Some have said they think the wild card playoff game should be more than just one game. That it should be a best-of-three series and that would be more fair after playing 162 games - or even 163 as Tampa Bay played.
My take: Leave it the way it is, as a one-game playoff. I prefer that for the drama, the tension, the pressure and all that a one-and-done scenario creates.
O’s fans probably can still remember the butterflies dancing in their stomachs as the Orioles played in Texas last October.
If you want to avoid the one-game scenario, just win more games and take first in your division. That is how you avoid it. Win 98 games, not 90. Win more games over six months and you won’t have to win this one to keep playing.
Adding the second wild card has certainly added more drama to the final weeks of the season. Look at the American League wild card race this year, one that wasn’t resolved with just 162 games.
More teams involved in a playoff race means more important games and more fans excited to the end in more cities. It’s good for the sport.
If they did go to a best-of-three, the survivor of, say, a grueling three-game playoff might then have to pitch its fourth- or fifth-best pitcher in the next round’s opener, and might just be a pushover at that point.
I think Major League Baseball got this one right.
The Cleveland Indians impressed me winning 10 in a row at the end of the year. Even though they played bad teams, they didn’t lose a single game and that was impressive.
They became one of six teams since 1900 to end the year winning 10 or more in a row. The only team that did that and won the World Series? The 1970 Baltimore Orioles.
So who is more prepared to win tonight? The red-hot Indians, who are rolling? Or a Rays team that has plenty of playoff experience?
We’ll find out later tonight in the AL wild card game. They’ll need just one game to figure it out and that works out just fine for me.