On the eve of last Thursday’s soft deadline for finalizing details of the realization of a 10-team playoff field, Major League Baseball and its players’ association are close to announcing the transform that might take effect in October, sources said.
As of last Wednesday afternoon, there was no announcement prepared. Sports scores
Notwithstanding commissioner Bud Selig’s unabashed push for expanding the playoff field this year, baseball’s schedule-makers have been hung up for weeks about how to make enlargement work for this season.
At the time baseball’s work agreement was forged in December, resources from both sides related the expanded playoff field would be put in place for the 2012 season, provided that the 2 sides could figure out how to force in the extra playoff needed. It has been a complicated process because there’s very little flexibleness for baseball’s October calendar. But last week, sources restated that this would happen. Betting lines
Those issues will not be a difficulty in 2013, when the regular-season schedule can be set up to accommodate the larger postseason field. The problem with implementing it this year was that talks didn’t begin till after the regular-season schedule already had been finalized.
Under the new format, the Nos. 4 and 5 seeds in each league – the wild-card teams – will meet in a playoff, with the 3 division winners awarded a 1st-round bye.
The members of the advisory board have told Commissioner Bud Selig that they felt like the wild-card teams’ trail thru the playoffs has been too plain, and the advantage for division winners hasn’t been good enough. Baseball officials hope an expanded postseason field will change the landscape alongside keep more teams involved in the pennant races longer.
At Boston Red Sox camp last Thursday, 1 or 2 players were cautious about the change to the postseason.
“One game? That’s sort of silly,” designated hitter David Ortiz said. “You know precisely how many things we’ve got to move around and pack for one game? It’d make rather more sense for 2 wild cards to play at least a 2-out-of-3 series while the other teams take 5 for three days because they won their divisions.”
Part of the difficulty appears to be the players don’t get the format, even though it was given approval in November for the 2013 season after both the union and MLB were in favor of adding additional wild cards.
2nd baseman Dustin Pedroia wanted to see the details of the expanded playoffs before passing judgment.
“Can I actually know what it is before I comment on it? Let me get back to you, because I don’t even know. I’d like to get the facts,” he announced.
Outfielder Cody Ross didn’t look excited when the format was explained to him.
“Say you win a wild card and you’ve got a 5-game lead over the other wild card, and the other team ends up winning the game,” he revealed. “That’s going to be questionable. That is a problem. I’m not a fan so far. It could glaringly change my mind after one or two years.”