MLB Week in Review (October 1-6)

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The MLB postseason is officially underway and for yet another season the start of the postseason brings a debate.

That debate is all about the expanded wild card as it has been the latest postseason controversy since the extra wild card was added in 2012.

The MLB decided to add the second wild card after years of only allowing one team outside of the division winners into the postseason.

The biggest issue for the league in that system was the fact that the postseason race was over as September began.

Rarely did the league see the last week of games make the difference between a team making the postseason and looking to next year.

That wasn’t that great for the league as they wanted to see more meaningful games later in the season.

Their thought on how to do that was to add one more team to each team but without having to extend the postseason much further.

The MLB also wanted to bring a bit more excitement to the postseason and gain some of the great moments that the NFL gets with single elimination games.

So the wild card game was born giving more teams more of a chance to make the postseason and providing a single elimination game that brought fireworks.

So far, the game has provided plenty of excitement in September as the races for the wild card spots have been coming down to the end of every season since the Wild Card began.

Meanwhile, the wild card games continue to get better with this year’s versions of the game coming down to the final inning or needing extra innings to find a winner.

In Toronto, the Blue Jays hit a walk-off home run in the 11th to take a win while the Giants hit a three-run home run in the 8th inning to take the NL wild card.

The games were extremely exciting and they have been since the wild card game was established.

To some though that excitement is not an excuse to make up for the fact that a single elimination game doesn’t do the sport justice.

Baseball can sometimes be a fluky sport as one mistake can end a game.

That is why there are series in baseball because it takes a truly great team to win in pressure-packed games more than once.

The mistakes made don’t mean as much when there is another game to be played before the season ends.

When there is only one game it could be as simple as a missed pitch, like it was in both of the wild card games this year, that changes a game.

For most traditionalists putting a season in jeopardy in only one game is not a true test of the best team in the league.baseball-sidebar

Then again these traditionalists are also the same people who complain about bat flips and respecting the game but not really showing that you are having fun.

They have a point in that the single elimination game does not necessarily express the best team out of the two.

At the same time, the single elimination game is one of the most exciting in all of sports as everything it important.

It can, in some ways, prove one team to be better at least at playing in big games.

If a team can’t lean on their pitcher or on the players they put on the field can they really be considered the best team in the league?

Big players need to play big in big games and that is what makes the difference in crowing a champion.

It may not go with tradition but it adds excitement and it is essentially the extension of the tiebreaker rule that has been in place for a long time.

The wild card is here to stay and after two more exciting games, there is no reason to see otherwise as two more teams have come through.

Now the divisions series continues on as eight teams hope to take the next step towards the World Series as the best time of the season is here.

Extra Innings
(More on this week in baseball)

Montreal A Good Bet
Before the postseason began commissioner Rob Manfred held his annual state of the league where he mentioned that expanding to Montreal is something he sees as a strong possibility in the future

A Bit too Aggressive
The Blue Jays have been involved in do-or-die games for the last month and they have been intense the whole time but after an 11th inning walk-off catcher Russell Martin was a little too intense required stitches after high-fiving too aggressively

Fan Interference
The Toronto fans are gaining a reputation in the postseason and it is not a good one as for the second year in a row the fans got a little too rowdy as a fan threw a beer can onto the field in the middle of the play causing criminal charges to be laid

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