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MLB Wild Card Teams Added for 2012, Implemented Season After Epic Final Day

The Rays remarkable final game of the season might not have happened if there were extra Wild Card teams.
The Rays remarkable final game of the season might not have happened if there were extra Wild Card teams.J. Meric/Getty Images
Michael NargiSenior Analyst IFebruary 29, 2012

If extra wild card teams would have been added last season then the most remarkable day of baseball would have had no significance.

In the 2012 baseball season, MLB will introduce the first season of extra wild card teams, to total 10 teams in the playoffs.

Ken Rosenthal has reported via twitter, "Sources: Additional wild cards a "go" for this season. Playoffs to expand from eight to 10 teams. Announcement tomorrow."

This is a huge change. Although it had been approved in the offseason, but until today it was unconfirmed whether or not the new wild card teams would be implemented in this season or next.

The reported new format would be to have the two playoff teams in each league would play a one game playoff prior to the Division Series.

The expansion of the playoffs creates an opportunity for more revenue in baseball. More teams will be in contention meaning that teams will continue to bring fans to the ballpark in September.

It seems like a good idea on paper, however think about this.

The memorable 2011 playoffs might not have ever happened.

The final day of the regular season, the day that has regarded by most fans as the best day of baseball they can remember, would have had little significance.

The Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals would have made the playoffs either way under the new system. The same would have happened in the American League with the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox.

Remove the drama of that night and everything might have changed.

One of the most memorable and dramatic nights in baseball history would have never happened.

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