Posted on: March 2, 2012 2:24 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2012 3:16 pm

MLB makes expanded playoffs official

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Major League Baseball will officially expand the playoffs to 10 teams starting this season, it announced on Friday.

MLB Playoff expansion
The announcement has been expected for a couple of days, if not weeks. The new format will add another wild card team, with the two wild cards to play each other in one game with the winner moving on to face a division winner.

However, there is one catch that ramrodding the legislation in for 2012 created. Because of the set day for the end of the season and the start of the World Series, for this season only, the division series will begin at the home of lower seeded teams and the first two games will be played there, followed by a possible three home games for the team with "homefield advantage."

For 2013 and beyond, the division series will return to the 2-2-1 format that has been used.

"The enthusiasm for the 10-team structure among our clubs, fans and partners has been overwhelming," commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. "This change increases the rewards of a division championship and allows two additional markets to experience playoff baseball each year, all while maintaining the most exclusive postseason in professional sports."

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Posted on: January 27, 2012 8:31 pm
Edited on: January 27, 2012 9:19 pm

Selig expects expanded playoffs for 2012

Bud SeligBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Baseball's expanded playoffs could be ready for the 2012 season, commissioner Bud Selig told reporters at SoxFest in Chicago on Friday.

Bud Selig
"I really believe we'll have the (extra) wild card fo rthis year," Selig said (via the Chicago Tribune.) "Clubs really want it. I don't think I've ever seen an issue that the clubs want more than to have the extra wild card."

The new wild card round would be one-game playoffs between the two wild card teams. The players and owners have already agreed to the expanded playoffs, with the only question being whether they'd begin in 2012 or 2013. The decision is expected by March 1, according to the Associated Press.

"We're working on dates right now," Selig said. "It looks to me like we'll have it, because I've told everybody we have to have it. It will be exciting. A one-game playoff and it will start the playoffs in a very exciting manner."

Also on Friday, the Associated Press reported that teams tied for the division tittle would now play a one-game playoff instead of using head-to-head record to determine the division winner. That will be necessary because of the new nature of the playoffs -- division winners won't have to play in the one-game wild card playoff, making winning the division more important than in years past.

The new format would also likely mean an end to the rule that doesn't allow two teams from the same division to play in the division series. The winner of the wild card would then play the team with the best record in the league.

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Posted on: November 17, 2011 5:29 pm
Edited on: November 17, 2011 6:43 pm

Would expanded playoffs change past results?

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Commissioner Bud Selig wants one more team in the playoffs as soon as the 2012 season, with the two wild card teams facing off in one game to decide which team moves on to the next round. The idea is to expand the playoffs and at the same time giving division winners an advantage over a team that doesn't win its division.

Not only does the extra team mean there's more playoffs, but the wild card teams will have to juggle their rotation to try to get their best pitcher pitch in the one-game playoff.


American League: No baseball fan will forget watching Game 162 for the Rays and Red Sox -- a once-in-a-lifetime finish to the regular season that wouldn't happen under the new format. Of course, it was there only because of the wild card -- something that many people were against when Selig first introduced it. There will still be fantastic finishes -- just not one exactly like there was this year. Not that I was expecting to see anything like that ever again. If the new format eliminates the rule barring teams from the same division playing in the first round, the first-round match ups would have been different, with the Tigers and Rangers meeting in the divisional series instead of the ALCS.

National League: The Cardinals and Braves would have faced off in the one-game playoff, with the winner going on the face the Phillies. Chris Carpenter wouldn't have had to pitch the final game of the regular season and could have been held back for the wild card game.

What would have changed? Maybe Terry Francona would still have a job, but other than that, who knows? The Cardinals wouldn't have had Carpenter for the wild card game, but if they were indeed a team of destiny, who's to say they don't go on and win the whole thing? The American League is a tossup, really, it's tough to say exactly what would have happened.


American League: The Red Sox beat out the White Sox for the second playoff spot and set up yet another Yankees-Red Sox showdown in the one-game wild card.

National League: Atlanta and San Diego would face off for the right to face the seemingly unbeatable Phillies, while the Giants and Reds would have met in the other division series.

What would have changed? Instead of facing the Yankees, the Twins would get the Rangers, but the result probably wouldn't have changed. As for the National League, San Diego was reeling at the end of the season and probably wouldn't have challenged the Braves. However, the Phillies wouldn't have played the Reds in the first round and we wouldn't have gotten Roy Halladay's no-hitter. Or maybe we would have, the Reds had the National League's best offense, so maybe the opponent didn't matter that day.


American League: Instead of just one one-game playoff in the AL, in 2009 there would have been two. Boston and Texas would have been the two wild card teams, but both teams had better records than the Twins and Tigers, who met in a one-game playoff to determine the American League Central champ.

