly fair. Why not just lengthen the Division Series to seven games, making it harder for Wild Card teams – like, say, the Cardinals – to beat teams that finished 12 games ahead – like, say, the Phillies – in the regular season? I'm still bitter.

More from Rosenthal:

The schedule for this season already was set when the new CBA was reached, but adjustments might be required to squeeze in the new wild-card round.

The final details are not known, but officials discussed changing starting times for the final day of the regular season, the one-game wild-card knockout and possibly Game 1 of the Division Series.


Your thoughts?


22 Responses

  1. Espn to MLB: you gotta find a way to make sure the yankees and red sox are in the playoffs every year.
    MLB: done and done.

  2. The amazing last day of the season that happened last year would be pointless. That was the best all around day of baseball I have ever seen…

  3. My first thought is:
    FINALLY, some real news!!!!
    Second thought is, it’s still from another source
    Third, I will have more Twitter followers than you by mid March
    Fourth, It doesn’t matter, the Phillies are winning the World Series this year

  4. I can’t wait for this to blow up in their FACEs when they have to play like 3 one game playoffs to determine who gets to play a one game playoff.

  5. Put it this way: had this rule been in effect 10 years ago, the Phillies would have had a chance to go further in the postseason fairly often.
    I haven’t looked at the standings from previous years, but how many years were they the odd team out?
    This bodes well for teams like the Phillies who will likely become marginal playoff teams in about 2-3 years.

  6. I think this is stupid. The shittiest thing about the baseball playoffs is the short series.

  7. this is dumb…being in the playoffs for one game does not count as making the playoffs…if they want to change something shorten the season to say 145-150 games and make all playoff rounds best of 7

  8. I like it. It makes winning the division more important. As to the point about playing too late in to the season. My solution would be to add one Sunday double header a month for each team. That way we don’t have baseball in November.

  9. So if a 3rd place team that makes a ONE GAME Playoff for 7 straight years and lose all 7 can technically say “we made the Playoffs 7 straight years”?
    Bud is a total NITWIT.
    Only a DOPE would consider this.
    Whatta MORON!!!

  10. The main reason for this is increasing the incentives of winning your division. If you remember the AL East battle in 2010, the Yankees and Rays were both going to make the playoffs, and it was evident that both teams did not care who won either the division or the wildcard.
    This move eliminates that late season lackluster. Now no team is going to be easy about being a wildcard team, with all the pressures that come from a 9 inning contest that will decide everything.
    Hopefully only the teams who win that 1-game playoff will be recognized as wildcard winners, as to not increase the amount of teams who can brag and put up pennants saying they “made the playoffs”. In my eyes, that wildcard match-up will be nothing but a Play-in game to see who makes the actual playoffs.

  11. I hate it. I would much rather see them extend the Division series to 7 games as you suggested. The playoffs are already starting to feel like you have to play a completely different way than you did during the regular season, there’s such a disconnect between what matters in the regular season and what matters in the playoffs. Luck and getting hot at the right time, not to mention the umpiring, will be what determines those 1 game playoffs, not strategy, fairness, or which is the best team.

  12. The dumb part about this plan is how it trashes the regular season. Baseball is a game of thin margins. The best teams only win 60% of the time. You need a long season to separate the best from the good. Focusing more on and extending the playoffs just makes winning a championship more of a crapshoot than it already is. But this is about money and not the game. Both the NFL and NCAA have done everything they can to monetize and rape football. For the MLB to keep up, they probably feel they have to do this. I don’t like it one bit.

  13. Count me among those who don’t like it. Yes, it puts more emphasis on winning your division, but only barely squeaking out winning it. If you are like the Phils the past two years, you can relax for a day or two longer than previously, and as we’ve seen, that can take you off your game. Playing meaningful games as close as possible to the playoffs is critical, and this prolongs the break for the better teams.
    This makes my early offseason prediction even a little more legitimate… The fucking Marlins are going to win the fucking World Series.

  14. If you want to make the division mean something then you need to make the first round 7 games. 5 is ridiculous and is historically a 50/50 split. This doesn’t change anything. You can still have your ace pitch game 2 of round 1 and game 5
    (Chirp I am a guru at all sports)

  15. You’re a fucking idiot if you think the Marlins are going to win the world series. The only player they signed that’s not over rated was Bell. Buerhle’s best days are behind him and if you think Reyes will have a year like he did in ’11 you’re just kidding yourself.

  16. If you can’t win your division over a 162-game season, then you don’t deserve a shot in the post-season anyway. The longer the season, the less teams that should make the playoffs. Baseball is backwards. Pitching will be the biggest issue of a one-game wild card, as teams juggle their staff to ensure the ace is ready for that one game. Joke.

  17. @ K.Mountain – But what happens when you need that ace to win you the one game that puts you in that one-game wild card? For the three or so teams that might be fighting to get in for those wild card spots, that’s even more pressure on the coaches to come up with the right guys who can win you the game that puts you in, then the right guys who can steal that one-game wild card and then making sure they’re ready to go in the next round. Not an easy task. Sucks to be in the wild-card if you ask me.

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