SBD/September 26, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Sources Say MLB Will Add Wild Card Teams, One Sudden-Death Game

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TV networks want the drama of a sudden-death wild card playoff game
Negotiations for a new MLB CBA "are moving at a fast pace and one issue the sides have all but agreed upon is adding two wild-card teams and holding one-game playoffs in each league to determine which of the wild cards advances," according to sources cited by Joel Sherman of the N.Y. POST. One source "described that scenario as a done deal and another hedged a little by saying it is likely to play out that way, but nothing will be finalized until an entire CBA is inked." Both sources said that "because there would be just a one-game playoff added, the second wild-card team could be installed as early as next year, but the new system will go into effect no later" than '13. The current CBA expires in December, "but there is hope by both the players and management to announce a new pact during the World Series." The "major hurdle remains issues involving the draft, notably whether to include a slotting system." The TV nets "generally have been uninterested in the other wild-card option -- a best-of-three series -- instead wanting the drama and ratings potential of a sudden-death game" (N.Y. POST, 9/25).
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