More playoff opportunities certainly give career post-season stats less luster. Consider: Babe Ruth, 11th all-time with 15 home runs in 167 at bats vs. Derek Jeter, 3rd with 20 home runs in 734 at bats. You could say playoff stat opportunities have ballooned over the past twenty years. Derek Jeter played more than the equivalent of one full regular season in the post season.
While playing for a great team during a great run, roughly twenty of Jeter’s post-season games came as a result of the wild-card. The remainder came from an extra layer of playoff games to accommodate the 1994 realignment’s introduction of the wild-card. Baseball’s stats have always fluctuated, but again, why do these need to be post-season stats?
I truly appreciate the wild card. My team, the Marlins, have benefited hugely by finagling two World Series championships via that route, winning no pennants in their history. And, understandably, a wild card is necessary with the three division league structure, but are superfluous additional wild-card slots and playoff games really worth it?
The bloated MLB postseason only seems to serve as an extension of the regular season, negating the magic of a pennant race, which “is the only way to determine which teams are the best and deserve the chance to play for all the marbles. That’s it. You figure out who’s the best, and then they play each other.”
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OWNERS, PLEASE DO NOT EXPAND BASEBALL’S PLAYOFF STRUCTURE