It may have also encouraged the Dodgers to break the bank for Adrian Gonzalez and others in a desperate move by new owners to deliver a playoff team _ a move that hasn’t quite worked out.
That’s baseball, though, a game that can’t always be neatly figured out. At the same time the Dodgers were spending millions, their rivals in the Bay Area were losing their best player in Cabrera. The Giants were a game out of first place then, but now they’re running away with the NL West after going 21-9 without the leading hitter in the league.
The Yankees, meanwhile, are in danger of blowing the AL East, while the Boston Red Sox are an odd collection of players who have nothing left to play for this year.
It’s all part of the beauty of a game that stretches from the first warm days of spring to the chilly nights of fall.
The addition of two wild-card teams give fans more reasons to hope in September, and more reasons not to change the channel when football is in full swing.
Like almost every idea hatched by Selig, it was designed to make money _ and this one actually works.
Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlberg(at)ap.org or http://twitter.com/timdahlberg
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