Bud Selig: MLB Won't Expand Playoffs or Instant Replay in 2011
Commissioner Bud Selig told MLB.com there isn't enough time to implement such changes for the upcoming season. There had been some thought that adjustments for this season might be proposed at this week's owners' meetings in Arizona.
"There continues to be fruitful talks about it, but they're definitely off the table for this year," Selig said Monday. "Really, I think that's what we've been saying all along."
Selig said baseball is "making good progress" toward potentially adding extra wild-card teams to the playoffs but the schedule for this year's postseason already is set, and expanded use of replay technology remains "under discussion."
Selig has consistently rebuffed calls to move instant replay beyond the limited parameters in which it is currently employed -- boundary calls on home runs -- even in the face of mounting mistakes by umpires that might have been corrected by replay.
The idea of expanding the playoffs, however, has taken hold in recent months. Selig addressed it during the World Series, indicating it could happen in 2011, then reiterated his support for the concept weeks later at the owners' meetings. The main obstacle in implementing playoff structure changes for this season is that no consensus has been reached on how expanded playoffs would work.
Most proposals would add a wild-card team in each league, but it isn't clear how the first round would be restructured. Some favor a short series, others a one-game, do-or-die setup that would add greater incentive for teams to win their division.