National League: The AL East isn't the only division that can squeeze three teams into the playoffs -- the Rockies and Giants would face each other for the right to play the Dodgers in the NLDS.

What would have changed? Probably little, the Yankees and Phillies would likely face off in the World Series no matter what other teams were in the mix.


American League: The Twins would have been the extra wild card team, facing the 95-win Red Sox for the right to face the Angels

National League: The Brewers and Mets would have had to face off in the wild card game, with the winner getting the 97-win Cubs, while Philadelphia would face Los Angeles in the NLDS instead of the Cubs.

What would have changed? The Red Sox beat the Angels 3-1 in the ALDS, so it's not a stretch to see Boston burning a pitcher and still beating the Angels in that series. The Phillies likely would have gone on to the World Series, but the Cubs may have had a better shot to advance to the NLCS and break some more hearts by failing to reach the World Series.


American League: One one-game playoff not good enough for you? How about a playoff for the playoff? The 94-win Yankees would have to wait a day to see who they'd play in the wild card game, as Seattle and Detroit both finished 88-74.

National League: This time we have a pretty good idea what it would look like -- the Rockies and Padres would face off in a one-game playoff, just as they did anyway. A 13-inning thriller, the Rockies beat the Padres to advance to the NLDS. But instead of playing the Phillies in the first round, the Rockies would have faced the Diamondbacks, who had the best record in the National League with 90 wins.

What would have changed? Probably not too much -- every series was a sweep, meaning the best teams were more or less identified.

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Posted on: October 21, 2011 1:11 am
Edited on: October 21, 2011 1:12 am

Selig says extra wild cards could happen in 2012

Bud SeligBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Bud Selig said Thursday playoff expansion could still happen as soon as 2012, and also that he is worried about the attendance in Tampa Bay, as MLB's commissioner spoke to Christopher Russo on SiriusXM's Mad Dog Radio.

"I have, if we can work all the details out, as it's part of the labor negotiations, I have hope that the wild card thing -- if we can work it out -- is ready for next year," Selig said.

When asked if he was optimistic that it could be agreed upon in time to be implemented for 2012, Selig said he was "optimistic" and that the deal would have to be done by Thanksgiving.

As for the Rays, Selig was less optimistic. He was asked about owner Stu Sterberg's postseason letter to season ticket holders saying he was worried about the team's attendance.

"I like (owner) Stu Sternberg a lot, as you know. I have a great deal of respect for him. He's a very thoughtful, very interesting guy, done a great job there, done a brilliant job there," Selig said (via the St. Petersburg Times). "I, too, am concerned about their attendance. I track attendance every day. He knows it. I've talked to him a lot. They are a wonderful organization, produced a terrific team this year and finished last in the American League in attendance. I'll let you draw your own conclusion. That's bad."

Selig was asked if the stadium situation in Tampa Bay was a "lost cause."

"I can't answer that yet, but I'm usually an optimist and I don't have any reason to be too optimistic," Selig said. 

Orlando's mayor spoke to the city's ABC affiliate, WFTV, and was asked if he would be receptive to the Rays relocating to Orlando.

"I'd certainly answer, and I'd want to explore that opportunity," Buddy Dyer said (via the Tampa Tribune).

He also said, "I think Major League Baseball could do better in Orlando." But Dyer said he'd really like an NFL team (good luck). 

However, Dyer said he wouldn't negotiate with the Rays unless negotiations in the Tampa Bay area failed and a spokesperson told the Tribune that Orlando has made no effort to lure the Rays.

Selig also said instant replay could be expanded to include fair and foul balls, but not other plays. He also said he may have to decide what kind of compensation the Red Sox get from the Cubs for Theo Epstein.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: September 29, 2011 12:38 am
Edited on: October 28, 2011 11:27 pm

