Friday, June 17, 2005
June 17th, 1993
Owners Vote to Expand Playoffs
This vote changed the playoffs to the format we know today, with three divisions (and division winners) in each league and a wild card team, and also fixed some geographic silliness, most notably moving
Leaving aside my feelings as it relates to my team, I still can't decide what I think of the Wild Card. The main benefit of it is indisputable, that is, adding more teams to create a more competitive mix. The sometimes overlooked downside is less obvious, to wit, that it makes races like the Yankees and Red Sox of the last two years little more than a battle for home field advantage and to see who can stay/get healthy. The Yankees/Sox games maintain their luster, obviously, but a race between two teams with no history (such as the 1996 NL West) are simply dull.
I guess if I had to make a choice, I'd come down in favor of the Wild Card. While it has actually made more races into bores than created new and exciting ones (thanks to Joe Sheenan of the incomparable Baseball Prospectus for that bit of data) the trading of two teams going for one spot in exchange for three teams going for two strikes me as ultimately good for baseball, and as a baseball fan, I go with that.