The expansion of Major League Baseball's playoffs with the addition of two Wild Card teams and a one-game elimination in each league will begin this year.I wasn't a big fan of this at first, but the idea has grown on me. Now winning the division will actually mean something and those one-game playoffs should be highly entertaining.
An agreement between MLB and the Players Association, finalized on Friday, adds a second Wild Card in each league, making for a postseason field of 10. The three division winners in each league will await the survivor of a one-game playoff between the Wild Card teams in each league, establishing the Division Series field of four teams in each league. The subsequent Division Series, League Championship Series and World Series formats will remain the same.
For the 2012 postseason only, the five-game Division Series will begin with two home games for lower seeds, followed by up to three home games for higher seeds. This one-year change will eliminate a travel day prior to a decisive Game 5 of a Division Series and was necessary because the 2012 regular-season schedule was announced before the agreement on the new postseason was reached.
Next year, the Division Series will return to the 2-2-1 format used in previous years. Details on the scheduling of the new elimination games between each League's Wild Cards will be announced in the near future.
Friday, March 2, 2012
From Barry M. Bloom: