SBD/Issue 29/Leagues & Governing Bodies

Selig Considering Schedule Changes For Postseason Next Year

Selig Could Make Schedule
Changes To Next Year's Playoffs
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, meeting again with reporters prior to Game Two of the World Series Thursday night, said he is thinking about making schedule changes to next year’s playoff schedule. While Selig remains staunchly in favor of the current World Series schedule that begins the event on a Wednesday and spreads over only one weekend, the shift that began last year added four days off to the playoffs. Selig wants to compress the first two postseason rounds by taking back two or three of those off days. Selig, meanwhile, discounted any chance of scheduling a World Series game for a daytime start time, saying such a move would corrode TV ratings. The calendar is also an issue as next year’s relatively late start to the season following the World Baseball Classic could push the end of the '09 campaign to as late November 5 (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal). Selig said of the postseason schedule, "We've got to look at ... maybe not having so many off days and days when you have only one game." But Selig added that "playing day games on weekends is not an alternative." Even if MLB "wanted to schedule day games, TV slots would be difficult if not impossible to find during football season" (AP, 10/23). Selig: "You want to be good broadcast partners. Every sport does that. But if we can find a way to shorten it, and I'm not talking about a lot -- two days, three days -- that would be fine." He added, "I like the way the World Series starts right now. I'm just talking about the first two rounds" (MLB.com, 10/23).

CLOUDY SKIES: With the series now shifting to Citizens Bank Park, talk Thursday night was already focusing on Saturday’s weather forecast, which currently calls for rain in Philadelphia. Selig: “It’s looking a little better (for the evening), but we’re spending a lot of time watching that, listening to the meteorologists. They’re going to get rain. It’s just a question of when and for how long. It’s pretty tough to estimate.” Selig as of Thursday night remained optimistic Saturday's game would be played (Fisher).

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