Another reason I am growing to love Mets announcer Ted Robinson (other than the alma mater we have in common) is that he took a moment to use the Telestrator a moment ago to ridicule the Astros for their “pennant” recognizing them as 2004 Wild Card Champions. Of course, he’s right. By definition, you’re not a champion if you won the wild card. There’s no wild-card division. You’re the wild card winners. Not champions. It’s even a stretch to say they’re the 2004 Division Series Champions. Sure, you won the series, but that makes you champions of … what, exactly? The first round? Do they give you a trophy for that series? Do they name an MVP? Do players get bonuses? No to the first two questions, and maybe a no to the last one.
The Mets and, I believe, the Rockies have it designated as such in their “banners” at the ballpark: Wild Card Winners. In fact, I think Robinson just talked about how “Wild Card Champions” in Denver irked him to the point where he would point it out to the officials there, and they eventually changed it. I need to get an accurate count of how many teams are under the disillusion that they’re champions of the wild card, but I haven’t been to all the ballparks involved yet.