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Could Ten Teams in the MLB Post Season be a Reality?

West Long Branch, N.J. (The Verge) – Will 2012 be the year where there are ten teams in the major league baseball post season? According to many media sources, MLB commissioner Bud Selig would like to add two teams to the already eight-team post season. This means there would be four wild-card teams, two for the American League, and two for the National League. “[Selig] said that the changes would be instituted by 2013, but hoped that they could put in place by 2012.” (SI.com)

Under discussion within the MLB is a potential ten team postseason roster. Photo courtesy of: Daniela Polimeni

In the current rules, there are only four teams from both American and National leagues that make the post season, three divisional champions and one wild card winner. With the proposed idea, there would be five teams from the two leagues, three divisional champions and two wild card winners. The first round of the post season would be the two wild card teams playing each other in a one or three game series (the number of games in the series has yet to be decided).
This new format could benefit the team that places first in their respective league. In the current format, the first place team would play the wildcard team (fourth place) in the first round. This season the Philadelphia Phillies, the first place team, lost in a five game series to the St. Louis Cardinals, the wild card team, in the first round. The Phillies did not gain an advantage over the Cardinals, other than having home field advantage for coming in first. According to former student and baseball player Matthew McEndy, “I look forward to seeing how this effects the 3rd and 4th place teams in how they recover from the one game series before they play the first place team.” These new changes would force the wild card team to have played an extra one or two games before playing the first place team, which would have given the Phillies a greater advantage.
By adding an extra wild card team into the post season could create additional stress and confusion. With the new addition, it would let a team that may not be a contender, take the entire series. All of this has the potential to make for great sports television notes McEndy, “This will be great for the sport. The wild card races will be very exciting this year.”