Andrew McCutchen Is Not a Fan Of MLB's One-Game Wild Card Format

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In 2012, the MLB added a second Wild Card team to each league in order to make things a little more interesting. Former National League MVP Andrew McCutchen is not a fan of the format.

“Baseball’s built for a series more than a one-game [wild-card],” McCutchen said. “You don’t ever see anywhere in the game of baseball where 30 teams play a team one time. Doesn’t happen. I believe the reason behind that is because the game is so unpredictable you don’t know what’s going to happen. If they were ever to go to three games, I think it would make it a little more even.”

I’ve gotta completely disagree with McCutchen here. On one side, I can see where he’s coming from and why this would suck as a player. You grind out 162 games just to have the season halted by a one-game playoff. But listen, this ain’t about you. It’s about the fans. Last week, we talked about how MLB wants to change the rules of youth baseball to make it more exciting for kids. They want to start a runner at first base each inning, or have five kids bat automatically each inning. That’s kind of what the one-game playoff is. What’s the most exciting scenario in the postseason? It’s Game 7, and it’s not even close. Well, the one-game playoff guarantees that the fans will get to see at least two do-or-die games each postseason, and I love that.

Also, the biggest factor at play here is that the one-game playoff gives teams extra incentive to win the division. If you win the division, you have your ace ready to go for Game 1 of the division series. If you win the Wild Card, you’ve likely already used your ace in the Wild Card game.

Again, if I were a player, I would totally be bitching about how unfair it is. All it takes is you running into a frontline ace and your season is over, despite the fact that you might have the better team overall, and are more worthy of moving on. But that’s the beauty of it. Life ain’t fair. One-game playoffs ain’t fair. But damn it, they’re exciting, and I love watching them. That is, until my team has to play in one and they lose, in which case I’m deleting this blog and writing about how they need to change the rules because it’s unfair.