Did you realize that in the last 7 seasons that 8 of the 14 World Series participants were Wild Card winners? And that 4 of those 7 World Series were won by a Wild Card team? Considering that the 2 Wild Card teams account for 25% of the Playoff teams it is astounding that the Wild Card has accounted for 57% of the World Series these past 7 years. It also goes to show just how smart the Yankees are to avoid winning the division and increasing their chances of winning it all!
There is nothing wrong with a Wild Card team winning the World Series; it keeps the Postseason fun and allows more teams to compete down the stretch. However, when a statistical minority begins to dominate the results, it's time to reconsider the format.
Before the Wild Card winning the division was of extreme importance - no Playoffs without winning the division pennant. Now, there have been times when both a Wild Card and division leader take it easy down the stretch, content to make the Playoffs in either position. Based on the results, it would seem that this format benefits the lesser teams and can make September less thrilling than it used to be. I would like to restore the significance to winning the division and the league while getting more teams involved in the Postseason chase. My suggestion is to add 2 more Wild Card teams.
Now, I'm sure you're saying that the Playoffs are too long already as Game 7 is scheduled for November 1st this year, but that isn't an issue. The Wild Card team with the better record, let's call that team Wild Card A, would host the team with the lesser record, Wild Card B, in a one game tie-breaker the day after the season ended. The winner of that game in each league would then fly to play the team with the best record in their league the following night regardless if that team is in the same division as the Wild Card winner.
What this plan would ensure is that no team would willingly accept the Wild Card since it comes with a precarious proposition to make the Playoffs the day after the season ends. It would also reward the team with the best record in each league as they would face a depleted, tired Wild Card winner in the first round. More teams would remain in contention of the Wild Card B spot each year and division races would regain some of their lost tension and interest. Plus, fans of baseball would get 2 sudden-death games on the Monday after the season ends when there are typically no games being played!
Think about the current AL standings if this plan were in place: the Yanks would be killing themselves trying to catch Boston and if it got close the Sox would be sweating it. The Mariners and Tigers would be fighting it out for Wild Card B with the Blue Jays right on their tails.
To me it seems like a logical move as it would bring in a lot more revenue for MLB, keep more fans captivated into October and bring back the importance of winning the division pennant.