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Expanding the Playoffs

The drumbeat from the commissioner's office is getting louder and louder. It seems like just a matter of time, maybe as soon as next season, Bud Selig will announce that two Wild Card teams will meet in a short series before advancing to face the team with the league's best record.

In theory, it seems like a good idea. Something should be done to penalize the Wild Card team, to reward the team that performs better during the marathon of the regular season.

Personally, I feel that every additional team in the playoffs cheapens the experience. This isn't basketball, with a huge talent gap between the best and the world teams. And it isn't football, where teams are used to playing one game a week; in baseball a long layoff can hurt. The more teams welcomed to the playoffs, the less making the playoffs matter. Add another round, and I'll begin to side with the Yankee fans who say that a season without a pennant or without a championship is a failure.

I'd be much happier seeing the Wild Card play fewer home games. Maybe only 1 home game in a 5 game set, and 2 home games in a best of 7.

But changing the format of the current system wouldn't give teams a chance to rake in more money from marked-up playoff tickets, from broadcast deals, or from merchandizing. And that's really all the owner-commissioner has been interested in. In that sense, like Scott Boras, I hate his decisions and his tactics, but I have to admit, he's done a hell of a job.