Saturday, April 23, 2011

MLB Commissioner Selig Expects 10-Team Playoffs in 2012

Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said that he expects the playoff system in the MLB to expand to include 10 teams starting in 2012, although this has yet to be approved by the owners or the players. With a new team being added to each division's postseason, there would be an additional "wild card round" that the MLB would have to format.

The players and the owners currently differ on how they would like to see the new wild card round formatted, the owners want it to be a one-game series, hoping to give immediate intensity to the playoffs. The players however, would like to see a five-game series to open the playoffs to give teams more of a chance to win the series.

ESPN insider Tim Kurkjian details the Commissioner's plan and the reactions from the owners and players.

With the upcoming collective-bargaining agreement between the MLB owners and the MLB Players Association the expanded playoffs could become a sticking point in progress to an agreement with both sides having such different opinions on how the new round should be formatted.

If this new format would have been in place during the 2010 season the playoffs would have looked a bit different; the American League would have sent the New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays, Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers and the Boston Red Sox to the playoffs. The National League post season teams would have been the San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies, Cincinnati Reds, Atlanta Braves and the San Diego Padres.

The jury is still out on the further expansion of the playoffs, but the last post season expansion that Selig backed, bringing the total number of teams to eight, has worked out well to date. With 2012 being Selig's final year as the MLB Commissioner this final expansion could be what defines his tenure. 

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