Adding another wild card team? No thanks.

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Peter Gammons is bored, so he’s proposing expanding the playoffs:

But why not think about having two wild-card teams per league?
For instance, in what might be an aberrational season, the Giants,
Marlins, Braves and Cubs would be within 2½ games of that NL spot right

So MLB can avoid a Thanksgiving clash with the Lions, start
the season half a week earlier; someone much smarter than I points out
that, as opposed to starting on Monday and getting no one at weekday
games on Wednesday and Thursday, they should start on Thursday and play
the first weekend.
Then have the two-out-of-three play-in series on the weekend.

The several paragraphs he spends arguing against such an idea before he gets to the above-quoted bit is much more compelling.  This year’s lack of exciting pennant races is an aberration.  Expanding the playoffs risks cheapening both the playoffs and the regular season the way the NBA and NHL have done. I’m not a fan of the wild card as it is, but it’s been around long enough to
where I’m resigned to it.  Let’s not press our luck any further though,

The most bizarre thing about this column, however, is that a guy like Gammons wrote it. He’s not a total purist or anything, but he’s not the kind of guy who tends to throw out ideas like this. Indeed, this column has all of the earmarks of an editor’s suggestion — “hey Pete! Put something together that argues for an expansion of the playoffs!” — rather than something Gammons actually believes in.

So it’s not only a bad idea, but it’s a bad idea poorly supported in its own right.

Astros leave Chad Qualls off playoff roster, add Preston Tucker

Chad Qualls Getty
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Houston made one unexpected change to the roster for the ALDS, leaving off veteran reliever Chad Qualls.

Qualls warmed up but never appeared in the Wild Card game win over the Yankees and during the regular season the 36-year-old right-hander logged 49 innings with a 4.38 ERA and 46/9 K/BB ratio. Qualls was on the Astros’ last playoff team in 2005.

Utility man Jonathan Villar has been bumped off the roster in favor of outfielder Preston Tucker, as the Astros opted for a good left-handed bat off the bench versus the Royals rather than Villar’s speed.

Royals leave Jonny Gomes off playoff roster

Atlanta Braves outfielder Jonny Gomes, who was pitching in relief, tips his cap as New York Yankees' Chris Young rounds the bases after a solo home run in the ninth inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 28, 2015, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
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It’s been a tough season for the mythology of Jonny Gomes‘ veteran clubhouse savior reputation.

First he signed with the rebuilding Braves and performed poorly while Atlanta fell apart after a surprisingly decent start. Then he was traded to the Royals, for whom he played just 12 games and hit .167. And now Kansas City has left Gomes off the ALDS roster.

It makes sense, though. Gomes’ only real use to the Royals would be as a pinch-hitter versus left-handed pitching, but manager Ned Yost rarely pinch-hits and will no doubt be more willing to use 25th man Terrance Gore as a pinch-runner in the late innings.

Beyond that, not many surprises on the Royals’ roster for their series against the Astros. They went with 11 pitchers, which means both Chris Young and Kris Medlen are on the roster. Jeremy Guthrie is not.