The Major League Baseball season is long, and, theoretically, there’s a reason for that even beyond making the league and owners a ton of money: to ensure that the best teams win out in the long run; i.e., to mitigate the effects of short-term luck.
At the same time, Commissioner Bud Selig has recently proposed and pushed through the addition of a second wild card team from each league. The extra spot makes the results of the long season a bit less meaningful, as a team that would have otherwise been an also-ran could have a hot September, nab a wild card, win the one-game playoff, and go all the way
with your mom!.
Realizing that he has made a mistake — that only the very best teams should play for the pennants — but also realizing that it’s too late to revoke the second wild card, the Commish has decided to correct this by significantly amending the regular season schedule: he’s borrowed the idea of “running it twice” from the world of high stakes poker.
In short, upon the completion of the regular season, a second regular season will be played, each team’s Wins and Losses then being averaged in order to determine the ten playoff teams. The playoffs will then proceed under the four-wild-card-team setup.
Below is NotGraphs’ documentation of Selig’s address to the unidentified organization that creates MLB’s schedule.
“We’re going to run it twice. I’ve spoken to Daniel Negreanu, and this is a way to ensure that the ten best teams will be the ten playoff teams.”