MLB Will Add Two Wild Card Teams

Commissioner Bud Selig announced that MLB will add two Wild Card teams — one in each league — for a total of ten playoff teams. Selig remains hopeful that the change will occur in 2012. 

"People can be critical. I understand that," said Selig to reporters (including Danny Knobler of CBS Sports and MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince, both Twitter links). "It will be dramatic." 

Selig also confirmed that the creation of two 15-team leagues means there will be interleague play "from Opening Day on," but he doesn't believe it will water down the World Series according to Andy Martino of The New York Daily News and Tom Haudricourt of The Journal Sentintel (Twitter links). Designated hitter rules will remain the same, and it would take a "catalytic event" for them to change reports Knobler (on Twitter).

The two Wild Card clubs are expected to meet in a one-game playoff prior to the League Division Series round, which increases the importance of winning the division.

Mike Axisa contributed to this post.


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258 Comments on "MLB Will Add Two Wild Card Teams"


3 years 9 months ago

If this means that the LDS series are a best-of-seven then I am all for this.

Dan Wohl
3 years 9 months ago

Considering adding more wild card teams will necessitate squeezing even more playoff games into the schedule than there are presently, I can’t imagine why this would be the case.

3 years 9 months ago

I can only hope that the two wildcards play a one game series.

not_brooks
3 years 9 months ago

Right, because it totally makes sense that the AL East second place team that won 95 games should have to prove themselves worthy of the real playoffs by having to beat the AL Central second place team that won just 85 games.

This is the worst idea of all time.

oz10
3 years 9 months ago

ummmmm, actually this year it would have been the Rays and Sox in the play in game and if both wild cards can’t come from the same division it would have been the Angels with 86 wins so you would be right. but Tampa only won 91 with the other division winners with 97,96, & 95 wins so they deserve to play in for their lives for being 4 games back of the next best.

not_brooks
3 years 9 months ago

That was a hypothetical there, fella.

oz10
3 years 9 months ago

And if you come in second in a division, yes, you should have to play and prove yourself.

3 years 9 months ago

Worst idea of all time? Only slight hyperbole there.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like 2 wildcards any more than anybody else here. But if the tradeoff is all other series are 7 games (I realize that’s not a logical position, but it’s certainly doable) then I take the good with the bad. I mean, really, I’d rather it just go back to two divisions in each league and the LCS and World Series each be a 9-game series.

3 years 9 months ago

The worst idea of all time would be the All-Star game deciding home field advantage in the Series lol

go_jays_go
3 years 9 months ago

On average, the runner up to the wild-card team wins 89 games…

slider32
3 years 9 months ago

I agree, as long as their are no one game playoffs. That works in Football when you only play 16 regular games, but in baseball after playing 162, a one game playoff is absurd. 

go_jays_go
3 years 9 months ago

Don’t think of the wild-card game as the ‘playoff’. Think of it as a preliminary decision to see who gets the wild-card, and the real ‘playoffs’ begin afterward.

However, due to other reasons (ex. scheduling, not pushing WS into Nov., too much rest for other teams, etc.), I will be in favor of a one-game match.

The_BiRDS
3 years 9 months ago

I propose a 30 team playoff.. Each team plays one elimination game until there is one team standing.. We can call it October Insanity!

The_BiRDS
3 years 9 months ago

Or in this case Selig Insanity

3 years 9 months ago

That is the best idea I have heard in the past 45 seconds.  Right on.  

Next idea . . .

cyberboo
3 years 9 months ago

Read the article.  Selig said it will be a one-game playoff, which makes winning the division more important.  Of course you know what is going to happen now.  The Yankees will finish second, they will play the other wild card team in a winner take all match, they will lose, and the fans of New York will complain that it should have been a best of seven, so their Yankees will win at least one post season game. 

Yankees009
3 years 9 months ago

Except to be accurate you should replace “Yankees” with “Red Sox” in what you just said, considering that the Yankees have never won a World Series as the Wild Card team, and have only finished as the Wild Card winner twice since its inception.

3 years 9 months ago

Maybe you are the won who should be more accurate.  The 2007 Red Sox won the division on their way to a championship.

Yankees009
3 years 9 months ago

Who knows whether the 2007 Red Sox would have won the division under the proposed system. Both teams were lining up their rotations for the postseason and finished only 2 games apart. The Yankees were significantly outplaying them at the end of the season despite that as well. 

