Weeeee! And let’s throw even more meaningless playoff stats into a shiit-rimmed Vac-Con® debris tank!
As the number of teams in the big leagues has grown, determining how many teams should be in the playoffs, and what the playoff structure should be has been an evolving challenge. It is apparent that with thirty teams, it is no longer appropriate to simply award a World Series spot to the winner of each league as was done until 1969. It should be equally apparent that making it too easy to secure a post-season spot is not good and that if the post-season drags on too long, only fans of the teams involved will watch the games.
It is in this direction in which MLB is now erring. Since the current playoff system has been implemented, there have been no pennant races that are remembered by fans other than those of the two teams involved. There has been nothing comparable to the Cardinal-Phillies race of 1964, the Giant-Dodger race of 1951, the Yankee-Red Sox race of 1978 or the 1993 race between the Giants and the Braves which has been called “The last Pennant Race.” The pennant race, once the signature characteristic of the baseball season, has largely fallen victim to the wild card system. The 2011 season was an exception demonstrating that exciting wild card races are possible and potentially memorable. Under the new system, all we can look forward to are races for the fifth playoff spot about which it will be very difficult to get excited.
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