MLB Playoff Expansion Expected in 2012

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Buster Olney of ESPN shed additional light on Major League Baseball’s anticipated expanded playoff system yesterday.  According to Olney, MLB is expected to implement the 10-team playoff system, including an additional pair of wild-card clubs, this season.  Sides have until March 1 to make the deal official, but Olney said that at this point talks are down to the ironing out of details.

Back in September it was announced that Major League Baseball was considering expanding its current playoff format.  In order to make the postseason path of wild-card teams more difficult than division winners as well as include another team in postseason play, the league proposed adding an additional wild-card team from each league.

The two wild-card clubs from the American and National Leagues would participate in a one-game playoff to decide which club would move on to the League Division Series.

Initially, playoff expansion was believed to be tied to the Houston Astros move to the American League.  Because this won’t take place until 2013, most expected the additional wild-card teams wouldn’t enter the mix until at then.

But MLB commissioner Bud Selig has pushed the expanded playoff format, hoping to have it implemented in 2012 from the beginning.  Late last month Selig came out publically and said that he believed the additional wild-card teams would come into play in 2012.  Selig added that major league clubs really wanted the switch and that the whole scenario would add excitement to the game.

With the March 1 deadline looming, we should soon find out one way or another if we can expect a 10-team playoff system in 2012.

I understand that the league and its teams would like to make the postseason path of wild-card teams more difficult than division winners, but I’m not sure the prior system was broke enough to warrant a fix.  While I’m sure the one-game playoff has the potential to add excitement, the final day of the 2011 regular season offered fans plenty to get excited about.

What are your thoughts on playoff expansion?  Are you excited for 10-teams or do you want MLB to keep the format as it is?

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