With only a handful of MLB playoff games left and the matchups almost set, I want to look at the teams that should have been in.
If the season ended today, the Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, and Angels would be in in the American League. (The Twins are playing the tigers in a four game series and could win the AL Central in the final week.)
In the National League the Phillies, Cardinals, Dodgers, and Rockies would be in. (The red hot Braves are only two games out of the NL Wild Card and could replace the Rockies.)
MLB has the toughest path to the playoffs of all the major sports, with only eight of the 30 teams qualifying for the postseason. I want to focus on the teams who played really well down the stretch but seem to not be invited to the October postseason party.
Somewhere along the line the Texas Rangers developed some young pitching, and this really helped the team improve over 2008. This improvement did not go unnoticed as the attendance almost increased 4,000 fans per game.
The Boys in Arlington are a young and exciting club to watch play. I just would have loved to see them get some postseason experience.
The Florida Marlins are the model for young and successful teams in Major League Baseball. The Marlins won the 2003 World Series with the sixth lowest payroll in the league that year.
That was the team's second World Series title in its short life cycle and it looks like the Marlins were looking to make it a third this year.
With Hanley Ramirez leading the offense and a staff of young arms the Marlins showcase some of the best young talent MLB has to offer.
San Francisco Giants
The pitching rich Giants would have provided some quality play this offseason and given some young stars—Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, and Pablo Sandoval—some national October exposure.
The Giants looked playoff bound for a while but were unable to hold off the Colorado Rockies who emerged from the MLB standings grave to lead in the NL Wild Card.
Minnesota Twins and Atlanta Braves
Both of these teams are very much alive in the final week and are very deserving of playing in the October classic in front of the world. I may give them another review when their fight is gone or they are truly eliminated.
I think it's a shame that any of the teams above will not be in the postseason, and it's time for Major League Baseball to reward the teams who play like winners with more playoff spots.
It is time to revamp the system and have 12 teams in the postseason instead of eight teams. With 12 teams you can reward your top teams with first round byes and an actual advantage for the top division winners.
This would also reward the fringe teams by giving them a shot to compete on the grand stage in the postseason.
The NFL has 12 teams out of 32 in the postseason and the NBA has 16 teams out of 30 in the postseason.
It is time Major League Baseball improves its playoff format and rewards teams for playing the 162 season. Another playoff round could be added with no impact to the length of the postseason, with very few concessions.
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