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A Race With A “Safety Net” Is Not A Great Race

June 13, 2018

Of course, all things being equal, it is better to finish first and avoid the one game/10 to 8 teams, that is played in each league.

However, those purporting any race for avoiding that game as great, are perpetuating the very ruination of the great game of baseball, the wild card presence.

I will not waste time bemoaning the wild card, nor recalling 1951 and 1978, two great examples of races with no wild card safety net that produced unbelievable, ecstatic and heartbreaking drama.

Right now the Yankees, who somehow have played 6 less games than the Red Sox (I guess the weather “gods” do not like this either), lead them by 3 games in the loss column.

In turn, Boston has a 9 game loss column lead for playoffs qualification.

Also, need I cite the fact that last season, the Red Sox won the one eighth division, but lost in the division round to eventual champion, Houston.

Meanwhile, the wild card Yankees made the next round, before losing in 7 games to those Astros.


Carroll “Whitey” Lockman, pictured above, delivered a huge hit in the decisive game of the 1951 National League race.

Of course Bobby Thomson followed with the decisive hit, we would not be recalling anywhere near as dramatically if the losing team in that game/race, the Brooklyn Dodgers made post-season play as a wild card team.



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