When Torii Hunter pondered the mind-numbing possibility of playing four games in four cities, on two coasts, in five days, he just smiled.

"That's why they have coffee," the Angels' outfielder said before embarking a trip that he hopes gets a little wild at the end.

"There would be some guys at home watching us fly," Hunter said. "I'd rather be the guy flying than the guy on the couch."

Major League Baseball's first year with the two-wild-card playoff format is coming down to the wire, in the American League anyway, and the Angels are right in the mix for the craziness as it all gets settled sometime between now and the scheduled end of the regular season on Wednesday.

Or Thursday.

Maybe Friday.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia was part of the committee that formulated the plan for this new playoff format, with two wild-cards playing one game to determine who advances to the division series. The idea was to reward a team for winning the division and also to make the road tougher for a wild-card team.