The off-day was added after rain washed out both travel days in the 2006 NLCS, won by the eventual World Series champion Cardinals over the Mets in seven games. It hasn't been needed since then.At the same time, a travel day was added between possible Games 4 and 5 of the LDS. But there hasn't been a five-game first-round series since then. The World Series was also pushed back four days from a Saturday night start to a Wednesday night start to accommodate an optimum television schedule. Both of those alterations remain in place. "Scheduling is a key area in which the members have expressed many interesting ideas and opinions," Selig said in a statement. "The removal of the off-day during both League Championship Series marks the first step in a process that will ultimately result in an improved postseason format for our game." Scioscia expressed his qualms with the old format both in public and in a long private telephone call with Selig, during and after his Angels' rain-delayed six-game ALCS loss to the Yankees this past October that took 10 days to play. The Yankees went on to defeat the Phillies in a six-game World Series. "It changes everything," Scioscia said then about the four open days in the series that followed a five-day break between the end of their ALDS and the start of the ALCS. "It's hard to get any continuity with a schedule like this. You play all season with five starters, then you get to the postseason and need only two or three. It penalizes teams with depth." Charlie Manuel, who managed his Phillies to a five-game, rain-swamped and delayed World Series victory over the Rays in 2008, said on Wednesday that he was ambivalent about contracting the postseason schedule. "Does it matter to me?" he said. "It depends on what kind of pitching we have when we get there. It depends how we can swing our pitching. If we can still stay strong with our pitching, yeah. If not, I don't think so." The schedule is already established for this year's postseason, with three Division Series games opening the playoffs on Wednesday, Oct. 6. Game 1 of the ALCS is scheduled to take place on Friday, Oct. 15, and Game 1 of the NLCS scheduled for the next day. The first game of the World Series is slated for Wednesday, Oct. 27. For the second consecutive year and third time in baseball history, the World Series will end in November. "We've talked about [the best-of-seven] first round," Selig said during the owners' meetings in Paradise Valley, Ariz., this past January. "The problem is everybody wants to talk about us going into November and then they want to add to the schedule." Owners are against shortening the regular season back from 162 games to the original 154, Selig has said. That would shorten the season by a week and make room for an extended postseason format that could include another Wild Card team in each league, plus a short play-in round.
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.