Keep the expanded 2-wild-card setupWell, off the bat, I'm not sure why he thinks that a 161 season eliminates ties more than 162; a shorter season should produce more ties (not that one game would make a difference). Plus I like ties!
The wild-card teams play a best of 3 game series, in the better-seeded teams' stadium, over 3 days...just like a regular series.
Reduce season to 161 games (helps eliminate ties)
The wild card team thus has only played 163 games before the "real" playoffs (just like now), the luck factor is reduced somewhat, and there's no more than 1 extra day inserted into the calendar.
But the real point of his proposal is what we're almost certain to get eventually, which is shifting the wild-card round from a one to a three game series.
I hate it! Even if it's all at the higher seed's park, there's really not much difference in randomizing between a one and a three game series. And everyone else has to sit around and wait.
Is it unfair to the Braves that they could be eliminated in one game by the Cardinals? I don't care. My motto on postseason arrangements is simple: the lowest priority is fairness for lower-seeded teams. The Braves and the Rangers, it turns out, were both tied for third best in their leagues. My view? Who cares if things are fair for the tied-for-third-best team in the league? They're lucky just to have any remaining chance. If it didn't work out, so be it.
What I actually dislike the most about the present setup is something that I don't really think can be fixed -- I think it's a shame that the current system generates too many great stories, and therefore reduces the value of them all. Think about it so far. There were two great, epic "pennant" races in the AL East and West, and a damn good one in the Central also. Then both of the wild card games today were the type that could have been legendary, what with the crazy infield fly call in the NL game and the whodat-style Joe Saunders start shutting down the mighty Rangers offense in their offense-happy park in the AL. And fans of these teams will likely remember them. But the rest of us won't; there's just too much.
The problem is that asking them to cut back is asking them to leave money on the table, and that's simply not a reasonable thing to ask. So realistically, we've been stuck with the extra playoff round that Selig added in the 1990s. Probably this wild card round, too, as long as Selig can sell it.
(Regular readers will know my preference, but I'll add it in here anyway: two leagues, two divisions each. In each league, the first place team in the West advances against the second place team in the East and vice versa, with the first round heavily weighted to the first place team, probably by having them need three to advance while the second place teams need four. You have no problem with meaningful pennant races, you can have teams only competing with teams with like schedules, and it's terrific for rivalries since you're always competing only against your own division during the regular season. But back to what we really have...).
Given that extra round, I think the current set-up beats the previous one because it resolves the great division races problem without, as far as I can see, causing any major new ones (since, again, I don't care about fairness for the third best or fourth best team in the league). But we all know that Selig won't leave it alone, and we'll likely see the wild-card round expanded soon enough, and who knows what after that.
Ah well. Enough griping; we have the LDS beginning tomorrow.