There are still issues to work through, but Bud Selig thinks expanded MLB playoffs are coming soon.
Best evidence yet that the playoffs will be expanded, probably in 2012. From an AP report (via SI.com):
"I would say we're moving to expanding the playoffs, but there's a myriad of details to work out," Selig said Thursday at his annual meeting with the Associated Press Sports Editors. "Ten is a fair number."
Selig said scheduling is the major issue of discussion, including how many games the new wild-card round will be. The two wild cards in each league would meet, and the winners would advance to the following round against division winners.
I wish Selig would stop saying that 10 is a "fair number" ... More fair than eight? More fair than 12? Who's figuring out what "fair" means, exactly? It's just a different number, and one that makes the owners and a players slightly happier. Not that there's anything wrong with that, particularly if the result is some great television.
Here's why scheduling is a major issue ...
Major League Baseball undoubtedly doesn't want to push the World Series into November; that's why this season began on a Thursday in March. Schedule-wise, the most elegant -- and as it happens, the most dramatic -- solution would be a one-game playoff between the Wild Card winners.
But any change in the postseason format must be collectively bargained, and one can imagine some union resistance to a one-game playoff ... "You want us to go through the whole season playing our tails off, actually qualify for the tournament, then maybe go home after one game?"
There's yet another issue, though: Anything but a one-game playoff -- say, a best-of-three series -- means the division winners are idle for at least three days, and probably four or five.
I do think this will get done. But like most things, it's not merely a matter of Commissioner Bud waving his magical scepter.