The announcement this afternoon the MLB has chosen to add a second Wild Card spot in each league means a lot of things. I suppose to a Mets fan it means that the team has a slightly larger chance of making it to the post-season for the first time since 2006, but there are much bigger consequences to be weighed.
First allow me to explain how we got here. The final night if the 2011 regular season was borderline magical. In what could only be described as a baseball oriented edition to March Madness, three playoff spots were not only decided on that fateful night, but they were decided within mere minutes of each other. It couldn't have been scripted any better and that's the precise reason we are here today.
The addition of these two Wild Card teams will produce a one game playoff between the qualifying Wild Card teams in both leagues. The idea here is to create the same type if magic we witnessed late last season and that's unfortunate because its simply not going to happen. Will it be exciting? Of course, but you just can't fabricate that type of stuff.
With that being said, as much as I hate the reasoning behind it, I can thoroughly appreciate the emphasis this puts on winning the division. Not only will the Wild Card teams have participated in an extra, extremely stressful game, but they will have likely used their best pitcher and created mismatches for the team fortunate enough to move on.
Whether or not that's fair will be left up to each individual fan to decide. For me the negatives fair outweigh the positives. Theoretically speaking this set up could allow an 86 winpitcher Wild Card team to knock out a 92 win Wild Card team in one game. That certainly cheapens the regular season in my opinion.
Furthermore, as much as I like the emphasis on winning the division I mentioned before, I equally dislike how it basically sets the winner of the one game playoff up to lose in the next series.
Ultimately for me it comes down to fairness. I don't like five game playoff series, so the idea of a one game playoff seems ludicrous to me. While this will give a fan base, maybe even our own, the chance to "make the playoffs", I just think it cheapens the experience all around. Once again it is good intentions but poor execution on the part of Bud Selig.
What do you think?