MLB League Notes: Postseason Running Up To 10 Minutes Longer Than Last Year
ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reported after "setting a record for long game times during the regular season, MLB has continued the trend into October." Entering yesterday's LCS games, the "average time for a nine-inning playoff game was 3 hours, 35 minutes -- up 10 minutes" from '16 and 21 minutes from '15. Playoff games "typically run longer because of lengthier commercial breaks and liberal use of bullpens." However, this year, the effect has been "more pronounced than ever." Of the 24 postseason games before yesterday, ALCS Game 2 "was the quickest" at an even 3 hours (ESPN.com, 10/17).
TIME TO EXPAND? BASEBALL AMERICA's Tracy Ringolsby wrote there seems to be a "building consensus that baseball will soon be headed to a 32-team configuration." It will lead to "major realignment and adjustments in schedule, which will allow MLB to address the growing concerns of the union about travel demands and off days." One proposal is to "geographically restructure into four divisions, which would create a major reduction in travel." Two key elements of this alignment would be a 156-game schedule that would include "24 total games against the eight teams in each of the three other divisions -- three games against each opponent." Also, the schedule would include "12 games -- six home and six road -- against each of the seven divisional opponents" (BASEBALLAMERICA.com, 10/16).
RIP CITY: In Portland, Andy Giegerich noted a new group that includes former Trail Blazers announcer Mike Barrett is "looking to bring" MLB to Portland. The group also is "developing plans" for a ballpark. Group spokesperson John McIsaac said, "There is also a formally organized, sophisticated and seasoned management group running this initiative." McIsaac emphasized that the group is a "management group, not an ownership group." Talk about a possible Portland MLB team has "heated up recently," following comments from MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred last month that Portland is a "[viable] expansion city" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 10/17).