MESA, Ariz. -- Cubs manager Dale Sveum likes the idea of the extra Wild Card team, although he understands some baseball purists may not.
"I think whenever you're on this end of it, it's not something a lot of people will care for, the historians of the game, but things change over the years," he said Saturday. "The more teams you can get in the playoffs, the better it is. You can fight longer, an organization can fight longer. It puts you and a couple other teams in the running to make a trade at the deadline to pick things up like that.
"I like it. I know it's a little strange the way it's going to be done, but for the most part I think it's good for baseball and good for organizations to have one extra team vying in September to make the playoffs -- it'll be more than one team vying for that spot."
Is this good timing for the Cubs?
"It's good timing for anybody," Sveum said. "You can go down there and if you didn't have that extra playoff game, you might have 10 extra teams vying for those spots. One year it might be three, one year it might be 10. What we saw last year, going down to the last week of September, probably won't ever happen again, with that many teams vying for a playoff spot, that many Wild Card and divisions coming down to the last game of the season -- that's what we all dream about as players and managers.
"You always want to win Wild Cards or the division by 10 games, and we know that's not always the case. There's so much parity going on in baseball, and that extra team, it's great to have. Baseball fans all over, it could come down to that last day of the season to where the whole country is watching three, four extra games to [settle] that last Wild Card spot."