Major League Baseball announced Friday that the 2012 postseason will expand by two teams, adding an additional wild card in the American and National leagues. The two wild card teams from each league will play in a one-game playoff to advance to the best-of-five division series. The three division winners now effectively get a bye. The expanded playoff was set to be a part of the 2013 season, but negotiations between the players’ union and MLB allowed for it to come a year early.
How would it have played out last year? Both the Cardinals and the Atlanta Braves, who blew a 10 1/2-game lead on the Cardinals in the Wild Card, would have reached the postseason and faced off in a one-game showdown. Part of the magic of the last day of the season, had some much to do with Atlanta’s collapse and the Cardinals big run. I think this is a bad example, because if the new format was in place, would September have been as exciting?
Former Royals catcher John Buck, now with the Miami Marlins likes the new format. “For tougher divisions, even like us now, we might be that team with our division … (to) have that chance,” said Miami Marlins catcher John Buck, whose team plays in the formidable National League East. “If you have a really good team in a division and one doesn’t make it because three teams in the division are beating up on each other, it’s nice to have that playoff game to give them that chance.”