In 2013 MLB has decided to add a two team wild card system. This has been the single best thing MLB has done since the addition of the first wild card team. To break it down for you is pretty simple. The top two wild card teams from each league will be playing each other in a one game show down similar to the 163rd game. Winner advances as the wild card and faces the number one team in there respective division. My first thought on this was “oh great, now we get to have three AL east teams in the playoffs each year”. But this format opens up the playoffs in such a manner that is only positive. Look what the cardinals did with their chance this past year; they made history out of it. The rays brought us excitement we never thought was possible in baseball. As a fan you have to be itching for this format to take place. Not only is it going to open up the playoff race ten fold but it makes ever single game that much more important. On top of the two team one game playoff we still hold the chance of the 163rd game to get that last spot. To show you how this format would have looked, here are the past four years and there two wild card games:
2010: AL: Yankees vs Boston NL: Atlanta vs San Diego
2009: AL: Boston vs Texas NL: Colorado vs San Francisco
2008: AL: Boston vs Yankees NL: Milwaukee vs NY Mets
2007: AL: Yankees vs Detroit NL: Colorado vs San Diego.
This format clearly adds more excitement and intensifies the world series and playoffs and gives the MLB playoff system a much needed jolt of enthusiasm. It doesn’t lengthen it to the extent we see in the NBA were the playoffs seam to drag on for months at a time. It just adds that NFL one and done feeling that brings the super bowl to such a monumental level.
The last thing I want to touch on is the evening of the leagues. In 2013 the Astros will be moving to the AL West, This not only gives each league 15 teams but it gives the Rangers a solid in state rivalry which can hopefully help kick start the Astros organization and fan base. And for all you interleague lovers out there, you get that little treat year round as there will be one interleague match up every series around the league.
The MLB has finally made some moves in the right direction. The Addition of the two team wild card spices up every years race and gives life to the team that, in the past, just didn’t quite have that push. The year round interleague play has a chance to spike attendances in some low budget parks that could help payrolls in the future. Which ever is your favorite baseball has made some smart moves and should help baseball rise in ratings from years to come.
Long time reader first time blogger.