Imagine if that Red Sox team just barely lost the division at the very end. They would have played a one game playoff against either Seattle or Detroit, who could have thrown Felix Hernandez or Justin Verlander to knock out the eventual World Series winners before the Postseason even started!

CircusFresh
3 years 9 months ago

Yes, imagine.  Imagine if Pedro was taken out of the game in 2003.  So, that WS for the Yankees is not really a WS bc of how close it was in the ALCS game 7.  Great argument.

Scoreboard is scoreboard.  Whatever your opinions, the Sox won the division.  Dont try and change history to make your points.

CircusFresh
3 years 9 months ago

Yes, bc Philly fan or Braves fan would not have the exact same argument.  With 10% of the televisions in the New York and Boston markets and add another 3 % for Philly and another 2 % for Atlanta, that is 15 % of all televisions owning baseball fans being upset about seeing their teams in arguably the most competitive divisions losing in a one game gimmick.  So if I was MLB I would listen…

Unless they dont like money.

What cracks me up is how bad a businessman Bud Selig truly is…Lets change one of the best off season MLB has had in terms of competitive play and tv viewers…

Real smart.

Amish_willy
3 years 9 months ago

Interesting how that will play out with 5 teams reaching the playoffs in each league. I guess the two wild card teams will battle it out with one of them being eliminated before any of the other teams play.

The_BiRDS
3 years 9 months ago

Yeah in a one game playoff… weak sauce

Cosmo3
3 years 9 months ago

And what, have a one-game playoff? 

$H*+ Selig, just have them flip a coin. 

3 years 9 months ago

MLB is officially expanding the playoffs to 10 teams.  I’m personally against this.  The move is obviously to ensure that BOS and NYY get in the playoffs each year.  I do not want MLB to to turn into the NHL and NBA where playoffs go on for 2 months and over half the league makes the playoffs.

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
3 years 9 months ago

Conspiracy theorize much?

Cheeseballs
3 years 9 months ago

I doubt its why they are doing it, but it makes sense. They are the money makers for postseason.

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 9 months ago

If anything I would think it would help the Orioles, Rays, and Bluejays.

slider32
3 years 9 months ago

By moving the Astros into the AL West, it might increase their chances by playing a weaker team 18 times.

3 years 9 months ago

Really? Weaker than the Cubs and Pirates? Good assessment.

Benjam88
3 years 9 months ago

I’m pretty sure slider meant that it would increase the other teams in the AL West’s chances to make the playoffs because they could beat on the Astro’s for 18 games.

Benjam88
3 years 9 months ago

I’m sure slider32 meant that it increases the AL West’s chances of making the playoffs because they get to beat up on the Astros 18 times, man. Not that the AL West is weaker than the NL Central.

3 years 9 months ago

believe me they had just as many in the central, Cubs,Pirates even the Reds ths year wont change much for them.

3 years 9 months ago

Uhm…the rays have been in the playoffs 3 of the last 4 years, if anything it’s to make sure the Yankees AND Red Sox both make the playoffs.

3 years 9 months ago

Why do the Rays need help? They’re better than the Red Sox.

3 years 9 months ago

They are at the moment, but with their small market, any sustained greatness is likely short lived. They have great management, so they can certainly contend sporadically, but they won’t dominate like Boston and New York. I agree that this is to aid teams who would normally not have a chance when the Yankees and Red Sox are clicking at full tilt.

bleedrockiepurple
3 years 9 months ago

Contend sporadically? They have averaged 92 wins the last 4 seasons. Thats far from sporadic winning. Yeah, they lose talent because they are not a big market team but they have more than enough talent continuing to come up to make them consistent contenders.

The business model of the Red Sox and Yankees isn’t the only one that works.

3 years 9 months ago

The Rays will be better than the Red Sox for at least the next couple of years. They have potentially the next Crawford and a very in depth farm system

3 years 9 months ago

I assume you’re talking about Jennings? He got extremely hot against us (Rangers) in the DS. He’s going to be good.

