Thanks to the addition of a second Wild Card this season, Major League Baseball's post-season is being forced into a pretty tight schedule. Once the season ends, there is one day off before the new one-game Wild Card round begins. That day off is available in the case of necessary make-up or tiebreaker games. And there is no wiggle room because the Divisonal Series start the day after the Wild Card games. That... is unfortunate.
With just that one off-day, MLB has absolutely no wiggle room if something unsual pops up, like, oh say a ridiculous three-way tie for the final Wild Card spots in both leagues. Laugh all you want at such a crazy scenario, but once you are done laughing, take a peak at the current Wild Card standings. You might notice that in both leagues there is currently two teams tied for the final Wild Card spot. You might also notice that in both leagues there is a team just half a game behind those two tied teams. You might then realize that trying to break a three-way tie in one day is a logistical nightmare. And don't even try and imagine the potential apocalypse that would ensue if a fourth team snuck into the mix in one or both leagues (which is plausible given that each the Angels are four games out in the AL and the D'Backs are 3.5 back in the NL).
Funnily enough one of the main reasons people have been hating on the idea of the second Wild Card is that it would destroy some of the epic fun and drama we all experienced on the final day of last season. But what could be more fun than four sudden death play-in games in one day for the right to play another sudden death playoff game the very next day where the winner then moves on to play in the LDS the day after that. That's probably the closest thing to March Madness that Major League Baseball will ever experience and everyone loves the drama of March Madness.
Just imagine a scenario in which the Tigers have to play a tie-breaker game in Tampa, win it and then fly to Oakland to play another tie-breaker against the A's. Should they win that, they'd have to then fly back home to Detroit to host for two games before again traveling to New York or Texas. This would all take place over the course of three or four jet-lagged days.
But the real secret source of joy will be watching Bud Selig and the league office squirm over trying to figure out the schedule for this tie-breaking chaos. Would they really have two of the teams play in the morning and then force the winner of that game to play against a different team later that day and possibly even travel to do so? Would they anger all the other playoff teams by eliminating the only off-day in the Divisional Series to avoid that doubleheader scenario? Whatever route Selig selects will be lambasted and it will be fantastic to watch.
Of course, we surely won't be so lucky since there has never been a three-way tie for a playoff berth in league history and there is still over a month left for these Wild Card log jams to shake themselves out. Darn, I was so looking forward to the chaos.
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