Playoff and instant replay extension in Major League Baseball will have to wait at least one more season, MLB.com reports.
Commissioner Bud Selig told the website that, while talks have been "fruitful about it, they're definitely off the table for this year."
Mr. Selig, I have only two words for you - thank you!
When talking about expanding the playoffs in Major League Baseball, I am forced to ask "why fix something that isn't broken?" Sure, more games means more attendance, which means more money in the pockets of the owners. But right now, baseball has the most exclusive playoff format of all the major sports.
Consider the NHL. In hockey, in order to make the playoffs, you have to be better than half of the conference (league). Half! So where is the glory in making it into the postseason?
In baseball, only four teams currently make the playoffs from each league. That's eight out of 30 teams. That's pretty darn special. But Selig and MLB are proposing adding one more wild card winner to each league, meaning a total of 10 teams would be making it into October baseball (three division winners and two wild card winners from each league).
Two wild card winners? Why not just have the last place team make the playoffs too? Remember a time when there was no wild card team? Now we want two from each league? The playoffs would become a joke.
The two extra teams in 2010 would have been the Boston Red Sox, who finished with less than 90 wins and seven games back of the Yankees in the division (and six games back of the wild card), and the San Diego Padres who lost 10 games in a row during their playoff stretch.
Not to mention, one of the proposed changes to the playoff structure is to have the two wild card teams play in a best-of-three series to see who moves on in the postseason. This would make a very tight playoff schedule even tighter.
Granted, MLB has moved the start and end of the season earlier by about a week, which would alleviate teams playing past Halloween. But still, what's an already rigid playoff schedule could become even dicier with these proposed changes.
So, Mr. Selig, members of the union, and the rest of MLB - I urge you to reconsider this plan to ruin MLB's playoff structure. Worry about instant replay. Worry about the time of the games. But leave the postseason alone. Thank you.