Bud Selig Open to Playoff Expansion, Will Not Discuss Instant Replay
Expansion would likely mean adding a second wild card in each league and having those wild cards play off to narrow the field to the current eight.
Players' union head Michael Weiner recently said the players are open to expanded playoffs, mentioning 2012 as the starting point, since that would come after the current collective bargaining agreement expires.
But asked Thursday, after presenting the Roberto Clemente Award to Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield, if the playoffs could grow in 2011, Selig said, "Yes."
Asked where those discussions stand, Selig said, "That's for later. I've said that I would consider it and we will.
"It will come up when I bring it up."
Selig said his "Special Committee for On-Field Matters" will convene some time in November.
"We've got to work out a lot of details," Selig said, "see how much interest there is. And then we'll take it to all the constituencies. ... We have a lot of different opinions we're asking: when to do it, if to do it, and then how to do it."
Weiner mentioned expanding the Division Series to best-of-seven. But Selig clearly is worried about playing into late October and early November.
"We'll look at everything," Selig said. "We can talk about enlarging everything, but then we can go to Thanksgiving."
This year's playoffs determined a sixth different AL champion in six years, and the World Series will have been won by six different teams in six years.
"It is the most important manifestation of what we set out to do in the '90s (with revenue sharing)," Selig said, "create as much competitive balance as you can. ... The sport has never had this kind of competitive balance.
"When the San Francisco Giants are playing the Texas Rangers, that says a lot. That's great for baseball."
The Division Series produced a good deal of umpiring controversy, but Selig wouldn't discuss expanded replay.
"We'll talk about that in the offseason," Selig said.
Selig said he was pleased with the 10.4 TV rating for Wednesday's Game 1.
"Both these teams are very attractive for a myriad of reasons," Selig said. "I know FOX was happy and we were happy. And 10.4 is a very good start."