MLB Wild Card Expansion: Why the One-Game Playoff Is a Bad Idea

Rob ManiseroCorrespondent INovember 22, 2011

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

I applaud everyone in Major League Baseball for the successful completion of the labor deal. I am also completely on board with the addition of another wild card team in each league.

However, for us to really call this an expansion, then the addition of just one more game won't get it done.

The main reasons for the one-game playoff revolve around the increased emphasis on winning the division and scheduling issues. Both of this could be easily solved and altered to include a best-of-three series.

Winning the division would be just as important, if not more so, because it gives the top-three teams the extra days to align their rotations if the battle was down to the last day or two. Also, a shift forward in the schedule by a few days seems like something that would be welcomed by everyone.

What are the real advantages of having a one-game playoff as compared to a best-of-three series? Is it just a punishment for those who cannot take the division?

That is already settled with the extra games that must be played. After 162 games over almost half of the year, one game cannot be the answer. Yes, this system is used in tiebreakers, but that is still part of the regular season.

If you are going to call it a playoff expansion, then do it right.

Not only that, but haven't there been talks of expanding the division series to a best-of-seven series? Many managers and well-respected people around baseball have admitted that even a best-of-five series just is not enough to settle a season that lasts for that amount of time. Therefore, a one-game playoff seems to be taking a step back in that regard. 

One interesting idea to combat the amount of layoff time that would come with a three-game series is to have the team with the higher record host every game. In this way, there is a reward for finishing fourth, but still an opportunity for an extra team in each league to reach the World Series.

The expansion to 10 teams is a great idea, but the means in which it is achieved will always be debated. In my mind, if a fifth team is going to be added into the mix, a three-game series will give them more of a fighting chance. It would also result in plenty of extra revenue, and who doesn't like some more money in the pocket?

The MLB has moved in the right direction with the playoff scenario. Now it's time to make that final step to make the playoffs more intriguing than ever before.