Monday, October 8, 2012

Extra Wild Card Excitement?

I am not buying any added excitement from adding an extra wild-card team in baseball. 

In the AL if there had not been an extra wild card, the end result would have been exactly the same.  Since the Orioles and Rangers finished with the same record, the result would have been a one-game playoff like what happened.  The added wild card probably only removed drama, as the Orioles could see the Yankees winning early and knowing they were playing in a one-game playoff on Friday whether they won or lost.  Without the extra wild card, the Orioles could have been playing to avoid the one-game playoff.  Also the A's-Rangers loser would not have been guaranteed at least a one-game playoff, likely increasing the drama associated with that game.

In the NL, the extra wild card probably increased interest, though the Cardinals race for the last spot never got that close down the stretch, and the one game playoff was pretty dramatic.  Still I would take the un-manufactured drama of the A's-Rangers game or last year's final day over the manufactured drama of the Cardinals-Braves game.

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