MLB Playoffs: Baseball Would Get Far More Wild in 2012 with Expanded Playoffs

Gabe Zaldivar@gabezalPop Culture Lead WriterJanuary 28, 2012

ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 30: Manager Tony La Russa (L-R) speaks to fans as Octavio Dotel and Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals look on during a ceremony celebrating the team's 11th World Series championship October 30, 2011 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Whitney Curtis/Getty Images)
Whitney Curtis/Getty Images

You know those amazing final days of the regular season when multiple teams still had their playoff dreams alive? Well expect more of that from here until eternity.

Traditionalists can weep into their handkerchiefs, because the game that moves like molasses is about to switch things up. That is the hope at least. 

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig was tickled hopeful that expanded playoffs could start as early as this season. 

Bud Selig spoke with reporters on the state of baseball and issued that the upcoming playoff changes could come sooner rather than later. Via Yahoo Sports

I really believe we’ll have the wild card for 2012, this year. Clubs really want it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an issue that the clubs want more than to have the extra wild card this year. We’re working on dates right now. That’ll all take place. It looks to me like we’ll have it because I’ve told everybody we have to have it. It’ll be exciting. One-game playoff, it will start the playoffs in a very exciting manner. 

The changes don't just affect the wild card race, first-place ties will now be settled automatically with a play-in game. 

Head-to-head record was the tiebreaker in the past, but as the Yahoo Sports report states, "the difference between first place and a wild-card berth is too important to decide with a formula and a tiebreaker game would be played."

That means a whole bunch of playoff baseball could be on the way this coming fall. If it takes effect in 2012, the two teams with the best record that do not win the division will be the wild cards and play in a one-game playoff. 

I have to agree with Selig that this is an amazing way to begin the postseason. We only have to look to the end of the 2011 season to illustrate the point that the more is really the merrier. 

Wild Card Wednesday is now what the last day of the 2011 regular season is known as. Where four teams were vying four two spots, merely by chance and fate. 

Now that kind of excitement could be brought to the playoffs each and every year. We get the "anything can happen" aspect of a one-game playoff, and the added emotion of more teams vying for the postseason. 

Major League Baseball is proving they can change things up in a big way, and that will guarantee the fall belongs to baseball once again. 

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