Jayson Stark wrote today that MLB should add another team to the playoffs, making September even more exciting down the stretch (Stark admits he isn't the first to propose this, but he does a bunch of research on what it would mean). Some of Stark's story:
Let's start by explaining what would happen in October if there were an extra wild-card team in each league -- and by that, just to be clear, we mean the two wild cards per league would be the non-division-leaders with the next two best records, regardless of division.
After the season, the six division winners would get a break to rest up, heal up and set up their pitching. And those two wild cards? They'd be forced to play each other in the dramatic new Wild Card Round of the postseason, just to survive and move on.
That could be a one-game, loser-go-home, March Madness kind of deal. Or it could be a best-of-three. We'll get to that shortly.
But either way, think about the effect on a race like Yankees-Rays. Who would want to be a wild card and get thrown into the precarious wild-card survivor jungle when you could finish first and avoid all that?
So imagine how different those Yankees-Rays games in September would be played and managed under our system versus the current system. Is there any argument that those games wouldn't have more meaning if a first-round bye were on the line?
And if there's not, let's do this. ASAP. We'd be instantly restoring the luster to one of baseball's most unique and beloved traditions -- The Pennant Race.
Click here and read Stark's entire article. It's really well done. What do you think of the idea? Would you like to see more playoff teams?