Selig: Best-of-seven division series unlikely
DETROIT -- While the first round of the playoffs is likely to stay a best-of-five series, wild-card teams might find a tougher road next season, commissioner Bud Selig said Friday.
Before Oakland played Detroit in Game 3 of the AL Championship Series, Selig spoke about the postseason, saying he'd like to see at least one daytime World Series game in the future.
The wild-card Tigers made a perfect backdrop for his remarks on the playoffs.
"I can't imagine, given the abuse I took, that anybody can imagine this sport without wild cards," he said. "The only question I get now is, 'Why aren't there more?'"
And no, Selig doesn't foresee expanding the current field of eight playoff teams.
Wild cards have done especially well in past Octobers. Starting in 2002, wild cards won three straight World Series championships -- the Anaheim Angels, Florida Marlins and Boston Red Sox. Houston made it to the Series last year, too, but lost.
The Tigers knocked out the New York Yankees, who tied for the best record in the majors, in four games. That early elimination, plus the success of recent wild cards, prompted some fans to wonder whether more weight should be given to teams that win division titles over the 162-game season.
Among the possible ideas: Give the wild-card teams fewer home games in the playoffs.
"It's something we're going to look at after the World Series," Selig said. "We're going to review that. I've been spending a lot of time thinking about it."
Major League Baseball has the chance to re-examine the postseason schedule next year because the new television contract mandates that the World Series start on Tuesday, rather than a weekend.
As a result, three additional off-days will probably be inserted into either the playoffs or regular season. That would give baseball a chance to expand the first round -- as it stands, however, officials seem to be leaning toward adding a travel day between Games 4 and 5.
Going to a best-of-seven in the opening round, however, would require even more time.
"I'm a devotee of the 154-game season, but nobody wants to cut the regular season," he said. "I don't see it."
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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