No need to make this a long argument. I've made it before, and so have others.
But with Bud Selig saying again that he expects expanded playoffs in 2012, here's hoping (again) that baseball goes with a one-game play-in between the two wild-card teams in each league.
-- Is there anything more exciting than one game, winner-take-all? Think Game 7, but also think Tigers-Twins 2009, or Twins-White Sox 2008, or Padres-Rockies 2007.
-- By making it one game, win-or-go-home for the wild cards, you put a real premium on winning the division. You make the 162-game schedule more meaningful, and avoid what happened last September in the American League East, where the Yankees and Rays were both basically assured of making the playoffs, and didn't really care whether they won the division or not.
-- By making it one game, you give the division winners a short break (not too long), and you force the wild-card teams to use their best available pitchers to try to win that game. You put the wild-card teams at a real disadvantage in the Division Series and, again, make the 162-game schedule more meaningful by rewarding division winners.
The argument against:
Baseball isn't about one game, and after playing 162, you shouldn't face elimination in a single game.
Fine. Win your division, and you don't face a one-game playoff.