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11/18/09 10:25 PM EST
Selig: Postseason schedule to be tightened
Expansion of instant replay also discussed as owners meet
By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Commissioner Bud Selig said there will be a tightening of baseball's postseason schedule in 2010, although he wasn't ready to get into specifics. There has been some internal discussion about expanding the scope of using instant replay, Selig also said on Wednesday, but he hasn't changed his established position. Speaking after a meeting of his executive council at the Owners' Meetings being held at the O'Hare Hilton this week, he said he will invite the general managers to sit in on the next meeting of owners, Jan. 13-14 in Paradise Valley, Ariz. The last joint meeting of 2009 is here on Thursday morning. As far as the playoff schedule is concerned, Selig was straightforward. "Oh, we're going to change it for next year," he told the media after a full day of committee meetings had come to an end. "It's tough, but I don't disagree with [Angels manager] Mike Scioscia. I think he was right. We're going to tighten it up." Selig said he'd have a new plan to present to the owners by the spring. Scioscia complained about the off-days in the current postseason schedule during his club's loss to the eventual World Series-winning Yankees in a six-game American League Championship Series that took nine days to play. The two teams also had four days off between the first and second rounds after sweeping their respective AL Division Series. The Yankees played 15 games in 31 days to win their 27th World Series. That's in stark contrast to the everyday pace of the 162-game regular season. Selig said he spoke to Scioscia on the telephone immediately after the ALCS and promised some changes. "I'm very hopeful and confident that they're going to tighten up that schedule a little bit," Scioscia said during a conference call on Wednesday after being named AL Manager of the Year by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. "I think there are things that the Commissioner is going to take to heart and look at." Selig said he's certainly taking the matter to heart. Changes were made in the postseason schedule after the 2006 postseason, when extra days were added to the first round for travel and to the second round in case of bad weather. The start of the World Series also was moved back four days from Saturday to Wednesday to accommodate national television interests. The latter is not going to change, particularly since this year's World Series -- a six-game victory for the Yankees over the Phillies -- drew an 11.7 rating and 19 share, up 39 percent from the previous year and the highest numbers since 2004. "I've been looking at it every day, looking at what days we can eliminate," Selig said. "In the first round, you have to plan for each series to go five games and then you can make other assumptions. I'm not sure what tact to take. We've spent many hours already going over things. I don't want to get into details now. Let me do it, first." Regarding instant replay, Selig said he's taken the matter under advisement after a rash of missed calls in the first two rounds of the postseason. Currently, replay is used only on boundary calls for home runs -- in or out, fair or foul. Though the matter wasn't addressed here last week by the 30 general managers during their two days of meetings, a number of them told the media that they'd like to expand the use of video technology to enhance the sport. "Look, I have some ideas on that subject, but I'm not quite willing to expound on them now," Selig said. "I'm going to talk to a lot of people. I haven't changed my mind, but I'm always willing to talk. Already I've talked to a lot of managers and general managers. "I've invited the GMs to come to the January meetings in Arizona. It's time that they sat in with the owners and consider the things we talk about. So I'm always willing to listen."
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.