Originally Posted by doublem23
Baseball season totally means something, which is why the 88-win Cardinals are about to take a 2-1 series lead over the 98-win Nationals.
It isn't that teams that don't deserve to be in the postseason can't win in the postseason. If, hypothetically, the wild card were selected by lot and the Mariners were the AL wild card, they might have a shot, especially with their pitching, to win best-of-five and best-of-seven series. They certainly showed they could consistently beat the Tigers during the regular season.
Teams who haven't earned their way into the baseball postseason by winning a division over 162 games over six months can be competitive and can win. Expand the postseason and you expand the possibilities that a team that didn't earn the right to compete for the championship. The NCAA basketball championship has expanded to the point where the champion is more of a tournament champion than a season champion of the sport, as it was when only conference champions and strongest independents were competing. I don't know of any sport where a team has won a championship after achieving a regular season .500-or-less record, but the way sports open up their championship playoffs, it is bound to happen.
At least the Cardinals had to earn the wild card spot by winning a play-in game. The Nationals may end up winning the series, but it is looking like it was the Cardinals' good fortune to go up against a team with management that doesn't seem to care about winning a championship.