Major League Baseball made a couple of big moves today, adding a new wild card spot to each league and moving the Astros to the American League to make two 15 team leagues. Rays fans should be rejoicing over the announcement of the addition of a wild card team. That means that instead of fighting with the Red Sox down the stretch like they did this year, they will have an easier path to the playoffs.
Sure, the addition of the wild card in each league means that there will be a new wild card round between the two wild card teams, so unless the Rays win the division they will be playing a few extra games. To me, this doesn’t really matter. As long as you’re in, you have a chance, as the Cardinals showed this year after their remarkable comeback.
The new spot could be big for the Rays. As it stands right now, the powerhouse AL East have a chance to get three playoff spots, instead of the two they have been occupying for the last four years. The Rays have a good enough team to make the playoffs for many years to come, and now with the new system that could be in place as soon as next season, their road will be a little easier.
Of course, we would all rather see the Rays win the division and not have to worry about the wild card, but it is nice to know that there is some insurance if the Yankees or Red Sox go crazy, or the Rays are having a bit of a down year like they were in 2011.