NEW YORK (AP) Joe Maddon manages one of the best teams in baseball. And the Tampa Bay Rays could wind up going home after one game this postseason.
Then again, winning just one game shouldn't be too hard for the teams that survive the crowded wild card race. It's getting there that's going to be difficult in the second year of baseball's new playoff format.
"Right now, you look at the American League East, and Boston and Tampa aren't taking any days off because who wants to win 98 or 99 games and be in a one-game playoff?" said former Red Sox manager Terry Francona, who now has the Cleveland Indians in the thick of the wild-card race. "They wanted to stress the importance of the season, which makes sense."
The Rays are only a game behind Boston for the AL East lead, and if the season ended before Friday's games, they would make it as one of the wild cards and play Oakland in a one-game, winner-take-all matchup.
With a little more than five weeks left in the regular season, thoug...