So, are you excited by the American League wild card race? I’m not. The wild card has wiped out any possibility of a real pennant race. If the wild card didn’t exist, we would have one terrific pennant race happening in the National League. The Braves and Mets would be slugging it out for the NL East title. Instead, their series this week meant almost nothing, because both of these teams will make the playoffs. Meanwhile, four teams are fighting for the wild card berth in the American League. Is this supposed to excite me? If these were excellent teams, fighting to show which team has the most excellence, then I’d be excited. But these aren’t excellent teams. These are teams with major flaws, teams too flawed to win their own divisions over a 162-game season. Do they deserve a chance to advance to the World Series just because they’re “pretty good?” In 1993, the Giants won over 100 games, but lost their division to the Braves on the final day of the season. That was a thrilling pennant race: two great teams, fighting for one spot. That is the best thing in baseball, and we’ll never see it again.
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