Many of you know I don’t like the Wild Card format. To me, it cheapens the playoffs and begs the question, “what is this, hockey?” (10 of 30 MLB teams can now qualify for some sort of playoff spot.) But we’ll quickly assay who’s playing tonight, ’cause they might not be here tomorrow.
The Baltimore Orioles have no Venezuelan players on their playoff roster. There, that was easy.
The host American League WC team, the Toronto Blue Jays (also from Canada, like hockey!) have a pair of criollos who’ve made it across the northern border in search of fair wages and job opportunities. Dioner Navarro must be happy the White Sox traded him to the Blue Jays at then end of August. The caraqueño started for Toronto behind the plate in 2014 before signing with Chicago in this past off-season.In 16 games after returning north of the border, the switch-hitting backstop hit just .182. Meanwhile, super-sub outfielder Ezequiel Carrera could certainly see time as a late-inning defensive insert, if nothing else. EC had 100 mor plate appearances than last season for the Jays and hit .248 in 110 games. But my colleague Shaun Doyle at “Jays from the Couch” point out that Ezequiel was downright crucial to Toronto’s playoff qualification.
There you have it–your Venezuelans in the A.L. Wild Card matchup. May the best team win, and then get beaten by a team which actually finished first.