3 years 9 months ago

it helps the Nationals and the Mutts too they may actually make it now

blacksheep1982
3 years 9 months ago

Yeah I am a long suffering Blue Jays fan, I would like to see my team make the playoffs again before I die and being in the AL East, well, death is more likely to occur first under the current format. Therefore I want an extra spot, maybe I will have a reason to watch baseball after August for the first time in 19 years.

Morley C
3 years 9 months ago

Funny, I enjoy watching Jays baseball after August because I enjoy watching baseball. :)

blacksheep1982
3 years 9 months ago

So you will enjoy watching them not make the playoffs for another 20 years then as well, right? Because if you’ve been watching this team for a long time, the only time we were even remotely close to making the playoffs since 1993 was the 1998 season where we pulled to within a few of the wild card. I do enjoy watching the Jays, but after watching endless failing seasons, it gets tiring to watch the final clawing of September. You are either very young and not experienced this enough or a wild eyed optimist.

Everyone who hates this change is amusing. 50 years ago, two teams with the best records went straight to the world series. Then, they started adding playoffs, first 4 teams, then the lone wildcard in 1994. I’m sure a bunch of people flipped out about tradition blah blah, but the internet wasn’t around (ok it was there in 94, but not like this with less users) so we didn’t hear the complaining. Now we get to.

Things change people, deal with it.

Morley C
3 years 9 months ago

Wow…that’s quite the overreaction of a comment. All I said was that I enjoy watching baseball for the sake of watching baseball, and playoff baseball is just a bonus. I don’t really invest that much emotion in professional sports. And I don’t care about this change either way. 

3 years 9 months ago

I am a Mets fan I know what your going through

slider32
3 years 9 months ago

The more playoff teams the less chance you have making the series. If you take the two best records like the old days, it would have been the Yanks vs Philly this year.

oz10
3 years 9 months ago

you still had a CS round so it still would have been NL East and West and AL East and West. So you would have started with Texas vs. Yanks in the AL. Texas beat Detroit who beat the Yanks so therefore Texas still goes. NL would be The phillies though as they would beat the Diamondbacks.

haymaker9
3 years 9 months ago

He meant before 1969, when there were no divisions.

oz10
3 years 9 months ago

So back when there were 20 teams and you played every team the same amount. That really applies in today’s game with 30 teams.

3 years 9 months ago

add the Rays in two because they will almost always win over 85 a year which is more than most teams in the other divisions can say

3 years 9 months ago

on the flipside the Mets maybe able to make playoffs now.In 2013 they will be somewhat better

3 years 9 months ago

Really? Almost always?

$1529282
3 years 9 months ago

One step closer to the absurdity of all the other sports where half the damn field makes the playoffs. Great.

3 years 9 months ago

More playoff teams = more fans who care in September and October.

Redbirds16
3 years 9 months ago

= more $$$$

LUWahooNatFan
3 years 9 months ago

If this is added for the 2012 season, the Nationals just became contenders for post-season play

DMCj
3 years 9 months ago

Your lips to the baseball gods’ ears, friend.

3 years 9 months ago

so did the New Yor Muts the Nats didnt do much better than them

LUWahooNatFan
3 years 9 months ago

Anyone not expecting a drop off for the Mets after they lose Reyes is delusional…

Technically speaking, this helps every team that finished 2nd in their division without getting the wildcard

notsureifsrs
3 years 9 months ago

terrible

wickedkevin
3 years 9 months ago

AL East vs NL East.  Sweet. Yanks, Sox, Rays and Phillies, Braves, Nats.

This is silly.

FS54
3 years 9 months ago

WOW I don’t know about anyone else but I am pleased to see that Nats being mentioned with the big guys without having won anything yet.

3 years 9 months ago

can anyone explain to me how this actually works? cause we already have whoever wins the AL and NL wild cards going to the postseason. i can understand that but adding 2 wild card teams means that 2nd place AL and NL wild card teams now have a chance at going to the postseason too  0_0?

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 9 months ago

The 1 and 2 wild cards play each other in a 1 or 3 game playoff while the other teams get a “bye.” The goal is to add incentive to win the division beyond home field advantage and make money.

So for instance, the Braves would play the Nationals in a such a system. The theory is that (while last year was nice, it doesn’t happen every year) a team like New York can forfeit the division race and set their pitching for the playoffs (like they did in 2010) so they would have the same tactical advantage as a #1 seed.

Cheeseballs
3 years 9 months ago

But who gets home field advantage in the three game series?

