Commissioner Bud Selig has indicated Major League Baseball might expand the playoffs to include two wild card teams in 2012. Yankees manager Joe Girardi likes the idea, as long as the league finds a way to limit the days off.
In theory, the expanded playoffs would include a short series between the two wild card teams. The winner of that series would play a division winner in a division series just like baseball has today.
“I think it’s interesting,” Girardi said. “It’s good for baseball in the sense that it keeps more teams alive longer. I think it’s more exciting for the fans. My concern would be that if you’re one of those teams waiting to play, that you don’t have too many off-days.
“My thought is if you’re one of those two wild card teams that’s going to play to see who plays one of the division-winners, it’s a three-game series that starts the day after the season, then the fourth day you go and play whoever. It’s a reward for the teams that won the division, and you’re not penalizing them in a sense by having them sit out too long.”
Girardi likes the idea of keeping more teams involved for the fans, but he said he also likes the idea of increasing the reward for teams that win the division. Home field advantage is one thing. Avoiding a three-game play-in series is something different entirely.
“I think that makes it a lot different,” Girardi said. “I think that is a much bigger carrot and a much bigger disadvantage for a wild-card team.”
Would Girardi have managed differently the stretch last year if losing the division meant falling into a wild-card play-in series?
“No,” Girardi said. “I didn’t have healthy guys. I just didn’t.”
Associated Press photo