Sorry Bud, One Game’s Not Enough
By John Green
When discussion started about a second Wild Card in each league it was expected to be 2013 before anything would be set in stone. Apparently Bud Selig liked the idea enough to put a rush on it, already implementing the new playoff format into the 2012 season. Naturally the first thing I thought of was, what impact will an added wildcard have on the Red Sox? After doing some research and paying attention to the news, I have formed an opinion on the issue. (Shocking, I know.)
With the Red Sox collapse of ’11, you might say that this is a no brainer. You might say of course this is a good idea, after all if it had been in place last season the Sox may have added some new bling under those batting gloves. This is true but there is a big downside to this new format. The two wild card winners will play a one game playoff. Yes I said ONE game.
In a one game playoff anything can happen. If you dont believe me, go ask the 2007 San Diego Padres. In ’07 the Padres tied with the Colorado Rockies in the regular season and then lost the one game playoff while the Rockies went on to play in the World Series. (Losing to the Sox, of course.)
How disappointing that must have been, having your World Series hopes end before they really even started. Its exciting to watch but is it good for the game we all love? Lets look at it even further.
Lets say the American League looks like this in 2012: (These are not projections, just examples)
AL East Winner: Yankees (Just an example, Relax!) 98-64
AL Central Winner: Tigers 95-67
AL West Winner: Rangers 94-68
AL Wild Card #1: Red Sox 97-65
AL Wild Card #2: Angels 92-70
Under the new playoff format the Red Sox would play the Angels in a one game playoff. Winner goes to the Division Series. Now lets say that the Red Sox send Jon Lester to the mound, he is ineffective and the Sox lose the game. Season over, no second chances. Pack up and go home. Nevermind the fact that the Red Sox won five more games in the regular season, their fate rests on just one.
This isnt the way baseball is played. Baseball is full of averages, everything is determined by what teams and players do over the course of many games. Not just one game. There are too many variables in baseball to place the fate of any team on a single game. If the new rule featured even a three game series I would be on board but at this point I cant step onto the bandwagon. Its exciting to watch every few years when teams tie but it should not become a standard.
As Red Sox fans, what do you think? Do you support the one game playoff? Or do you support this format at all? Let us at BoSox Injection know what you think below.
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