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View Full Version : When would you get excited by a wildcard under the new rules?


Moses_Scurry
08-17-2012, 02:00 PM
Let's just pretend for the sake of discussion that there are two weeks left in the 2012 season. The Tigers have gone on a massive hot streak like last year, but the Sox have played well too. As a result, the Sox are a good 7-8 games behind the Tigers, but are firmly entrenched in one of the wildcard spots. Are you excited? Do you put 2012 with 1993, 2000, and 2008 as a playoff appearance? Or do you see it more like the blackout game in 2008 before the playoff appearance?

I'm not one of the people who see a season as ONLY being successful if you make the playoffs. 1990 was a very successful season to me, one of the best of my lifetime. However, I can't see myself 4-5 years down the road looking back at 2012 as a "post-season appearance" if the Sox get a wildcard and lose the playoff. To me it would feel more like they ended the season tied with Balt, Oak, TB, LAAA, etc. and have to win a game 163 to make the postseason.

Hopefully this is all rendered moot with a ALC division title, but since this is the first season with 2 wildcards, I thought I'd see if others feel the same as me.

Madvora
08-17-2012, 02:03 PM
I see it more as a chance to be in the playoffs. Exciting if you're in it, but nothing to look back on. No banner or anything like that.

TDog
08-17-2012, 04:14 PM
The new wild card rule make the wild card a desperation thing. Being one of the two wild cards is like tying for your division and having to win a one-game playoff to go to the postseason. That wild card game is a play-in game. If you're 2.5 games up in mid August, there is no way I would get excited about the chance at one of the wild cards.

If the Sox seemed to be out of it, and they came back to heroically make it to the play-in game, as they did in 2008, that would be exciting, though. I guess the time I would get excited about the idea of the play-in wild card would be if the Sox won the play-in game, won the ALDS and were heading into the ALCS.

Patrick134
08-17-2012, 05:08 PM
The only team excited to be in this game is the team that would have missed the playoffs under the old rules.

mzh
08-17-2012, 05:28 PM
As the Cardinals last year proved, it's not how you get to October, it's what you do in October. That said, I'm not a huge fan of the new system. Even if the teams are fairly evenly matched, I don't like the possibility of a 91 win team getting taken out by an 85 win team in just one game.

Is the rule that the wild card and their respective division winner can't meet in the LDS still in effect with this system?

TheVulture
08-17-2012, 05:53 PM
Even if the teams are fairly evenly matched, I don't like the possibility of a 91 win team getting taken out by an 85 win team in just one game.

I like it. It makes it worth winning the division and not settling for a wild card. If the 91 team gets taken out in one game, well, they should have beaten the first place team in their division over 162 game schedule anyway. Personally, I don't think WC teams belong in the playoffs, this is a good way to weaken the WC effect. I'd actually prefer a round robin and eliminate the wild card all together.

Is the rule that the wild card and their respective division winner can't meet in the LDS still in effect with this system?That rule is no longer in effect with the expanded WC.

mzh
08-17-2012, 06:10 PM
I like it. It makes it worth winning the division and not settling for a wild card. If the 91 team gets taken out in one game, well, they should have beaten the first place team in their division over 162 game schedule anyway. Personally, I don't think WC teams belong in the playoffs, this is a good way to weaken the WC effect. I'd actually prefer a round robin and eliminate the wild card all together.

I have very little memory of baseball in the pre-WC era, but I get where you're coming from. Personally I think that 4 teams from each league is a pretty good balance for separating the top tier teams from the rest, but I guess in theory that would work best by just eliminating divisions and just going from the best 4 records. The divisional system itself is inherently flawed, but I guess that's one of the things that makes baseball more interesting as we go down to the wire. Either way, it looks like we'll have a hat in the ring down to the end, so I ain't complaining!

TDog
08-17-2012, 06:33 PM
As the Cardinals last year proved, it's not how you get to October, it's what you do in October. That said, I'm not a huge fan of the new system. Even if the teams are fairly evenly matched, I don't like the possibility of a 91 win team getting taken out by an 85 win team in just one game. ...

If you're talking theoretically, I don't like the idea of a 91-win team making the postseason if they don't finish first in their division, regardless of how many wins the other division winners have.

For this year, at least, it appears that the two wild card teams in each league won't be separated by many wins. There isn't any tight two-team race among teams fighting for the league's best record as happens sometimes. And in years when two teams were fighting for a division with at least one division winner holding a poorer record, the single wild card rather diminished the importance of the race.

The idea (not one you expounded, I understand) that this was instituted to assure that both Boston and New York make the postseason is laughably ridiculous. This institutes a one-game do-or-die playoff every year in each league before the postseason starts, not just in years when you have a tie for a division.

cws05champ
08-17-2012, 06:49 PM
It would be exciting to be in that one game playoff, but at this point a successful season to me would be to make it to a multi game series. That's just my opinion though.

hawkjt
08-18-2012, 11:41 AM
I like this concept of two wildcards,making winning the division a big reward.
Winning a division is very hard,and takes 162 games,6 months,of step by step work. It should be rewarded.

I like that the wildcard is there,to give a close second place team a chance,albeit, a one shot chance,of making their season special.

I will be estatic if the Sox win the division,and only slightly less so if they get that wildcard. They are one of the most surprising teams in baseball,for 4.5 months,and I do not want them to walk away with nothing.
Losing in the wildcard will not be much consolation,but it will be postseason play,and worthy of note. I think a banner noting 2012 playoff team is warranted. I guess if they blew a huge lead a la the Red Sox last year,and then lost the wildcard game, I would feel different.