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Thursday November 19, 2009 10:50 pm

Selig proposes to make changes to MLB postseason

Bud SeligMajor League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig has promised some changes to the current format – more specifically the sluggish pace – of the MLB postseason. The argument is pretty clear. The MLB regular season schedule is an every day affair; but the MLB playoffs schedule resembles more of an NBA or NHL schedule. The World Series champion New York Yankees played a 162-game schedule in 180 days then played 15 playoff games in 31 days. That’s a drastic change to what the players and their bodies were used to. The Yankees and the Angels also had four days off between the ALDS and ALCS after each team swept their respective opponents.

Perhaps the most upsetting fact in the 2009 postseason was that for the first time in history, any of the first four games of the World Series were scheduled to be played in November. There have been a handful of games in history played in November, but all were either makeup games or had the “if necessary” asterisk placed beside them. In the future, if a northern-based team such as the Minnesota Twins or Colorado Rockies make a November World Series, just imagine how the “Boys of Summer” would fare playing in near-freezing temperatures.

Changes were made to the schedule after the 2006 World Series to accommodate for travel days, bad weather, and television scheduling. While MLB wants to satisfy the networks and generate some money is understandable, it doesn’t seem very fair to the players or fans. Many of the playoff games beyond the first round began at 8 p.m., as opposed to the regular season’s traditional 7 p.m. starts. All the momentum that the pennant races generate is immediately wiped out by the near-crashing halt.

In a postseason marred by bad calls and lengthy games, Selig’s promise to suggest changes to the current format is very welcome. Shaving away a few off-days would be a good choice, especially since putting the expediency of games before network television dollars is not going to happen. There is too much criticism of the already slow sport to not consider making changes, and for once, Selig appears to be taking the appropriate steps in order to appease everyone. Now all that remains to be seen is the kind of changes that are made.

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