By - Keith Smith
Okay, I know this is just a one-year situation (well, part of it, anyway), but does anyone else out there hate this new MLB playoff setup?
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A one-game playoff (or play-in, if you will) is a bad idea, no matter how you cut it. And allowing the lower seed to have the first two games at home is nothing short of ridiculous.
We're stuck with the one-game situation for the foreseeable future, but the latter will be changed back to the more familiar (and palatable) 2-2-1 playoff format beginning next year.
The thing is, no one can seem to tell me why Major League Baseball leadership felt it was necessary to do it this year? It can't have anything to do with the Astros changing to the American League next season, although that is what I get from everyone every time I ask.
"You know it all changes next year when the Astros move to the AL."
What about that prevented them from doing the right thing this year and having the regular 2-2-1 scenario? It's a huge advantage to have the first 2 games at home, and both of the wild card play-in winners were afforded that.
Nice move, MLB.
And while I like the second wild card being added (forgive me, purists), I definitely think you should play a single day game at the lower record wild card team's field, followed the very next day by a double header (if necessary) at the park of the wild card with the best record.
That way, both get a one-day gate.
I know, I know, that scenario could burn three good pitchers in just 2 days, giving the wild card winner almost no chance of winning the next round.
Then win your division and quit whining!
My point is -- don't stack the deck in favor of the wild card teams. That completely devalues the regular season, and with 162 games at stake, who wants that? If you are the wild card team, the deck should be stacked against you. You're getting a gift by being included in the playoffs in the first place.
No, just like the bogus records from the steroids era, this year's playoff results won't have an asterisk by them.
But perhaps they should.