The Hot Corner is going to be away for a while but for this issue we decided to sit down and debate the expanded playoffs in baseball.
Major League Baseball has officially announced that it is adding another wild card team The team is going to play a one game series with the other wild card team to determine who moves on. This is a big move in the ever changing plans to major sports, and baseball is going to be changing again next season. To fans though, is this a good idea or a bad one?
Will the expanded 10-team playoffs help or hurt the game of baseball. All things seem a little different the first time, but we will not know until we get into October. So, which side are you on?
It is about to get heated up in here when you enter The Hot Corner with Sam and Nick.
Nick: I think that the expanded playoff system is good for baseball. Last year we had two teams that would have been slotted in that final spot, and the intrigue heading into the final games of the season was really great for the sport.
Both the Red Sox and the Braves were struggling at the end of the season but things could have changed drastically had they had the chance to fight in a one -game playoff to head into the division series.
This is going to be the last season in which the leagues are split into three divisions. Next year, they will go to 15 teams per league with the Astros moving to the American League. So, the extra wild card is going to be a great success for baseball. I wish they could let the two wild card teams play a three-game series in a neutral field to make things even more interesting, but I will take the one-game playoff.
It will be so exciting because now teams that are hot at the right time can fly through the playoffs and really make October baseball fun. I cannot wait to see two teams fight so hard just to make it to the next round and be reliant on one game to make or break their chance to be champions. This is what the game needs.
Especially when the teams are a lot more competitive. With so many teams being able to win, the extra wild card scenario is going to bring more fans into the sport and hopefully bring baseball back to the top of the sports world.
Sam: What I think Nick is forgetting is that the MLB hosts a marathon of a season. The 162-game format would have to be reconfigured for this addition to ever work out. The drama that unfolded last year was unparalleled to any of the events that occurred in the recent past.
With the addition of a wild card team to each division, those games last year would have been for nothing. Boston and Atlanta would have gotten in and the late-inning dramatics by the Rays and the Orioles would have meant zilch. Secondly, the new format is plain horrendous. With two wild card teams vying for a spot in the Division League Series, there is an extremely unfair advantage.
For example, the Braves have a record that is five games better than the Reds, but since both these teams produce playoff caliber records, the Reds have a shot to knock off the Braves in order to advance to the divisional series. On what planet is that fair? The one-game playoff takes away the meaning of the marathon of the season and replaces it with which team is on a hot streak, and which team is luckier. The one-game playoff gives no clear indication of which team is actually better.
Lastly, the overall playoff format for this year is terrible. For this year only, the playoff format changes to the dreaded 2-3 format. Higher seeds will now be on the road for the first two games and then will return home for the final three. What is this? Reward the lesser quality team for mediocre play while division winners have to open on the road?
Bud Selig, what are you thinking?