Major League Baseball saw how the 2011 season ended and wanted to recreate that on a yearly basis. With that, an odd rule was put in place.
MLB has officially adopted a second Wild Card team in each league and the Wild Card teams will play a one-game playoff, which will take place on October 5. The NLDS will begin on October 6, but here is the new wrinkle. FOR THE 2012 SEASON ONLY, the winner of the Wild Card play-in game will be at home for the first two games of the NLDS.
That means, if the Phillies were to have the best record in the National League, they would play their first two games on the road, followed by three straight, if necessary, at home. This was done to alleviate travel concerns of the Wild Card team, and also, because the new Wild-Card rules were adopted so late.
It’s an odd move by Major League Baseball, but I think we’ve learned one thing: money rules all. They wanted to make money off of a one-game playoff by adding a Wild Card team as soon as possible. They’ve done that, but in the process may have screwed over the best teams in each league.
Sure, it’s only one year, but on the surface, it puts the team with the league’s best record at a disadvantage off the bat.
What do you think of the new rule?
For an in-depth look at what all the rules mean, Jayson Stark of ESPN.com has a brilliant breakdown.