MLB dealing two more Wild Cards, but schedulers still in extra innings
But people who know people are confirming that the extra wild cards are indeed being implemented for this year's MLB postseason, and right now it's just a matter of scheduling the scheduling.
Under the proposed new format, there will be two Wild Card playoff teams in each league. The two would battle it out in a one-game playoff for the right to advance to face the team with the league's best record in the Division Series.
Currently, only one Wild Card team makes the playoffs in each league, and immediately faces the team with the league's best record.
The news broke and then un-broke Tuesday morning. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports got the scoop and tweeted, "Sources: Additional wild cards a "go" for this season. Playoffs to expand from eight to 10 teams. Announcement tomorrow."
But today is "tomorrow" and no announcement is forthcoming. "Told agreement on expanded playoffs isn't final, but will happen," Mr. Rosenthal has since amended. "Same thing on announcement. Not certain for tomorrow, but possible."
The issue is in the scheduling details. MLB has already decided that the 2012 World Series will begin on October 24, 2012. The regular season is slated to end on October 3, 2012. So they've got to shoehorn the Wild Card game, the Division Series, and the League Championship Series all into a 20-day window.
The Commissioner has already endorsed the idea. "I really believe we'll have the Wild Card for 2012, this year," Selig told the AP in January. "Clubs really want it. I don't think I've ever seen an issue that the clubs want more than to have the extra wild card this year."
"When Bud Selig ever says he's in favor of something, you know that it's gonna happen", Buster Olney said Thursday morning on ESPN's Mike & Mike in the Morning. "And he's been talking about this for a couple months now."
Here's the main thing you need to know about expanding the MLB playoffs -- everyone involved is going to make more money. Therefore it is going to happen, and it is going to happen as quickly as possible.