Evaluating the New Playoff Format

The 2012 season has brought with it a new playoff format. Some thoughts on the new format:

1.) There’s now a clear downside to being a Wild Card team (as there should be). As the Atlanta Braves & Texas Rangers can attest too, it’s a risky deal with everything riding on one game. The Oakland A’s push to win their division paid dividends with extra rest and the ability to plan their pitching rotation for at least three games in the Division Series.

2.) The jury’s still out on the scheduling. With the new Wild Card game being shoe-horned into this year’s schedule, it created a weird situation where the “lesser” team got the first two Division Series games at home. That’s too much of an advantage for the supposed “lesser” team in each Division Series matchup.

3.) Limiting postseason to the end of October makes marketing & practical sense. Even with this being an “early start” to the season, the World Series has the potential to extend into November. I say no more of that!

4.) Yes, the extra wild card has made things more interesting. As a baseball fan, it is fun to watch these one-and-done wild card showdowns. However, what’s to stop MLB from eventually turning into a NCAA basketball tournament-like setup in the far future? Is this really the end of adding teams to postseason? Let’s just say I’m more than a bit weary of baseball’s future in that regard, however, I will enjoy this postseason and the new playoff setup for the time being.

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