My guess is that you think this is an open letter to the Major League Baseball Officials and Umpires, but it’s not. It’s to you, the cynical fans out there (like me) who thought that the second wild card team was utterly and ridiculously stupid and terribly-flawed idea.
WE WERE WRONG!
My biggest fear with the Wild Card to begin with was that it would water down the play, but we’ve seen so many wild card teams win the World Series now that it’s easy to see that the BEST TEAM for 162 isn’t the best team when the chips are on the table and it’s all on the line.
The additional playoff spot saved the Rangers and their fans from having to endure one of the most EPIC collapses in MLB history, up five games with eight games left to play, and now after Friday night’s game against the Orioles … the offseason plans are now in full effect in Arlington.
Without the extra playoff spot the Cardinals wouldn’t have been in last night’s game to allow the umpires to make a bad call. And before you or I, or anyone else gets all excited … umps make bad calls all the time, and they also make a lot of great calls that you or I wouldn’t be able to do in the heat of the moment at game speed so remember to breathe and remind yourself this isn’t the NFL… MLB officials do the job right!
As a lifelong Pirates fan I had hope this year until the end of August. That’s longer than I’ve had hope since 1992, or roughly five years before my 15-year-old son was even born. That’s right. All of you who are under 20-years-old might not believe it, but it’s true. The Pirates weren’t always bad.
There was drama in the AL East to see who would win the division up to the last day. The divisional race was not quite as dramatic in the central, but was tightly contested until the final week before number two became number one, and the White Sox were left at home. As for the AL West, that was what makes legends. That was simply outstanding baseball — unless you’re a Rangers fan.
The NL East wasn’t that much of a race, but as the Strasburg situation unfolded and the team continued to win and actually draw fans for a change, they kept it interesting. The Braves won 94 games and had to settle for second. Thanks to the wild card system we were able to see Chipper Jones one more time, and the nation got to say good bye to him together on Friday night.
All of that thanks to some bad umpire calls? No, hardly, it was due to the Cardinals outplaying the Braves. Speaking of St. Louis, the Cards were tenacious yesterday, and came out of nowhere to win the second wild card away from the Pirates, who folded and the Dodgers, who couldn’t buy it. That’s what the baseball playoffs should be all about.