Per Kenny Ken Ken.

There simply isn’t a way to slice it that doesn’t make this good news for the Jays and their fans. A lot of people have reservations about the diluting of the 162-game schedule, the gimmicky nature of the one-game play-in for the Wild Card spot, and whether these changes will actually increase drama in the season’s homestretch or not, but… let’s face it, those people aren’t us. At least not in the short-term.

Holy fuck, we just got closer to playoff baseball, and to meaningful September baseball!

Now, it doesn’t necessarily instantly vault the Jays into a playoff race– there are six clear top teams in the American League who just about anybody would tell you are going to occupy the five spots when all is said and done. But ultimately, the fact that the Jays can now make the playoffs without having to be better than both the absurdly payroll’d Yankees and the Red Sox is a rather exhilarating thought.

Yet, let’s not kid ourselves that, as a club more likely in the near future to be in the Wild Card mix than a straight-up division winner, this format certainly has the potential to burn us somewhere down the line– which is the exact reason that it should have very little bearing on the way that Alex Anthopoulos runs the team. Winning the divison, now more than ever, has to be the goal. Building a club to can get into a coin flip of a play-in game just isn’t good enough– though the new format certainly a nice consolation for the lesser of the two teams.

But we’ve come to grips with this already, I think. If we look at this news as only being about the 2012 season, it’s great. As far as the future goes… whatever. It’s happening, and with the money involved– adding so many markets who would otherwise be out of the race and losing cash in the second half, plus the boon of the pre-planned one-day event of the play-in games– it was pretty close to inevitable.

Comments (38)

  1. Woo!

  2. YES!

  3. Oh hurrah, now the “fans” who don’t know the Jays aren’t making it this year anyways and barely follow the sport will drag the Jays down with ridiculous expectations, all while staying away from the ballpark because the Jays still haven’t signed Fielder and traded for Darvish.

  4. Footnote: these are the same fans who show up every night to the Leafs games despite the team stinking since 1967.  Just saying.  God I hate this town sometimes…

  5. terrible for baseball. good for the jays doe

  6. Not making playoffs = still failure of a season, Therefore refuse to come out to the ball park because they’re not a winning team.

  7. Given his spelling fatpuppy has to be an example of the type of fan I’m referring to

  8. Those one-game playoffs for the Wild Card teams in each league are going to be BANANAS.

  9. One question i’ll have is if there’ll be a tie break game to decide division winner and wild card winner if necessary. Currently, if a wild card spot and division lead spot are tied, they go to a tie-break rule. Going forward, i would hope that they play a one-game to decide who has to play a one-game wild card and who gets the bye. That’s a lot of one-game play-ins though.

  10. Love the idea of an extra wild card but hate the 1 game play in.  Baseball is just not the type of game that lends itself to 1 game play off.  Wild card game will basically come down to a coin toss

  11. To all the fickle fans out there: if the Jays are in it, you better show up now!  Put your money where your mouth is

  12. No, it will come down to one game of baseball.

  13. WILD CARD!

  14. Lol, fatpuppy is a great name. But I very much so disagree with the new format, but to say it won’t help Jays sell ticket and provide more hope for fans is stupid. I just want more fans in the Rogers Centre, a real atmosphere (even if full of bandwagoners), y’know? 

  15. Good to hear though I wish they went to more of an NFL style format with 3 wild cards in total and the best 2 divisional teams getting byes. First round could be 3 games only which shouldn’t be that hard to make up by starting the season a couple of days early and letting it go a couple of days longer.  A one game playoff is more of a giant crap shoot than the rest of the of playoffs. 3 wild cards in total would also go further to make up for the shitty unbalanced schedule and let the good teams that had the best records have time to rest up and get set their rotations the way they want. It’s a fitting reward for a long season like baseball.

    That said, getting an extra shot at the playoffs is better than a kick in the pants.

  16. This is stupid if they don’t move to a balanced schedule.

  17. Getting your ticket punched to game 163!  If MLB gets another scenario like the Rays/Red Sox and Cardinals/Braves down to the last game in 2011.  Think about all the talking heads trying to figure out the magic number and tie-breaker scenarios involving various teams!

  18. Ok there is one downside to this if you’re a Jays fan: if we’re close to the wildcard mid-season, it could provide an incentive for the Jays to go completely crazy, trade away their farm system for a free agent or two to “put them over the top”… then still not make the playoffs if we lose the coin toss.  I admit it did take some effort to come up with a negative spin on this though.  Go Jays!

