OAKLAND -- Consider A's manager Bob Melvin a supporter of the new Wild Card format.
At a time like this, when his club is holding on to that second Wild Card spot, it's hard for him not to be. But forget about the selfish reasons. Melvin enjoys what it's doing to the game.
"I wasn't sure about it at first, I just didn't know how it would play out, but now you look at it, especially in our league, it's creating a lot more drama," Melvin said Sunday. "There are more cities, more fans that are excited about their teams at this point in the season, and I think that's a good thing.
"I think it's good for baseball. It's a different dynamic than you've ever seen before. Therefore more teams are involved, and it's pretty exciting from a standpoint in the American League."
Entering Sunday, no AL team had clinched its division, and eight remained in play for a postseason berth. It's complete chaos, and the A's -- 2 1/2 games behind Texas in the AL West but 2 1/2 above the Angels in the WC standings -- are embracing it.
"I think it's actually good for us, because you start looking at other teams and how many things are involved and so forth, and if it was just one you'd start focusing on that one team and it would just become a distraction," he said. "The fact that there are several teams involved and nothing's secured, I think it's good for our philosophy, which is, 'Let's come out here and win today's game and we'll add them up a little later.'"
His club's win total could equate to a spot in a one-game Wild Card playoff, and while Melvin would prefer avoiding it in favor of the division crown, he's on board with baseball's do-or-die format.
"I don't know how else you can do that," he said. "I think the fans like that do-or-die game, and I think baseball recognized that, and that's why you see a second Wild Card team."