When Commissioner Bud Selig first implemented the wild card system in 1994, some people were opposed to the idea of adding another playoff team. Selig had wanted to add a second wild card to the playoff system for a few years, and in the off-season, the owners and players union agreed to the expansion of the wild card system.
On the last day of the 2011 season, baseball witnessed one of the most epic nights in its history. The Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves both had big leagues in the wild card standings. But on the last day of the season, both the Tampa Bay Rays and St. Louis Cardinals managed to get into the playoffs. The Cardinals were they eventual World Series champions.
When the MLB added the second wild card in the off-season, many of people thought that baseball would never be able to witness another night like game 162 in 2011. Of the current format was in place last year, neither the Braves or Sox collapse and the memorable night of game 162 never happens.
Now that there is a little under three weeks left of baseball to be played, the second wild card has made playoff races more exicting than ever.
With last years playoff format, those teams would be on the brink of elimination of the postseason due to there being only one wild card spot.
It has given some fan bases new life later in the season. Like in the American League. It seems like every year the New York Yankees would win the AL East and the Red Sox would claim the lone wild card spot.
This year it has really widened the the range of teams who can now make the playoffs with the extra wild card. It has made for more and tighter races in September.
Not to mention with this new playoff format, the two wild card teams have to play a one game winner takes all playoff game. It’s like you get a game 163 every year, which makes for great October baseball.
This September has been as good as any for baseball. New playoff contenders, the battle for winning your division mattering more, and just waiting to get a glimpse and feel of the new wild card game. So far adding the second wild card has been as good as advertised and more.
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