Well, not exactly, but it’s pretty damn close as 1/3 of the teams will now be making the playoffs.
When FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal broke the story yesterday of MLB adding another Wild Card team to each league, possibly as early as this season, I almost fell off my chair. Granted I was leaning back to far to begin with, but still, it was enough to send me teetering. There are some logistical problems that may prevent Bud Selig from ramming this down our throats in 2012, but it’s a sure thing for 2013.
The fact that Bud Selig was able to push this through isn’t a surprise because talk of expanding the postseason has been going on for quite a while. In the Fall of 2010, Selig said that he was “intrigued” by the idea of making some changes. Later, he said that “if we went to 10 teams, we wouldn’t be abusing anything.” Then before the 2011 season was underway, Selig informed reporters that the league was moving toward expansion. It was the news that the change might happen this season that knocked my Aunt Connie’s socks off.
Baseball is so different then when I was a kid. Forget the fact that free agency now allows players to move from team to changing uniforms like chameleons. From a MLB player standpoint I can understand their right to market their services to the highest bidder, and I don’t begrudge that. Everyone should retain that right, no matter what their profession. But it doesn’t make for good fanbase building and rivalries suffer as the most hated/loved players move around, sometimes to the “other” team. It’s no wonder Fantasy Baseball has become so popular now, it’s become so hard to root for a team because the players you fall in love with move on while you are courting them or after you become engaged. So if you’re a big fan of a particular team now, you root for the uniform…
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With expansion came the need to add more playoff teams, I get it. But no one forced the owners to expand. The owners’ need to run the teams & league as a “for profit business” however and often that negatively effects the quality of the game, with the most obvious issue being the haves and have not’s and the watered down product. I sometimes almost find myself wishing that the teams were institutionalized and controlled by the cities or states they play for so everyone would just try their hardest to win. I know, we aren’t communists or socialists and I’m not suggesting that we actually do that, but allowing so many teams in the playoffs simply so that the owners can make more money sucks.
“It’s an extra playoff game,” Commissioner Bud Selig. “The one criticism we’ve had is that we didn’t put enough on winning the division. Now we have. Now we have in a big way.”
You think so Bud? Wait until an 85-77 team beats a +100 game winning team in the playoffs and goes on to win the world Series because a player or two get hot at the right time, then we’ll see how much the regular season now means… Douche.