Many thanks to all of you for inviting me into your homes to talk about a scintillating, exciting week of baseball.
Let's look at the nightmarish situation developing within the wildcard races in both leagues. Now, if I was the commissioner, it's no secret that I would make changes to the wild card system. I'm not saying that I want to be the commissioner, because I believe that Bug Selig has performed admirably in an extremely difficult post. I must firmly state that I definitely do not want to be the commissioner. But if I was the commissioner, I would make the decisions that today's baseball executives are unwilling, or incapable of making. However, I'm not the person for the job. I'm not campaigning for the job. I'm just a fan. However, there's no mistaking the incontrovertible assertion that I know what is best for baseball.
Presently, several teams are making a mockery of the wild card system as it is presently configured. The principal weakness of the wild card is that it allows for good, but far from great teams to make the playoffs, get hot, and make a championship run. The fact that the last three World Series champions have been wild card teams clearly demonstrates the weaknesses within the system. This season, we're clearly headed down a similar path. Teams that wouldn't have had a chance under the old divisional alignments are now alive and have an excellent chance to make the playoffs.
For instance, the Colorado Rockies, who are a terrible team by nearly every objective measure, are merely 13.5 games behind wild card leaders Arizona. This is not a insurmountable margin by any means. Many teams throughout baseball history have come back from similar deficits and made the playoffs. The fact that a terrible team like the Rockies can remain in playoff contention clearly demonstrates the deficiencies in the present system.
Things aren't much better in the American League. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays, with their predictably horrid play, have continued to keep alive the spirit of the old St. Louis Browns. Nonetheless, the perennial cellar dwellars from North Florida are a mere eleven games out of the wild card. Should that deficit seem large to you, then I urge you to consider this: eleven games is roughly the same deficit that the Astros overcame to win the NL wild card last season. If poor teams such as the Devil Rays start making the playoffs, then it could cast a dark shadow over the credibility of America's favourite pastime. The game's reputation could take decades to recover, if indeed it ever does.
Excuse me, I need to go lie down. Then I must start composing an open letter to Bud Selig, whose job I admire and aspire to, yet do not covet. Enjoy the upcoming week of major league baseball, wherever you are.