Bud Selig announced today he expects MLB to add two teams to the 2012 postseason. Brilliant! In his vision, the two wild card teams would meet, and then (presumably) the division winner with the best record would meet the Wild Card survivor.
The issue: How long is the Wild Card series? Five games seems too long – the division winners could wait a week to play, and then the season stretches into November. Is three games enough? Possible solution: Knocking 12 games off the already-too-long regular season?
The extra Wild Card teams last year would have been Boston (which would have played the Yankees in the first round), and San Diego (which would have played Atlanta).
The extra Wild Card teams in 2009 would have been Texas and San Francisco.
The extra Wild Card teams in 2008 would have been the Yankees and Mets.
My guess is that the addition of a Wild Card team in each league will usually mean a big-market, big-spending team gets into the playoffs. You can almost book the Yankees and Red Sox into every postseason. Which should be good for ratings.
[Getty images of Eric Davis & Will Clark because baseball was great in the 80s, even though only four teams made the postseason.]