I am all for Major League Baseball adding a second Wild Card team into the Post Season mix. A team that wins their respective division deserves the upper hand in the playoffs. I think the addition of a second wild card team will make the races towards the end of the season more intriguing. The MLB has been trying to figure out how to handle the Wild Card situation for years. They have wanted the road to the World Series more difficult for any team that doesn’t win their division. They have tossed around the idea of fewer home games for the wild card team. That could help, but I do think having the Wild Card team lose their best pitcher until later in the second round of the playoffs will motivate teams to win the division. But, more changes need to be made when it comes to the Post Season.
First and foremost, the All Star game shouldn’t determine home field advantage for the World Series. Two years in a row, the Texas Rangers had to play more games on the National Leagues home soil. Why? Both years the Rangers had the better record than their NL opposition. Why should they be penalized for a game that happens in July, that they have no control of the outcome? Who cares who wins the All Star game? I understand Bud Selig was embarrassed over the tie game a few years ago, that’s no reason to destroy a World Series teams dreams. I think if the Rangers had home field this year that they would be the World Champions not the Cardinals. That’s just an assumption on my part. I just think the Rangers deserved the home field. The team with the best overall record of the two teams in the World Series should have the home field advantage. Period. It is the only fair thing to do.
Secondly, change the start time of the games. The games end too late for those on the East Coast. I know the MLB wants to air the games in prime time. But, when you have two teams like last years Giants-Rangers that don’t have a National fan base, all you do is hurt the ratings not help them. Don’t you think the World Series would have better ratings going against shows like Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune than against the Prime time shows? Then if the games are close and interesting like all of the games were this year, then people would be hesitant to switch the channel. Those who missed this years World Series missed a classic. You cant expect to draw in the younger fans in the 10-14 ages to be up watching a game until midnight or later.
What about speeding up the games? Why not have a game clock like Football or Basketball. Determine a fair time for a pitcher to throw the ball and institute it. If the pitcher fails to deliver in the allotted time than it is a ball. Same thing with the batter, don’t let him walk around outside of the batters box forever. If he is not ready in time than it is a strike. Make these games more exciting. Pick up the pace. Give each team a few timeouts in a game if they feel a pitcher or batter needs more time to get ready.
Just don’t make changes for the sake of generating more revenues, make changes that will make it more enjoyable for the fan too. If the fans are happy than more will watch, the more who much the higher the revenues.