Selig: MLB Play-off Expansion Possible

July 13, 2011

Major League Baseball (MLB) commissioner Bud Selig is open to the idea of expanding the play-offs at the end of every season, but has insisted recent talk of realigning the League’s divisional structure is premature.

Currently, eight teams qualify for the post-season event under the current system, less than any other top American sports’ play-offs system. The current MLB play-offs has four fewer than the number of National Football League (NFL) teams that make the play-offs and half the number of teams that reach the National Hockey League and National Basketball Association (NBA) play-offs.

However, Selig did say that the League had not decided what length a play-off series between wildcard teams would be.

Selig said: “We only have eight of 30 teams (making the post-season). That’s the least number in sports. If we go to 10 (teams), that’s 10 out of 30. Twenty go home. That’s not too many. I can make a case for 10, no more than 10.”

There has been recent speculation that the 16-team National League and 14-team American League could be restructured to have 15 teams in each, but Selig added: “There have been some stories about it lately that I found to be somewhat premature. I talk to people about it from time to time. Is there anything imminent? No.”

With the NFL and NBA currently in lockout scenarios, Selig was also asked about MLB’s progress in labour talks with the players’ union ahead of the expiration of the existing collective bargaining agreement in December, to which he replied: “In my baseball career that started in 1970 we had eight work stoppages and one became more painful than the other.

“Of the many things I’m proud of about my commissionership is that we’ve had 16 years of labour peace,” Selig added. “I’m very sensitive to what’s going on in the other sports. We’ve started our negotiations. It’s been constructive, but it’s early.”