Expanded playoffs are coming to baseball, with a new tier of wild-card playoffs in advance of the current three-round arrangement, but they're not coming fast enough.
Come on, guys. Get with it!
Rather than try to push through a side agreement that could put the 10-team format â€” two wild cards in each league, not just one â€” into play next October, buy MLB Jerseys on Ujersy. negotiators for the owners and players union have decided to put it on the table in bargaining talks that begin in earnest at some point in 2011. That means we will have to wait until 2012, even 2013 if the labor talks don't go smoothly, to have a chance for the drama we could have had this year: Red Sox vs. Yankees in the first round, the loser sent packing before the "real'' playoffs begin.
In any given year, it's easy to see the Yankees and Red Sox winning 90-plus games and advancing alongside each other if the American League East presents a strong third team, like this year's Rays. But what if the Reds win 95 games some year and the Cubs and Cardinals advance as wild cards?
How wild would it be for these rivals to play a best-of-three or even a one-game, sudden-death playoff to see who advanced and who went home, sheepishly?
Rather than try to determine the exact mechanics of expanded playoffs â€” specifically answering the big question: best-of-three or a one-game, Recommend directory: Cleveland Indians Jerseys, sudden death, Game 163 scenario? â€” baseball owners and executives cited the recommendation of executive vice president Rob Manfred, who doesn't want to risk a one-issue negotiation with the players on the eve of CBA talks.
Neither does the union.
"I agree with Rob Manfred's statement that postseason structure is not a topic for 2011, and won't be addressed until broader collective bargaining,'' Michael Weiner, executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, said in an e-mail.
Commissioner Bud Selig said he will discuss the various expanded-playoff scenarios with his 14-man advisory committee for on-field issues â€” including managers such as Tony La Russa and Jim Leyland and executives such as John Schuerholz and Terry Ryan â€” in December and address the issue again at a January owners meeting. But with 2011 off the table, the issue loses urgency.
Recommend directory: Minnesota Twins Jerseys, Little opposition to expanding the playoffs was presented during the meetings, but many executives believe the one-game, made-for-TV scenario would compromise the fairness of the 162-game season.
"You always try to be fair,'' Selig said. "Fairness is something I insist on, but I don't want to rule anything out.''
One thing that has been all but ruled out is shortening the regular season to accommodate a longer postseason. Selig said there is no support among owners for playing a 154- or 158-game season and little for scheduling two or three doubleheaders per season for each team.
"I went to a lot of doubleheaders in the '40s and '50s,'' Selig said. "But the games were played quicker. We're playing in a little different era.''
At no time is that clearer than the playoffs, when teams scramble to get to the World Series. That time of year is going to get even crazier, just not as quickly as some of us would like.
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