The date is August 14th, 2007. After flipping through seventy channels of garbage I decide there is nothing on television despite TV Guide and other publications insisting that this is the best summer of television ever.
I decide to start up the computer and watch some baseball on my newly purchased MLB TV. I tuned in to watch my New York Mets defeat the Pittsburgh Pirates and afterward I decided to check out some other games that were important to the playoff race. I watched a little of the Phillies game, an inning of the Braves game, I watched the Rockies and Padres game long enough to see the Padres score seven runs in the second inning and I also tuned into the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers.
That’s when I realized that there is never this many important games in the middle of the August. There is a ton of great baseball left to be played, especially thanks to the Wild Card race.
In another article I wondered if Bud Selig even enjoys the game of baseball. Many of my responses from that article, both in the comments and from friends of mine, have confirmed the fact that Bud Selig is far from being a good commissioner. There is one good thing that has come out of Bud Selig’s reign though and that is adding wild card teams to the playoffs.
I don’t know if it was his idea or if he had anything to do with it but I’m pretty sure the commissioner would have some say in whether they adopted the wild card system. If he had to okay it then I’m pretty sure that is the best thing Bud Selig has done during his reign.
Sure, thanks to parity, or maybe even mediocrity, all the pennant races are still close but the two wild card races make things even more interesting.
In the American League the Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians are chasing the Los Angeles Angels, Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers but all three of them can take solace in the fact that if they don’t catch up, they can win the Wild Card.
In the National League the Wild Card race is even more exciting. Right now there are three teams in every division that could make the playoffs, two in each division that could win the wild card. The San Diego Padres lead the Wild Card Race but the Phillies and Braves are just one and one and a half games back. The Colorado Rockies sit just three games back with the Chicago Cubs four games back and the Los Angeles Dodgers four and a half games back. Even the St. Louis Cardinals are still looming at seven games back.
Without the Wild Card there wouldn’t as many exciting and interesting games down the stretch. More exciting games, more meaningful games means more fans going to games, more fans means more money, more money means better teams.
The Wild Card also gives more hopes to teams. One extra playoff spot gives hopes to teams at the beginning of the season who might have one really tough team in their division but are better than most of the other teams in the league. It also gives hope at the end of the season. Right now nobody thinks the Florida Marlins are contenders in the Wild Card race but they are 8 games out with 40 games left and a lot of talent on their team. Why not the Marlins? Nobody is talking about the Toronto Blue Jays but they are only six and a half games back. Why not the Blue Jays?
Some purists will say, “but the wild card isn’t how baseball was intended.” To those people I say when baseball was first created only whites were allowed to play, fielders didn’t use gloves and there were no lights for night games, so screw “tradition.” The Wild Card is a good thing for baseball.