Bud Selig has been after expanded playoffs for a long time, and now with the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, he will almost certainly get them. Selig was even optimistic that the new wild cards would go into place this year -- as in, eight months from now. Jayson Stark, though, spoke to some folks who aren't convinced that specific timetable is realistic:
Wednesday was supposed to be the day the commissioner's office finished a proposed schedule for the 2012 postseason and shipped it to the players' association for consideration. But sources told ESPN.com that deadline wasn't going to be met -- not because talks have broken down, but because fitting two extra wild-card pieces into the postseason puzzle has proven to be more involved than the commissioner has been willing to acknowledge.
The biggest hurdle is that the schedule for the regular season and postseason have already been set. Squeezing an extra two wild-card games on top would be daunting enough, but there are also tiebreakers to worry about -- picture a three-team tie for a division that would need to be whittled down into a division winner and two wild-card winners, for example.
Stark lists other concerns, all of them valid, and then closes with this chilling quote:
"All of this is solvable," one management source said. "It just depends what consequences you're willing to accept."
Brrrrrrr. But what we know is that the wild cards are coming. They could just be a year away, like we figured they would be in the first place.