Many Red Sox fans remember the epic September collapse in which the team lost it's gigantic wild card lead to the Tampa Bay Rays and ultimately caused turmoil throughout the organization. Well, as it turns out, things wouldn't have been so bad if that Wild Card collapse had happened during the upcoming season.
On Friday, Major League Baseball and the player's union agreed in principle to restructure the format of the October playoffs. Both sides agreed to add two additional teams to the field, meaning an extra wild card team for both the American and National League starting in the 2012 playoffs. Well, that would have been helpful, LAST season...
The new format calls for the two wild card teams in both division to play a play-in game to decide who will take on the number one overall seed in that league. If this had been in place last season, the Red Sox' season would not have been over after their loss to the Orioles, they would just have had to play one game with the Rays in order to determine the top Wild Card team. Same with the Atlanta Braves and the eventual World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals.
With the formatting having a bit of a peculiar twist to it, some players around the league, including Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz are a bit wary of the changes.
"One game? That's kind of crazy," designated hitter David Ortiz said. "You know how many things we've got to move around and pack for one game? It'd make more sense for two wild cards to play at least a two-out-of-three series while the other teams take a break for three days because they won their divisions." (ESPN)