2011 baseball postseason schedule

World Series (Best of 7)
Result Home team in CAPS
Game 1 10/19: ST. LOUIS 3, Texas 2 -- Recap | Snyder | Knobler  Series 1-0 Cardinals
Game 2 10/20: Texas 2, ST. LOUIS 1 -- Recap | Snyder | Miller  Series 1-1
Game 3 10/22: St. Louis 16, TEXAS 7 -- Recap | Snyder | Knobler  Series 2-1 Cardinals
Game 4 10/23: TEXAS 4, St. Louis 0 -- Recap | Snyder | Miller  Series 2-2
Game 5 10/24: TEXAS 4, St. Louis 2 -- Recap | Snyder | Knobler  Series 3-2 Rangers
Game 6 10/27: ST. LOUIS 10, Texas 9 -- Recap | Snyder | Knobler  Series 3-3
Game 7* 10/28: ST. LOUIS 6, Texas 2 -- Recap | Snyder | Miller  Series 4-3 Cardinals
American League Division Series (Best of 5)
Game Result Home team in CAPS
Game 1 NEW YORK 9, Detroit 3
Recap | Analysis | Knobler
Game 2 Detroit 5, NEW YORK 3
Recap | Analysis | Knobler
Game 3 DETROIT 5, New York 4
Recap | Analysis | Miller
Game 4 New York 10, DETROIT 1
Recap | Analysis | Miller
Game 5 Detroit 3, NEW YORK 2
Recap | Analysis | Knobler
National League Division Series (Best of 5)
Game Result Home team in CAPS
Game 1 PHILADELPHIA 11, St. Louis 6
Recap | Analysis | Snyder
Game 2 St. Louis 5, PHILADELPHIA 4
Recap | Analysis | Brunell
Game 3 Philadelphia 3, ST. LOUIS 2
RecapAnalysis | Knobler
Game 4 ST. LOUIS 5, Philadelphia 3
Recap | Analysis | Knobler
Game 5 St. Louis 1, PHILADELPHIA 0
Recap | Analysis | Knobler
American League Division Series (Best of 5)
Game Result Home team in CAPS
Game 1 Tampa Bay 9, TEXAS 0
Recap | Analysis | Miller
Game 2 TEXAS 8, Tampa Bay 6
Recap | Analysis | Miller
Game 3 Texas 4, TAMPA BAY 3
Recap | Analysis | Knobler
Game 4 Texas 4, TAMPA BAY 3
Recap | Analysis | Brunell
 Series Rangers win series 3-1
National League Division Series (Best of 5)
Game Result Home team in CAPS
Game 1 MILWAUKEE 4, Arizona 1
Recap | Analysis | Rosecrans
Game 2 MILWAUKEE 9, Arizona 4
Recap | Analysis | Rosecrans
Game 3 ARIZONA 8, Milwaukee 1
Recap | Analysis | Rosecrans
Game 4 ARIZONA 10, Milwaukee 6
Recap | Analysis | Rosecrans
Game 5 MILWAUKEE 3, Arizona 2
Recap | Analysis | Miller
American League Championship Series (Best of 7)
Game Result Home team in CAPS
Game 1 TEXAS 3, Detroit 2
Recap | Brunell | Knobler
Game 2 TEXAS 7, Detroit 3
Recap | Brunell | Knobler
Game 3 DETROIT 5, Texas 2
Recap | Brunell | Knobler
Game 4 Texas 7, DETROIT 3
Recap | Brunell | Knobler
Game 5 DETROIT 7, Texas 5
Recap | Brunell | Knobler
Game 6 TEXAS 15, Detroit 5
Recap | Brunell | Knobler
Series Rangers win, 4-2
Brunell | Knobler
National League Championship Series (Best of 7)
Cardinals, Brewers
Game Result Home team in CAPS
Game 1 MILWAUKEE 9, St. Louis 6
Recap | Rosecrans | Miller
Game 2 St. Louis 12, MILWAUKEE 3
Recap | Rosecrans | Miller
Game 3 ST. LOUIS 4, Milwaukee 3
Recap | Rosecrans | Miller
Game 4 Milwaukee 4, ST. LOUIS 2
Recap | Rosecrans | Miller
Game 5 ST. LOUIS 7, Milwaukee 1
Recap | Rosecrans | Miller
Game 6 St. Louis 12, MILWAUKEE 6
Recap | Rosecrans | Miller
Series Cardinals win 4-2
For more postseason coverage.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: September 7, 2011 7:01 pm
Edited on: September 7, 2011 10:42 pm

Selig wants more playoffs in '12, Astros to AL

Bud SeligBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Bud Selig hopes to have an expanded postseason starting in 2012, the commissioner told Jeff Passan of Yahoo.com.

"It will depend on a whole series of things," Selig said. "The holdup is working out all the details."

Despite Selig's optimism, Passan writes a source tells him the chances of a 10-team playoffs next season are "iffy at best."

The biggest hangup is realignment. And that's being held up by the delay in approving Jim Crane's purchase of the Astros. Passan cites a source that Crane would be OK with moving his team to the American League West, creating six five-team divisions. Crane has little leverage, so moving the Astros remains Selig's best chance at evening the leagues with 15 teams each. According to Fox 26 in Houston, Selig has already asked Crane to move to the American League and the fact he hasn't accepted yet is why he hasn't been approved.

As for the exact format an extend playoff would take -- will it be a one-game playoff between the two wild cards or a three-game series? That's still undecided.

Selig also told Passan that he's still firm on retiring on Dec. 31, 2012, when his contract is up -- "even though a lot of people don't believe it," Selig said.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com