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 9 months ago

The one with the better record I’d guess… Or whoever owns the tie breaker.

Cheeseballs
3 years 9 months ago

The better record against each other?

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 9 months ago

Yes.

The Two Wild Cards aren’t (most likely going to finish tied).

If for instance if Atlanta wins 92 games and Washington wins 89, the Atlanta would have home field.

If they do finish tied, whoever has the better record against each other (let’s say if The Braves beat the Giants 4 out of 6 Games) the Braves would have homefield.

oz10
3 years 9 months ago

The other thing this does is take away the best pitcher to start the next round as you would want your best pitcher for a one game playoff. I am all for a one game playoff because it really does give the advantage back to winning the division. 3 games makes everybody else wait too long.

slider32
3 years 9 months ago

Teams will always set their teams up for the playoff if they can, the Giants and the Cards proved that the hot team at the end of the season usually wins. Bye’s in baseball can be a deterand.

3 years 9 months ago

Two examples hardly qualifies as proof

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 9 months ago

I disagree, it’s all match ups. If you asked me going into the playoffs who the worst matchups for the Phillies would have been, I would have said St. Louis and San Fransisco both years.

I would have gladly taken Arizona or Milwaukee in the first round over St. Louis.

stimp
3 years 9 months ago

Why not just make the wildcard team play all their playoff games on the road.  That would be a very big incentive to win the division.

CyYoungSuppan
3 years 9 months ago

Making the playoffs actually means something with the way it was. I believe this will somewhat tarnish that.  I personally don’t want to make my team to make the playoffs as the second wild card.  It won’t be nearly as satisfying.  Not a fan.

LUWahooNatFan
3 years 9 months ago

People can stop whining about how there isn’t a disadvantage to making it to the playoffs as the wild card team

Cosmo3
3 years 9 months ago

This is honestly getting absurd. It’s reached the point where regular-season success means nothing. So unfair to the clubs that actually build quality teams, when they can get knocked out in any one short series by a stroke of bad luck. 

$7562574
3 years 9 months ago

or by the umps, as it usually happens in the playoffs. this past world series was pleasantly devoid of corrupt blues.

Cheeseballs
3 years 9 months ago

I wouldn’t say devoid, i.e. Matt Holliday at first base, but nothing that decided any games.

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 9 months ago

The NLDS between the Phillies/Cardinals was pretty bad (on both sides). Especially Game 2.

The World Series wasn’t bad, I can’t think of any off the top of my head, so that’s a good sign.

aceman515
3 years 9 months ago

thats such a lame excuse man. if a “better” team is eliminated in a short series then it wasnt bad luck, the better team won.

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 9 months ago

I think it means its a small sample size/matchups. If they were the better team they’d be the better team after 162.

not_brooks
3 years 9 months ago

If we’re talking about a three or five game series, then maybe you’re right.

But if we’re talking about a one game playoff, which is probably what the Wild Card “round” would be, then you’re dead wrong.

Brv Rocks
3 years 9 months ago

I don’t mind adding another wildcard team.  However, I don’t like the idea of a one game playoff.  The two teams should at least play 3 games.

Bleed_Orange
3 years 9 months ago

I was thinking the same thing.  1 game tells you nothing about who should advance, might as well play rock paper scissors and move on.  Even a best of 3 isnt great but Id much rather the team who advances have to take 2 of 3

abes_seed
3 years 9 months ago

also, if you are using your ace for a 1 game series, then he is out for the next round… Not fair if you want to find the  best team.

go_jays_go
3 years 9 months ago

Using your ace in the ‘wild-card round’, only to have him out of the next round?

Think of it as punishment in the next round for not winning the division.

oz10
3 years 9 months ago

I said this in a higher post but it actually gives the division winners a big help if they play the wild card. Assuming it is a one game playoff, you would roll out your ace for the game as it is a must win. This then benefits the division winners and brings back some validity to trying to win the division and not just coast at the end. Takes out the wild card’s ace until game 3 or 4 while whoever plays them can then use their ace twice. I like the fact that as a wild card you have no guarantee of playing a full series in the post season. Division winners will finally matter again and we will see better baseball in september.

3 years 9 months ago

 Which not only makes it a boost to be division winner instead of a wild card, but also makes it a boost to be the #1 seed so that you face the wild card.

