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Big Papi and the Red Sox would have been candidates in 2010 for the fifth seed in the American League. But if they could not beat the Yankees or Rays, who both fell to eventual AL Champ Texas Rangers, did they really deserve a spot in the playoffs?
For years, baseball had no playoffs—the top two teams from each league would meet in the World Series immediately after the regular season.
When the leagues split into two, and then three divisions, a playoff system became necessary. Since teams play a higher percentage of games against divisional opponents, overall records can be skewed by how strong each division is.
The playoffs solved that problem by allowing each division champion to prove itself against the other two. The wild card spot was introduced primarily to make the tournament entries an even four.
Proponents of the wild card spot say that it is possible for the two best teams in a league to be in the same division, and as a result it is fair to give the best second place team a chance to enter the playoffs.
Remember though that the point of the playoffs is to get the best team from each league to play for the World Series. Even if the two best teams in all of baseball are in the same division, one of them is not the best in their league—against the same opponents (excluding a series against the arbitrary interleague rivals), the second place team fared worse than the first place team.
As a result, that team, or any team worse than them, doesn't truly deserve to play for the World Series. Their presence in the playoffs is mostly for the convenience of a four team tournament.
Adding a fifth team, which can be at best the third best in the league, is debasing the game by valuing the hype of an extra do-or-die scenario over the integrity of the game.
The fifth seed is clearly not the best team in the league, and giving them a playoff spot is unfair to the four higher seeds that played better than them all season.