Let’s look at some more of the changes to the game in the new collective bargaining agreement between MLB and the MLB Players Association. You can get an understandable explanation of everything in the deal here on Baseball Nation.
I’ll talk about the draft changes tomorrow. They’re complicated and convoluted and will take some time to sift through.
The Wild Card play-in game.
There will be an added Wild Card team, but it’s not exactly an expansion of the playoffs. It’s a one-game playoff. The three division winners in each league automatically make the playoffs; the next two best records will play one another to join the party.
I’ve gone to great lengths to formulate a better set-up for the leagues. You can read it here, but the gist would be to eliminate the leagues; place the teams in divisions based on locale; and expand the playoffs to 10 teams.
Shifting the Astros to the American League is simplistic and stupid.
The extra Wild Card team isn’t exactly an “extra” team in the playoffs. They’re getting a chance and that’s it.
This will provide incentive for teams to win the division—no one wants to roll the dice in a one-game playoff if they can help it—and will improve late-season competition.
As for the suggestion that one team might wind up playing another team that was double-digits behind them in the standings, it’s not unprecedented and teams that benefit from that accident of circumstance need not apologize.
The 1973 Mets of Tug McGraw, Yogi Berra, Willie Mays and “ya gotta believe” and “you’re not out of it ’til you’re out of it” went to the World Series after winning the war of attrition NL East, then upset the Big Red Machine Reds in the NLCS.
The Marlins have won two World Series, yet have never won a division title.
They’re quirks. They happen. And will happen again and again, expanded Wild Card or not.
When does this end?
Now it’s trapped balls and foul lines?
How about base plays?
Balls and strikes?
Checking home runs was enough.
Because there are so many high-profile blown calls and the proliferation of HD replays and over-and-over viewings, the mistakes are more glaring; it’s ignored that the umpires do a tremendous job getting it right most of the time.
To keep game lengths from going out of control, managers have to be given a challenge on those new additions to replay; they get one and that’s it for the game.