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Wednesday October 27, 2010 8:14 pm

MLB to possibly expand playoffs in 2012




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, MLB, Playoffs

Michael WeinerThe next chapter in the never-ending talk about baseball playoff expansion broke headlines on Tuesday. On the eve of the 106th World Series, MLB announced that they are seriously considering adding more wild card teams and making the divisional series’ a best-of-seven affair. These changes won’t take effect until the 2012 playoffs, but it’s interesting to hear that MLB and the Players’ Union are both open to the idea of making another significant change to baseball since the 1994 season.

 

Right now, only eight teams make the postseason, the lowest of any major North American sport. The NFL admits 12 and the NBA and NHL both let in 16. With 30 teams apiece, the NBA and NHL actually offer more than half of the league’s clubs entry. Adding more teams will dilute the high level of talent seen in baseball’s top clubs each year, but as MLB commissioner Bud Selig and MLBPA head Michael Weiner agree, there is an increasingly greater number of parties warming to the idea of expansion than those who are not for it.

Expanding the playoffs to allow more teams will give a lot more fans hope that their clubs will play October baseball. An AL Wild Card spot will have more chance than ever to go to a Central or West team, or maybe all of the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays can get in. These changes will also allow teams who now may raise the white flag in August to continue a playoff push and play meaningful baseball in September.

The downside is that baseball is already a long season. If the league cuts back from a 162-game schedule, many will argue that it makes breaking many of baseball’s single-season records impossible. Those not interested in stats may see a problem with teams with 80-85 wins in the regular season getting hot in October and knocking off a couple of 95-win teams. But that threat is present in any sport. The only certainty, however, is that even if MLB does go through with these changes, there’s still no chance that the Pirates make it to the postseason.

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