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Playoff schedule condensed; seven-game division series next?

Mar 25, 2010, 7:58 AM EDT

Selig 4.jpgBud Selig announced yesterday that, based on the recommendation of his special committee, the schedules for the 2010 League Championship Serieseseses have been shortened by
eliminating an off-day between Games 4 and 5.  Inasmuch as it was a totally superfluous off-day, this is a good thing. Next up, in all likelihood, will be expanding the division series from a best of five to a best of seven affair.  That, however, will have to wait until at least the 2012 season, as it has to be the subject of collective bargaining. The players want it, however, so it shouldn’t be a big problem making it happen.

I’m for a longer LDS partially because more baseball is an absolute good, but also because the longer a playoff series is, the more likely that the stronger overall team will advance. As it is now, a team with great depth, especially in the rotation, has a distinct advantage in the regular season. Yet in a short, drawn-out playoff series, they are at a disadvantage as compared to a Spahn-and-Sain-and-three-days-of-rain kind of team, and that kind of bugs me.

Obviously the key to all of this working is the whole schedule, not just one random off-day, being condensed and optimized. The easiest way to do that is to tell FOX or whoever has the broadcast rights that they don’t get to dictate when a playoff series starts. I know TV will cry and moan about this, but we’re all grownups. We can handle it.

  1. Ray Steele - Mar 25, 2010 at 8:15 AM

    But but but…we have to schedule the World Series around Ryan Seacrest’s schedule, and Dr. House’s schedule, and Homer Simpson’s…. we have to have them for the camera shots during the game!!! How will we ever get anyone to watch if we don’t have celebrities???

  2. Jonny5 - Mar 25, 2010 at 8:22 AM

    MLB needs to stop trying to turn the world series into the Superbowl. Ratings, ratings, ratings. Bleh!

  3. bobmac - Mar 25, 2010 at 8:41 AM

    Spahn and Sain not Span.Denard wasn’t born yet.

  4. ditmars1929 - Mar 25, 2010 at 8:45 AM

    MLB needs to get some balls when it comes to dealing with their TV partners. Sure, they earn billions from TV and should work with them in partnership, but MLB shouldn’t let TV dictate everything. Selig is such a greedy little pussy.
    Also to fix/condense the schedule, MLB should reinstate regular double headers. And for just once, have some fucking regard for the fans and make double headers a full day affair, as opposed to this day/night/pay twice setup currently in place.

  5. Jack Meoffer - Mar 25, 2010 at 8:55 AM

    I still don’t know why that after 15 years with the expanded playoffs we still do not have a 7 game series for the first round. Yet it will take another 2 years for this to happen. Can’t they come to an agreement any sooner ?
    As for FOX, ugh. They have been horrible since the beginning with baseball coverage. I don’t know about football because I never watch it and I am not a fan. FOX is more concerned about screen graphics and playing bad music throughout a game rather than the game itself. But that all goes with who owns FOX (the same owner of Star Magazine…NY Post…etc..). It’s style over substance. That’s what you get with Rupert Murdoch.

  6. Lawrence From Plattekill - Mar 25, 2010 at 9:05 AM

    The grownups can handle it, but the people losing the extra revenue won’t. All that baseball, the players’ union, and the network carrying the games care about is the audience. If you like it enough to watch, then nothing you can say before or after you watch will make any difference. And even then, watching or not watching only counts if you’re a beer drinker.

  7. Rays fan - Mar 25, 2010 at 10:07 AM

    162 regular season games, possible 21 playoff games…Spahn/Sain/2 days of rain (if the prayers wroked to their fullest) would make the full season take 366 days. Can only work in a leap year as of 2012.

  8. Old Gator - Mar 25, 2010 at 12:49 PM

    Craig, I find your contention that the puer eterni of TV land are “grownups” about as cheerful a bon mot as anything I’ve read since the last Sara Palin press release about death squads.
    Incidentally, I think the idea of a 21-game postseason is wonderful. Especially in Minnesota. I just love the idea of a Twins outfielder skating to the wall to haul in a line drive in game 7 of the Series. If it works in Minneapolis, we’ll know that we can expand MLB to Calgary and Yellowknife in 2012.

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