  19. They’re going to balanced next year when Houston joins the AL.

    This is great, and it preservers the integrity, instead of dilutes it, IMO. You don’t want to playoff for hte one game? Then win your division.

    I don’t consider the two wildcard teams per league to be “playoff teams”. The only “playoff teams” are the 6 who win their division. The other 2 teams involved in the 1 game playoff are non-playoff teams who are lucky to be given the oppourtunity to still get in.

  20. With the rangers and angels in the west, I think the jays still have to finish 2nd in the east, which is by no means easy.

  21. As a baseball fan, I’d prefer that actually reduce the amount of playoff spots, not increase them.

    But as a Jays fan in 2012, there is no real downside to this. It significantly increases the chances of this team being in some semblance of a playoff race halfway through the season.

  22. No game really lends itself to a 1 game playoff and yet many sports do it anyway. It all comes down to the money that can be made off such elimination games.

  23.  How is that any different from a divisional/wild card one-game tiebreaker?

  24. Depends how you look at it. In my opinion, they’ve reduced the number of “playoff spots” from 8 to 6. The division winners are the only “playoff spots.” The wildcards are just non playoff teams given a 2nd chance to get in, one they don’t deserve, and are lucky jsut to be given the chance.

  25. That’s a good point. Although in this system, there is a significant chance on an inferior wildcard team going all the way and winning the World Series.

    That said, hopefully that team will be the Jays.

  26. It would be sweeter if the Jays can beat Bobby V.’s Red Sox.  Imagine the post-game press-conference!

  27. As well, it creates excitement in that it creates races from top to bottom. How many times have we seen Sox/Yankees dog it because they had the division and WC locked up and didn’t care much which one they got?

    Now, THAT would be a race as well, as winning the division is so much more important.

  28. football is well suited to a 1 game playoff as thats how the regular season is played. 

  29. Maybe if the ghost of JP Ricciardi takes over as GM. I can’t say that really sounds like something AA would do.

  30. What it’s taken to get the Wildcard, and what it would have taken to get a second Wild Card the last few years:

     2011 WC: 91 wins, 2WC: 90 wins
    2010 WC: 95 wins, 2WC: 89 wins
    2009 WC 95 wins, 2WC: 87 wins
    2008 WC 95 wins, 2WC 89 wins
    2007 WC 94 wins, 2WC 88 wins
    2006 WC 95 wins, 2 WC 90 wins
    2005 WC 95 wins, 2WC 93 wins
    2004 WC 98 wins, 2WC 91 wins
    2003 WC 95 wins, 2 WC 93 wins

    I know things might be a bit different now, because more teams will be going for it.  But still..

    Based on these numbers, I think if you can manage high 80s in wins, at the very least you should be playing meaningful September baseball.

    How fucking nice would that be?

  31. Couldn’t agree more.  I would love to go back to the days of two divisions per league, two league championship series, and then the Show.

  32. The Cardinals already won the World Series with 83 wins. The process is already tainted, a 2nd wild card won’t change that.

    There should be 2 divisions in each league, 4 teams total make the playoffs (reward the marathon winners, not one out of 4 teams). In the absence of that a 2nd wild card is a good idea.

  33.  Excellent point.  only need to be on pace for a mid 80′s win season to be in it to the end.  I know this is goofy, but could you have a 2 game playoff where the higher win WC needs one win to advance and the lower win total WC needs 2.  It at least rewards the better wild card team and makes it a bit less of a coin toss, since its potentially 2 games.

  34. I just got a thought. those who are mad about making the from winning ONE game should look at last years standings. the wildcard in AL was only won by one game and in the NL it was only won by two games.

  35.  This.  Totally.  I’ve been thinking that as soon as they do this, and the Jays don’t make it, the meatheads out there will say something like “The playoffs get expanded and the Jays STILL can’t make it!  What’s their excuse now??”  etc.

    It’s still going to be incredibly hard.  Plus, the wildcard spot is now not worth nearly as much as it was, since all it gets you is a coin flip, essentially.

  36. I’ve had that idea as well.  Essentially it’s a best of three series, with the first WC already up one game to none.

  37. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v
    So you’re telling me there’s a chance!

  38. The home field advantage that the first wild card gets is enough. If you cant win one game at home against a team with a worse record for a ticket to the playoffs then you don’t deserve it.

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