Major League baseball has added two Wild Card spots, meaning that there will be a total of 10 teams competing in the post-season. Starting this season, each league will have two Wild Card teams. They’ll play each other in a one-game playoff showdown to see which team will move to the divisional series.
I’m pleased that baseball still has the lowest percentage of playoff qualifiers among the major (North American) sports. The NFL has 12 of 32 (37.5%) and the NHL and NBA each have 16 of 30 (53%).
However, I’m not entirely sold on this. I like the idea of a one-game, winner-take-all playoff. Yes, that’s exciting. But it’s kind of like creating artificial excitement. If you’re contending, you’re contending. That’s exciting. But still, having one-third of the teams advance to the play-offs seems like a lot. I think it dilutes the playoffs. Of course, the very cynical part of me says, “Oh, they just did this to make sure the Yankees and the Red Sox get to be in the playoffs every year.” I realize MLB is trying to increase interest in the game by adding two more teams to the playoff mix. I may not like it now, but if the Indians end up being one of the new Wild Card teams, maybe I’ll come around.