Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Bud Gone Wild (Card)

Bud Selig has a fever and the only cure is more wild cards.  Selig has taken a definitive stance that two additional wild card teams will be added to THIS upcoming season's postseason.  However, the MLBPA and Executve Director Michael Weiner don't think we should not hold our breath.
"The 2012 season was not designed to accommodate an extra round of playoffs," Michael Weiner, executive director of the Major League Players Association, told USA TODAY. "We're having discussions to see if it can work. We'll decide in the next month or so if we're able to do it." 
ESPN's Jayson Stark reported that others around the league also have their doubts. He reports that General Managers, TV Executives, and even Selig's own people think that it will be extremely difficult to rearrange the schedule to allow for contingencies, such as potential tie-breakers, and the additional wild card round.  MLB and MLBPA already decided to eliminate their archaic tie-breaking formula, which was based on such scientific determinative outcomes of a "coin flip"; now, all division ties will be broken on the playing field.  Time has been allotted for these potential tie breaking games for this season, but it is becoming difficult to find the time needed for the wild card round due to travel and prevent a snowy world series.   

MLB and MLBPA officials are meeting this week to discuss the scheduling conundrum.  They have imposed upon themselves a March 1st deadline.  Whereas Jayson Stark thinks that Selig will get his way and deal with a potential scheduling mess if one should occur, I think cooler heads may prevail.  Baseball already is a grind of a season and I can't see it working unless some mandatory double headers are added to the schedule.  Therefore, I think they will follow the collective bargaining agreement structure that was agreed to and impose the new play-off structure alongside the new realignment structure in 2013.

UPDATE: 1:23PM PST: 2/1/12
ESPN's Jayson Stark provided an update to the wild card situation.  Stark states that today (weds.) is the day that Commissioner Selig's office is to submit a 2012 postseason schedule proposal to the MLBPA.  However, ESPN sources have informed Stark that this deadline will not be met.

As I suspected, fitting a wild round to the playoffs has been more difficult than expected.  In order to eliminate one of the days off, the MLBPA is looking for game start time concessions for players traveling to different timezones in back to back days.  I bet Bud's wishing that he could take February's extra leap year day,and instead, use it in October.  Stark reports that even though this has become a complicated matter, both sides are cooperating and working together to make expanded postseason in 2012 a reality. 

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