I have never been one of those old-school, archaic “get off my lawn” cats when it comes to changes in sports (at least that I know of).
I eventually embraced the College Football Playoff’s original format — and LOVED the idea of moving to 12 teams. I loved the NFL expanding its playoff field by one team per conference. Hell, I even like how the NHL switched up its Stanley Cup playoff format.
So naturally I didn’t have a problem with Major League Baseball expanding its playoff field. In fact, I think it’s pretty dope.
One extra wild card team per league, which yields six playoff teams per league and allows the top two seeds to have byes. It makes the regular season even more important because teams will have extra motivation to get some extra rest during the wildcard round.
Look at the matchups:
#3 Cleveland vs. #6 Tampa Bay
#4 Toronto vs. #5 Seattle
#3 St. Louis vs. #6 Philadelphia
#4 New York Mets vs. #5 San Diego
Here’s the best part: this wildcard round is not only a best of 3 series format, all the games (even the deciding Game 3) will be played at the higher seed. And folks still think games will be less important thanks to this format. Who wouldn’t the shot of playing ALL its games at home during a playoff round?
Besides, MLB needs all the excitement it could get. It’s a slow-paced game that has turned off the last couple of generations of fans over time. Gotta keep the sport fresh if MLB wants to stay among the popular sports leagues in this great country of ours.
So to the Bob Costas and Rob Parkers of the world, y’all got to get with the program. As they say, “change is constant” — might as well embrace it…