Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling
Yes, I would go back to the pre-1969 system that worked so great for many decades when baseball was the most popular sport in the country.
Baseball's decline in popularity has coincided exactly with the dilution of the playoffs and diminished integrity of the World Series.
I don't think having the Wild Card race adds to the excitement of the regular season. It just transfers the excitement down from the top of the pack to the middle of the pack. The folks who are excited with this system are the fans of the mediocre teams rather than the fans of the best teams.
It is much more exciting to be fighting several teams in September for a berth in the World Series rather than fighting for the final berth in a big post-season tournament. You can't get all that excited over winning something that 1/3 of the whole league also got. What is so special about that?
The best teams in the National League all knew weeks in advance that they were going to the playoffs. There was no excitement there. But if the Reds, Nationals and Giants had all been competing in a winner-takes-all cage match for the league pennant and a place in the World Series it would have been tremendously exciting. The divisional structure and two Wild Cards cheated Reds fans out of what could have been a historic and memorable season.
Rather than address the true cause of competitive imbalance ( e.g. payroll inequity) by creating a system offering a level playing field where every franchise has an equal chance to build a great team based solely on their skill and aptitude, the league has opted to essentially distribute the championships randomly by creating a playoff structure that rewards mediocrity by giving run-of-the-mill teams who have already proven themselves second-rate to upset far better teams in short playoff series and claim a meaningless title.
Leave it up to Bud Selig to create a system where the 5th best team in each league makes it to the World Series.
For money purposes MLB will never go for this. To much money to be made with the playoffs.
Personally I don't want to see MLB end up like the NHL where about everyone makes the playoffs. However I have no problem with the system prior to this year. Having 2 WC's with a one game playoff is something I don't like.