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Selig “likes” idea of expanded MLB playoffs

Major League Baseball

Major League Baseball’s playoffs could be expanded by two more wild-card teams as soon as 2011, as Commissioner Bud Selig admits he “likes” the idea of more teams in the postseason — as long as the regular season isn’t shortened.

Selig’s comments, made before Game 4 of the World Series, were pretty clearly in favor of adding two more wild-card teams to the mix: “I like it enough so we’ll seriously consider it.

He added an important caveat: any extension of the postseason couldn’t come at the expense of the regular season and its 162 games: team need all of those games to make money, and losing games means losing revenue. Last week reps from the players unions also indicated support for adding two more teams to the postseason mix, but added one important condition: they wanted to see the regular season shortened.

Adding more teams to the postseason probably means starting the playoffs earlier — a goal of MLB anyway. Since you really can’t start the regular season before the first week of April because of weather, shortening spring training to any great extent probably isn’t an option, either. The only give is changing how travel days and off dates are handled — and we’re guessing the players won’t like that. On the other hand, leaving open the possibility of more in postseason bonus money probably would offset that somewhat.

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