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MLB considering expanded playoffs for 2012

MLB considering expanded playoffs for 2012

MLB considering expanded playoffs for 2012
Major League Baseball is still working toward expanding the playoffs in time for the 2012 postseason, Commissioner Bud Selig said in New York on Thursday.

"I would say we're moving to expanding the playoffs, but there's a myriad of details to work out," Selig said Thursday at his annual meeting with the Associated Press Sports Editors. "Ten is a fair number."

After the GMs and owners met this past November there seemed to be universal agreement that two more Wild Card teams should be added to the playoff mix, making it 10 out of the 30 MLB teams qualifying for the postseason. But the length of the first round -- whether it be a single play-in game or a best-of-three series -- and how to fit it into the schedule is still to be determined.

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"The more we've talked about it, I think we're moving inexorably to that," Selig said about the 10-team playoffs, five in each league.

The matter must be determined in collective bargaining with the Players Association, which has to agree on adding the games and how it fits into an already tight schedule. Attorneys for the owners and union are currently negotiating a new Basic Agreement. The current one expires on Dec. 11.

Selig is already concerned about the World Series finishing in November and this year moved the regular season up a week to avoid that. Barring inclement weather, a potential seventh game of the World Series would be played this year on Oct. 28.

Michael Weiner, executive director of the union, said earlier this year that the players have already discussed the issue and are open to a possible change. Owners, though, don't want to shorten the 162-game season and players are against adding more doubleheaders to condense the schedule.

"We considered many different scenarios -- both changes and the status quo," Weiner said. "The discussion covered all of the factors involved with scheduling, mainly competitive considerations, revenue generation and demands on players. We look forward to engaging in discussions with the owners on these topics."

Under the current system, the three division winners and a non-first-place (or Wild Card) team with the best record in each league make the playoffs. That system was implemented in 1994 along with a best-of-five first round, leading toward both the best-of-seven League Championship Series and World Series. From 1969 until then, each league was split into two divisions and the winners met in the LCS and the World Series. Prior to 1969, just the pennant winners in each league went to the postseason. In that era, the postseason consisted of only the World Series.

Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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