The Rockies are certainly a cute story, but they are not a particularly good baseball team. Whether or not they win the World Series, MLB will really have to re-examine the divisional round of the playoffs. When the Rockies make the World Series, it will mark the sixth consecutive season that a Wild Card team has become its league's champions. Before one even considers the inherent disadvantages of being
- a lesser team
- ceding home field advantage in the first two rounds of the playoffs
the wild card should have a 1 in 4 chance of reaching the World Series. When the Rockies finish off the D'Backs, it will mark the sixth consecutive season that a Wild Card team has advanced to the fall classic. If they win it all, they will become the 4th wild card in 6 years to do so. In fact, last year's Cardinals, although they won their division, would not have made the playoffs without the extra division of playoffs. They would have finished 14 games behind the Mets in the old NL East. Thus, only 1 of the last 5 champions would have even made the playoffs, just 13 years ago. I can't imagine that this is what Bud Selig had in mind, when the new system began.
When a wild card succeeds every few years, it legitimizes the extra round of playoffs. When it becomes routine, it cheapens the regular season. I hate the idea of letting more teams into the playoffs. However, I have become a reluctant proponent of adding a Wild Card to each league. On the Monday after the season ends, have the two best non-division winners in each league play a one-game playoff, burning their best pitcher in the process. Then make them start their Divisional Series the next day, against the best team in the league. Unless they are comfortable with hot, but mediocre, teams routinely picking off the best teams in baseball, this must be done.