TAMPA, Fla. -- With talks ongoing between Major League Baseball and the Players Association on adding another Wild Card for the 2012 playoffs, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he was all in favor of the new format, though he'd like to see it come with a balanced schedule.
"I'm not sure if there's any cons," Girardi said of the changes, which are not yet official. "It adds more teams to the mix, keeps more teams in it for a longer period of time. The one-game playoff, if you're in a division race, you don't want to be in that one-game playoff. Your motivation is to win the division because that becomes much, much tougher.
"That will provide a lot of excitement. I like it. The other thing it does is it gives more of an advantage to the division winners, which I think they deserve."
There are a few drawbacks, of course. If the first Wild Card team finishes with a significantly better record than the second Wild Card, wouldn't the former have already proven itself more worthy of the postseason than the latter? Yes, Girardi said, but the team with the better record can also begin to set up its rotation for that one-game playoff better than the club fighting to earn the last spot.
"I don't really think that there's a perfect system," he said. "I think the only way you could have a perfect system is if the schedules were completely balanced and you had four divisions or two divisions, and you had one team from each division to play. So, I don't think it's ever going to be a perfect system. I don't think they're looking for one. I think they're looking to create excitement."
Girardi was also on board with the new rule that a team can play another club from its own division in the Division Series, even if it will open the door for the Yankees to potentially play the Red Sox or Rays.
"I don't have a problem with that, because it's by record. That's why I'm a big proponent of a balanced schedule. It just, to me, makes everything seem a little bit more right in my mind."