SBD/August 18, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Is Bigger Better? Some MLB Owners Hesitant To Expand Playoffs For Next Season

Reinsdorf has doubts about MLB playoff expansion, realignment
While MLB Commissioner Bud Selig "hopes to expand the playoffs by two teams next season, several major league owners and executives voiced skepticism Wednesday that it will occur before 2013, if at all," according to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY. White Sox Chair Jerry Reinsdorf said, "I'm not sure I'm in favor of the expanded playoffs. If it happens, I don't think it will take place in 2012. I'm not even sure there will be realignment." Nightengale notes MLB has discussed shifting an NL team to the AL, "creating two 15-team leagues with five playoff teams each." But no NL team "has shown interest in switching; no team can be moved without its consent." Selig noted that he "has been surprised" by support for a one-game playoff (USA TODAY, 8/18). ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reported MLB and the players "need to figure out a whole bunch of details" before implementing playoff expansion, and that discussion "isn't going so hot." The players "view expanding the postseason as just one piece in a much larger jigsaw puzzle." MLBPA Exec Dir Michael Weiner last month indicated that the players "see the expanded postseason as part of an extensive redesign of the regular-season schedule, the October schedule and the whole league and division structure." Stark added, "The players want to see a radical adjustment to the schedule. If it matters that much who wins the division, shouldn't all the teams in each division be playing basically the same schedule? Of course they should. And what would have to happen to make that possible? Realignment" (ESPN.com, 8/13).
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