Cheap Seats

Baseball can't leave well enough alone

Major League baseball made it official today: It's messing with its highly successful play-off format by adding a second wild card team in each league.

But the worst part isn't that it will add another weak team to the post-season mix. The worst part is that it will completely destroy the legitimacy of the previous wild card format.

In the past the three division champions in each league got a playoff berth and the team with the best record that didn't win its division would be invited along for the ride. In many cases, the wildcard team isn't the worst team to make the play-offs. That team would have won the title if it were in a weaker division.

Now, with two wild cards in each league, those two clubs will play each other in a ridiculous one-game playoff for the right to make it to the real post season.

So, not only would this system would have destroyed all the late season excitement that was created last year when the Cardinals ran down the Braves and the Rays ran down the Red Sox. But it could result in a situation where one team has a lead of 10 or more games over the second wild card earned over the course of a long season and they knock it out of the play-offs because of a one-game fluke.

I'm not saying that the old play-off schedule was somehow holy and that it couldn't be touched. But why mess with something that isn't broken?