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 9 months ago

I like it, in reality, neither wild card team should be in the playoffs in the first place, so who cares if their season is decided by one game?

I’d prefer a 3 game series but I see the advantages to a One Game Playoff, especially Ratings wise. I don’t really have an opinion either way. I’d lean towards a 3 game playoff so it’s not as much of a crap shoot, but I’d love the excitement and drama of a “win or go home.”

Pete
3 years 9 months ago

What? Are you trying to say using a the largest sample scale to make it in, and then using the smallest possible one when they get there makes no sense?

I’m beginning to think Selig is senile or has a mental problem.

frontdeskmike
3 years 9 months ago

I disagree.  In a one-game playoff, both teams would use their best available starting pitcher.  Assuming they have a chance to throw their ace in this game, he would be unavailable until at least game 3 of the division series.  With a three game series, your ace would have more time to rest for the division series.  A one-game playoff gives a considerable advantage to the teams that win their division, allowing them more time to set up their rotations.

$7562574
3 years 9 months ago

the fans said nfl and the players deserted the fans. same thing with nba. mlb and it’s commissioner are definitely ignoring the fans. sack that commie(sh).

Guest
3 years 9 months ago

All I want for Xmas is for the World Series to be over before New Years.

The_BiRDS
3 years 9 months ago

Some people on this thread wont be complaining when their teams makes the playoffs (and shouldnt have) on the new rule

Guest
3 years 9 months ago

This degrades the quality of my favorite sport.

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 9 months ago

So did the original Wild Card.

I’m not for adding the 2nd Wild Card, but the first Wild Card didn’t degrade the quality of the sport, in fact, it made it that much more interesting.

You’re going to have so many more teams fighting for that 2nd Wild Card spot “Wildcard Wednesday” or whatever it was has that much more of a chance at happening every year.

The_BiRDS
3 years 9 months ago

Should make the Sept strech a little more interesting

catch21_2
3 years 9 months ago

Let’s not turn this into the joke of a playoff system that the NBA has where over half the teams make the postseason…

abes_seed
3 years 9 months ago

maybe we can add the lottery to for the draft!!! get your ping pong balls out!!!

Pete
3 years 9 months ago

Selig just keeps adding to his legacy of worst commish in history, huh?

Why even bother playing 162 then? If we are just going to let more teams in why not just make it 90 games? We have the long season for a reason: the team that won the most IS the best. We already know this. Cool, lets water down the playoffs even more. MLB is getting so disgusting.

$7562574
3 years 9 months ago

mr. rose?

Pete
3 years 9 months ago

what?

Are you referring to pete rose? He’d think Giamatti was the worst commish in history, wouldnt he?

0bsessions
3 years 9 months ago

Why even have a World Series, then? I mean, the Phillies were definitively the best team in the MLB by virtue of record by your standard, so why should we want a best of seven series to determine they were a full five games better than the Yankees?

3 years 9 months ago

Umm yea you are just wrong.

Seriously can any of your posts have any sort of logic?

The phillies got to face the amazing NL east teams and the even better NL central and west teams! Whoever wins the most games isnt necessarily the best team, if they were they could beat the very best teams in a playoff format. Heck even my tigers who won 96 games I am hesitant to say they were that great because they had the twins/royals 36 times!

Playoffs correct anything a 162 game schedule cant, and since you people are already complaining about interleague play year round we have to keep it this way.

3 years 9 months ago

Gasp it’s almost like MLB is a for profit organization. The World Series ratings SUCKED.

No one cares about baseball anymore outside the historic baseball cities.

DoubleEh
3 years 9 months ago

After the final day of the 2011 regular season, Selig ranted about how great it was and how a day like that could “only happen in baseball”.  So with these new changes, what happened on the last day of 2011 regular season would have resulted in: Tampa, Boston, Atlanta & St Louis making the playoffs – ie the results of the last day would have made no difference to the teams who made the playoffs and would not have been anything memorable. 

alxn
3 years 9 months ago

and then those 4 teams would have faced each other in a 1-game playoff. The idea of this is to repeat the drama of that final day every year.

Jack Hillyard
3 years 9 months ago

Let’s just dilute the game down to mush and make it a year round sport. It’s about nothing but the money…to hell with the integrity of the game itself.