I noticed that Dodgers fans were already complaining to protect themselves even before the first pitch about the injustice of the playoff system which saw their team win 106 games but face the indignity of having to play in the wild card game. Followed up very well with Yankees fans complaining last night, because nothing happens until it happens in New York and Los Angeles, right?
All right, let’s fix this in a way that MLB will never embrace. What fans need to realize is that the six divisions are their own competitions, especially with the lopsided schedule. It’s not fair for teams from different divisions to compete for the same spots in the playoffs, because they play different times. We want to decide the things of the teams that have gone through the same calendar, because that is the best way to judge who deserves what.
With the playoff expansion coming up, let’s just accept it. This is how it should look, but it never will be: The three division winners from each league go to the Division Series as they do now. And then we will deposit the three teams in second place in the wild card round. Without competing with each other, without having to worry about losing to a team that has 19 games against the Orioles or 38 games against the Cubs and Pirates or whatever. Three first-place teams, three second-place teams in each league.
So what? Oh, you are going to like this. We’re going to let MLB artificially create the chaos we were cheering on last weekend, because they love to do that. The three second-place teams will be randomly selected in that ABC lineup that would have happened if three teams had tied for last wild card spot. A and B play a game, the loser of which plays C, and then the winner of that game plays the winner of the first game for the wild card game.
Yes, it could be a lot of travel, but maybe you combat it by having all three games take place in one of the three arenas, also drawn at random. Or maybe that extra trip is the advantage the No. 1 seed gets. Either way, we’re not comparing different schedules. All second-place teams are treated the same and have to win two games, while possibly having to travel three times, just to get into the main draw. They cannot complain about unfair systems. They’re in this mess because they weren’t as good as others in their division, and the random draw gives them the same odds as the other two teams.
It’s different too, and the random drawing on Sunday night of the last day of the season for all three wild card games could be a great draw.
I’ve fixed it for you. Now marvel at how it won’t happen.