According to Ken Rosenthal, Major League Baseball will announce the addition of a second Wild Card team in each league tomorrow morning – and the new additions will begin this season.
Given the monetary reasoning and fantastic TV ratings the games will bring in, the move was bound to happen – and it certainly will make great baseball if you’re not one of the two teams directly involved. However, if you are – especially if you’re the lead Wild Card team – you might get a little queasy in the pit of your stomach knowing your 162 game season comes down to a nine inning game.
If the current format had taken place last year, the eventual World Series Champions, the St. Louis Cardinals, would have taken on the second place Wild Card team, the Atlanta Braves (Giants finished third in this format, three games behind Atlanta) in a one game, winner-take-all format for the right to enter the Division Series.
Certainly a big change from the traditional format – and one I’m a bit torn on, but many didn’t care for the (at the time) extreme idea of the Wild Card (essentially created, IMO, because of the 103 win Giants being screwed out of a playoff spot). On the plus side though, it does add another race in addition to already wonderful division and Wild Card races that we currently have every year and keeps teams who might normally be out of it, still breathing.
Debate will ensue as to if it’s good for the game, but either way, the Giants (and every other team) have just a bit better shot to get a chance at the postseason.