Friday, March 2, 2012
Rangers in favor of extra wild-card team
By Richard Durrett
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Count the Texas Rangers among the teams that wouldn't mind an expanded playoff format to include another wild-card team, something that seems likely to start in 2012. The proposal is for the two wild-card teams to play each other in a one-game playoff.
The winner of that game would play the division winner with the best record.
ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney reports an announcement could happen today.
"It will start the playoffs with a bang for fans," Michael Young said. "I think it's great. Another team gets in the playoffs and it makes it so that winning the division matters more."
It's that second part that had most of the Rangers in favor of it. Catcher Mike Napoli, noting that wild-card teams have fared well in the postseason recently (the St. Louis Cardinals were a wild-card team and won the World Series over Texas last year), said this new playoff format would give the division winners a little more of an advantage.
"That's the way it should be, I think," Napoli said. "You play 162 games with the goal in mind of winning the division. You want to make the playoffs and this gives another team a chance to do that, but the division is the big goal."
Manager Ron Washington likes the idea of having another team make the postseason.
"It could create an extra hurdle for us, but I would rather have that than have to stay at home," Washington said. "Being in the playoffs is never a negative."