Talking Points: Baseball's wild card needs wrinkle




We get why Major League Baseball added a second wild card playoff team. More teams alive for playoff spots in September is good for the bottom line.

But we have a suggestion: If the second wild card team finishes five or more games behind the first wild card team, make the second wild card team beat the first wild card team twice to advance.

As it stands, St. Louis is going to finish five or six games behind Atlanta. Yet all the Cardinals have to do is beat Atlanta once on Friday and the Cardinals -- not the Braves -- will advance to the division series. Such a result would be unjust, and hurt the credibility of baseball's regular season.

But if the wild-card round was a double-header with the home team only needing one win to advance and the visiting team needing a sweep, that would be both more fair and more compelling.


Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber on Tuesday fined Timbers owner Merritt Paulson $25,000 for Paulson's tirade following Saturday's 1-1 draw with D.C United.

Several reports indicate it is the largest fine in MLS history.

Irate over the penalty kick that produced D.C. United's goal, Paulson used both Twitter and a post-game confrontation near the locker rooms to berate the officials.

Paulson's frustration was understandable. This season has gone poorly.

His team has not been awarded a single penalty kick this season. The decision to give D.C. a kick from the spot on Saturday certainly was poor.

But Paulson's decision to attack the officiating was worse.

Sure, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban would be proud. And the passionate Timbers fans must appreciate an owner whose emotional investment matches theirs. But Paulson's behavior isn't going to win him any favors from those who officiate games -- or encourage talented people to become soccer officials.