Despite protests, one-game, wild-card playoff to remain
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Despite a few ripples of protest, with most coming from managers and players rather than MLB officials, Selig confirmed that the playoff format, new this year, will continue to have a one-game playoff between the two wild-card teams.
While many think it's unfair to have a 162-game season hinge on one do-or-die playoff game, and believe that a best-of-three is the right thing to do, it would be extremely difficult -- even impossible -- to squeeze in such a format without shortening the regular season or playing deeper into November. The commissioner has no desire to do either.
"Oh, no, it's going to be one," Selig said. "We've passed that Rubicon about a year ago. I'm the one who wanted two out of three. But here we are, and if this series goes seven games, [it will conclude Nov. 1]. I think it's worked out well and I had no complaints from clubs that played in a wild-card game this year."
The Division Series, however, will return to a 2-2-1 format for next season, now that the schedule-makers can allot the necessary time to do so. The Tigers' ALCS sweep of the Yankees was the only playoff series to this point that did not go the distance, which made for tight travel situations and a difficult grind for players. While that's good for TV ratings, it can be tough on everyone else, and October will continue to be tightly packed going forward.